I remember sunlight on the golden hair of my sister as she rode into the stable, where I was mucking stalls.
I remember running through the forest, bow in hand, seeking signs of fresh game.
I remember setting a long table for a meal, with other children, our movements smooth with long practice, the older children directing the younger. At that time, I was one of the younger.
I remember an inn or tavern to the southwest, two or three days journey. The food is rich, creamy… somewhere between a soup and a gravy, almost like a pot-pie… heavy with a barley-like grain and other vegetables as well as thick chunks of a venison-like meat, served in a trough formed by partially hollowing a loaf of bread. It was eaten with carved wooden spoons, small and curved into shapes reminiscent of the shells of the common mussel (Mytilus edulis). I find myself drawn to food that reminds me of it, still.
I remember dancing with a rippling blade of sky-blue metal, like a mountain lake reflecting a clear sky in summer. The blade felt warm and alive in my hands as I moved, our motions flowing together with the deep inner Song of the land. We did not move to some fixed pattern, but in constant relation to the world around us, physical and nonphysical, what is and what may be. It is a skill I am trying to relearn.
I remember wearing a coat of chain mail armor, with rings as small and fine as a fish’s scales. Looking out from the breast of the mail is the image of a stag’s head, somehow set in three dimensions within the metal like a hologram. It seems to face the viewer no matter what angle they view it from, the stag’s eyes almost staring through you.
I remember a boy, wounded and delirious with fever in the rare moments he regained consciousness. His horse had led me to him, and I remember carefully gathering him up and taking him back home with me, entrusting him to my father and elder sister for medical care. I remember pacing around, nervous as a new father, waiting for news of his condition.
I remember a narrow stone bridge over a large underground lake or river. The cavern was immense, and not entirely natural… along with the bridge itself, excavation had been done into it, making branching shafts that honeycombed the walls of the cavern.
I remember these things, and others which are not my story alone to tell.
I remember Alorya.