This day had started out like any other day within the Guild for Moira. There had been the help with breakfast, and the morning dishes. Gillian Bloodtoes, the resident Guild Master had asked her to go around and check that the guards knew the days passwords. Also there had been the other odd jobs and errands that she had run. She would add the little coin that she had gathered to the small fund she had been saving over the years.
Her last errand brought her to the kennels. Where she gave Pindrep the potion he wanted for his sick dog. Pindrep was new to the Guild, and like Moira, he also was not a thief or an assassin. She spent her afternoon with Pindrep outside by the pens. Where they talked about the adventures they would have once they left the Guild.
But Pindrep finally admitted that he was not the adventuring type, and that his love for his dogs would hold him back.
She had been saddened by his revaluation, for she too felt held in place.
That had been before Master Bloodtoes had taken her back to the main hall to meet a man that was waiting there for her. A man that was a stranger, and yet familiar to her.
Once, many years ago, when she had been staying in the city of Beregost, she had spotted that man walking down the streets. Quickly she had left the confines of the Guildhall, running after the rapidly vanishing figure, calling out for him…
”Father! It’s Moira! Father! Father!!”
Wanting him to see her, come to her, hold her.
But before she could get close, she found herself surrounded by a small group of tough looking thugs. Hastily they guided her back to the Guildhall, where she was placed into a small room. Her wait there was not long, though it felt like days to the young Moira, when her Aunt Imoen came.
“Moira,” her Aunt had finally spoken, after spending a few moments looking sternly at the younger Delryn. “You must not go around calling out your name!” She scolded. No reasons were ever given, but her Aunt Imoen had impressed upon her the need to remain hidden.
With as many towns and as many sighting. But never once did he come to see her. To talk to her… to hold her…
And now he waited…
Nor had she ever visited the city of Athkatla. Even though she knew that her Aunt Imoen had a small Guild hidden somewhere with the ‘City of Coin’. She had never ventured pas the Cloudpeaks Mountains.
Moira looked down at the letters that were in disarray on her small bed. Letters that had came from Athkatla. Letters that were from her brothers, Khalid and… Cor. Seven years of letters. She must have read and reread each of the letters over a thousand times. She considered there her most valued treasures. Possessions of greater importance to her than any gold or trinket she might own.
She once again reread the last line of the letter she held, the line that appeared under Khalid’s closing. That line that read ‘Cor sends his love.’ Or the others that she had hastily opened with her arrival to her room, the ones that now littered the top of her bed. The ones that contained the lines ‘Cor misses you very much.’ or ‘Cor loves you too.’ or ‘Cor wishes you well.’…
Now, as she examined the last few words more closely, she could tell…
“I have been searching for your younger brother for the past fourteen years…”
Maybe she had always known, something that she had been afraid to admit to herself. Khalid had not written those words… The lines had been added prior to the letters being sent to her.
“Your Aunt Imoen has been adding the same lines to your letters…”
Both siblings had been lead to believe that their youngest brother was safely with the other. So that neither would suspect the truth. The truth about that night… that horrible night in Athkatla…
It was to be the last night that she had seen Khalid or Cor. It was the night that her mother had died… It would have been the only way ‘They’ could have got a hold of her six-year-old daughter.
The only way…
It had taken her father five years of searching to find her. And, with a small group of trusted adventures, and more bloodshed, the man that now waited down in the main hall had once again held his missing daughter within his arms.
She remembered nothing about those five years. Those memories were somehow blocked from her, and she had never tried very hard to pierce the veil that they hid behind. Fearful of what she might find lurking there…
But there had been the nightmares. Nightmares, where the face of a young woman would hang before her eyes as she awoke screaming. A face and a name… “High Matriarch”
Only Cor had not been with her. And now he remained missing.
Which was why he had come to see her now. He wanted her to come with him and aid him in the search for his missing son. Her missing brother.
But he did not what to leave just now. There was more that she needed to know. Events about the past. Her heritage… and who she was. There was too much to tell her in a single night. And he was in need of rest from his long journey here.
That was when he had given her the ring. It was a simple piece of metal with an uncomplicated design. It had belonged to his mother, then his sister, and also he had given it to her mother. But now he wanted her to have it.
He had worn it around his neck, using a thin leather strap. And now she held the ring in her hands. The simple leather string still dangling through its opening. She allowed the letter that she held to drift from her hands, where it gently settled in with the others. She took both ends of the strap, bring the ring up tight against her neck. She would wear the ring in the same manner he had.
“When you have prepared yourself. Please come back…”
Slowly she tied the two ends of the strap together behind her neck.
“I love you Mother… I miss you…”
She heard her room's door open slowly behind her, and suddenly Aunt Imoen's voice flooded her thoughts. 'Do not leave your back to a door!' How many times had she been told this? But she was not a thief, would never be a theif and did not want to be a thief.
Slowly she turned to see who had intruded upon her privacy.
"Moira!?!" The voice was rough, unsure and demanding.
"Yes..." All she seen was the knife in the hand of an outstreached arm, coming at her with blinding speed.
"The Essence must be Destroyed!"