I actually like this chapter the most of all my written ones so far^^ although it deals with lots of dark stuff, I still love the ending. Hope you do too, Thank you all for the kind reviews^^, love,
When the days were long
Hey^^ snigger's madly, my English is getting better with this, lols. I am, if you do not realize it with my messy writing until now, am German origin.
To life and let die. To forgive and forget. To accept and to move on.
When I first heard that sayings, I was barely ten. It was at school in our literature class with Marten snoring softly right next to me as usual while our teacher glared holes into his skull from above. They held a certain truth that is only becoming known to me now, years later. The last year had been the worst of my entire life in my humble opinion. All those clashes with the Varrs had taken a toll on us and on me not much less as the rest.
Someone had played us a fool and had given out information that shouldn’t have given away, so to speak.
The secret was out, at least so much so that the other tribes now knew that the Colurastes had a har that could manipulate energy to form virtual barriers if needed out of it. Whoever had told the Varrs and others had not known who exactly that har was but now it was out. From that day on my life became complicated more than ever before. Secrecy became an evil that I had to endure as well as the constant guards that Oorontes and Saughan surrounded me now with.
They actually used a clever excuse for them in the eyes of all else.
I was the consort, life partner of our future Archon and as such, a preferred target for assignation from our enemies all the time. My father too got a constant guard with him now. The one who had given out information had also told others about his secret relationship with Sciamander.
What, surprisingly ended in a much bigger scandal as the power barrier har information in the end. This made us all laughs heartily about the ridiculousness that sometimes is life. Especially father’s admirers made it to their silent rule to harass the poor Sciamander from now on; it only had him snigger worse than before even when confronted with all the rumors about him flying around.
What can I say? People, oh pardon, Hara love their gossip?
The High Archon had thrown a fit first, worthy a raging dragon when hearing about it that someone had tittle-tattled us out. Then he had vanished for two days inside of his study to suddenly reappear the third day and stomp straight to our Nayati to perform an invocation that made the entire mountain shake for a good half an hour. It made Oorontes enter there after ten minutes to stop him… never mind, he never did in the end.
Afterwards Sciamander had looked rather pleased with himself and went on as if nothing had ever happened, with my chesnary in tow who looked rather green around his nose.
Whatever Sciamander had done that day, it resulted into a rumor a few days later that told about an unusual occurrence somewhere in the Varrish main city where Ponclast resided. Saying actually that a good half of it had suddenly been flooded by the river that lay near the city and also that a huge earthquake had suddenly hit a very small, city limits enclosed, area only… The lecture out of the entire event? Make of it whatever you want, just never piss Sciamander Har Colurastes off!
He gets really… terrifying then?
I never asked what had happened to the poor souls who spilled the beans, sometimes ignorance is bliss I guess.
Ponclast little spying adventure also made room for another little episode that changed my life a good deal. Up until then, only around thirty harlings had been born to our tribe. That was the same for the most tribes at that time. Well, we all had heard of Ponclast little experiments to have more born but did not exactly know how he wanted to manage that until that fateful day I met Senya by chance.
Until that day, Ormelte’s part of our tribe had the most born to it, almost fifteen.
He had the most of the older ones of our tribe in his group what had aided his luck as we found out by careful studying that phenomenon. It had to do with the caste of the hara who tried to get one. It also made it clear to me that Oorontes and I could now easily get one if we wanted it. We both meet the required caste levels easily, as the most of our part of our tribe did it too in the late. That was due Oorontes overly zealous advancing of us all in our caste trainings to reach at least the caste Ulani. The most hara in our valley now held Brynie level or was of the first two level of Ulani.
Acantha or Pyralis.
Why we had not so many until now? The answer was simple as it was sound. Most had been hara only for a short time, three or in my case now four years. Almost everyone else for even less time or was one of the formerly changed children that were still growing up and had not reached maturity yet. We were still not as many in numbers as Oorontes wished us to be.
It was a sorrow that I could often see weight him down when he thought that no one was noticing it.
Oh sometimes he could be such a moron! As if I would miss anything that made him sad or else… honestly, sometimes I really had to wonder. He was my life. Simple as that, there was nothing else more important for me in my life as Oorontes. I guess he slowly got that too, because even tired, as he often was it now since his duties had taken on becoming more each year, he never missed out to give me a smile when I checked on him.
Moreover, doing that, I did often.
He needed a keeper, I swear and a better office and secretary too. I had over the last years taken on some of his responsibilities, such as official visitors of our other tribe offshoots or the trading routes management. Nowadays, my signature often graced the papers that were needed for traveling or trading with other tribes too.
It sounded strange in my ears when I one day voiced it out aloud when being alone in my room. Myrthal Har Colurastes, consort of Phylarch Oorontes Har Colurastes. It held a world of meanings and one of them was my standing in the eyes of other tribes. A scary thought if you thought about it more closely. Did it mean no less that my behavior, successes and failures would fall back onto his shoulders in the end.
I made extra certain to never make any that could be traced back to us.
It ended in secretary and a staff plus me getting my own office rooms in the wings that his were in too. We scheduled meetings with each other about new trading routes or incoming wishes of other tribes to trade with us almost every day now. While at home we both tried to leave our work in the rooms designed for it. Our home time was spending with our two adopted changelings that slowly grew up into two formidable young hara.
The two made both of us rather proud all the time.
Especially Oorontes since he saw in them the future of our tribe. Our family time was something we both tried to guard fiercely; it was already so little left of it in our eyes anyways. Lethan and Imerle never complained. They grew faster, the changelings, as human children had done it. The two grew in half the time that a human child would have needed.
Harlings grew even faster up as the changelings and reached adulthood after seven to nine years already.
Our offshoot had been a bunch of busy bees in the last years. With our iron, steel and all other metal works being one of our best export articles, just as in human times. Our smithies never stood still in the late. The mining experts had much to do too.
Also, many a har had taken to do work in the immense fields lying now outside the main city limits.
We now had cultivated fields lining our valley, producing nearly everything from vegetables to corn. Due our mild climatic location. Another goody that found always-thankful customers was wood. We had lots of trees entire forests even that we cultivated better as in our human time before.
Oorontes even had some hara settled inside the forests to watch over them in order to prevent the formerly often occurred summer fire hazards. Our woods had become valuable in more ways then one, since we no longer could depend on the energy made by the former companies. Stone coals too, mined from the earth soon became a thing we used to fire our flats with.
The gulfstream did the rest rather nicely for us to get our feed back in the financial department under us. Fishing had become not only a hobby for many of us; it had also become an active trading post, much sought after. We salted them or dried them, depending on the type. In some cases, we even smoked the fish and meat too.
One of the Uigenna that had staid with us had actually learned to smoke fish and meat and now the crafty har and his helpers made a fortune for us all each day with his fabricated goods.
There was another article that found always many customers, our leathers.
Our tribe was the only one that knew how to make snakeskin into a valuable leather to work with it. We did not sell the real goodies to everyone but what we handed out was gone as soon it was laid out in other tribes markets that begun to bloom all over the land in the late. Many of our wares even went over the entire continent. Since we still had a functioning haven and had found in another former har of the Uigenna a shipbuilder that actually understood, what he was doing and that made us sailing ships that could withstand the open sea and did not sink the first day they hit water.
They could not travel over the full ocean but were sturdy enough to reach the other settlements of tribes north and south of us and could travel along the coasts and the deeper rivers quite nicely.
One day, a real big ship turned up on our shores that looked like an old Viking ship to me, mixed with an old sailing ship out of medieval times. On board of it was a bunch of hara in dire need for a healer. Theirs had been accidentally gone over board in a freak storm and they had fallen ill on an old time seasickness. Oorontes debated a while with Sciamander and the other three leaders before he let them enter our haven and aided them.
They called themselves Freyhellan and turned out to be crafty ships hara with the ability to sail over the oceans even.
We soon had trading agreements with them underway that brought both of our tribe’s lots of good fortunes. They were the only other hara that we let sail into our area for a long while. With time, they brought in messages from other tribes to us, from far away from us. Trading offers as well as questions for certain wares that we sold, with the payment delivered often in advance. They were delivered along the information’s of many events we otherwise would have missed in the world.
We all gained from our relationship.
This way, we too got aware of what was going on outside of our realm. What tribes had build out and had survived the first chaotic years of our coming into existence and who was ruling which one. More and more often, the word Gelaming made the rounds. They were something of a hushed secret at first and later turned out to be a tribe that we grew a bit wary about. Sciamander simply called them Thiede’s hara after he knew more.
For a long while, our tribe declined any talks with them.
What must have irked Thiede to no end, I am sure. He wanted to know more about our famous barrier, so much was certain. Still, with it in work, no spy of his made it through, I saw to that. The Sedu that tried to access our territories must have felt rather frustrated when they ended up in other places as they had originally planned it, with their riders on top of them.
Later I learned that it was actually the riders who directed the Sedu, but until that time I thought it were the other way around.
Sometimes I really wished I could have spied on them after they found themselves back only a few meters from their starting point. I guess it would have been worth a look to see them scowl or look puzzled. Alas, I never was permitted to do so; Sciamander feared rightfully that the Gelaming then would have spotted me somehow. Their Nahir-Nuri was not someone’s to underestimate easily, even I got that much. I was now Pyralis myself and actively advanced my caste all the time.
Even he told me one day himself that he wished he could see it too.
We both had a good laugh every time someone tried it. I now often felt someone carefully try to figure my barrier out. More so, me the one who maintained it from out of the shadows. I grew even more careful after I nearly had a run in with a red haired har in the ethers one day. I just narrowly avoided his searching powers that day.
Sciamander scowled when I told him about it minutes later and walked the planes himself for days, patrolling them for me so that har was occupied with him instead of me.
No avail, that cursed red head determinedly tried to follow my traces each time he found a way around my tutor. It did lead to some almost comical and chaotic meetings between him and my mentor in the following weeks and months. I once caught a glimpse of one by a mere chance. When the red head run into Sciamander, he scowled at him before he vanished out of the mists with an annoyed huff.
That har turned out to be the famous Thiede, told to me by Sciamander later.
Now at least, I had a face to put to the name… oddly it reminded me of the har from my inception vision in a way I could not explain. I double-checked each of my moves from now on and so managed to send him on a constant goose chase inside the mists that lead to his silent defeat in the end. One day on my walks he simply turned not up to hunt my steps again.
Sciamander later told me that Thiede had let him know that he would no longer try to find out anything that way.
It did not mean that he had given up, just that he acknowledged it that he could not get information’s out this way and that was that. Thiede wasn’t called crafty for nothing. For a good half a year the ethers were rather peaceful again, then suddenly his Nahir-Nuri begun to patrol it increasingly often. They never even tried to break my set up borders but they watched them closely and so gained much info in time anyways. However, they never managed it to figure it out either how I did it or who I actually was.
Luckily, or else I would have gotten a real hassle in form of a red headed menace named Thiede on my hands in no time at all. Ophidien forbid! I had enough troubles already without him breathing down my neck. I had seen enough of him already to know how single minded that har could be when wanting to get his hands on something.
That day, I meet the poor and battered looking har named Senya, marked a change in my life that would rule the next nearly ten years of my life in more than one way.
He one day turned up on the rim of my barrier with a harling of barely three years on one hand, another of barely fife clinging to the flimsy material of his clothing and a one and a half year old harling on his arm. I actually got aware of him because the poor thing finally collapsed of pure exhaustion right in the area that normally turned unwanted intruders away, highly pregnant. He had found no way in and collapsed of sheer starvation and a slight fever.
It made my entire alarm bells ring in my head.
It took some nearby guards of us only an hour to reach him and his bunch of little wonders. What they brought back to our valley was a miracle and a horror in one. His name, he told my chesnary who watched the healers give the poor hostling aid, was Senya.
Senya Har Varr.
He was a Varrish har that had been pressed into being Soume all the time right after he had been violently incepted and later had been used from Ponclast to produce harlings for his warriors in an manner that made not only me vomit when hearing the atrocious tale from his mouth. They lately called Harish Soume like Senya hostling stock. As if the poor hara were a kind of life stock, an item to be owned by the ones they called Quana as if to mock Aruhani’s gift to us with it! It was so wrong that it hurt all who had to listen to his horrible tale of abuse, rapes and all kinds of horrors imaginable.
He had taken an immense risk when he had fled one of the building places in that time that Ponclast let put together to get more harlings for his armies and their soldiers.
He had turned out fife harlings already. The oldest had been killed when he turned not out Quana enough for the likening of his rulers. Since the other ones he had born seem to be hostling stock in their eyes too, they had wanted to take them from him once the facilities were building to give them away to a life like his in the end.
After he had heard about it, Senya had taken on the risks rather as to let that happen and had run.
He had already been on the run since almost two months, barely finding enough to eat to keep himself and his harlings alive. Not to mention the pearl growing inside of him. In the end, he had lost his bearings inside my tricky barrier and had collapsed.
Nearly loosing his latest pearl when doing so.
Luckily, he kept it and even carried it to term in the end. What made me curios enough to give him and his small bundles of Joy Company with my now nearly fully-grown two changelings in the end. Until those days, I had never seen a hostling from the near. Only had seen their harlings and them later since they had an own areas in our community and we thought it was a family affair that should be treated with respect.
I knew how it worked, in theory but had never seen a hostling carrying to term and neither had been there when a pearl had been born in our tribe.
Senya was fine company, although he had grown cynical and down to earth with the time he had spend with his inceptor tribe. Not that I could blame him. He had every right to feel horrible and hurt. To be forced to endure this over and over again? My mind refused the sheer thought of such an act of violence to follow to the end. I simply could not imagine such even, it was simply too much!
In addition, here he was, not one harling of his being from the same sire or a loved one even and still he loved them dearly and utterly.
It was a miracle, but he never blamed the little ones for their fathers… if you could call those assholes such! It made me feel small and naïve of the horrors that lay just outside our peaceful valley. In the end, I doubled my force behind our shields in the next weeks to come. Just in case another one of such as Senya would try to flee into out territory, I made it certain that my barrier would directly lead them to our guards and not let them stumble around in the mists.
Never again should one running from the Varrs be turned away from my borders.
Oorontes said nothing to my sudden increasing of power use, nor to what I did. He silently accepted it, as he always did and let me run my fury out this way. Knowing very well that I needed a vent for my shock of learning about the hard reality that lay just outside of our home. He just suggested a little plan that we set in motion together.
We made certain that rumor spread that Harish hostling’s of the Varrs that tried to flee into our direction turned up in entirely different places of the world map.
It confused the shit out of Ponclast and his hara, I am sure and out of the most other tribes too, since they never spotted one of them puzzlingly. What in turn strangely enough, never was told to the Varrs from them? Truth was, we kept sending whoever made it to my barriers, to our settlements furthest away from the borders to the Varrish territories.
There they could stay or leave to other tribes if they wished it.
Most found partners in our tribe or in the hara that we had taken in from the Uigenna.
Almost no one of them left our borders again in fear the Varrs could manage to track them down and bring them back to statue an example on them for others. It were not as many as I wished it to be but enough in the following years to make Ponclast angry enough to send another army against us to find out were to and how the fleeing hara had vanished exactly.
He never did find a clue; I let his army stumble around in my mists for almost a week before their leader gave it up.
They never tried that again.
I was dimply aware that the red haired har had watched my open display of power in the ethers but he surprisingly never tried in that time to reach me nor did he hinder me in any way. Actually I one day suddenly felt a surge of alien power aid me even when I reinforced the shields and had to nearly give up due the lack of running out power to back me up.
Still, Thiede never tried to catch me, so to speak all the time it needed to make that Varr general turn away.
Afterwards our game of cat and mouse continued as before… it was insane!
It strengthened the rumors about my tribe and its powers and helped us to build a stalemate with Ponclast’s armies in the conclusion. When Senya gave birth, he asked me to stay with him. How could I have refused such a simple desire? That were the six most confusing hours of my life I guess. To see a har give birth wasn’t something I would advice one to show a harling ever. It was bloody, dirty and overall the most horrible thing that I ever saw up until then.
However, it also was the most beautiful, wonderful and life turning experience of my life!
Since he had already born so many in such short time spans, it was a dangerous thing to undertake for Senya. Although it aided him too in a way, to know what to do. The healers afterwards forbid him strictly to get with pearl for at least the next fife years in order to not loose him the next time he had to deliver one.
In between his harlings that made it, he had born two stillbirths and lost one in the half of the term.
He now had to survive the consequences of his live of constant abuse before he came to us, it wasn’t pretty, let me tell you. Not that Senya did plan on that in any way either. I guess he had enough of it for a live time to come. No one blamed him for that thinking. To see the pearl for the first time did something to Oorontes and me who had given us company all the time it took Senya to birth it under great pains.
Afterwards we both walked back in silent awe of having witnessed such a phenomenon occur.
For the next three weeks we walked around each other and all else in a daze and when the pearl hatched and gave way to the harling inside, I guess it is safe to say that we both lost our marbles together, the same minute the little creature suddenly smiled up at its hostling and reached up for him.
Exchanging a look, we both knew we were thinking the same: we wanted our own harling.
As if sensing that Senya gave us a strangely weary but happy smile. “If you want your own, by all means do so and go and get it. Whatever you two create together can only be a little wonder like my own ones. Even not having wanted to become like this, it never ceases to amaze me what good can come out of such a bad deed done to me and them out of the wrong motives.”
He fell silent for a long time, just looking at his newest harling that he lovingly cleaned and cuddled to him all the time.
“I am always just glad that they all seem to have gotten nothing much of their sires!” He told us both in a voice that scared me slightly, so horse from tears it was and so full of hate for his tormentors. “A miracle if you ask me or maybe the Dehara’s sense of a peculiar justice? I don’t know. Here at least I have the chance to raise them up the right way, to not have them taken from me and they have the chance to become their own masters of their lives. For that I thank you, I will never forget your kindness and whatever it is that you need from me in the future, you will get it!”
That evening we both had much to think over.
Actually, many weeks went into the land until we both felt comfortable enough to address our silent ponderings really and truly. That happened on a warm late summer day while sitting at the little pond in the garden just outside to Oorontes and my old smaller private study room. Feeding the fishes was a ritual we both did often together as possible. It now soothed us two to watch the critters in the water swim up to us to get their extra food.
It was I who broke the strange spell that lay on us.
“Oorontes? I want my own harling.”
There, I had said it out aloud. He nodded after giving me a wide-eyed look. “Me too… I also want one. Isn’t it strange, Myrthal?” I gave him a curios look. “What do you mean?” his laughed softly before he gave me a warm smile that was echoed from me almost instantly. “All those time that I wasted with becoming powerful to only find out that I was wasting time all the while…” My look was positively a mix of utter bewilderment and confusion.
“Huh?” He laughed at my clueless replay softly.
“What I mean is I wasted so much time to find out what really counts in life from a poor har in the end.” Taking me into his arms, he rested his head on mine before he went on. “The things that count the most in life aren’t power, knowledge or fame, Myrthal. It is love, acceptance, a family and to do the right things in life. Earlier in my life as a har, Sciamander must have nearly lost his mind with my tries to become a har that only lived for power and advancing his own caste.
I was mostly like that, my heart. Until I found you one day.”
My heart did an odd jump when he told me that. Of course, I knew that Oorontes loved me as much as I love him but when he spoke like this; he always made me want to weep because the overwhelming emotions inside of me constricted my troth and made my eyes tear up in joy. I lived for these words of him in a sense.
What had first embarrassed me to no ends, now it had become something I couldn’t live without: his never-ending way to tell me how much he respected and loved me.
I had never found the confidence to tell him that back half as often as he let me know it. Sometimes I had tortured myself over that strangeness of mine. Oorontes never complained told me that he did not need those confessions from me because he could see them always in my eyes, feel them in my touches, taste them when we had Aruna with each other and recognized them in my very soul all the time.
I was like my father in that respect, I guess.
He too almost never spoke of such things loudly; rather choose to show his love for his partners in his life. Sciamander seem to understand my silent father very well in this. He too was a bit on the silent side and the two complimented each other utterly.
As did Oorontes and me as it seems.
“When I was in the first years after my inception, I nearly went down a path that I have seen many others take. They strove for perfection so much that they lost themselves to it in a way that is simply wrong as I can tell now. Sciamander must have early on acknowledged that happening and where it would lead us in the end. I every day now thank our Dehar that he was that wise and choose not to fall into that trap or let us fall into it when he took us with him.
We are social creatures, Myrthal. Although no longer human, we still need something belonging to only us in our life. Someone to chare our lives with, our joys our sorrows our bodies and our souls. Without it, I believe now we are only half a har in the end. Lonely, without joy and empty vessels that will never know the feeling of life growing inside of us.
It would be a rather sad life, don’t you agree?”
All I could do was to nod softly, damn tears! I was currently crying once again, even not wanting to do so: ohhh, curse a pox on it! Why I always broke out into rivers when he told me such was annoying me to no ends and he seems to know this very well. Laughing softly, he pulled out a handkerchief that he wisely stored into his robes all the time for such occasions and carefully and lovingly wished my tears away until I suddenly turned in his arms and buried my running nose and eyes into the folds of his thin summer robe with new sobs.
Another soft laughter escaped him at my antics, silently patting me on my back he merely accepted me using him as a tear pillow without to comment on it.
Sometimes it came in handy that he was years older than me. It made him much wiser and more tolerant then I could have ever been in his shoes. Dealing with my emotional self often lead to complications but he always took each coming our way with a lenience that stunned me purely speechless.
I loved him even more for it and damn, there were those three times cursed tears running again… Argh!
My mouth found his and we shared breath in a way we did never before. It was as if we both wanted to drink in each others soul and while it merged for a short while our tongues danced around each other almost frantically in an frenzied dance that was ages older than us. Clothing was discarded rather roughly because we both had suddenly no patience left in us to deal with buttons or zippers anymore.
We made a real mess at the pond, later we even needed to fish some stripes out of it with blushing faces.
Nevertheless, right that moment neither of us cared where the shredded clothing went, only to get under it to feel bare skin, to touch the one we loved more than anything in the world does more closely. I don’t know why I ended up being the one taking on the role of Quana this time, in the end I did and when my Quana-Lim sunk into his Soume-Lam, something felt different as usual.
More urgent, more emotional, more deeply… more everything!
In the late, we had shared deeper orgasms with each other as in the beginning. When he had been Quana, I had more keenly felt his hidden tongue hitting my seal inside and actually, it was a little wonder that I had not been with pearl until now if I think over it more closely. Maybe the time hadn’t been right? It didn’t matter anymore because that afternoon when we moved against each other together it was as if the world fell away around in our created pleasured haze to leave us stranded into another place entirely. I never before had reached far enough into him to remotely get near his sealed chamber in any form to create a harling by accident even.
However, that afternoon I did.
Moreover, not only did I reach it, when we both had our orgasms crash down on us my tongue hit his seal and my aren went into the chamber. We needed a while to come down again that day. Both strangely exhausted but utterly content to have each other to hold onto. At first, we both did not realize it fully what we had done that day, it took a few minutes to sink into our pleasure muddled brains.
Then Oorontes suddenly broke out into a full out blown laughing fit that had me soon laugh along just as madly.
No one of us had actually talked about it who would host our pearl of us two. Somehow, we seem to have decided anyways without our conscious being involved. Well, now it was too late to think about it, I thought while carefully removing myself from his depts. That had nearly swallowed my soul in a way today.
In another way spoken it had, I realized and broke out into another fit of giggles that needed a while to calm down enough to tell my curios chesnary what had made me laugh this time. In the end, we ended up into a new fit of sniggers and happy laughs. That was going on until Sciamander suddenly appeared in our rooms with flying halfway closed clothes in his haste to find the source of an uncommon power discharge in our rooms.
When discovering what we did, he kicked the door to our study closed with his bare heel behind him before he sat into the next available chair to compose himself. After determining out who hosted of us both and that all was well, he finally sighed before he suddenly jumped up like a cat to walk over to us to give us a full blown rant about the idiocy of us to scare the shit out of him by accident.
Needless to say that we had the insolence to laugh ourselves silly again, right after he had ended, with him together.
He told us later that evening that it was good that Oorontes had ended up hosting.
It confused not only me.
“Think of it a little you two wonderful and mindlessly lovesick oafs!” He told us exasperated after seeing our clueless looks. “If Myrthal had hosted, Oorontes, what would have happened to the barrier? I know how cruel I currently sound but sadly that is the reality we live in, children.” We gave each other a meaningful look; he had a valuable point here. Sadly. None of us took it the wrong way as it was, it was better this way. At least the risks for us all lessened with Oorontes being the one hosting.
Maybe we all thought at the same time without realizing it until we later talked about it, our Dehar had his hands in this.
We took it as it came and went with it.