Vetrici of the Kal'moris
My fingers run along the edge of the dull blade, pondering over where it could have come from. The design is odd, a spear perhaps, but with a much shorter shaft and a far longer blade. It’s old, it’s been two or three years since anyone’s even touched it. I found it buried in the sand, by the sea. I sit in my hut, the one I built myself. It is made out of clay and bamboo, though every once in a while it cracks or shifts, so I have to replace the bamboo with sand or more clay, to the point where there are sections made entirely out of mud.
My name is Vetrici, I live on Tricikalise, a small island covered almost entirely with jungle and caves. I’ve resided here my entire life, though when I was 13 I decided I wanted to live away from my family, and moved to the south side of the island. I’m 16 now, and I’ve made quite the home out of the place. Every once in a while, something interesting washes up on shore, sometimes I know what it is, sometimes I don’t.
I sigh and drop the odd weapon onto the ground, at least I know enough to tell that it is a weapon, though it seems a little absurd. I brush aside the leaf door to my hut, and look around. The sun has finally fallen, which means I can see when other’s can’t. I was blessed by Tirsin god of night, he blesses most of his Children and fei with night-seeing. Fei are those descended from the original Ravafei, Gr’hajis, but who are also not human, fey, Divine, or gret’sira.
Without my night-seeing, I probably wouldn’t be alive right now. Our tribe, the Kal’moris, those who are chosen to be the fei of anyone other than Kara, are killed. It’s not exactly personal, it’s just that those who follow Kara, Baetor, and Phytris tend to be more extreme. Kara, Baetor, and Phytris are siblings, Kara is the goddess of the moon, Phytris is the Demi-goddess of flame and the sky, and Baetor is the god of animals and all non-sentient lifeforms such as Gritfey. Gritfey are creatures that possess magic, but do not have thoughts of their own, but not being Hyv.
No matter why Kara (or Kra in Phauru culture) has such devoted followers, one of the villages I traveled to tried to kill me because of my fei-line, thankfully it was dark when they captured me, so I was able to outrun them, I was 7 at the time, and thankfully none of them saw my face, which was good since they had no idea what village I was from, and we could continue trade with them without any hard feelings either way. My sister and Mom were the only people who ever heard about it.
Mom is one of the best mothers anyone could hope for, she supported my wishes to leave the village and tribe, and live in solitary. My sister, Nilysa, the opposite. Not only was she a really hardcore Child of Kara, but she was also extremely, well, ‘her mind is delicate’. I also had a brother named Brio, but he died at sea when I was 5. Curse Tisnia.
I stare out into the night, it’s always colder during the night, but there isn’t much that I can do about that, if I were to wear more clothes people would believe that I followed one of the Otris. If you wear anything that covers both of your shoulders, or a hood over your head, they would believe that you accepted Specti or Vahisnia. Some believe them to be Varaivafei, other say that they are false prophets. I personally don’t care, I’ve never gotten a vision from Vahisnia, and I possess no reflective glass. The only way Specti could contact me would be through water, but Tisnia makes sure they are always wild.
From where I live I can briefly make out a large wave, before it laps onto the shore. It’s almost half a mile away, but my hut is built on a large hill so steep on two sides it could almost be a cliff. My eyes scan over the area, for what I wouldn’t be sure, but they search anyway. After a few seconds, I decide to head into the jungle for a few hours, there is a tree that is close enough to the edge of my hill, that I could just step onto. I do just that, walking across one of its branches until I meet the trunk. I grip onto a different branch and hoist myself up. The trees here are so tall, that it would take hours to get from the bottom to the top.
My fingers hardly ever slip anymore, and I’ve only fallen from a height too high and hit the ground once, when I was 14. I was injured, but I lived on. I finally find my favorite branch, it hangs next to the branch of the tree that is basically connected to all the other trees. I’ve named it the Vetricikno, which means ‘of Vetrici’ in Vetr, the language of Kal’moris. I suppose it is a little foolish to name a tree after myself, but it makes me feel better about myself. Mom and Nilysa would both scold me for thinking that, because vanity is sort of one of the most frowned upon qualities, but I’m not in Kal’moris anymore.
Mom did teach me many valuable lessons, how to cook and fight, and which plants and bugs you can eat with, or paint with, or tip arrows with. But most of all, her lessons were about being a good person; to never run from a fight when a friend is in danger, to always be grateful for what you have, to never take advantage of another person because they are stupid, or crippled, to show respect to each and every person you meet, and most importantly; to always show compassion, to accept people, to understand, to give, to love. I’ve tried really hard, but there really has never come a moment where these lessons have been put to their best use, never have I come across an injured eaglet to nurse to health, or found a man with no legs starving by the riverside.
But I keep her lessons in my heart, maybe someday there will be someone in need of my help, or maybe I’ll have a child of my own to pass the teachings onto. I squint at the idea of having children. I haven’t really thought about it since I was little. There once was a girl from my village, Makilvia, who I wished to wed. She was my first kiss, and the only girl I’ve ever thought about in that sense. Eventually I may find another, though Makilvia is now married to someone else of course.
After a few seconds of deep thought, I spot some movement in the sky. A bird possibly. No, it’s larger of course, why would I think it was a bird, even eagles don’t grow to that size, and the Gryphon only exists in legend. It’s a woman, or a girl I can’t honestly tell her age. She must be one of Kara’s fei. It would make sense, though Kara doesn’t often have fei, she considers her wings and runes more precious than others, since her runes give the power of either invisibility under a full moon, or incredible speed and strength during a Nu’muenth. A Nu’muenth occurs once a year on Kara’s birthday, a night of no moon, where the ring of three moons can be seen, to honor Kara and her siblings. As I watch the winged person, I check the moon, nothing special just a half moon.
The Karafei soars across the sky, not at particularly good speeds or gratefulness, I can tell that they are tired and obviously in need of some food and water. I watch carefully as she descends to the far west reach of the island, but I don’t see her land, so she either chose to rest in a tree, accidently was shot into the sea by one of Phytris’ fabled fury winds, which it is told she attacks Kara’s children with, and vise versa with Kara at Phytris’ children, or she decided to land somewhere else. I wonder about her for a second, before continuing with my own business of deciding if I should go to sleep, or head back toward my other home.
I have a second home, a larger hut that is toward my fishing spot. It’s larger since I spend most of winter and fall there, everywhere else it is difficult to ice fish in the great lake that separates my side of the island, and the Kal’moris’ side of the island. I also spend some days during the spring there, since it gathers a lot of foreign sea creatures that give some materials and foods that sell good, or I can use them for practical uses such as eating them myself, or using them to make weapons or paints. I typically don’t paint, but I find the process of making paint relaxing.
I don’t remember which of the Divine controls art, but sometimes I wish that I had been blessed by them instead of Tirsin because of the abundance of flowers, inks, muds, and so on that are here. Ironically of course, because Tirsin has saved my life on multiple occasions, as well as given me the ability to night-see. I wonder if Specti offers her fei similar gifts, or if she even has fei. Maybe that’s why Specti is considered a false god? I wouldn’t know, I just know that she likes reflective surfaces, illusions, and now-sight.
I end up deciding to head to Other Home since the travel there will take less time than normal because of the calm weather, and since it is nearing fall anyway and there may still be some of those cottenfish. I don’t know what they are, but there flesh is soft like no other fish, and I believe them to be a gift from Balei. Balei is basically Tisnia’s nemesis, Balei loves human fishermen, and Tisnia hates them. Tisnia blessed the sirens and syri specifically to entrance and drown fishermen.
The walk to Other Home takes about a two days and a night under the best conditions. Since I am walking first during the night, it will take two nights and a day and a half, especially if I take extra time to stop by V’ani and see if Matisin wants to join me. Matisin is one of my close friends, he’s 13 and loves to come to stay with me. He doesn’t have much adventure in his life, since his mother wont allow him to become a fisherman ever since his father was killed by pirates.
I grab my fish spear from the corner of my hut, and tie up everything I will need in my blanket, plus an extra bead necklace to give to Matisin’s mother, it’s a mourning gift because her second husband died as well, this time by illness. Some may think she’s cursed at this point, but I don’t believe that’s the case, curses are only sent down to people by Pait and Zie when someone does something to deserve it. Pait and Zie are the goddesses of balance, luck, and karma. Rather than having fei, they curse people, give them bad luck or good luck, and try their hardest not to intervene. From what heard they are the youngest goddesses, and among the Tibnir, those who like to intervene, matchmake, and even choose random humans to play with.
I hope that none of the Tibnir decide to focus on me, even though they typically try to help, it sometimes ends up being worse, or feeling wrong. Sometimes I wonder if that is what happened to Nilysa. I brush off the thought, and being my long walk to Other Home. Keeping my eye out for the Karafei. Actually, I think it may not even be a Karafei, maybe she’s one of Phytris’. She only blesses women, just as Baetor only blesses men. Now that’s a thought. I chuckle a bit, though it is entirely possibly, but not very likely.