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What is Your Heart?

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by Dark Dreams, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Dark Dreams

    Dark Dreams Guest

    Shi’na stared into the eyes of the massive hart, his rack points shining red with fresh blood, nostrils flaring with exertion and challenge. On the ground at his feet, the ragged remains of an orc twitched and bled into the ground where its foolish life ended on the tines of the deer.

    “Stupid creature,” she whispered into the frosty air. “It not know your heart.”

    What is your heart, Shi’na?

    Shi’na turned her head sharply looking for the source of the words. T’lar. That had been T’lar’s question to her always.

    Shi’na shivered more from memory then from the chill and turned back to the deer, but when she looked back through the denuded trees, only the rising wisps of steam from the dead orc’s body gave evidence the hart had ever been there.

    Hart Spirit. That was her name. That was her path.

    Shi’na walked the path T’lar put her on; she was shaman and kept true to the circle of knowledge. But Shi’na had been more then that. The hart just now, she could speak his words, she knew his ways. Shi’na tugged on the deerskin headdress she wore. Speaking with the animals had alarmed T’lar and the others of her tribe. Only men gentled the ridgebacks and wolves. Woman was shaman, they kept tribe fed and healthy, they talked to the spirits of the ages and kept the lore – they did not whisper to birds and deer. Even as she sat at circle, knees pressed against the knees of those on either side of her, she felt the connection begin to fade as space grew between her and the other women. Soon, her knees no longer touched those of the women next to her.

    She turned back the way she had come. Tribe was so far away now. She and S’Keros both shared the silent steps, the empty path of a wanderer. It was one thing they shared, although not by choice.

    Would they take her back one day? Would she know her place around the fire again?

    She thought of S’Keros and smiled. Her Wolf. His tribe and hers, they did not meet with gifts of skins and pouches of magic herbs. When Wolf and Hart met, spears and knives left the earth gifts of blood.

    But S’Keros wasn’t of Wolf blood. Maybe that’s why he was different. He wore the markings, he earned his place in the tribe – the tattoos and scars upon his face and body told her he was a strong warrior, and one to be feared, for S’Keros was a shadow. Shadows killed many of her kin over the years.

    What is your heart?

    Shi’na approached the Yew she and S’Keros slept in. S’Keros had made a sheltering wall of limbs and skins to keep the biting wind from their bodies, but they could not make fire, and with winter strong on the wind, they would need to find a place for fire soon.


    She sighed. She didn’t want to go. She didn’t like the stench of the swamp, didn’t like her cousins that lived within the soggy bogs and marshes. They smelled of bad fish and too wet earth, and their tempers always flared for small reasons.

    She liked Yew. She liked the tribe in the Aegis, the strong soldiers that owned the Knights Rest. The young one Maire she liked very much, and she thought Maire’s father, Kenyon, though quiet, looked to be a strong tribe chief. He would keep tribe safe. She knew too that Beleg the elf had a good heart, although Shi’na knew his mate cared not for her or S’Keros. And the little one, bright-eyed Rayne; she looked forward to giving the little girl the brave pony she’d come across in Spiritwood.

    Shi’na smiled as the Yew came into sight, the sheltering walls almost invisible against the massive limbs of the trees. Shi’na knew only a trained eye would see the walls. Most Brits would not know they lived in the limbs. She whistled, a sound like a lark, sharp and musical, the rhythm of the call exact.

    S’Keros pushed a sheltering skin aside and smiled down at her.

    “Where is dinner?” he asked with a ragged grin.

    Shi’na laughed and tossed her spear up to him.

    “You tell me?”

    What is your heart, Shi’na?

    As she scrambled up the limbs, and slipped into S’Keros’ arms, Shi’na smiled and kissed him.

    My heart is me, she thought, and my heart is him.


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