The cry of the gulls echoed off the cliff side. The sun was a rim of red, shooting it's last rays of light in to the wisps of purple clouds. The fire crackled, sparks rising to join the waking stars. A slight breeze brought with it the salty scent of water fall that ran beside the house. All was silent as the pair gazed out at the last breath of day.
Baza turned to little Kirna, his youngest girl, who was sitting beside him. "Yes, m'dear gi'l?"
Kirna held her hands out to the fire. Her long cloak was wrapped tightly around her, the fur lined hood on her little red head. When she looked up at Baza the hood fell back a little. Her green eyes were serious. "Why is this place called Faith Falls?"
smiled at the little girl. She was his most curious child of the four.
Rana, the oldest, was much like her name sake, his sister; adventurous
and rambunctious. His twin sons, Tifro and Tisko, were more like his
wife, Emer; stubborn with a thirst for knowledge.
Kirna, however, was the carbon copy of Baza, aside from the slightly pointed ears of her mothers elfin heritage. She was serious about things she was curious about or found wrong, but she laughed easily and loved openly. Baza gazed at the little girl for the moment that it took for all these thoughts to cross his mind. How did he get so lucky?
"Well, m'dear gi'l," Baza said, using his nickname for her alone. "It's to remind us that faith can overcome our fear. You remember the story from your lessons?"
Kirna scrunched up her face in concentration and then shook her head, looking at him innocently. "Will you tell it to me again? I can't seem to 'member." The lisp came back naturally, though she had outgrown it long ago.
Baza chuckled and pulled Kirna onto his lap for the telling. "Once, year-turns ago, there was an evil weapon. It wanted to control everythin' and whoever held it would become corrupt. It sound's strange for a sword to want or do anythin' without a master, but this was a magical sword. It was made by the elves many year-turns before this story; the method long since lost. This sword soon had a master that grew twisted enough to try to command all of Lyrose." Baza paused to take a deep breath.
Kirna snuggled into her papa's chest, nestling her head under his chin. Baza held her tight. "That bad man was Risaran, right Papa?"
Baza nodded against her head and took another deep breath. He thanked Lenta that his children were safe. "That's right. And Risaran would brin' anyone he deemed too threatening to his ideals to this cliff, where he had a bad camp built. At that time it was called Cursed Cape. It was known all over Lyrose and feared by many, for good reason. He would bind the captives hands and feet with a length of rope. Then he would hang them by the rope and hold a torch over it, just close enough to singe and slowly burn. Eventually, the prisoner's rope would snap and they would fall to the waves below."
Kirna shuddered and snuggled even closer to Baza. She had heard this story many times and hated that part. It made her angry and hurt for those that had died. "Papa, if it was such a bad place, why is it now called Faith Falls? Why is it not cursed anymore?" Ever the determined girl, she was not going to let him dwell in the past.
"Well, m'dear gi'l," Baza said with a slight smile. "Because thiswas also the place of the greatest rescue." Kirna wiggled a little. This was her favorite part. Baza chuckled. "See, your mama was once a prisoner of Risaran. She decide not to wait for him to bind her. She turned and looked at Risaran and said 'I have faith, where you have hate.' Then..." Baza took a deep breath, "she jumped." His heart still pounded when he recalled the devastating feeling of loss when he had watched her go over the cliff they now sat beside.
"When she disappeared over the edge, the ground shook. Risaran was knocked to the ground and the sword, which he always held when dealing with his victims, flew out of his hand and landed sticking out of the ground, right at the head of where the water fall is now." Kirna nodded, leaning forward to gaze out into the darkness towards the falls.
"I remember it well," Baza also leaned forward, like his daughter. "I watched it sink into the ground and as it sank, the ground continued to move. The river went over it's banks and rushed forward and over the edge of the cliff, takin' the sword with it. I know it's gone. I've looked to make sure." Baza no longer saw the dark landscape around him, but saw a rising sun over the cliffs that were painted red from the blood of battle.
"Your mother... I thought she was gone."
"But she wasn't, right Papa? Lenta had her." Kirna bounced on Baza's lap, bringing him back from his memories.
"That's right little red elf," Emer walked into the light of the fire and smiled. Kirna laughed and jumped from Baza's lap into Emer's arms.
"Lenta made you fly didn't he, Mama?!"
"Yup," Baza said, rising from his seat. "Right over that cliff and straight to me. The air movin' your mother could have been none other than the breath of Lenta. Nothin' else could have saved her."
Emer smiled. "Well, maybe he knew that you just could not do without me."
Baza smiled and shrugged, enjoying the picture of his wife adjusting his daughter on her hip.
"Alright, red elf, I believe your Papa has kept you up long enough. Go on, head to the mat. Your Papa and I will be in shortly. Go dream of flying." Emer set Kirna down and patted her soft red head before gently pushing her towards the homestead. Without a thought for her safety, Kirna skipped towards the door, trusting all was well.
"You never grow tired of that story, do you my dear?" Emer asked, shaking her head
stood up and took his wife into his arms. "How could I? You taught me to have faith when falling." He kissed her nose before turning towards their homestead, each enjoying the safety Lenta had blessed them with. The fire sent it's last sparks to the stars.
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