Outside the Shaman’s tent Ciamon had been pacing since the moon was high in the sky. Now the sun was coming over the horizon and his father, leaving the tent, found him having worn a gash into the grass.
“She’s going to live, son,” his father told him. Ciamon held back tears of joy. He didn’t like crying in front of his father. He only nodded, not trusting his voice. Despite the good news, his father still looked sad. With a heavy sigh he said, “She needs medicine. The Shaman says there’s bleeding inside her head. I’m taking the hunting pack to get the medicine from Tamoran.” The trip between the village and the great city of the Tamoran Empire was dangerous and took a week each way. The city was outside the wall that encircled Chymar.
Putting his large paw on Ciamon’s shoulder, his father said, “I will make sure that she doesn’t become crystal.” Ciamon shuddered at the thought of seeing her turn to crystal, a process that happened to all six of the great races of Seidrheim. “You’re sixteen years old now and I expect that you’ll take care of our people.”
Never before had his father left him in charge. It was only ceremonial, as the Shaman would see to any important duties, but it was a show of respect and that his father saw him as a man. “I will do my best to honour you and our pack.”
“Enough of this, go see the girl. She asks for you.”
Walking quickly into the hut, Ciamon was worried that Aleenia would have changed. He had heard of seers going mad or forgetting things. “You found me.”
“Just like you knew I would,” he said stroking her arm. Her mother smiled at him and walked to another room in the hut. Neither of them wanted to talk about her illness and they spent hours speaking of everything else.
“Stop looking so worried,” she scolded him. “I have seen my death. It’s not in a bed and it’s certainly not so young. I have things to do.”
“You never remember that much detail. And sometimes you only see a metaphor not reality. You can’t truly know when you’re going to die. But thank you for trying to reassure me.”
Smiling she replied, “I know more than you think. I need you to remember something. Do you know the words to activate the tower?” The tower was a large pillar half way between the village and the ruins. Wizards from Tamoran had placed it there saying it could contact them if something came out of the ruins. Nothing ever had, but each shaman was told how to activate it.
“I don’t know why, but you need to know. The words are, Haski Fra Utan.” She made him repeat them until he mastered the words. They were in a language he didn’t understand. She was very insistent that he not forget them.
Ciamon stayed with her until his father came to say goodbye. The two hugged and his father promised to be swift. He returned to her side as quickly as he could.
“Hello again,” she said looking at him. Her white eyes didn’t disconcert him the way they did others.
“Haski Fra Utan,” he replied, showing her he hadn’t forgotten.
“What does that mean?” She asked with a confused smile.
“You only ever told me the words, not what they mean…” he drifted off not sure what else to say.
“Oh, of course, yes. Just testing you.” She laughed awkwardly and changed the subject.
The following days he fell into a routine of waking up, dealing with village business as fast as he could, and then spending time with her before he had to teach the youngest pups how to hunt. The town business was normally small disputes or confusions.