The young boy knelt on the dirt of the road, grasping his censer between his hands. The bright silver peaked out between his fingers with warm light as metal softly turned cherry red from the fire in its heart; thankfully the blessed item would not burn him.
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. For he is the king, the eye, and the whole; Lord be my friend and the milk that washes over my inner eye; clearing all delusion. Awakening all scintillant things to my senses. Amen.”
Jomcara did not rise until the last of the censer’s smoke dissipated completely; not a wisp of it covered his face. He’d knelt for prayer next to the caravan and stepped inside, rather than starting everything up and getting them on their way to talk to his mother. Hortensia walked among the finery and pillows with an embroidered book in her hands, and tossed it onto a pile of pillows to scope Jomcara in a tight hug.
“You get bored driving the caravan?”
“A bit. But it’s much less exhausting than training to use the Amentia, so I much prefer it. When my head clears up, the view of the world around me is beyond comparison. Ariel can really do amazing things! I gave a prayer to her while I was outside this morning.”
Hortensia smiled. “The lion of God is a wonderful woman indeed. Cast these flowers into the air just before the sun goes down tonight, it’s a special way of thanking the lady of the elements.”
Hortensia handed Jomcara a handful of strange blue flowers whose petals danced and twisted gently until they got close to his fingers. They grabbed onto his hand gently and he had fun playing with them as he returned to the front of the caravan and whipped the horses; off they went.
Jomcara opened a book next to himself, after asking his mother to give it to him through the drapes. It was hard for him to ask anything of her in the state she was in; in truth, if she could spend every second until the birth of his sister on her back and safe from all phenomena across the earth, he would be more than satisfied.
Yet danger lurked as an everpresent enemy, and one ought to be well prepared to face that abominable miser’s wrinkled visage with a determined gaze; or falter, and become his servant and tool.
So Jomcara spoke some words in a harsh tongue; the sounds would have felt like listening to a knife scrape against stone mixed with explosions in a minefield if anyone were close enough to hear him. The book flipped open and the voice of a young man began to spill out of it.
Jomcara listened to fairytales and scientific notes. It was all small knowledge; little hints at a greater world of knowledge and understanding that was always so close but he could never touch while in Folhavanc.
He considered that a shame so big it could make the sun feel cold.
Eventually, the small carriage made it to Ilvanhog; a robust town currently playing host to the caravan they needed to join.
When all was said and done, they reached the gates without an issue. But, at the gate, they met a beggar and a woman sleeping against the wall next to him. He waved at them.
“Help! Help! Can you spare a minute for two warriors looking for work?”
Jomcara stopped the caravan next to the two. The man gave a bow, and Jomcara simply stared.
“A bane blooded man and…by the lord, are you Quilin mam?”
The woman didn’t stir, but the bane blood nodded his head. “Correct sir! She’s a Quilin born amongst the tribes of the deep…er…she said she’s spent time in a place similar to a tundra or an icy forest, but I don’t believe she exactly gave me it’s direct location.”
“No problem. Your names?”
“Pearhu Bohilin. Her name’s Maudlin Goch.”
Pearhu and Maudlin were a strange pair. Pearhu was a man with bright red skin, strongly built, with white horns similar to a deer’s jutting out of the back of his head. He had a green lizard’s tail and two forked tongues slithering in his mouth, with claws instead of regular fingers. He carried himself with pride, however. There was dignity in his stance despite the fact he was draped in only worn pants and a torn blanket acting as a drape over his body.
Maudlin was dressed far more elaborately; Jomcara could not well discern what kind of dress she was in, the design was unlike anything he’d seen. But he knew it would help in a fight.
Fur and metal armor created a skirt of sorts while her entire torso was draped in intricate patterns lined over her clothes. Her arms were covered in a mixture of gauntlets and sleeves not uncommon in a high class party. It was fascinating, and he’d love to introduce her to a seamstress who could replicate something like that for himself! She also had golden horns, which were wrapped in beads between them with talisman’s fluttering down from them.
He allowed them on without a second thought. Pearhu didn’t have a weapon, but when they woke Maudlin, she picked up a long sack she was sitting on. Inside were two swords, and a bell. Maudlin bowed and thanked Jomcara and his mother for allowing their entry.
Jomcara nodded his head. He knew the business of those who chose to make their living fighting. Really, he would owe them if what he feared came upon them.
They entered Ilvanhog; and the Gordeau family finally began what would be a warmly regarded legend.