Vixana came to a clearing in the woods. It was still a little time before dusk, but she had walked far that day and decided to rest early. She gathered some twigs and made a small cook fire. The last of her rabbit went into the pot with some water and a few small carrots she found near the edge of the clearing. It wasn’t extravagant, but it would make a decent stew. The pot set, she sat with her back to a large oak and watched the fire.
A woman appeared in the middle of the grove. Water poured over one of her shoulders, cascading down over her body in ripples and pooled around her feet. Tiny fish swam the length of her body. The water was clear, but still concealed the body behind. The woman’s raven hair fell in waves to her hips. The dark hair contrasted with her pale skin on her face and neck giving her an almost blueish tint. Strands of pale green algae twisted around her fingers and up her bare arms to her elbows.
“Vixana… my daughter…”
Her voice sounded far away, but rang with authority.
“I feel your troubled mind, my child. It calls to me. I feel the purity in your heart as well. You wish to rid yourself of the violence in your past. Follow me and your heart will stay pure. Help protect my waters from the taint of evil. Still the destruction society threatens me with. Spread the love and beauty of the glades. I will cleanse your past so you can go forward in my name. You are washed clean…”
Vixana woke with a warm feeling like water washing over her. She looked around but saw no one. Stirring the stew, she noted it was almost done and her nap had been longer than she should have allowed herself alone like this. A rustling caught her attention and she reached for the mace in her belt. A woman walked into view, a half-elf like herself and maybe only a year or two younger, with her arms raised in peace. Vixana didn’t get any sense of evil on the woman and offered to share her meal.
The two talked at great length. Arlynn told of her family, how being the youngest with three older brothers had taught her strength and loyalty even when they were a pain in her side. She told of her passion for nature and learning, of how she was studying to be a druid by seeking out various clans to teach her new talents. She told of the goddess, Eldath, who’s worshipers were said to dwell nearby and how she was seeking them out to help her learn serenity in the face of chaos.
At the mention of Eldath, Vixana realized that was who she had seen in her dream. She decided to travel with Arlynn to learn more of this goddess. They found a group of devotees farther into the forest who were happy to take them in and teach them about their goddess. They spent the winter with the clan mastering tranquility and peace within. At the Greening festival during Greengrass, Vixana knelt before the still water alter and pledged her loyalty to Eldath. The goddess kissed the top of Vixana’s bowed head in blessing and, with one finger, touched her shield, imprinting her holy symbol in the center so all who saw the waterfall would know the bearer belonged to the goddess.
Eldath and Arlynn left the clan and continued on together. After a few weeks of sleeping on hard ground, the pair yearned for the comfort of a bed. They changed course, out of the forest, and stopped at the first inn they found. It was late when they arrived and so they went straight to bed. The weariness from long days settled into their bones and the pair slept through breakfast the next day. Due to the late hour after they awoke, and the obvious exhaustion they shared, they decided to stay another night in the inn and spent the day exploring the little village separately.
Vixana returned to the inn first and claimed a table near the back corner, with a clear line of sight to the entrance. Arlynn walked in some time later with her arm slung casually through a man’s. He was a half-elf like her with the same dark hair. His hair had a white streak running through it though that made him look more mature. His blue grey eyes flicked around the room taking in his surroundings. He was taller than Arlynn, but his body leaned toward her slightly in a familiar manner. Arlynn was talking adamantly, her free arm gesturing, as was her norm. When she spotted Vixana, she squealed and dragged the man to the table. The two sat down and Arlynn excitedly introduced Anodyne, her brother. The two hadn’t seen each other in a long time and had ran into each other in the square.
The three chatted through dinner, talking about the adventures they had been on and where they were going next. Anodyne spoke of his quest to end suffering and promote peace in all people. Arlynn was in search of a mountainous druid clan to teach her the ways of the rocks. Vixana asked Anodyne if he would mind her company on his journey after explaining her oath to the goddess of peace. Vixana and Anodyne left together the next morning after a heartfelt goodbye with Arlynn.