How my life has changed! I sit here in a tavern in Fallow Down- a forgotten place further from home than I have ever been. After so many days on the road, my skin is wind bitten, my hair a ropey and tangled mess, and my clothing threadbare. I have been in town a little less than a week and I have rarely left the simple comforts of my room at the inn, except to see to my horse, Luna’s needs. She was worse for wear, as was I, when we arrived, and I have had her shoed and stabled comfortably. I made my way out twice more, once to visit a tailor and have made some clothes that aren’t falling apart, and once more to have a drink at a local tavern. I am thankful to every God & Goddess for the hot bath and to my unwitting sister for leaving her fancy perfumed soap out on her dresser so many times, because while in the tavern I noticed a man who seemed to notice me. I was dressed in my new clothes, as a young man, but either he saw through my charade or he likes boys… or perhaps both? A kindred spirit then.
I did not have to try very hard to get his attention, because without even a hello, he was introducing me to strangers who were apparently looking for trouble. His ‘friends’ (I doubt he knew them well- there was likely a reward or favor involved) were speaking of a Brute raid on the road from Cael. Prisoners had been taken, and one of them was a member of Cillean’s tribe. Cillean is a young man my age from the land of Cael. He has a quiet way about him, a kind of harmony with nature and all around him. I can find no such quiet in my life. While he sits at a tavern table telling us of tribal wars, Brute raids and kidnapped loved ones, he is calm; passionate, but calm. Me? I tap my fingers and twitch my toes, itching to go and do… something! Even as my bottom aches from the saddle, my skin rubbed raw from the wind, and my shoulders aching from the long journey, I was thinking of all the things I could be doing in the world. The places I could explore. The adventures that might be written down in storybooks some day when I am a crone. Sitting still and biding my time is not in my soul. So, I listened to Cillean’s plea; would we help him find his friend Fiona? How could I say no? And so I sit here, drinking cheap ale and waiting for the others to return as planned.