Life Begins With A Stranger
Well, I guess I should start this out with telling you what I do. I'm a seeker of knowledge. More of a Philosopher, I guess you could say. My name and where I come from is irrelevant. Like any other Philosopher I left my home and family in search of what I didn't know...or rather, I guess, I could say that it's lost knowledge. What is lost knowledge, you ask? Knowledge that has been rumored or talked about, but yet forgotten over time or never proven. Where I'm from, there's a rumor of beings called "Aislings". I'm sure you all have heard the rumor of them being sparked and doing wondrous things like slaying dragons! Heh, I'm here to tell you that it's all true. I know it's hard to believe, but would a philosopher lie? Here, let me tell you what happened.
I left my land in the West and traveled East for what seemed like forever. I didn't find the Aislings right away. In fact I had made several stops at some odd islands on my way. I choose to forget those places, and I definitely don't recommend visiting them. Eventually, I made it to Temuair. Of course, I didn't learn it's name for quite awhile. All I knew was this place was where the Aislings were. I stepped off the ship in Loures Harbor and looked behind me at the long horizon, then turned and looked at the very few houses in front of me. Yes, I admit, at this point I was scared. What if they don't speak the same language as me? What if they're hostile and kill me the instant they see me? I took a deep breathe and walked on. This was the risk I had to take to confirm all allegations on Aislings. I noticed quite a few "people" walking into a particular house. As I followed, I talked to the "person" behind the counter. All he wanted to know was whether or not I wanted to go to Medenia. Where is Medenia? What is Medenia? Confused, I walked out and continued on my journey in the strange land.
As I went along I ended up in a rather nice area. Unlike most places I had imagined it had no house. It was straight out of a story book with it's giant castle and market center. Wandering around admiring the scenery I could hear the screams and yells from behind the castle walls of what seemed like fighting, and walking ahead I could hear the silence and serenity that lead to a temple.
"Ah, they worship a God." I said out loud studying the unique design of the temple.
"Not just one God, deary, we have ten of them," came a sweet voice out of nowhere.
A little spooked I looked around, and just exiting the temple was a lady dressed in a shining metal-like dress with long, flowing red hair. She gave me a smile.
"Uh...Hello." I managed to get out. Personally I thought the dress was too much. Did she have to stand out so much? Maybe she's someone important, or maybe she's just a crazy old lady who, in my land, wears too much make-up.
She smiled again, "Greetings! Are you new to the lands?" Thinking to myself I thought she was far too chipper, but she intrigued me.
I answered back, "Yes, I am. Can I ask where I'm at? Who are you? And are you an Aisling?"
She laughed at me! With a slight giggle still in her voice she answered, "Welcome to Temuair! You're in a town called Loures where King Bruce rules," She bow's slightly. "I'm Algiza D'Ariel. A knight here in Loures, and yes I am an Aisling. Sparked on the thirty-eighth Deoch."
Hm, yes I guess she does sound kind of important. I took out my pad of paper and writing utensil. I might as well take notes while I'm here. "So, ten Gods? Isn't that excessive?"
She laughs again, "Are you a reporter or something? Writing for the 'Temuair Times'?"
I had to laugh at that. I guess it does look funny with me like this. "No, I'm sorry. I'm from a different land and I went on a journey to prove that Aislings existed. I want to make sure I get down my whole experience while I'm here so I can write about it later."
She finished walking down the temple stairs and sat down next to the temples announcement board. As she got herself comfortable, which I imagine was difficult in that gaudy gear, she patted next to her. "We have ten Gods because not every Aisling has similar interests. Each God stands for something and each Aisling that chooses to worship a God goes with which interest best suites them and their class. Two of the Gods, however, don't have temples, but can be worshipped through
two other Gods."
That seemed a little complicated to me, "So two of the Gods are more closely associated with two of the Gods that Aislings can worship?"
She nodded. "Think of it as Good and Evil to the extreme! Since you're new to the lands I don't expect you to fully understand it. However, that's the basics on our God system. Our time system is related to our Gods also. We are currently naming the time in terms of Deoch."
I scribbled down more. This place is weird! "You said you're a knight, does that mean you go out and fight dragons?" She laughed at me again! I felt the need to just walk away, however I have to realize that this place is different, and what's normal for me might not be for her.
"No, I'm afraid that Knights in this land are more political based than heroic based. However, any master of their path could take on a dragon in the Arsaidh Aon or "Ancient One" as it's also called."
Politics. So they aren't a bunch of barbarians running around beating on their chests and dragging their women around by the hair? "So this land is just like any other land?"
She smiled at me. "In a lot of ways, yes, we are. In a lot of ways, no, we're not. There's something different about being an Aisling. You choose your path and go through trials to become the highest and best in the land! You do the best you can to have your name more known than someone else, and some even do as much as they can for their fellow Aislings. In other lands there are competitions like these, however I'd like to think we're the extreme."
"So, how does one become an Aisling?" I asked.
She smiled, "You must find another Aisling of the path you wish to be. Whether it's a warrior, monk, priest, wizard, rogue or even a peasant. They'll show you the way by guiding you and mentoring you in your path. Then you start your life as a new Aisling and go through trials of honor, strength, and intelligence. You build your own name and your own legend. One thing's for certain, legends never die. So Aislings strive for the best legend possible. You make friends along the way, too. It's starts out as just wanting a party to hunt creatures with and ends up being the best time of your spark."
She rambled on for hours about the lands. Telling me some of her own war stories which she honestly admitted weren't a lot compared to others. One I remember was about an army of Goblins attacking King Bruce's Castle. She said many gave their lives for that war. She told me about love, deaths, and heartbreaks. She'd definitely seen her share of events in her time. I'm sad to say I never made it out of Loures. Her stories kept me busy. The words she spoke were general, and didn't answer a lot of the questions I had. Somehow, I found an understanding in them. I guess in order for those questions to be answered I'd have to become an Aisling myself. She walked me back to Loures Harbor when it was time for me to make leave. I waved good-bye to her. She smiled and waved back. I wasn't sure if I was coming back, but I knew that the story I was going to tell would be one that many may not believe. Before the ship set off I yelled to her, "I'm from the West and seeking what...was...lost..."
She looked puzzled for a moment then replied, "I'm a stranger in the East, I am what you sought. A lot of things in this life stem from strangers. Never forget that. So, remember the kindness they show and return it. Life as an Aisling always starts out with the help of a stranger. Maybe one day they won't be a stranger anymore."
As the ship sailed away I kept looking at the harbor till I couldn't see her anymore. Then I turned towards the horizon. It was a lot more beautiful that time around, somehow. I thought about everything she had said and came to the conclusion that being an Aisling isn't just about being a big legend or a hero. It's all about the Spark. When you find that spark...you are created into an Aisling, and get to become something more than what you were before. Other Aislings are there to help you. I laughed to myself. It's like they're a giant family. I think in the end that's what she was trying to tell me.