Patience and the Lily
"This tale I learned from an old wizened empath who once
frequented the dais of Ta'Illistim. Having great respect for her,
I included this tale when I learned of her passing into Lorminstra's
care. She insisted the tale is true, but as yet I have found no
evidence to either prove or falsify her claims."
Outside the village of Sylvaerrand there lived an old farmer and
his wife. They led a simple life, growing wheat and barley for a
nearby brewery. The farmers had but one child, a lovely girl they
aptly named Patience. She was a good child and quickly grew to love
working in the fields with her father.
As the years passed, the farmer's prosperity grew and he began
to expand his fields with each season. Soon he had nearly doubled
the size of his crop and the small family had no worries. Patience
had since become a young woman, lovely and fair-tempered; there
was no one who could speak ill of her.
One day, while working in the fields with her father, Patience
noticed dark clouds spreading across the horizon. When she questioned
her father, he brushed off her concern. Later that day Patience
spoke up again, this time about a dark stranger moving across the
far edge of the field towards them. The two stood, watching the
man grow closer.
Soon they could make out the man's features. He was aged, his face
worn and half-covered by a long combed beard. His eyes, however,
were not dull but alert, dark and piercing. As he grew closer, his
pace slowed and he finally came to stand a few yards from the farmer
The three stood for a long moment, caught up in an uncomfortable
silence. When the figure finally spoke, his words rang out across
the field, cold and hard. He accused them of usurping his lands
and farming them without his consent. He continued on, his words
cutting through the old farmer like a blade through rolton flesh.
The farmer attempted to speak but was quickly silenced by the man's
angry fist. His voice never raised yet his words grew with intensity,
as he demanded payment for the time the farmer had taken his land.
Patience stepped forward and denied the man payment for anything.
She watched as his eyes flared with anger yet continued on, claiming
he had no right to the land, having left it vacant for so many years.
He raised his hands to the sky and, with an incantation, they began
to glow with a wickedly red light. Suddenly, Patience was clutching
at her throat, unable to breath. The sorcerer demanded payment again
and the farmer, desperate to save his daughter, promised he would
pay. Slowly, the man lowered his hands, freeing Patience from his
magical grip. She flew forward, gasping for air.
The sorcerer laughed darkly and began once again to chant. He spoke
of a curse on the farmer's fields. They would never again bear a
crop of any kind and would forever be barren. The farmer moved to
Patience and began to rub her back, helping to ease her coughing.
He paid little mind to the sorcerer's curse, concerned over his
daughter's well being. This was not lost upon the sorcerer.
His gaze turned to the daughter and a dark, evil smile curled his
lips. He began his magical chanting again, this time directing his
curse at Patience. From that day on, he decreed that she would never
again be able to feel the touch of a human being. Each and everything
she would touch would wither and die.
The father shouted out, and Patience cried in despair. He clung
to his daughter for dear life and demanded the sorcerer release
her from the curse and take him instead. The sorcerer only laughed,
and watched as his curse took the life of the farmer. Patience fell
to the ground, the lifeless body of her father cradled in her arms.
With his work done, the sorcerer turned and left, leaving Patience
mourning her loss.
After a while, Patience took her father back to their home. She
explained what had happened to her mother and the two agreed she
ought to leave, as the town would no longer be safe for her. With
tears in her eyes, she packed her things and left the only life
she had ever known.
From that day on, Patience traveled alone, never remaining in one
place for more than a fortnight. The years passed and she grew in
adulthood, never making a single friend in all her wanderings. She
grew depressed, and soon she could hardly find a reason to make
her way from town to town.
One day, when she had traveled to the city of Ta'Vaalor, she met
a young wizard by the name of Gailyn. He was quick to sympathize
with the young woman's plight and swore he would find a way to break
the curse. His oath brought hope to Patience and she agreed to help
in any way she could. Time passed and Gailyn worked diligently to
try and break the curse to no avail. With each passing day, Patience
lost hope in ever finding a cure.
Gailyn grew in years as he searched for a cure for the woman he
had grown to love. Secretly, he too had given up hope, yet still
he searched, unwilling to let his despair show to Patience. Ready
to give up, Gailyn nearly missed the cure staring him straight in
the eye. An elderly wizard had been passing through the Landing,
having returned from her latest ventures in the rift, when Gailyn
heard of her. He left the elven city and made the long trek to the
human outpost. Maelfey had studied the arts of sorcery, as well
as wizardry, and knew of the old sorcerer who had cursed Patience.
She explained to Gailyn that the one true weakness of evil sorcery
was that of true love.
The wizard at once grew hopeful at the old woman's words. He felt
he could now finally free Patience from the curse. Maelfey cautioned
him against being rash, that unless he knew Patience's heart to
be true he ought not risk it, but Gailyn did not heed her. He rushed
off to his Patience, his heart full of joy.
Without a word of forewarning, Gailyn reached for Patience and
kissed her. The kiss lasted for but a moment and when he pulled
away they watched each other, waiting. For what felt like an eternity
the two stood, each fearful to speak. At last, Gailyn smiled, at
first softly but soon it changed, to something more sardonic. He
slipped from her to the floor, where he died.
After she had buried him, she chose to leave the town she had come
to nearly call home. While packing, she came upon a small parcel
with her name on it. Cautiously, Patience opened the package. Inside
was the most intricate and beautiful flower Patience had ever seen.
The long stemmed lily been expertly crafted from fine opals and
pale, purple jade. At the flower's center, tiny diamonds on the
petals reflected the light, appearing as dewdrops. The stem and
leaves of the lily had been hand-carved from flawless jade, etched
so intricately that it appeared real. The blossom was a symbol of
She took the flower; she took her belongings, and left the town
of Ta'Vaalor. It is rumored that she traveled to the ruins of Ta'Faendryl
where she finished her life