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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."

Briede Songweavyre

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 and Patience.

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 Gailyn's love.

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… alone.



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