Through a character's eyes

by Lori Ann Curley

He Said My Name

In the early morning light as the sun tried to creep above the hills, I saw a smoldering campfire. Suddenly, the coals in the firepit grew into high flames. I cast a spell to detect any magic around me and was blinded by bright light coming from everywhere. An Elfin woman with long black hair in a tight braid and wearing a gray-green cloak was stoking the fire. She was armed with a saber and a cutlass, and her bedroll lay next to the fire.

Darkness fell shortly thereafter, adding to the mystical aspects of this world which was unfamiliar to me, for the stars were not the same constellations I studied as a child. I noticed a tent made of hides nearby, and the banner before it was from some kingdom whose name I could not recall.

"Who is in the tent?" I asked the Elf.

Cryptically she replied, "Only you can answer that."

As I turned to enter the tent, I smelled food. Looking back, I noticed a spit over the fire that wasn't there earlier. The scent of rabbit cooking reminded me that I was hungry; I hadn't eaten in some time. My curiosity was famished even more, however, so I entered the tent.

Someone was resting on a cot against the far wall. Seated next to the cot was a big man with a fiery mane of red hair. He looked oddly familiar to me, but again my memory failed [as did my dice]. Then my memory finally succeeded when I recognized the figure on the cot as my Lord Juran. The burly red-head stood between me and my God in what seemed an effort to protect Him. "I am Baran, and you will not molest a man at rest."

"I am Jahna, cleric in the service of my Lord God Juran." I announced.

Baran looked back at the cot. "He isn't dead yet."

"Is that my Lord Juran?"

"One who claims to be in his service should recognize him."

"May I approach Him?"

"Did the Elf let you in?"

"She did not prohibit my entry."

"Fine." Baran conceded with a wave of his hand. He stood next to me as I examined my God. Juran was terribly wounded, and one eye was covered with a patch. Though I shouldn't have been, I was surprised to see a mortal human before me. I've always known Juran to be immortal, yet the realization that he, too, had to die never came to me before. I also realized that if Juran was alive–albeit seemingly barely–I must be in the distant past. "Have you been to the sea?" I asked Baran.

"That's where we were heading, though I'm not sure if he'll make it." Oh no. If He hadn't been to the sea, then the city of Juran had yet to be established. Both the establishment of the city and of Juran as leader–then deity–must occur.

"He'll make it if I can do anything about it." I cast a spell to cure His wounds and felt an incredible power flowing through me. He opened His eyes, and I could see in the one that was not covered that His eyes were brown, rather than blue, which is depicted in every portrait of Juran that I have seen.

He woke and looked about the tent. Upon seeing me he said, "Jahna."

Then I woke up in the back of our wagon, housed in the warehouse we were using as a base in Brindenford.

After the crises in Brindenford were over, and I had time to ponder my death experience, I realized that I must have traveled back more than 500 years, preceding the founding of Juran the city. I did not recognize the stars because I'm used to orienting the constellations around Juran's Star, which obviously was not in the heavens before his death.

The most exciting revelation was that Juran knew me and said my name.

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