Chapter 1 - Introductions
Chapter 2 - Travels
Chapter 3 - Death
Myself, I was but a simple elvan tailor who happened to be in a tavern one rainy night. I made a meager earning, enough to keep myself and my family feed and housed. But because of the event that unfolded that night my life was forever changed. My family gone. They left me when I started to tell this tale. I tell you this story now so that the same fate does not befall another.
I write this in a time where belief in our gods is crumbling, where people are beginning to believe the gods don't really exist. But I know they do.
I take you to that rainy night, to that tavern in the hopes that you will learn.
"You know, I heard that she was the direct creation of the gods for the good of mortals.", said an elf sitting at a table with an gnome and human.
"That's nonsense, I heard that she was kidnapped by the Asmar at a young age, trained in their elite evil forces then escaped. When she returned she lied and cheated people to became who she was.", replied the gnome.
"You're both wrong.", said the human, "This is what really happened."
"Many years ago people lived a much simpler life then they do now. There was not so much excitement and discovery like there is today. People were born, lived, had children, and died all within the same village. Very rarely did they venture far except for trading with other near by villages. This is the world she was born into."
"Kala, you mean Kala. I heard she is without sin?", asked a giant of a man who pulled up a chair and sat at the table with the three. You see, Kala was on the tips of everyone's lips recently. It was rumored that she would be passing though this very town in a day or two, and everybody, including myself wanted to meet the legend. But I will leave that to the story itself.
"Yes, I mean Kala my large friend. But like all others she was not without sin.", answered the female smiling. She looked around and for the first time saw all those around her. Just by mentioning the name Kala she gained the attention of the entire tavern, including myself who was eavesdropping just a few feet from them. "Come, gather around and I will tell you the story of the life of Kala." She stood up and offered her chair to an elder behind her who sat down quickly, eager to listen to the tale. She took another chair from a vacant table and returned to the others.
Smiling at the attention she gained she continued, "It was in this world that she... that Kala was born. And she was so beautiful that the entire village would celebrate her day of birth each year. That is until the day the fires came."
"The days the fire came", the whole group chanted. That was a dark day in our history. You are too young to remember that time. I was just a child then myself, but I remember the fear we all shared. For days fire fell from the skies and the world shook with anger. Every village was destroyed, crops burnt, rivers flooded, many, many people died. But that itself is yet another story, perhaps one I will share with you another day.
The barkeep brought everyone drinks to the table that we all huddled around now. He sat down and joined us as our storyteller continued.
"Kala was from a village called Praxis. The village was home to hundreds, but only a few dozen survived. It was... it was now that Kala began her journey. She awoke the day after the fires to a burnt home, to a burnt village, to a burnt world. Not knowing about her family who were away travelling when the disaster struck and uncertain about what to do now, she turned to Atmos, the legendary elder of Praxis at that time."
"Atmos?", it was the old man who spoke now. "I knew Atmos, but that was in another time. A time long ago."
The story teller continued about the time of the fire and since it is such a well known tale which we all have heard since our own childhoods I will not repeat it here but to say she described it in such detail that I could have sworn I lived in those days again as she spoke. She described the rebuilding of the village and the rebuilding of hope and the rebuilding of a new life. It was the same story for a dozen small towns such as the old Praxis, now called Cabeiri. The rebuild of Cabeiri itself is a legend to be told another day.
"It so happened that not long after the fires was the celebration of Kala's birth. But Kala did not wish to celebrate and said her good-bye to Atmos and left Cabeiri wearing only the robes on her back and the shoes on her feet."
At that moment a thunderous clap of lightning struck near the tavern, blowing the door to the building open. There were three women at the entrance who walked in and closed the door after them. It appeared that they were part of a family, a mother and two twin daughters, each one more beautiful then the other. The three of them came towards us and sat around the giant who spoke earlier.
The eldest of the females, and I assumed mother spoke to the male giant. "I apologize for our lateness my worship, but we were preparing for Kala."
"Yes, she is coming.", smiled one of the daughters, "We have yet to decide what do with her though. We hope nothing drastic." At that the giants laughed. As to why I did not understand at the time.
"So you know Kala then? Are the legends true?", I asked perhaps even more eagerly the before.
"What is truth? What makes someone a legend?", asked the bartender. "Perhaps a legend is merely the fact that people sit around in a tavern and talk about you after your death. Perhaps truth exists only in the fact that the legend is told in the first place." The bartender got up and tossed some more wood onto the fire.
The elf spoke again, "What is truth? What is good?"
"What are lies? What is evil?", chimed in the gnome. "I did not know we were engaging in philosophical issues tonight, let us continue to story of Kala."
Our storyteller smiled and continued on, "Yes, let us. Kala left Cabeiri with only what she was wearing or caring. She traveled to many villages looking for her parents. Everywhere she went she saw the same destruction which befell her home village. Since she had helped in the first stages of rebuilding Cabeiri she was able to help some of the towns along her way. In each town she shared and gained new knowledge which she used in the next, until the day she arrived at Whitestorm."
"It was in Whitestorm that she discovered her parents had died. By this time it had been two years since she left Cabeiri and had lived in dozens of villages. Finally her search was over and now she did not know what to do. She looked back on her journeys and could not think of a person she met who could help her. It was then she decided to start a new life and make Whitestorm her new home."
The story teller went on, telling how Kala helped to build Whitestorm. At that time it was not the busy center it is today. Instead it was much like any other small village. She went on to tell how Kala used her knowledge gained over the previous years to rebuild Whitestorm, and then in the 5th year after the fires came, Kala became the youngest leader in the history of the town.
It was under Kala that Whitestorm grew, and air balloons and sea ships were built and new worlds discovered. These stories were the same stories I am sure you were told as a child growing up and so again I will spare your time and not retell a story which you know so well. She continued talking for an hour, telling us the tales of how Kala settled the battles between the elves and the satyrs by building them fortresses in the forest. She told the tale of how Kala tricked the orcs into the dragonwing caves and the story of how Kala negotiated peace with the kingdoms of Cardania.
It was getting late and the bartender again gave new life to the dying fire by feeding it more wood. Taking a break from talking, our story teller excused herself to bring us all back another round of drinks.
Our story teller stopped talking and everyone sat in silence. Finally I spoke, "Who spreads these rumors?", and then I nodded to the giants, "You said you were expecting her, how do you know she will appear."
"Perhaps we should let her finish her story in peace", answered one of the sisters.
Our story teller took a deep breath, with a somewhat confused look on her face and continued. "Kala's quest was to seek the gods. The new age which was born because of her troubled her deeply. She believed in the gods, and she felt she was the only one. In a world where people could fly though the air and discover dozens of new race, or sail the seas and find new lands which were never before known. In such a world people no longer praised nor believed in the existence of the gods."
"Kala's own village of Cabeiri was named for some of them and legend had it that the gods themselves rebuilt the village. And Kala began to find herself doubting their existence. So she went on a quest to find them." Our storyteller stopped taking and starred silently at the wall behind me.
"And in time would finding the gods help?", asked the elder.
Our story teller continued to stare at the wall as she answered, "It wouldn't. But this world was not what Kala wanted. She wants to meet the gods, to explain to them in person that she did not intend this to happen."
"And after all this time is she still looking?", asked the elder.
Our story teller looked confused, more so then before. As she spoke she seemed even more distraught. "Yes she.... no.... no she isn't. She was, she was on her way here from Imladris to find them, but.... I don't remember... what happened."
The bartender spoke, "It was raining hard and the passage you were on weak. As you were crossing the forge in the mountains there was a landslide and you were washed down the mountain and died."
And with those words a smile grew across our storyteller's face. The other eight in the tavern surrounded her and as if by magic they all vanished into the air.
I don't know what happened after they left, nor do I know where they went. I would like to think that the gods understood and forgave her for creating a world where mortals praised her instead of them. I'd like to think they took her into the skys and placed her among the stars, that somewhere, up there, both Kala and the gods are looking down on their creations, and smiling.