52nd Ashan, 718
"It's strange." Tei'serin murmured softly as she entered Treth with her family.
"What's strange?" her mother asked in concern at Tei'serin's pensive mood.
Tei'serin paused, and turned to her mother.
"On this trial last arc, one of the lost loved ones I was remembering...was you." Tei'serin said with a small smile after a few trills of hesitation.
Dae'nira smiled gently.
"If it helps any, I spent part of that trial remembering you, too." she offered simply.
At Tei'serin's startled look, she chuckled.
"Not as part of a holiday like this. I wasn't living in Ne'haer at the time, and had never even heard of the Day of Candles. But just as you believed me to be dead, I had believed you dead. There wasn't a trial that passed that I didn't think of you. Wondering what kind of person you would have become had you survived. Wondering what you would have been doing now. It was a part of my morning ritual. As I greeted each new trial, I greeted the image of you in my mind, and wondered how that image of you would compare to the real you had you lived. And I must admit, the image I had held in my mind pales in comparison to the wonderful young woman I am slowly getting to know."
Tei'serin blushed at the compliment her mother had given her.
"Who else do you remember on this trial?" Dae'nira wanted to know.
"Father, of course. He died before I was born, so I never knew him, of course. But I wonder what kind of he was. Would he have loved me? Would I have loved him? Things like that. Then there's Dad. I remember the rest of our family too, but my memories of them are vague at best. I was awfully young when our ship was lost at sea."
Her mother nodded.
"Finally, there's Zera."
It was Tei'serin's turn to nod.
"She was...not a friend, exactly. We didn't know each other long enough for that. But she was important to me all the same. I think that had she lived, we would have become friends."
"How did you meet her?"
"It was back in 716. During the Immortals War. I had no intention of going to fight when the call for aid came from Ne'haer. But I got swept up in a group that were, and I ended up getting dragged along all the same. Zera was one of the soldiers who went. We talked a lot during the trip into the city. And she taught me a lot; things like how to build a fire. and the names for different vegetables in Xanthea. Zera was a Sev'ryn like us."
When Tei'serin saw her mother's obvious interest, she continued.
"To be honest, I don't think that I would have survived that war if it weren't for Zera. It was painfully obvious that I was no kind of fighter. And to someone like Zera, who was a warrior, it must have been even more obvious. She was the one who told me that there was no shame in staying out of the fighting when I had no clue how to defend myself, never mind anyone else. Zera pointed out where the other healers were gathering, and we parted ways. I...I never saw her again after that."
Tei'serin paused, swallowing hard.
"It was well after the war was over that I learned what had happened to her. Well...what little anyone can know of what must of happened. She never returned home."
"I'm sorry." her mother said simply, uncertain what else she could say.
"I barely knew Zera...but I miss her all the same. Every now and then, I think about her. Especially on this trial. Now that I am learning how to defend myself, I can't help but wonder what she would think of me now. If she would be proud of me for learning how to fight. Or perhaps disappointed because I waited this long to do it."
Her mother gave her a quick hug.
"I would like to think that she would be proud of you. I know that I am."
Tei'serin smiled weakly.
Bonus experience approved by Jade, to be given to the following character(s) involved in this thread, only upon the completion of the review, where the character(s) demonstrated celebration of the holiday, Day of Candles, on Ashan 52nd, Arc 718. The details of this this holiday include: The celebrations for this trial begin at night, when people gather with candles. This night is dedicated to lost loved ones, especially those that died in battle. Strangers gather and unite to remember the brave souls lost in war.
Bonus Experience Upon Review Completion:
Ne'haer Holiday: Day of Candles
+2 Bonus Skill Points
Free Item: A sculpted flower candle that burns with a blue flame given to you by a priest from the All God Temple. In the center of this candle stands a tall column of wax with scripture from the Jourkadri Cuts language, meaning "Peace be to the spirits beyond," to those who can interpret it. Legend from the temple says that if you pray by this blue flame, your prayers will be answered. If this is true, though, no one knows. This item cannot be sold or given away.