Chapter 1, part 1,  this is longer than the prologue so part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

Exile

“Adra, you stand before your peers accused of breaking one of our most sacred laws. You were sent on a quest for your future placement in this tribe as its shaman and return with an outsider. Knowing we do not make contact with them, much less bring them within the sacred boundaries of our village.  Explain yourself.”

The red-haired woman stood before her tribe stoically if not defiantly, “The Goddess spoke to me.”

The crowd began to whisper among themselves, sounding like leaves a tree shaking in a sudden gust of wind.

The Elder held up a hand withered with age to silence them, turning to the redhead who stood before him, “The Goddess Sories Maria herself spoke to you?”

“Is that that hard to believe? That is why I was sent to the mountains with little food and water isn’t it, to find if I am truly worthy to be a shaman. “

“Yes, but-“

“It was She spoke to me and told me there was suffering in the city below? Should I have ignored Her and faced Her wrath and let those people die or follow the path that She has laid out before me?”

“Adra, you cannot expect to go unpunished. You know our laws.”

“That city has done nothing but protect us; allowing us to live in the peace and prosperity. How can we stand by and watch innocent people suffer?

“We do not know if they are innocent.”

“Who are we to judge? They were in need. There was an evil presence there, you felt it, Cloud as did you, Celicy,” she turned towards the Elder’s personal shaman and then a blonde woman in the crowd,” You both are healers  in your own rights, do not tell me you did not feel it.”

“I did feel something sinister.” The tall blonde piped up, wanting to say more but she received a few disapproving looks from others.

“It was the Goddess chiding us for our involvement in outsider affairs.” A voice came from within the crowd; Adra recognized the voice instantly as the tribe’s head warrior Sky. The crowded murmured in agreement, she tried to resist the urge to roll her eyes, ever since turning down his marriage proposal it seemed his sole purpose was to do what he could to make her life difficult.

Noticing that he had the upper hand at the moment he continued,” The outsider is within the very walls of our home; soon the Goddess will enact her vengeance and strike down this great mountain for violating Her laws.”

The crowd stirred obviously scared by his words.

This time Adra couldn’t suppress herself,” Her laws? I highly doubt the forgiving and peaceful goddess that  She is would want us to not help others when they are in need.”

“Adra, I warn you not to challenge the laws that have held this tribe together for centuries.” The Elder said angrily.

“But that is what this is about isn’t it? I dared to help an outsider not watch him slowly die.  How can we as a tribe condone this type of behavior? We are no better than the H’enigh who attack villages for the sake of pillaging.”

Gasps in the crowd, she knew she had made a mistake comparing her people to one of the most violent tribes in all of Yasorus, but it was too late to take it back. Her fate was decided long before the trial had started.

“That is quite enough from you.  I hereby exile you from our lands and if you try to return it will be under penalty of death. You have until sundown to gather your belongings as well as your outsider and leave our lands.  Whatever fate awaits you, it shall not be the fate of the rest of the tribe.”

With those words the Elder proceeded down the stone steps of his chair and disappeared among the crowd heading towards his hut. The world seems to stand still, his words ringing in her ears; she bent over trying to keep herself from fainting.

“I am sorry, Adra.” A voice said softly next to her, it belonged to the blonde woman of whom has been her mentor the past few years. .

“You tried, Celicy. That is more than I could ask for. “ she forced herself to regain her composure, there was more than just her life at stake.

“But your quest to become a shaman was in vain.”

“No it wasn’t.  The Goddess has chosen my path and I need only to follow it, wherever it may take me.“

She turned her back towards the chair the Elder had sat in just a few minutes earlier and walked to her hut, the crowd had long since dissipated there was nothing more to see.

Her cheeks flushed with anger as she neared her hut and saw the dark haired warrior that was Sky blocking entrance with his broad frame.

“You brought this on yourself you know.”

“I hardly think there was a need for a public trial.”

“If you had simply said yes your place as a shaman would was guaranteed without the need for a quest. “

“You simply do not get it do you? I saved someone’s life and you cannot accept the fact that I want nothing to do with you? Are you truly that self-centered that you do not see our laws our wrong?”

“The only thing I see is a woman who will be without a head as soon as the sun sets,” he reached out and caressed her chin,” and what a pretty little head it will be to lose.  I hope you know where our borders end.”

He walked away leaving her fuming both in embarrassment at him having touched her and in anger that he was no more obedient  of the tribes laws than she was and yet she was the one facing exile. Pushing through the cloth fabric and stepping into her hut she found her anger quickly disappeared when she caught the sight of the sleeping form of the man she had rescued from the smoldering ruins of the city of Nyma.

The end justified the means, she had saved a life, his, whomever he was. She felt that it would be his turn to save hers one day.