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My Story

          Heyla! My name is Songjewel; I'm eighteen, and I'm a Healing Adept-in-training. My bondbird is a goshawk named Akeera. I always wanted to be a scout, but I guess the Star-Eyed has other intentions. I do have fun sometimes, but having this much power scares me. Especially after what happened.
          I love working outside with plants. I have a small garden at the foot of my ekele that I work in; the hertasi take care of it for me when I'm out exploring. I love exploring. When I was little, my friend Meadowstorm and I used to make little expeditions through the forests of the Vale. We would pretend that we were scouts in the Pelagir Hills, discovering all kinds of new Pelagir species and fighting off monsters. Then, when I was fifteen and my mage-potential became evident, I started training with one of the clan Adepts, Dewflower.
          She was a great teacher, young and fun, but very cautious about magic. We worked on shielding for the longest time. She wouldn't let me do anything until she was sure I had it drilled so far into my skull that it was a reflex. She showed me the basics in magic first, and I kept thinking, "This stuff is so boring. Can't we move on?" Then one day, I got a surprise. She started showing me how to use magic offensively, as well as defensively. Now here was something I could use.
          Meadowstorm had no mage-gift, so she got to be a scout, just like she'd always wanted to be. When I thought I had the offensive stuff down pretty well, I asked Meadowstorm if I could come along. She said that would be great, since her scouting partner, Rainwing, had just been injured in a run-in with a pack of changewolves a few days ago.
          The next day, when we were running her circuit, Akeera (my bondbird) spotted a very large pack of wyrsa headed our way. We were too far from the Vale to get back, so we headed for a nearby cave. Unfortunately, the wyrsa were closer than we'd thought; they caught up to us before we reached shelter. We had no choice but to stand and fight. There must have been about ten wyrsa, but I couldn't get a straight number because they kept moving. Meadowstorm and I stood with our backs to a large tree, since there weren't any good climbing trees nearby, and braced for the attack. The bondbirds distracted a few so we could shoot them, but soon we ran ut of arrows and had only killed four. We both had knives, of course, but they were useless against wyrsa.
          Reflexively, I threw a simple shield around Meadowstorm, silently thanking Dewflower that it was now a reflex, and started using the battle magic she'd taought me. I managed to get three more before they got within five feet of us. One of them leapt at Meadowstorm, and I panicked. I knew what those poisonous teeth and claw could do. I poured all I could into the shield around Meadowstorm, then reached for the strongest node I could find. I must have reached the Heartstone, because it was the strongest node I'd ever felt! I pulled and pulled, completely oblivious to everything but the wyrsa. Suddenly, a scorching sensation flew through my body; it felt like every nerve in my body was on fire for what seemed like an eternity. The world exploded into tars, and I blacked out.
          When I came to, Meadowstorm was shaking me, and she was very near hysterics. There was a sharp pain in my chest, and my head was throbbing. I tried to tell her I was alright, but I could only whisper.

          "It's all my fault!" she wailed. "I should have been ready for this! I should have found a tree we could climb instead of the cave!"

          I quieted her and told her that it wasn't her fault, and that I would be alright, but we had better get out of there before something carnivorous got curious and decided to come sniffing around. She asked if I could get up; I tried, but another sharp pain in my side prevented it. She pulled me upright and helped me walk to the nearest tree, which was some thirty yards away.

          "What happened here?" I asked, amazed. She gave me a funny look.

          "Don't you remember? We were being attacked by wyrsa, and suddenly you went berserk! You let out a blast that burnt everything within thirty yards to ashes! It's a good thing you had shields on me! Blew me clear to the edge of the circle as it was!"

          She sent her bondbird, Kaeli, ahead to the Vale to get some help ready. When we got there, Dewflower was waiting with my mother, Nightwing, at my ekele. They helped me back to my ekele. There were burn marks on my hands and arms, so one of Dewflower's hertasi brought some salve, which she put on the burns. It hurt, and I passed out again.
          I woke up the next day when Summerstar brought me breakfast.

          "Morning, ashke. Feeling any better?"

          "A little," I replied. "At least I can talk now, and my hands don't burn anymore. So what's wrong with me?"

          "Not sure," he told me. "I heard Dewflower talking to your mother. She said your channels are scorched, but that some channels she didn't even know were there are open now. I knew you had Adept potential, but now she's saying you've got a lot more power than before. If you have that much power, that would make you a…a Healing Adept!"

          "No, I'm sure that's not what she meant," I hastily assured him. "She probably just meant one or two channels she didn't see before. There's no way I could be a Healing Adept. I mean, if I had power like that, somebody should have found it by now. I'm sixteen!"

          "I don't know," he said dubiously. "I know Dewflower pretty well. She's my teacher too, you know. She's pretty thorough when it comes to stuff like this."

          "I know, ashke, but still…" I trailed off. He couldn't be right, could he? That would be horrid. It would separate me even further from Meadowstorm, and it would make me different from all the other mages. But no, I was NOT a Healing Adept, and I never would be. Ever.

          My family and friends visited me while I was recuperating, and after a few days, I felt well enough to go to the celebration of Meadowstorm's sixteenth birthday.
          It turned out that Summerstar was right, after all. When all my channels had healed, Dewflower broke the bad news. I was appalled. Me, a Healing Adept? I wanted to be a scout, not a mage! Now she was telling me that I was not only a mage, but one with Healing Adept potential! Woe is me, alright.
          Well, I learned to deal with it. Good thing too, because I'm still only in the beginning steps of learning to use my power. I'm always learning new things. My one love in magery is to see what new ideas I can come up with. I said I was an explorer, didn't I? At least that hasn't changed.

Zhai'helleva!


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