Kiara - Halfling Rogue/Cleric
by Jessica Robinson
The babe's wailing became clearer as the pair of elven scouts
approached the source of the desperate cries. The two moved as silently
to where a young halfling woman lay in a pool of blood. There was no
doubt about her state - she was dead. There were deep scratches across
her throat and chest. An arm and leg were missing, pulled from their
sockets. The mother's stomach had been chewed open. The cries came from
that opening where the dead woman's unborn daughter was miraculously
Nessa Sîrfalas knelt down to free the baby girl from her
anchoring parent. She noticed a nasty gash across the baby's face and
felt a deep sympathy for this tiny survivor. She drew her glimmering
dagger, quickly sliced the umbilical cord and tied it off with a tidy
knot. The babe's screams continued.
"We can't leave her here to die. We will take her back to our camp,"
she instructed her partner, Huon Alcarir.
"I agree," Huon said as he began to cover the mother's body with
leaves. Nessa wrapped the baby in her cloak. The two elves said a
blessing for the mother and hurried to return to their party.
Back at camp, the two scouts were convincing their captain to let them
keep the child. They promised to take sole responsibility and vowed it
would not incapacitate their duties.
"But you are scouts!" the captain countered. "How could either of you
move silently with a witless child on your back?" Nessa had an answer
and responded confidently.
"Sir, the cleric is adept in the art of potions and would give the
child something to keep her sleeping during our watch, Sir." She knew
the captain would allow them to keep the child. He was just testing
them as he should.
"It sounds as if you've thought of everything," he told them, in a
mildly defeated manner. "The child may remain in our midst," he glared
at them with narrowed eyes. "Do not give me cause to regret this
allowance. Dismissed." The captain sat at his desk and busied himself
with papers. Huon and Nessa smiled at each other as they left the
captain's tent. They hurried to the cleric's tent to check on the
status of their foundling.
The baby girl slept, thanks to a concoction administered by the cleric
who first fed her as best he could. Nessa and Huon worried about the
child. A dark smelly salve covered the wound on child's left eye and
cheek. The newborn was grey and smaller than any mortal baby they had
ever seen. She had experienced much trauma which, thankfully, the child
would never remember.
To this day I don't remember any of it, yet I still have the scar that
lets me believe it. Nessa and Huon told me every detail. It was my
favorite bedtime story when I was a child. But I am not a child
anymore. And although I was given an elven name, Kiara, which means
small and dark, we could no longer ignore that I did not belong with
Almost two decades had passed and the Last War had ended. The troops
returned to their homeland. I traveled with them with full confidence I
would be accepted in Valenar. I was wrong. I had no patron ancestor and
I was looked down upon because of it. I had no desire to learn the art
of war, but instead wanted to learn all I could about the healing arts.
More and more, I kept to the shadows to hide my scarred face and
diminutive stature. I stole what I needed to avoid having to talk to
those who looked at me in disgust. I was unhappier than I could ever
One night, not too long ago, Nessa and Huon came to my room after I had
retired for the evening. They sat in chairs across from my bed where I
was sitting up, wrapped in a blanket. They had married as soon as we
returned to their homeland and the glow of the love between them was
stronger than ever. This night they assured me their love included me,
but they could sense I was not happy.
"Kiara, our daughter, we love you and always will," Nessa started.
"Yes, you will always be part of us, my little doll," Huon continued.
Their eyes were sparkling with tears.
"And you will always be part of me," I said, hoping to ease whatever
"You're a young woman now," Nessa said, "and it doesn't take a psion to
see you are not happy here. Every day you don't smile we are pained. We
brought you here because we love you. We want you with us " Nessa
choked back a sob and turned her fine features away from her daughter's
"We want you with us, Kiara, but what is so hard for us to ask is if
you want to stay with us," Huon finished with a strength he didn't
feel. I tried to imagine a life away from my family. I was intrigued at
the prospect of venturing forth on my own and imagined it wouldn't be
"I love you both very much and parting from you will hurt," I answered,
as tears dampened my face. "I am young and not as wise as you, but I
have enough sense to realize I do not belong with your people." Nessa
could no longer contain her grief. She rested her head against Huon's
shoulder and released her cries unto him.
Huon helped his wife up from her seat. She wiped her eyes and smiled at
"You are so brave, little one," she said. "Goodnight, Kiara. Sleep
"Goodnight, my doll," Huon said. "We will make plans in the morning."
"Goodnight," I said, smiling. I lay back on my pillow, still smiling,
with wonderful thoughts of the future whirling in my head. I was being
given yet another chance at a new life.
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