Elle’s eyes took in everything as she walked beside me. For this place was new to her. The wondrous trees scraping the vaults of the skies and the gardens and paths all lit with soft glows.
Before I smelled the garden I had begun to speak softly. “She has not thought it through. Such a young one can not know what she has done, Elle.”
I heard Elle’s rumble of dissent before her words. “She knows full well a princess of an elvish kingdom has no servants, not one to believe in her here amongst her people. She has become that one’s servant even if she must leave the blessed lands as she sees it.” We stopped as Elle grabbed my shoulder and turned me to look at her, my eyes turning up to hers. “Of all things that you do, the most miraculous you do is inspire others.”
I smiled shyly at those words and nodded and turned to continue walking as the scent from the garden came upon the wind.
I walked into it reveling in it, as it was the smell I carried, my scent. This place and its scents and solitude were my favorites from before the gods had taken us to the new worlds. It was here the first time I had met she who I was named after.
The Rose of Life, the one who even the gods give respect though I never have known why. Whom even the dragons, bow to and sometimes even fear. They have named her Ro daariv, Eternal Queen.
As we walked into the garden of roses and the tiers and slopes of roses of all hues and sizes met us. Elle stopped as I continued onward my hands going out to touch a flower as I passed or stop to smell them.
I watched her walk into this place, her home from home, and was astounded. For it seemed as though the very things she was named for, rejoiced at this visit. Bending to see an old friend and blooming and scenting more then they would have. She acted as a child though with her hands touching the flowers and the smile on her face as she would stop and speak to a bloom and after a moment close her eyes and inhale deeply.
This woman who became my fast friend and whom I guard as my people have always done out of respect. All the names she carried, all the titles, all the pasts were but the same to bring her to this place again.
When I called her name, Lissa, she answered not from in front of me but from behind. And when I turned to look, it was Lissa yet as I first ever saw her. A young human woman her deep green eyes filled with things one should not know. Her strawberry blonde hair reflecting the moonlight. “What is it Elle?” I looked back to where she was before and it was there her drow self was amongst the roses.
“How is this possible?” I heard myself whisper and from the first direction I heard the voice I always considered evil and even felt evil from it. “Dragonsssss you have not figured this out yetssss?”
My eyes focused on the dark within the darkness and it was again my friend, yet as I had never seen her. Great wings sprung from her back. Black they were fading to white at the tips and the great muscles rippled as this one also seemed to enjoy the roses, fangs showing and the eyes full of baleful fire and across her body I recognized the same whip markings and tattoos that Lissa had and always kept covered. Yet these shone orange against her dark skin. It was then I saw there were more then two arms and legs, what I had thought was some armor were other arms tucked close against her body and then realized the truth of the human Lissa’s tale.
And then it seemed as though a haze was before my eyes as I saw the others. Lissa’s human twin Nartia as like to her as a copy but for her pale golden hair. I watched them embrace and walk into the garden further. And as they did I swear that it seemed they grew younger as they went. I knew from Lissa’s tales that they never knew each other as children and were once enemies. Yet now it was as if time had…
Time, she always had it she said, back and forth. Going back is harder then forward Elle. Yet I can do it and now you can, you are my athi, my guardian. You will need to do this for I am not always where but when
I looked about and counted. Seven there were, one drow, one divine being, two humans, three elves. Yet something still seemed amiss.
I was not sure until almost beside me I heard a soft voice. It sent chills down my spine and I slowly turned to face the voice that asked me. “Servant of my brother have you not divined this all yet?”
And when my eyes looked into the deep ruby eyes and the ruby skin I know not what compelled me to kneel yet I did so. I heard the soft chuckle and felt the clawed hand upon my shoulder. There is no need for such sargt of the Ro Daariv it is I who should bow to you.” Saridor’s voice came as his claw lifted me to my feet.