This story takes place roughly 200 years ago.
It was early night in Silithus. The moon gave a feint glow over the small village in the desert as it shone brightly. Smiling gently at the moon, Celegil prayed quietly as her mother had taught her too do so every night. She looked quite brittle in those days, not very tall and a still youthful unscarred face. When she had finished her prayers, she rose up and walked back to her house.
Her mother, Ilaana, was already waiting and poured thistle-tea into two cups that stood on their table as Celegil sat down. Ilaana looked up to Celegil and smiled “Was she smiling upon you?” Celegil looked to her mother as she sipped her tea before replying: “She was mother, I prayed for An’da.” Ilaana sat down beside her, drinking from her own cup before sighing: “That is very honourable of you my dear. He is very grateful, as he is still watching us from the star’s sky.”
They were both in quiet contemplation as they both slowly finished their tea. Then, Ilaana broke the silence: “How are your lessons with Elder Oakentree proceeding?” Celegil looked up and sighed slightly: “Quite boring mother, it’s always the same lecturing.” Ilaana nodded: “They may be boring, but they are imperative to learn before joining the Sisterhood.” As she watched the outside, glancing at a number of Sentinels leaving the village, Celegil replied: “But I do not want to sit in a village my whole life mother, I would like to explore what is beyond the golden ridges of the mountains here. I want to become a Sentinel.” Sighing deeply and shaking her head, Ilaana rose from her seat and stood in front of the open window: “Look at yourself dear, you are now twelve. Me and Elder Oakentree have been lecturing you for almost your entire life, would you throw that all away to become ‘just’ a Sentinel? You can achieve so much more my daughter, you know that too.” Celegil sighed again and nodded: “I am sorry mother; I should not have mentioned it.” Ilaana nodded slightly: “It is fine dear; it is good you speak your mind, but I know what is best for you. Now, it’s almost midnight, should you not be at Elder Oakentree for studies into making salves?”
As Celegil dressed into her usual attire, consisting of a leather pants and vest combined with sandals made from the hide of the big desert drudges, she couldn’t help but think about the choice she would soon have to make. Become a Priestess and keep her mother, the one she loved over all else happy, or become a Sentinel and make herself happy but upsetting her mother. It clouded her mind badly and she shook her head as she spoke to herself: “Now is not the time to think, I have a lesson to catch.”
As she walked past the busy Sentinel’s house, she noticed the beautiful armour that lay ready for whoever was going to wear it tonight. As she smiled brightly, she suddenly hit a hard object with her head, causing her to fall down into the sand. Looking up, she saw a very tall Sentinel towering above her, offering a hand to help Celegil up. She raised her hand and grabbed onto the Sentinel’s hand making her stand up again. The Sentinel spoke: “You alright little one?” Celegil rubbed her head and replied: “Yes..yes. My apologies.” As she shook her head, the Sentinel kneel down in front of Celegil, smiling with a gentle face: “You are the Priestess’ daughter right? It is good to have you two around here. With all the missing Sentinels, we have to keep faith in Elune.” Celegil nodded slowly staying quiet as she felt a bit uneasy before such a powerful Sentinel. As the Sentinel laughed as she rose up again to her feet: “I have to go back to my duties. Nice talking to you young one.” Celegil opened her mouth slowly and hesitantly: “Yes..yes thank you miss.” Still slightly shaken, Celegil continued on her way to the Elder’s house.
Elder Oakentree was a very old and wise Druid. He had a long beard that reached down to the middle of his chest and mostly carried an old staff with him to keep his balance. As he saw Celegil enter his dwelling, his wrinkled face quirked up a smile as his old squeaky low voice rumbled: “Ah..Ishnu’dal dieb dear Thero’Shan Celegil. You have come for your lessons into making herbal salves?” Celegil bowed deeply in front of the Elder replying: “Ishnu’dal Dieb Shan’Do Oakentree.” Laughing deeply and low, Oakentree gently patted on Celegil’s head: “Ah..family, I am afraid most of them passed away so long ago..I can barely remember. Come, sit next to me honoured student and pay attention”.
Oakentree’s lectures were extremely tedious for a rather active person. As such, Celegil’s eyes began to drop down, dreaming away just as the elder was about to ask a question. He moved his right hand through his long beard as he hummed to her: “Sleeping is for during the day, dear student.” Celegil shook her head and woke up again, sighing: “My apologies honoured Elder, I was elsewhere.” Oakentree rose from his chair, groaning as he grabbed his staff and stood in front of the window: “Where, young one.” Celegil smiled as he asked her and closed her eyes, recalling what she had been fantasizing on: “Behind those mountains Elder, where big trees are, big enough to live in. And where the giant stag Malorne walks.” Oakentree nodded sternly: “You wish to travel then?” Celegil opened her eyes again and looked at the Elder who was now leaning on his staff, showing his hunchback: “I would love to do so, honoured Elder.” Oakentree sighed deeply as the room remained quiet for a few moments. He finally turned around again and looked at her: “You are a lively one. You have the potential to become a wise Priestess, but also the risk of not making these studies. A Priestess must concentrate dear student. Unfortunately, you can’t concentrate easily. A problem that your mother solved by using her own resolve and love. You on the other hand, have neither, yet.” Celegil blinked and rose from her chair, quiet distraught by what the Elder just said: “But Elder! I love my mother, and I honour my father everyday!” Rumbling lowly, Oakentree shook his head slowly: “Not like that dear child. Your mother was raised by the Sisterhood. She loved them and she felt that she had to repay her raising by serving the Temple. You on the other hand, apart from your father’s dead, got about everything a little girl could ask for.” Celegil remained quiet for a few moments as she pondered. While she was pondering, Oakentree slowly walked to her and placed his right hand on her right shoulder. As Celegil looked up, Oakentree smiled: “You have the potential dear child, don’t squander it.”
As Celegil walked home, she felt worse than she had felt for many months. A feeling of guilt rose from the deepest corners of her heart. But there was also another feeling, a much darker and angering one that became stronger each moment she allowed those feelings to speak. It was all about what the others wanted from her. No one ever asked what she wanted. She gnarled her teeth as she reached her home. Without saying anything to Ilaana, she wend straight to bed and wend to sleep.
It was around first light when Celegil woke up again. She put on her clothes and sandals again and walked to the open window, glancing at the mountains to the north. As she turned around, she saw that her mother was still sleeping on a chair, her mouth wide open, snoring. She smiled slightly and then glanced to one of the Silith hives that dotted the landscape. Her eyes filling with mischief, she looked back to the square of the small village. She walked to Ilaana’s cupboard as she thought: ”This is my chance”. As she searched through her mother’s belongings, she found a hilt with a sharp short sword inside it. Smirking widely, Celegil tied it to her belt and quietly left the house.
The village in which she lived was built on a small hill to protect it from Silith who might otherwise dig up into the village. Therefore as Celegil reached a side of the hill, her heart started pounding like a mad Nightsaber on rabies. Jumping down would surely cause her to break one of her bones. For a moment, she thought about going back and forgetting this foolish idea but then she saw a less steep side of the hill. She walked towards it and lay down with her chest on the ground. As she crawled down, the sand started to shift, causing some sort of avalanche. She gasped widely as the sand took her down faster and faster and it wasn’t for long that she started rolling quickly eventually causing her to fly through the air and into one of the hive’s opening. She smacked onto the ground and lost consciousness.
It is unsure how long she lay there but eventually, Celegil woke up again. As she rubbed her head, she looked up. She saw a big hole above her from which daylight could be seen. Grunting, she crawled up to her feet and looked around. There was no way she could climb up to the steep wall to get out of this put, she would have to find another way. She also discovered she had lost her sandals and as such, stood on her bare feet feeling the cold of the hive’s wet floor riling up into her spine. Glancing into the black tunnel, she heard a loud squeak coming from within. Celegil shivered and sighed. “There’s no other way out..Goddess protect me.” She unsheathed her mother’s sword and walked into the inky black tunnel.
The Silith tunnels were no place for Kaldorei and as such, Celegil felt intensely scared as she walked through them. Though it was dark, due to the Kaldorei’s being nocturnal, she could basically see everything around her when her eyes had adapted to the dark. She didn’t know how long she had been in those tunnels, but it felt like hours. Eventually, she came into a large room which had egg-sacks stationed around the wall. Blinking with her eyes, Celegil slowly moved closer to one of the egg-sacks that was moving unlike the others. As she put her right hand onto the top of the egg-sack, Celegil felt the warmth coming from inside. She pondered for a few minutes but eventually decided to open the sack with her sword. As she did this, the face of a fellow Kaldorei eventually emerged, a female with a Sentinel helmet. As Celegil looked at her, the female’s eyes opened widely, causing Celegil widely gasp and step back. Celegil shouted: “By Elune!”. The female eventually began to speak: “Urgh..what’s a little one doing here..help me out, we need to get away from this place somehow”. While Celegil slashed some of the webbing away from the Sentinel, a louder squeak came from the tunnel that lead into the room. When Celegil quickly turned around, she saw the first Qiraji in her entire life. A giant bug like creature with long claws and a face that resembled that of a mosquito. As she slowly walked back, Celegil’s back eventually hit the wall. The Sentinel who was still trapped in the egg-sack shouted to her: “Keep your sword in front of yourself and be quick!”.
What followed was more of a hide and seek game rather than a true fight. The Qiraji had difficulty manoeuvring around the room due to its massive size while Celegil could quickly jump away and underneath it when the creature attacked. Every time Celegil managed to get underneath the Qiraji, she was able to slice away a small part of its armour. As such, after a few slices, Celegil was able to stab her sword into the Qiraji from underneath. The creature let out a giant squeak and fell forward on its giant mosquito head. The Sentinel shouted: “Quickly girl! Finish it, cut in its head!” Celegil looked frightened at the Sentinel but nodded quickly. She ran forward, jumped on the back of the Qiraji and stabbed her sword violently in the back of its head. A dark green sludge of blood spit out like a fountain causing Celegil to be launched from its back. She shouted, literally, like a little girl when this happened but was able to land gently on her feet again. She had defeated the beast and with that, killed the first enemy of her life. Afterwards, Celegil was able to free the Sentinel from her egg-sack and together they eventually found an exit from the Silith hive. Tired, wet and dirty, the two of them returned to the village. The village folk quickly gathered at the square to look at the strange arrival of these two battered survivors. Celegil’s mother also came outside and sighed with relief as she ran forward to hug her daughter. “Where have you been girl!? I was so worried!” she said in an emotional tone. Celegil kept her eyes at the ground, feeling guilt: “I am sorry mother..I..I”. The Sentinel that stood next to her interrupted Celegil: “Whatever wrong she did to get into that hive, she redeemed herself. I owe her my life.”
And as such, Celegil had gained the respect of the village. They said that she might have been a foolish girl of going into a hive, but that she was clever and brave enough to survive it.