Faith, Trust, and Hope, by Chris O'Kane

Story name: Faith, Trust and Hope
Author: Chris O'Kane

Date: Shortly after Easter (after Tournament and before A Long Patrol)

Overview

Misha uses his axe to save a life, while thinking of his family he's left behind.

Summary

Early one morning, Misha is trying to write a letter to his sister Elizabeth, who he hasn't seen in five and a half years. A loud bell interrupts his thoughts; at the window, he sees green smoke, one of the scouts' signal for serious trouble. He rushes to the armory to get ready, and meets Andre, who tells him that his men accompanying some wagons must have been attacked, and Cerulean is off to investigate.

Cerulean flies in, carrying a lynx named John and a woman named Jenny. Jenny was attacked by a Lutin shaman, and has a rope of constriction around her. Misha sends a page to fetch Magus and Pascal, but fearing for her life, Misha prepares to swing his axe. John and Cerulean attempt to dissuade him, but Misha promises that his axe always aims true, and asks them to trust him. He makes a test swing first, and feels his shoulder hurt. So he prays to God for guidance, makes two slow swings to gauge the distance, and then one strong swing to cut the rope.

When they connect, a bright flash of light and a surge of energy cause Misha to pass out. He awakens in a bedroom, where a woman is doing needlepoint. Elizabeth is shocked to see him, who she instantly recognizes as her brother, and they embrace. Misha realizes they are both dreaming, although how, he doesn't know. She briefly shares how the family is doing, until Misha hears Cerulean's voice calling him away. Elizabeth declares that the family will come and visit Metamor Keep, and they say goodbye.

Misha wakes back up in the courtyard, and Cerulean confirms that he felt someone else in Misha's mind; Elizabeth really did visit him. Cerulean is intrigued by the weapon and offers to look at it in a couple days. Andre helps Misha to his room, where Brian Coe tends to him. When he finishes, Misha falls asleep, and dreams of his sister visiting in his room. Elizabeth has a spell on them, so that they can spend the next few hours catching up.

Characters

Main characters:

  • Elizabeth: Misha's sister. She is six feet tall with long brown hair. She can cast magic, powerful enough for them to share a dream together. Misha has not seen her or the rest of the family in years.
  • Misha: A scout. He carries an axe, five feet long, given to him by his great-grandfather. He calls it Whisper, for the barely audible whisper it makes with each swing. His shoulder is still healing from the events of Tournament. He has a scar around his wrist from the time he last saw his family.

Supporting:

  • Andre: The Captain of the guard, and Misha's friend.
  • Cerulean: A dragon who resides at the keep.

Cameo:

  • Sharon: An eagle morph. She informs Andre about the attack.
  • Jenny: A female gender morph. During the Lutin attack, a shaman bound her with a rope of constriction. She is brought to Misha, who saves her with his magic axe.
  • John: A lynx morph. He was with Jenny when the Lutins attacked. He cares for Jenny deeply.

Mentioned:

  • Pascal: The Keep alchemist. She developed a packet of chemicals that creates colored smoke on a fire. Green signifies serious trouble. She is summoned to help with the ropes, but her help is not needed.
  • Magus: A powerful wizard of the Keep. He is also summoned to help with the ropes.
  • Nasoj: The nemesis of Metamor Keep.
  • Misha's father: He had "a spell" 2 years ago, which forced him to retire.
  • George: A business friend of Misha's dad.
  • Brian: Someone from Misha's past. He misses Misha, although he won't admit it. He might have been responsible for the scar on Misha's wrist. Brian is Misha's brother.
  • Brian Coe: The Keep medic
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