That Which Should Be, by Oren the Otter

Story name: That Which Should Be
Author: Oren the Otter

Date: June 706 CR, the day after A Lie Conceived (2 days after the Summer Festival)
Location: Metamor Valley (Lorland, Oren's tower)

Overview

Vitra looks back at her life with the help of a mental mage. Ana finds comfort in Ye's faith.

Summary

Vitra wakes up Jesse Roo and his mother Kim with a nightmare of a lutin who called her "sister" and wanted her dead. Kim suggests they visit Christina, a local mind mage. Christina is alarmed when she sees the lutin, but Jesse and Kim calm her down. To help her nightmares, Christine gives Vitra some tea and puts her into a trance, and begins sharing her memories with Jesse and Kim.

They see a human woman and a lutin man approching a sinister man who identifies them as Amara and Norchk, and calls on them to create "the great one". As Norchk begins to rape her, the scene changes to a room with two half-lutin infants. Amara names the baby girl Vitra, while Norchk names the baby boy Nekril. Norchk clearly favors the boy, but his attitude has been softened by Amara's influence. The scene changes; Norchk has returned from the elders, with news that Vitra is a threat to the "perfect conquerer" and must be put to death. He has decided that they will flee to the south and hide among the human and lutin villages. Norchk takes Vitra, while Amara takes Nekril. They are pursued, but Norchk's superior physique allows him to escape, not realizing that Amara is missing until it is too late.

Vitra's next memories involve her childhood. Norchk weeps as he sings baby Vitra a lullaby. A young Vitra beats some lutin boys at a sport, who mock her father for acting like a sissy woman and for leaving her mother to die like a man.

Vitra remembers getting a beautiful dress from her father, who tells her that he has found her a husband. Some time later, her husband Amak and several of his children insult her as she feeds them. As she weeps by the river, a handsome lutin named Ushka takes pity on her, and challenges Amak to a fight, immolating him with magical fire. Ushka and Vitra escaped together, and Ushka taught her to become an experienced healer. Ushka is then assigned to a team to recapture some escaped darkmen, but a darkmen grabs his hand before he can cast a spell, and Ushka freezes to death as Vitra watches. Vitra is raped and left for dead, but the person she asks to kill her, Oren, takes pity on her. Vitra, seeing the goodness inside Oren, has fallen in love with him.

After the trance, Christina tells Vitra, based off this information and her nightmare, that Nekril is alive and knows where she is, and needs to stay in the keep for her protection. Vitra objects at first, as she is a lutin, but Christina points out the fur growing under Vitra's robe. Her half-human nature is enough for the curse to affect her. She suggests that Vitra get some sleep.

Meanwhile, Ye and Mitok find Ana weeping in Oren's tower over her future with Oren, and Ye comforts her by telling her about the Creator, and that he will bring about what is meant to be. As morning approaches, Ana feels much better. Ye asks her to join them in an Os-Var-Khaian feast day, and she accepts.

Characters

Main characters:

  • Vitra: A female lutin, in hiding at Metamor Keep. Her name means "she who lives". She learned healing from her husband Ushka. Because of her half-human heritage, she has received an animal curse, which Christina guesses is some type of weasel.

Supporting:

  • Jesse Roo: A farmer of Lorland, and a kangaroo morph. Vitra is staying at his house, pretending to be his cousin.
  • Christina: A mind mage in Lorland, and a wolf morph. She kept her magic abilities secret from Loriod; only other peasants like Jesse and Kim know.
  • Norchk: Vitra's father, a lutin of the bloodborne tribe. He is of a fine physical and magical breed. He forcibly raped Amara in a ceremony, but Amara's love gradually softened him. After losing his wife and son, he raised Vitra alone until she was old enough to marry.
  • Nekril: Vitra's twin brother. His name means "bringer of death". He was separated from his father and sister as a baby. Christina believes that he is still alive, and able to enter Vitra's dreams.
  • Amak: Vitra's first husband. He had several kids, possibly from a former marriage. He was challenged to a duel by Ushka, and incinerated by him.
  • Ushka: Vitra's second husband. He was unusual among lutins, in that he was kind and helpful towards others. He was a gifted spellcaster, able to cast fire, but specialized in healing magic. He and Vitra were assigned to a patrol to recapture darkmen. He was killed during this mission.

Minor characters:

  • Kim Roo: Jesse Roo's mother, a female gendermorph.
  • Sawana: Oren's childhood friend from Hipocc. She wants Oren to return to Hipocc, and is despairing that Oren might not return.
  • Ye: A diplomat from Os-Var-Khai, an age regress in a komodo dragon guise. He is preparing for an Os-Var.
  • Amara: Vitra's mother, a human. One side of her family, the Taylors, were known for their mental powers; her other side, the Granchik, were related to werebeasts. She was captured and forced into a lutin marriage, hoping to create a great leader.

Cameo:

  • Mitok: An older dragonette, who is helping Ye set up for his service.

Important mention:

  • Grunch: A lizard morph, who is part Lutin. In the Keep, he is called Bluenight; by lutins, he is called "the defective", and mocked through song.
  • Oren: An otter-man at the Keep. His kindness towards Vitra has made her fall in love with him. Ana is also in love with him, and conflicted about her feelings.

Referenced:

  • Altera Loriod: The former lord of Lorland, whom Kim calls Lord Lowly-Odd.

Locations

  • Oren's tower is still sparsely decorated. On the ground floor, there is a table with some chairs that Ye has set up to use as a chapel. There is a spiral staircase in the center of the room, heading to the upper floors.

Points of interest

  • Micro-ogres and tree trolls are two kinds of parasites that try to kill lutins from within.
  • This day is when Os-Var-Khaians celebrate the arrival of a Follower missionary to Os-Var-Khai.
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