A/N - This little drabble would not leave me be until I wrote it. The title comes from the beautiful Loreena McKennitt lullaby of the same name, off her Parallel Dreams album.
The moon was setting over the sea, a lazy slung crescent that seemed mere inches from the waves. Gorion could see it, perfectly framed, from his window on the outer wall. He chuckled to himself as he sharpened his pen. In earlier days, he'd been welcome in the tower cloister, but now that he had taken up a permanent residence, he was banished to the wall. It was the unwelcome visitor he had brought with him this time, of course.
She was asleep now finally, thank Mystra. The infant slumbered peacefully in the cradle by his narrow bed. Now he had some time. There was a letter he'd been putting off.
I am safely come to Candlekeep, and for the foreseeable future, my wandering days are done. When my biography is written, no doubt they shall mark this as the beginning of my monastic phase.
You may judge by this intelligence, then, that we were successful. I snatched a child, a baby girl, from under the knife her own mother wielded.
His pen hovered over the page. No, his old friend didn't need to know. Alianna had been dead long before he'd killed her. He'd recognized her in an instant; he had not known that that the bright, brilliant girl he'd known, who had been so angry at the world, had turned to the Lord of Murder in her rage.
I doubt I shall ever feel the need to tell her that.
I am only sorry it was but one, though I am certain I would not have the constitution for more than one myself. To be honest, I am not entirely sure why I volunteered to take the child myself. Perhaps I felt an excess of responsibility. Anger, maybe, that an innocent has been burdened so. She is, to every appearance, a perfectly ordinary child – whatever curse she bears is invisible. In every respect that matters, she is completely normal. She is a very pretty baby, with great dark eyes that seem to look right to the heart of you. How anyone could look into such eyes and still desire to cut her throat is utterly beyond me. I might be blinded by that, but I cannot bring myself to believe she is doomed from birth to sink into darkness. But there is no denying that she is one of Bhaal's progeny. How will her father's blood manifest itself?
I suppose that is the point of having her here.
Ulraunt was furious, of course, prophesying doom and destruction for all involved, but Tethtoril overruled him. Rather an odd state of affairs for the Chief Reader and his subordinate, but Candlekeep is a singular place. It may not be the most ideal place to raise a young girl, but it is the safest.
Oghma's books, Elminster! What have I gotten myself into? I'm familiar enough with child rearing – I'm the eldest of seven, after all, with at least a score of nieces and nephews. Needless to say, I changed more than my share of nappies in my youth. But my youth is somewhat distant now, and the thought of being solely responsible for the upbringing of any child, let alone one of unusual parentage and unknown antecedents – well, I'm not ashamed to say it rather terrifies me.
The baby sighed in her sleep, and Gorion looked up. His own smile surprised him. Some fierce emotion welled up in his heart – he could protect her from the world, and he would. Her own mother had sought her death, but here, under his care, she would have a chance. It was only fair, wasn't it? He touched her chubby cheek with a fingertip, marveling at the way his feelings seemed to go gently fuzzy around the edges. "Everyone deserves the chance to make their own path, little one. Everyone deserves to be judged for their own merit," he whispered. "Even you. Especially you. I don't know who you will become, but I want to be there to see it."
He dipped his pen, and continued to write.
I have named her Maera.