In preparation for the official rewrite of my novel, I needed to create the back story for Sarintha. This is similar to what I have done for Mirian and Jerok. It is not a refined piece of literature. Once again, it is mostly a tool for me to know what has brought her to this point in her life. All of it occurs prior to the events of the story. Like much of the rest, I felt an urge to share, so here it is.
Please don’t destroy this letter!
My name is Sarintha, I don’t know my family name. I am a prisoner on a ship traveling east on the ocean. I do not know where I will end up. I was raised at the temple of Aliyah near the village of Tillias. My best friend, Mirian, became a priestess and healer there. She worked her magic while I learned how to make salves and lotions from the plants around me. Then something happened. Some of my mixtures acted strangely. They had a power of their own, and I could use them to control energy around me. I could create and control fire. I could blow out a candle across the room. I tried to show Mirian, but she was too involved in her healing by then. She wouldn’t listen. She never listened to me. I swore I would make her see it some day, though.
Then Kellnas found me. He saved me, I thought. He understood the power that I had found. He knew how to use it, to manipulate it. By the time he told me that he was a priest, I didn’t care. He was someone who shared my interest and abilities, and we spent hours mastering our abilities. I had heard of Thavatos when I was young, obviously. The stories told me set an expectation of demon faced creatures with burning eyes that sucked out your soul. Kellnas was none of those things. He was good to me, and I loved him.
My other friends were horrified, the old acquaintances around the village. They still clung to the myths indoctrinated in them while growing up. They no longer came to see me. I eventually took to hiding from Prophet Neijen when he came looking for me. There would be no showing him the truth about Kellnas.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Kellnas invited me to join him for a ceremony in Bernath. If I wanted, I could be made a full priestess of Thavatos. He said that I had the skill and intelligence to rise to the top. I was overjoyed. This would surely put Mirian back in her place. She couldn’t look down her nose at me if I was equal, or even higher in my religion than she was in hers. I accepted without question.
Bernath was only a few days travel. What can I say about a city like that? Spectacular. Huge. Overwhelming. People everywhere bustling about, buying, selling, trading. The shipping docks were always crowded with ships loading and unloading their goods. We finally arrived at the temple. Kellnas introduced me to some friends of his. Others who he said held great command over the powers. It was then that a whisper of fear began to work at the back of my mind. These were not men. I don’t know what they were. Tall creatures with bright hair, fangs in their mouths, and exotic outfits made from bone. When I asked what they were, Kellnas and the others just laughed at me.
The ceremony at the temple made me a priestess. The incense burned thick and my eyes watered as they shaved my head. I was given new robes, black with a red rope around the waist. The rope looked identical to the one Mirian had been showing off. This one was better though. It was mine. Kellnas told me that I would soon know what the real power of Thavatos could bring. I told him I was ready for it.
That night is when he turned on me. The strange creatures burst into my room while I was sleeping. I called out for Kellnas, fighting them off. When he arrived, he simply stood back and watched. The others overpowered me, binding my hands and feet. They gagged me and put me inside a wooden box. From there I was put on a ship. I managed to work my hands free, and by the light of the air holes in the box, I have managed to write this letter using pigments I made from the disgusting food they supplied. I intend to seal this letter inside the wooden cup they give me and close the top with the little power I have left.
Whoever finds this, bring it to Mirian at the temple near Tillias. Tell her I need her.
Tell her to come for me.