Path of the Mountain Warrior

HA!

I found it! I found it! It’s glorious! I thought that this post had been lost forever but now I realise that I had saved an earlier draft of it. As promised, here is the first part of my Metanoia story. You can read the full thing, here.

A Daily Response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Mountain Wind
Sweet mountain, I climb up your broken path.
to call upon the shrine of the ancient Mystra – goddess of the enlightened ones and those who wish to learn.
Sweet mountain, I climb up your staggered steps reaching for the sky. Hoping to hold onto grasp upon you strength, with my soul, and leave this old world behind.
Sweet mountain, you are the pillars
from the earth into the sky.
The icy air turned my breath to mist as I sung the sacred hymn of my forefathers. Each and every one of them had made their pilgrimage to the top of Mount Tosk when they entered came of age. Doing so would give them strength and solidarity of soul. I was just shy of a decade so I had to take a different path – the path of the Cleric. I knew I had little chance of mastering Ki and becoming a Mountain Warrior but nevertheless, I would do whatever I could to get close enough to them to learn their ways and achieve inner peace. To do so, I embarked on this pilgrimage atop the Frostfire Mountains to sip at the waters said to be made from the tears of our revered Lady Mystra. The path before me grew ever colder as I left the last patches of grass behind me. I steeled myself for whatever lay ahead. Humming the tune of the Mountain Warrior I ventured forth into the blinding lights before me.

The visibility from this middle tier of the mountain was horrid. You could barely see the steps below your feet as you stumbled up the ancient path into the heavens in the hopes that being physically closer to a god would allow them to hear you more clearly. All there was to see was a cold and lifeless white that glimmered with a white intensity when the sun broke through the pale mists and beamed down onto the lifeless plain. It was a painful journey for Bran but through sheer force of will, he carried on through day and night to arrive at the temple, exhausted and suffering severe frostbite. The peak of the mountain seemed to erupt out of the fog and mist in a vain glory. When standing in front of that shrine’s altar, you could look out for aeons and still not see the land. You were so high up that not even the birds would interrupt your view of the endless ocean of clouds that laid themselves out before you like a blanket of white lily petals. The shrine invited one in with its warm atmosphere. Definitely magical in nature, the winds could not penetrate your clothes to kiss your skin and the frost was held at bay. The grey marble pillars curved up to a bowl that held the revered fluid that our hero came to taste as the pinnacle of his pilgrimage.
I knew…that…I could…make it. I…still…will…push on! I must! His bloodshot amber eyes burned with a daring intensity of one too stubborn for their own good. picking himself off of the temple floor and lifting his malnourished body off the ground, he persisted in making progress ever forward to the pool of divine magic said to cleanse the soul from all ailments.
What Bran didn’t know, what no-one who drinks that holy water tells him, is that in doing so, you devote your life to the goddess who blesses you first. As this was Mystra’s temple she was always the first. Absolute loyalty to her was all she asked for. Not that much when one considers how infrequent her summons are. But any who reject her, well…there is a reason that that very shrine water is called the lifeblood. And it is those very waters that Bran currently sips with his frozen palms cupped together. The water instantly starts to refresh him. The life essence of all those who had rejected Mystra’s divine favour flowed into his soul, purging him of all instances of ill-health. Most of which he incurred on his journey up here.His determination had paid off. His relentless endurance to never give in allowed for him to achieve his goal. Now that he had reached the shrine and tasted its holy waters, did Bran have the courage and determination to abide by Mystra’s law, or will his life end up healing the wounds of the next unfortunate traveller to sing that despicable song.
photo credit: Torres del Paine at sunrise via photopin (license)

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