I wrote this short story in 2005 during a bout of inspiration. It's a darker piece, but it leaves room for hope for the main character. Everything described within belongs to Iron Realms and is attributed to the text-based game Lusternia.
There are two prominent names that I can remember from before the Portal of Fate: Bryn and Kulin. Bryn was a strong male, made an extraordinary warrior and leader, and was very kind. The entire tribe loved and followed him with unending loyalty. My father, the Jerili. Kulin was a light-furred stranger to my tribe. He and his father came to be welcomed into the Krren society after much pain. My love, the outsider. The Krren tribe lived on a small island covered by jungle and beach. By our island were two more, and all three sat in the ocean shortly eastward from the mainland. One island, north-east from our own, was occupied by our fierce enemies, the Grri, krokani people. The other island, to the north, was home to the Lurli, elfen people. The Lurli were indifferent, their only care being that of trade. Inhabiting the mainland itself were our good friends, the Rrunru, loboshigaru people. They were our main trade source and we always helped each other through dilemmas, allied for numerous generations. The Grri loved nothing better than attempting raids on our island. They would devise simple strategies and put them into play, but their stupidity and overzealous thirst for aslaran blood always took a dire toll and we were always victorious. The Rrunru would always send aid when requested, however, the Lurli would only send our messengers back with barely a reply. After many attempts at allying with the Lurli, the Jerili eventually simply gave up on them.
The Jerili was very respected not only because of his position as chieftain, but also because most everyone agreed he was deserving of the title. His kindness and bravery made him an ideal leader, and his skill and experience made him a formidable warrior. My mother was never a strong topic of discussion with him, forcing me to question other tribe members about her. During my quest for information, I learned that she had passed shortly after my birth. According to those I spoke with, she was an incredibly intelligent and wise female, talented in many areas. One elder claimed that she kept herself alive long enough to make sure I was healthy before passing. Kulin was found washed up on a raft with his father on the northern shore of our island. A small band of warriors arrived in time to overtake a group of drunken Grri that had followed the unfortunates. Upon hearing of the newcomers' tragic predicament, the Jerili welcomed them both warmly as new members of the Krren tribe. Kulin and I were both very young during this event, but when introduced, we formed an immediate bond. Kulin and his father were easily accepted by the older members of the tribe, but the kits were too eager for social leadership and acceptance. Before Kulin even had a chance to settle into his new lifestyle, he had been outcast by his peers. I myself had never truly fit in with the rest, mainly because my fellow juveniles always seemed awkward around the Jerili's heir. I found Kulin rather mysterious and intriguing, and our friendship bloomed through long games and deep conversations. During my childhood, he was my best and only friend.
As time passed and we gained age, Kulin was eventually accepted among our peers as they matured and outgrew their petty behaviour. As we passed through adolescence, Kulin and I slowly realised we had fallen in love, and the night of our revelation on the western beach, we both received our first kiss. The Jerili was ecstatic on hearing this news and immediately gave us his blessing. My last moment of joy was the successful birth of our first kit. He was the most beautiful creature I'd ever laid eyes on, and Kulin and I thought long and hard for a name fit for his perfection. What we didn't know was we would never name our newborn as this golden period came to an abrupt end.
The Jerili received a messenger from the Rrunru early the morning after the birth claiming of a traitorous group in hiding among their own conspiring with the Grri. The Rrunru leader feared for their own safety as well as ours. The Jerili, angered and surprised, sent a group of our own warriors to the mainland to aid in finding the hidden traitors. Luck decided to side with the enemy, however, for the corrupted Rrunru remained unfound and we had a traitor among our own. Four days into the search, the Jerili fell by the hand of a visiting Rrunru claiming to be a friendly traveller. The death of the Jerili triggered a trapdoor of panic and anguish. This meant the Krren tribe was brutally weakened.
Seizing the opportunity, the Grri made their move. Knowing their success was guaranteed thanks to the work of the Rrunru traitors, they stormed the entire north-east coast and moved across the island, slaughtering any aslarans they could find and completely decimating our village. The last I saw of my love was as he led me to a hidden cavern on the south beach, calming me and assuring our kit was safe. When we reached the cave, he told me to wait until I was retrieved. With a final kiss and stroke of my fur, he departed. I remained in that cavern for days, listening to the shouts and horrid screams spawned not even from the darkest depths of the imagination. Eventually, it quieted, and then silenced. I stayed seated, huddled against a cold rock wall in the back of the cavern, obediently awaiting the arrival of my love, or at least an ally. Days passed and my hunger finally motivated me to move. I abandoned the cavern and cautiously entered the jungle. Everything seemed eerily normal, aside from the drifting stench of blood, death, and burnt wood and flesh. Something in the back of my mind begged me to avoid the village and get to the bay docks to the west, but my hope and curiosity prevailed. As I made my way slowly through the jungle, I remember ripping a strip off my skirt and covering my nose and mouth with it, trying to keep the diseased air from invading my lungs. Before long, the main entrance to the village loomed before me like a nightmare. Forcing myself forward, I entered, conscious of the scene reaching my eyes but desperately wanting to find at least one survivor. The sight sprawled before me was of tormenting agony.
Buildings of stone had been smeared with blood, commemorating the Grri victory, while those of wood stood charred and collapsed, seeping dark smoke into the sky. Despite the seemingly endless gore and destruction littering the paths of my former home, the whole area was sickeningly devoid of any relatively intact corpses, marking the obvious. Wandering through the streets and remaining buildings, staring about at the remnants of my tribe, soon became a blur, the visual memories transforming themselves into mere facts in an attempt to protect my sanity.
Perhaps I fainted and was found by an allied party searching for survivors, for the next thing I remember was waking to find myself in the Rrunru village. Desperate, I asked my caretaker if there were any Krren who possibly escaped the attack other than myself. She sadly replied I was the only one who made it other than two others, both female mothers, one of which had already taken her own life. Hearing those words come from the young Rrunru's mouth was the saddest experience of my life.
My past after the desolation of my tribe is a ragged book with faded ink. The Rrunru found and disposed of the small organisation that had, for one reason or another, aligned themselves with the Grri and created the cause of my tribe's downfall soon after the death of the Krren. With no will or point in trying to rebuild the tribe, I drifted through life, all emotion having melted from my heart, uncaring of anything or anyone. I stayed with the Rrunru for a time, then travelled across the land, having grown weary of the Rrunru's culture. I eventually found myself in the Basin of Life, and having heard of the Portal of Fate and its general ability to erase memories, I decided to try to start my life over.
After locating the Portal by questioning some native denizens, I headed up Avechna's Peak. Before I knew it, I was standing before the Portal of Fate. It was more beautiful than any of the descriptions given to me by those I spoke with in my travels. Standing before the swirling darkness, flashes of my past appeared and disappeared within the endless black. Tears fought their way from my eyes as I watched my life literally flash before me. My father, whose brilliant life was ended by the hand of a corrupted ally. Kulin, whose bravery and intelligence saved my life and never faltered from his love for me. And my beautiful kit, who was never named and I never laid eyes on again after that disgusting nightmare of a month.
With a sigh, I entered the void.