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eCookie

Pillars of Creation
Chapter 2

As soon as Rhea was outside the market walls, she fell back into one of the alleys, away from the hustle and bustle of the market visitors.


The hate and mockery she had shown Kalion about the artifacts and their users had reawakened those feelings and memories she tried to forget.

She had only wanted to remind Kalion what the reality looked like, but suddenly everything gushed out of her.

She didn't want Kalion to see her like that, otherwise he'd be sure to sic his wife on her.


Now that everything came up again she could not ignore her throbbing heart, the sweat ran over her face and the naked fear surrounded her heart and her legs gave in under her. She saw herself again in a room, lying on the floor, bleeding, scratched, her screams resounding on the cold, naked walls.


Only after a few minutes she was able to suppress these pictures so much that she could find some inner peace again.

She had hoped to forget these days at first, but every time she experienced the topic Kalion mentioned, everything came back.


She felt helpless every time and that frightened her, she didn't want to be tied to her own helplessness on earth but she didn't know what to do.

Just mentioning it put her in this situation, how could she try as an adventurer who was hunting what scared her the most.

Of course, adventurers not only made their money chasing artifacts, but it was the fastest way to make money besides from dangerous hunting missions of wild monsters or other diverse jobs.

To trust these people on the hunt would be in thing of impossibility for Rhea, the pain of memories was still too much.


Her wild thoughts preoccupied Rhea for a few minutes before she could stand on both feet again and slowly headed for the lending house. Today's bounty would certainly be able to feed the children's mouths if she could sell everything at a fair price, the orphanage needed more money than ever before.


______________________________

"I can offer you 5 gold for this jewelry, my first and last offer", the man behind the counter of the lending house put the jewelry back on the counter in front of him and looked at Rhea.

Rhea was pissed off at the thought of weighing up so much risk only against 5 gold.

"Five gold? I get more if I sell the materials one at a time, 10 and no less."

The gate city had many lending houses, but Rhea had already visited most of them and didn't want to be recognized, so she changed the house after every theft.

"Girls, the city's lending houeses are not stupid. We belong to the trade guilds and have heard of thefts, you don't exactly have the factor of the unknown on your side with your hair color.
5 Gold or you can go back to the street with your jewellery and try your luck elsewhere.
But I can tell you that you won't have much success anywhere else, after your last act the merchant has officially filed a complaint with the trade guild and your description is known to every merchant in town.
The price comes from my own pocket and not from the pawnshop, either 5 gold or nothing "

The man crossed his arms in front of his massive chest and waited for Rhea's answer, his eyes betrayed that he was serious.
Rhea pondered briefly,"5 gold will be enough for the next few weeks, after which I will have to look for a new source of income" before she openly reached out her hand with a sigh.

The merchant opened his private gold bag before he dropped 5 coins in front of her, she closed her hand tightly around the money before he changed his mind and turned around to leave the lending house but stopped in front of the door and looked at the marble statue.
Out of all the junk, the statue caught everyone's eye, it was far too valuable for such a dilapidated lending house.

The statue showed one of the many heroic scenes from the stories of the ancient times, but the appearance was mostly lost and so most of the works of art remained only a version of the picture of the artist who created the statue, a woman who raised her arms high up to protect herself from an animal, a wolf cub. She had no weapons only one ornamented book by her side and a simple Bô, a straight wooden stick that she held firmly in her hands.

The massive statue reached 8 feet under the ceiling and was immaculate, it was as if the artist had truly known the woman, all her features and contours were perfectly recreated alive, it was as if the statue would come to life in the next moment.

Apparently the artist had immortalized one of the great old-time magicians, although a Bô was not exactly a magician's weapon, so the book that hung on the side of the woman is a clear indication of her abilities.
If one trusted the stories, the book at the side of a magician was an image of his life and experiences and only few brought the power to create one.
There was a lot of speculation, but no one could say with certainty what the books were about, after centuries of narratives and stories, facts became folklore and vice versa. Rhea's knowledge of the books and magicians was only stories she had heard from Kalion's wife Amara, the director of the orphanage.

The animal, however, the Spîrîtûs of magicians, was something that is quite real. However, normal citizens got to see them only during the gate openings every 4 years.
The secret of the Spîrîtûs was strictly guarded by the guilds and the guild of adventurers overlooked all the adventurers who could acquire a Spîrîtûs after the test.
It doesn't matter in which direction, whether in the east with the elves, in the north with the Froste Empire, in the south with the Beast nomades or here in the western kingdom, all who could and managed it got a Spîrîtûs as status as adventurer.

Each Spîrîtûs was unique in appearance because it arose from the essence of the person who owned it. After a second examination, the Spîrîtûs were tested for their character and abilities and assigned to a certain category.
Depending on their suitability, the adventurers and Spîrîtûs were divided into categories that reflect their abilities, resulting in groups going on missions.

A Spîrîtûs could develop within life and make his abilities even stronger.
Also, not every Spîrîtûs was the same as the others in the categories they got, there were still many subcategories where their strengths and weaknesses played a big role along with their abilities.
Apart from these categories, there was one last property that was measured and this was the rarity, the rarer a Spîrîtûs the stronger he was at the beginning. Together with their strength at the beginning, these Spîrîtûs grew up faster and revealed far stronger abilities than less rare Spîrîtûs at the same level.
The strongest and most capable were even able to learn to speak intelligently, which was rarely the case, but often they remained true to their command like a tame pet.

The abilities given by the Spîrîtûs to its owner were called magical abilities, but often this magic was limited to elementary nature.
With higer ranks there was not only elementary magic, but many adventurers kept their exact abilities for themselves or their skills of the mages as a whole.
The skills of the Spîrîtûs and the adventurer together formed a final rank that indicated the overall strength.
Without a Spîrîtûs nobody could get in touch with magic and if the adventurer should die, the Spîrîtûs disappeared. Never before had there been the case that a Spîrîtûs died and the adventurer had survived, even if such an adventurer had survived, he would have died without his companion in a short time in the country behind the wall.

True magic was no longer in this world since the War of Origin, the last ones to use magic freely were the Mage people.
From the time of the war also originated the wall which ran through the whole continent, in a circle it touched all 4 empires of this continent and enclosed the former empire of the magicians. 
Some said the Wall was the last great work of the mages before their disappearance, or even the reason for it, the war that the mages had started plunged them into perdition and the Wall was supposed to save them.

Many curious people had tried to catch a glimpse on top of the wall, but they had all failed. Even with artefacts, they were denied access to the land behind it, and only through the four gate cities of each country could the people move behind the wall, but rarely did they return. Whole expeditions, adventurers of the highest ranks and groups disappeared, but nobody could say exactly what the land hid inside.
In addition, the gates were only open every 4 years and allowed access, for one day the someone could enter. For the cities, therefore, every 4 years celebrations were planned to welcome the adventurers who had proven themselves capable of saying goodbye and welcoming the returnees.
Only then did the Outer World know what had happened behind the Wall, which artifacts were discovered and returned, and other valuable discoveries and information.
Since the known world has been completely explored, the peoples have been searching for new territories to strengthen their power, for millennia they have moved behind the wall to try their luck.
Due to the enormous span of the Wall and the completely unexplored areas of the country behind it, even after thousands of years, the adventurers called it the Inner Continent. Only the bravest and strongest dared to venture deep into the unexplored interior of the country, while the others remained within sight of the Wall.

Rhea was completely immersed in the statue and her memories of the stories before she was able to pull herself together and finally turned her gaze away.
Her mind gradually calmed down, the old stories and tales were thanks to Amara a firm oasis in wild times, all the years in the orphanage had given her few fixed stops but these were her best memories, and helped her to grasp clear thoughts again, se could almost hear the voice of Amara who told these tales in front of the old fireplace in winter. Historical writing was incredibly detailed in some respects, but many mysteries had remained unresolved for centuries.





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