NENNORAE, by Lutrykin
Once upon a time, long before the Karavan founded the Church of Jena and allowed homins to revive, there was a young Matis girl.
Her skin was of a white as immaculate snow which highlighted her fine, flawless features. Her black hair and red lips were the finishing touch to this masterpiece of nature. Her white skin made her nickname Alekin-Nennorae. The Karin was close to its blooming period and all eyes were on Alekin-Nennorae.
But she also had enemies.
Of the other suitors, Lady Chiabre was the most vile and did not back down from anything to become Karae. Lady Chiabre possessed a magic mirror that infallibly pointed to the right person when questioned. Dame Chiabre's greatest pleasure was to look at herself in the mirror every day and ask:
"Mirror, my beautiful mirror, who is the most beautiful?"
For a long time, the mirror had reflected only her face. But now she was seeing there the white and luminous skin of Alekin-Nennorae. Days passed and the mirror always showed the young Matis. Lady Chiabre then secretly summoned the guard she trusted the most. She promised to make her the mistress of the royal spies as soon as she came to power in exchange for Alekin-Nennorae's disappearance.
And soon after, the guard kidnapped Alekin-Nennorae and took her away to where the forest was darkest. The young Matis knew that her last hour had come, but her Matis pride allowed her to look the guard in the face. Under this gaze that stared at her and this beauty so disarming, the guard could not go all the way.
Pointing to the heart of the forest, she told her:
"Run away! In that direction. There are rumors of other homins to be found there. Go and never come back."
Alekin-Nennorae began to walk, going deeper and deeper into the dark forest. After a few days of walking, she found a small hut where everything was much smaller than what she knew. On a small table, there were seven small plates with seven small glasses and seven small pieces of cutlery. Alekin-Nennorae was very hungry. She took a bite from each plate and drank a sip from each glass. Then she lay down in one of the seven small hammocks and fell asleep.
In the evening, the inhabitants of the house returned: seven funny small people who spent their days drilling amber and other materials. What was their surprise when they saw that someone had eaten their food and drunk their byrh. Squabbles began to break out, but the smallest one raised his voice, reminding them of one of the principles that guided their lives: sharing. And everyone was content with their share.
Then it was time to go to bed… The astonishment they felt when they saw Alekin-Nennorae is hard to describe. They had never seen a homina with such white a skin, such black a hair and such red lips. They stood there, none of them daring to approach her for fear of waking her up with a start. So when Alekin-Nennorae opened her eyes shortly thereafter to see these small homins, she wondered whether she was dreaming. Their questions made her nervous for a while, but the cheerfulness and good humor of her hosts soon charmed the fugitive. Each one in turn told his story and she learned that these small homins were Trykers and that they lived in a lake region which they liked to explore in search of new materials to drill allowing them to build new objects.
Alekin-Nennorae had found a new home.
Her Matis pride didn't hold her back from learning how to run their home, and in the evenings, when the Trykers came home, they all sat around the fire, telling stories while drinking a little beer. Life was good. But, far from home, when Lady Chiabre asked the mirror again who was the most beautiful, the mirror replied:
"Lady Chiabre, you are the most beautiful here, but Alekin-Nennorae who lives beyond the forest, among the Trykers, is a thousand times more beautiful than you."
The lady's face contorted in anger and she devised a new plan to kill Alekin-Nennorae. Since she couldn't trust anyone, she decided to do it herself. As a true Matis, she knew about poisons, how to prepare them and how to use them. So, on salins so red that no one could resist them, she applied the most virulent poison she knew. Then, disguised as a hawker, she set out for Trykoth through the deep forest.
Alekin-Nennorae saw the hawker coming towards her without suspicion and offered her hospitality without recognizing her rival under the disguise. And she gratefully took the salins that reminded her of her happy childhood. But when she bit into them, her seed of life went out and she fell dead. Lady Chiabre savored her triumph, and when she looked into her mirror again in the evening, it was her own reflection that she could again admire at length. The Trykers' sadness at finding the beautiful homina lifeless was immense, but despite all their ingenuity, they could not determine the cause of her death. Since Alekin-Nennorae's beauty was enduring even in death, they placed her in an amber coffin and laid it on a hill in the light of the stars, watched over by one of them.
It seemed as if she was only sleeping.
In the meantime, the Karin saw a wedding with Lady Chiabre coming closer and closer, and this pushed him to extend his mektoub walks more and more, in the hope of finding the one who had stolen his heart. One evening, when he had gone deep into the forest, he saw a glimmer trembling in the starlight on a hill in the distance.
Alekin-Nennorae was there, lying in her amber coffin, more beautiful than ever. A small homin seemed to be watching over her, ready to defend her against everything and everyone. The Karin raised his hand as a sign of peace:
"I come in peace. I have searched for Alekin-Nennorae for so long. Can you tell me what happened?"
The tryker recounted the joy of being with her and the pain of losing her.
"My love for her will be stronger than death. Jena will know how to bring us together."
His love was pure and his pain immense. Then someone came along and put his hand on her shoulder.
"Your sorrow is great, as is the beauty of this hominid. Do you swear to cherish her?"
"Yes! Oh yes, I will. I swear to protect her and never let her lack anything."
"So… So be it!"
A hand rose above the amber coffin for a few seconds, then lowered and disappeared.
Alekin-Nennorae opened her eyes and smiled at the Karin.
And when Lady Chiabre that night asked the mirror who was the most beautiful, it replied:
"Alekin-Nennorae is a thousand times more beautiful than you and forever."
A presence seemed to be overlaid on the image of Alekin-Nennorae before the mirror exploded into a thousand pieces.
The karin married Alekin-Nennorae under the fireworks of the Trykers and they were happy until Jena called them back to Her.