Quick Disclaimer: I do not own these characters or the world they inhabit. They were created by the fabulous people at Zombie Orpheus for their equally fabulous RPG, Masters of the Metaverse! Be sure to tune in to Twitch.TV/zombieorpheus every Monday at 6PM PST to see more!
Zelle sat under a tree, staring blankly ahead of her. She wanted nothing more than to slip away into the shadows, to disappear and start running before anyone noticed that she had gone. She would be halfway back to Westhaven before anyone decided to look for her, all she had to do was start walking. But for some reason she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t move.
Her solitude was interrupted by the sound of flatware being dragged through the underbrush. Zelle rolled her eyes and tried to make herself as inconspicuous as possible. After a moment or two, Opal emerged from the bushes looking as if she had just been launched out of a cannon. Zelle attempted to quietly slide around to the other side of the tree but it was no good.
“Ah there you are!” Opal said, coming to sit down next to her.
Zelle grunted and slid over a few inches. Opal looked briefly hurt and then attempted to cover her emotions by rattling around in her armor. She pulled out two hard candies and offered one to the rogue, who shook her head. Opal popped the candy into her mouth and there was silence for a time.
“Well, it’s been quite a day.” said Opal, at last, “I’m sure that you have a lot of questions.”
“No. Nope, no questions.” Zelle replied, “Why would I have any questions? I just found out that my lineage isn’t as straight forward as I thought it was, my grandmother is an arthritic paladin, and my grandfather is a spiritual Jell-O wolf. Who’s human form, I might add, I have seen far too much of today. Of course, let’s not forget the months spent with him as a wolf companion who I used to make fetch things, and eat things, and…the binky. Oh, and the cheese…just, yeah there’s a lot to unpack there. I don’t think I’m emotionally ready to have any sort of dialogue or Q and A right now, but thanks for asking.”
Zelle stood up, “Just do me a favor and stay away from the wolf, okay? The two of you just keep your distance from each other until…just have some alone time for now.” She turned and started to walk away when Opal spoke.
“For what it’s worth” she said, “I didn’t want to give your mother up.”
Zelle paused and turned around. Opal looked up and gently patted the ground next to her. With a heavy sigh, Zelle came back and sat down though not quite as close to Opal as had been indicated.
“My parents, your great grandparents, weren’t very forward thinking.” continued Opal, “I was told that I could either give up my adventuring life and my child, and enter the convent, or be disowned and thrown out without anything. No possessions, no money, no family. I didn’t want to do it but I also didn’t want your mother to live a life of poverty and uncertainty because of me.”
She paused for a moment and rubbed her eyes before continuing, “I hated to give it up. I was my best self when I was adventuring. It was the one time in my entire life when I felt like I was exactly who I was meant to be. And I’ve often thought over the years that your mother would have made me an even better person, just by being her mother. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make me a better person by being your grandmother.”
Zelle snorted, “You sure? Someone as smite-able as me?”
Opal smiled, “Sorry about that.”
“It’s fine. I’m pretty sure I’m fairly evil anyway.”
“Morally apathetic, besides, it’s all a gradient. I think you have some real neutral tendencies about you.”
Zelle smirked and ducked her head. The two women fell silent and for a time the only sounds that could be heard were the giggles of Amalia as the tiny goddess played with Snowball and Chip.
“I never knew a lot about my family history or my parents.” Zelle said quietly, “I was always on my own, which was fine. I won’t say that I never thought about it, but it wasn’t something that I could change so why bother? I knew who I was and what I liked, and what I had to do in order to get the things that I liked. Right up until I tried to pry the eyes out of that stupid wolf statue. Being told that you’re a chosen one tends to put a damper on things.”
“I can imagine.”
“I don’t know, I guess I just figured that they had the wrong person. That I wasn’t actually The Chosen One, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“And now?” asked Opal.
Zelle shrugged and said nothing. Opal leaned back against the tree and closed her eyes. She seemed to fall asleep, and Zelle was just about to get up and leave when she spoke again.
“I know I’m a silly old woman.” Opal said, “But I think sometimes that I forget so much because remembering is harder. Remembering what was lost.”
Zelle blinked and looked over at Opal, who returned the gaze with a look of resigned acceptance.
“I’ve been thinking.” Zelle began, “Maybe Umbra was wrong.”
“Yeah. Maybe this whole destiny thing isn’t exactly what we thought it was.”
Opal inclined her head, “How so?”
Zelle folded her arms, “Maybe my destiny isn’t to milk…whatever that was. Maybe this isn’t the end of my path, just a stop along the way. Maybe I’m supposed to find all of this out so that I can go and find my mom, find out who she was and what happened to her.”
Opal smiled briefly and nodded her head, “That seems like a worthy path. It sounds like one that I would have liked to follow myself.”