Art: 043/100 Themes - Dying

"Mortaran." Dying. - 43/100 Themes.

Mitharon Ailinar is a very regal man whose actions are steeped in religious tradition. The leader of his tribe, he is very focused on protecting his people and making sure his daughter will be a similarly capable leader. He also wants to connect with and apologize to his son, whom he hasn't seen in fifteen years.

Mirab was very close to her father. However, unlike her father, her half-blood heritage has made her very aware of the prejudices her people face, and she rejects anything that might possibly conflict with her Alisian side - especially helping a country that took part in the genocide of their people four hundred years earlier. It was only her father's desire for a better future that gave her reason enough to provide her prodigal brother with mercenary aid.

As second-born, Rivek does not have the same leadership pressures as his sister. When the relationship with his father is re-kindled, he is unsure where he stands in Alisian society. But seeing his father sacrifice his life to make others' better paves the way for him to make the same sacrifice later.


Mirab brought over the last bushel of wood and looked at her brother. Rivek shivered, huddling beneath the wool cloak around his shoulders. Even with the cover, visible goosebumps formed on his skin. 

She grabbed the sheet and threw it to the floor. "You will show some respect. This man is our father. Nothing up your sleeves. Braving the cold will make you grow stronger." 

Rivek hunched over and ran his freezing hands up and down his bare arms. Custom meant wearing nothing, not even the bandages he normally wrapped around his wrists to hide his scars. "Dad has been saying that since we were little." 

Mirab ignored her brother's remarks and stared at the black tattoo on his shoulder. Despite his modifications, it was still a brand, labeling him as a heretic and practicioner of evil magic. And she couldn't stand it. 

"Respect?" he said, covering the six-pointed star. The ink he'd added, an Alisian prayer, still trailed out from under his fingers. 

She turned, wordlessly, and took a flint from her belt. She picked up a thick rod of cedar from the pile of wood and lit its end, letting it burn until the smoke began to carry its fragrance. As much as she did not want to, she approached the funeral pyre before her. The man on top who had towered over her in her childhood seemed so small amongst the tangle of dry branches. As the eldest, this was her responsibility. She gave her father's pale face one last glance before lifting the linen over his head. She slowly ran the torch around the edge of the pyre, letting it light. She reached over the growing flame and placed the torch on his breast. The linen caught fire immediately. Now, his people had become her people and her responsibility as well. 

She made the sign of the Lady of Death across her chest. "Argia dena pilio. E leva ei senta ni pienara. Em korvi redukta ta tarri en zinera." 

He brother recited the same ancient prayer in common tongue, "Wrath begets Pardon. I depart and feel no pain. My body returns to the earth in ashes." 

They stood by the burning mountain until both shivered, and every bit of smoke had blown away into the night sky.

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