Trostlos Childhood Memories

Your memories from childhood are somewhat fragmented. You remember some things very clearly, while other things, whole stretches of time, have faded.

You remember being a child, not nearly 3 years old, and walking in the crop fields with your father. He held your hands while you walked, and talked with you, telling you what plants were what, what was done with them, and when and how he planted. He showed you animals and birds and trees and stones, and tried to explain in simple terms to you. You remember very little of what he said, until one point.
You were walking around the edge of the field, bordered by tall grassland that had been cut down and burned away from the edge of the field. You were walking in a small ditch, and the two of you came across a the body of a cat, your barn cat Brower. His little form was twisted and mangled, and his flesh was shredded across his body. “Oh, that’s too bad,” your father said, leaning over to examine the corpse. “Wild dogs must have got to him.”
“No, Daddy”, you say looking innocently up at your father, “A Horror did it.” All the color drains from your father’s face as he turns to look at you. “Wh-what did you say? How-“
“Look at it, look…” You lean over to touch the body, when suddenly your father yanks you back, picks you up and quickly starts to march back to the house. “You must never say such things, Trostlos. People will-“
“But, Daddy…” you protest, as he carries you away.
You look over his shoulder at the twisted body of the cat, which jumps up, shrugging the dirt off its tattered form, and runs into the deep grass.

You remember being almost five, and looking through a crack in your bedroom doorway at your parents, who were sitting by the fire talking. You should have been in bed, but the voices in your head kept you awake. Your father sits quietly smoking a pipe, while your mother mends a garment, her head bowed over her work. Your father leans forward, clears his throat, and begins to speak…

“I hear that a stranger came through town today.”
“Oh? Another trader from Urupa?”
“No…an adept. A Nethermancer named Nirar.”
You mother jumps suddenly, and then quickly sticks her fingers into her mouth, sucking the blood from the needleprick. Your father stares closely a her.
“Oh really?”, she says.
“Yes…he thanked me for the use of my home.”
Your mother does not look up from her work. “He what?”
“Thanked me. Said the last time he came through town, he stayed in my home. This home. With you.”
Your mother puts down her mending, and looks straight at her husband.
“Yes, I remember him. He came whilst you were away at Farmer’s market for three days. Stayed only one night.”
“With you. In this house.”
“Spit it out then! What are you saying!?”
He shrinks back into his chair, not looking at her. “I’m not saying anything. But I know that boy is nearly five, and you’ve not gotten pregnant again since he was born. I may not know-“
Your father is cut off by the mending hitting him square in the face, and your mother’s screaming voice, “How dare you!? I give shelter to some poor copperless soul in the middle of the rainy season and you dare say this to me? He slept on the floor in front of the fire, and I in my bed! He was gone by sunrise, you pompous ass!”
At this outburst, you begin to cry, having never seen your parents fight like this. Your mother rushes over to you, gathering you into her arms, and turns in the doorway to face her husband. “And for your information, I may not be the most fertile woman in the world, but no human can conceive by an elf, you mistrustful bastard!”
She slams the door, and your father leans back in his chair. “He was no elf.”

The subject never came up again.

Your memories are very vague after that, until one night when you were almost seven, and you awoke to see the room you slept in was on fire. Your father burst through the door in a panic, still wearing his nightclothes. He grabbed you off the bed, and ran from the house. As he ran out the door, you saw the living room was burning as well, and in the middle of the flames lay a figure, seemingly the source of the fire. You began to cry, and call for your mother. Your father held you tightly, though you tried to wriggle free, and kept repeating “Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look” over and over as he ran. You have had many nightmares since then about that night, and some of the details have become fuzzy. You’re no longer sure what was dream, and what actually happened.

Your father and you moved to Throal, and lived by yourselves in the main city. While you attempted to work and study, earning what little you could, he simply stayed at home, mourning your mother. He could barely look you in the face. One day, you came home to find that he had simply died in his chair, wasted away by grief. You were almost relieved.

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Trostlos Childhood Memories

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