Fable of the Indrik

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A hunter traveled through green waters to the break of dawn, seeking a worthy quarry.

He came across the Lady, stone-still with skirts pooled around her.

Something huddled behind her—a creature of hooves and feathers and bones of the earth. It barked and gave chase when he got too close.He chased it through mud and brush and down into the earth, by amber light of culanda in gleaming halls of moon-gray stone. The long-legged creature shed its even longer shadow, leaving it to do battle with the hunter.

The two met again among ruins of an isle brought low from the weight of a once-mighty tower. All that remained was a well of starlight at its center.The creature did not run, but considered the hunter as he approached.

“Why did you chase me?” asked the creature.
“I sought a worthy quarry,” answered the hunter.
“I was feeble and new to this world,” said the creature. “Small and weak.”
“I would lose my sharpness in waiting for you to grow. And you had sense enough to run,” said the hunter. “What use would that gift be if none ever chased you?”
“Drink of this well with me,” said the creature. “We were both made stronger by your pursuit.”

The two foes bent their heads and drank of the well of starlight. Rejuvenated, they raised their heads as friends and ran again, dashing over the river, splashing through the Lady’s skirts, stopping on a high overlook jutting out to the sea.

What a difference it made, thought the hunter as he stepped into the creature’s glade, keeping stride with another rather than following in their wake.

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