It took her a while to finally tell Ronan she was carrying his child, but it came to a point where she could no longer hide it from him. She met him in the woods and told him. He was overjoyed and told her they would be together. It did not even matter if he had to leave his clan; he would do it for her.
They kissed passionately, and he bent down to one knee and kissed her stomach. She smiled and knew this was where she was meant to be. They made love in the woods, and they spent the night in the woods together. He told her he needed just a little bit of time to put his affairs in order, and either his clan would accept her, or he would abdicate from his position as next leader and leave his clan.
They met a few more times over the next couple of months, and he finally told her if he was prepared to do what needed to be done so they could be together. She was excited and ran home to tell Miriam the excellent news.
This was not something that Miriam expected, but she was overjoyed for Leola, yet also worried for her and her unborn child. She knew that the clan would not like the choice Ronan had made. As Miriam was once a lady of the world, she knew things that Leola could not. These are things you learn from experience and not from word of mouth.
The following day Leola and Miriam went to do their prayers in the woods, and in the middle of her prayers, Leola smelled smoke, and she looked in the distance and saw smoke; her eyes went wide, “The woods are on fire!” As Miriam looked in the same direction, “No Leo, that is our home!” Leola ran towards home to find the house and barn on fire. She ran towards the barn to open the door to free the animals.
She heard an arrow fly past the back of her, but she kept running and made it to the latch of the barn. She opened the doors, and then another arrow came out of nowhere and landed in the barn door next to Leola’s shoulder.
There was no time to think, but she knew they were under attack and wanted to protect Miriam and the animals from harm. She ran towards the house where her bow was lying and heard two more arrows, and one grazed her arm. She grabbed her arm and kept running towards the house. She grabbed the bow, and she put her quiver over her good shoulder.
By this time, she knew what direction the arrows were coming from. She aimed and went around the side of the house. She had never had to fight for her life before, but she kept saying, “This is just like hunting, this is just like hunting. I just have to move quickly.”
She peeked out around the side of her burning home and tried to see if she could see anything; another arrow came towards her. Aiming, she moved out from behind the house with the intent to shoot as many arrows in that direction as possible. Her arm was bleeding, and it was hard for her to keep the bow steady, but she released two arrows, and then she heard a snap of twigs and turned to shoot an arrow in that direction. That is when she saw Miriam.
“NO! Stay back!” The look of horror on her face made Leola stop. An arrow went through her side, and she fell to the ground. The pain was shocking, and there was so much blood. That is when she started to cry and realized that not only her life was ending, but that of her baby’s. The world went dark.
Three days Miriam tended to her. Using all her healing powers and prayers, she could think of and muster the energy to do. The entire house and barn did not burn, so she moved Leola into the house and kept her relatively sheltered. Leola’s courage to free the animals was a blessing because none of them perished in the fire.
On the third day, Leola opened her eyes, and Miriam was there and held her hand and stroked her face. “It is so lovely to see those beautiful green eyes, my darling. I did not know if you would ever wake up!”
Wincing, Leola asked about her baby, and Miriam had tears in her eyes. “I buried her three days ago. I did everything I could. I am so sorry, my child.” She fell into a fit of sobs. Miriam used a wet rag and wiped Leola’s face, and held her tight.
Upon calming down, she asked to be taken to her. She moved very slowly due to the wounds she sustained. They went to the woods, and Miriam had buried her where they go to pray. Leola knew this was fitting. She settled down next to the tiny grave and cried. “I loved you as soon as I knew I was having you. I thought you would be a girl, and I planned to name you Lavina. I am so sorry I put you in danger. Your death is all my fault.” She laid on the ground and refused to let Miriam move her. She was there for days.
One evening when Miriam brought Leola some food and water, Leola mustered up the courage to ask, “Who would do such a thing, Miriam?” Miri’s face drooped, “I do not want to tell you, but I know I have to.” She left, and a few moments later, she returned with the bloody arrow that had nearly killed Leola and did kill her unborn daughter, Lavina.
She took it from Miriam and looked it over. On the shaft of the arrow, there was a delicate carving of Ronan’s clan’s emblem. “Why… why would he do this, Miriam? We were supposed to be together… Lavina was his daughter!” Her sadness turned to anger.
In the months that passed, Leola helped Miriam fix the house and the barn. She would go to pray at least twice a day and to see her daughter. It became increasingly complex for Leola to be around the reminders of her love and seeing her daughter’s grave every day. She decided it was time to leave and explore the world.
Miriam did not like this but agreed that Leola needed to get away from these things. She also did not want Leola to meet Ronan again. Leola feared what that would do to her child. For Leola may not be from her flesh, but she is in all respects her daughter. So she agreed to support Leola’s leaving if she promised to write and come back to visit when she could and maybe move back someday.
Leola packed a satchel with a few things and kissed Miriam, and headed off into the world. It was time for her to move from the past and the constant reminders and learn from the world. Someday she knew she would go back, but for now, she needed time.
She stopped at Lavina’s grave before departing and got down on her knees. “I love you, my child. You will always be in my heart.” One tear streamed down her face.
Leola headed off into the unknown. She did not know what the world had to offer, but she was excited to find out.
This is a backstory for a Dungeons & Dragons character I played