Here is Jitka wearing her winter clothing. She wears thick woolen garments with a goatskin tunic (fur on the inside). A cloak, gloves and boots, reinforced with goatskin for warmth, finish the ensemble. Jitka lives in the foothills of the Great Mountains and the winters are very harsh.
Click below for the jpg or PDF file formats for printing. If you click "read more" you can see the continuation of Jitka's story (begun here).
“Your name is Jitka? Is that from the old language? What does it mean?”
Kaebrin had been trying for hours to get the girl to talk. They had left the old man quietly. Neither the girl nor her father had made a fuss. Since then, she rode in absolute silence. Nothing Kaebrin said could induce her to speak or to even look at him. His pride stung, he turned away in exasperation, pushing his horse forward to ride next to the Feyspeaker.
Yoshima Jai’Garung was a striking young woman with silver blond hair and light blue eyes. Although she appeared to be twenty years of age, she was nearing forty years. Feyspeakers stopped aging so long as the Fey used them.
“Leave her be, Kaebrin.” She ordered softly. “Do you realize that we have just torn her away from everything she has ever known? Her family, her friends, her life; it will be some time before she can absorb that. And then she must accept her future. It will not be an easy task.”
Kaebrin snorted. “I left my family and friends, surely it wasn’t so different.”
Yoshima smiled at his youthful ignorance. “You chose to leave them for a cause you believe in. We plucked her from her home with no forewarning. You need to be patient with her. Give her time to think.”
“Time? I thought we didn’t have any left.”
“Now that we have found her we must wait for her to be ready.”
“Everything hinges upon her, then?”
“Why is a peasant from the Shadowlands so important?”
”Kaebrin.” Yoshima shook her head slightly, “Have you learned nothing from what I have been teaching you? Things are not always what they seem. People born poor rise up to be heroes. Men born to be kings grow into cowards and traitors. I myself was a farmer’s sixth daughter before the Fey chose me.” She smiled gently at him. “Just because you come from a wealthy family does not mean you may look down upon those with less. Money does not make the man; actions do.”
Kaebrin hung his head. “Yes, Yoshima.”
“Now,” Yoshima smelled the fresh air and smiled. “I think it is time we stopped for lunch.”
Later that afternoon Kaebrin was again riding next to Jitka. He asked her many things, commented on everything, and then waiting in silence hoping she would speak. She never did however, until something strange happened.
They crested a hill and Kaebrin noticed a falcon flying high above them. “That’s odd.” He said, glancing at Jitka. She did not respond. “That bird’s been following us for the better part of the day.”
He glanced at the Shadowlands girl again; now she was watching the falcon too. It circled above them, spiraling on the heat currents. Then, to Kaebrin’s amazement, it continued to drift down until it was close enough for him to see its shiny black eyes.
Jitka lifted her arm, as if to catch the bird. Kaebrin shoved it down, “Are you insane?” He cried. “If a falcon landed on your bare arm your skin would be shredded. Have you never caught a glimpse of their talons?”
“Leave me be,” Jitka muttered. The fact that she had spoken seemed to shock Kaebrin into silence. When she lifted her arm again, he did not stop her. The falcon glided gently down until it landed on her forearm. It daintily wrapped its talons around her, careful lest it should harm her.
Kaebrin was immediately full of questions. “Is he your bird then? Did you train him to do that? I’ve never seen that before, quite amazing! Did you raise him from birth? What do you call him?”
“Ka’sehl.” She muttered, just loud enough to be heard. “It means ‘flight-worthy’.”
That was the end of her speech. The falcon continued to ride with them, sometimes on Jitka’s arm or shoulder and other times on the horse’s neck.
The Feyspeaker watched the bird with intense curiosity. It was as though she recognized it from some place, but was trying to remember where. Ka’sehl stared back with equal concentration. Finally Yoshima nodded and rode on.
About the Artist
I'm a full-time wife and mother to twin girls--- a relaxing career after working as a vet tech for nine years! I love to design outfits and fashion for imaginary worlds and, when I have time, to share them with you!
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Stories of Life