Runa walks through the forest, a reddish pink hue creeping into the sky behind him. He soon sees a wooden house in front of him, and a road at its door. He hobbles over to the door and knocks, starting to feel lightheaded from the blood loss. The door opens, and he doesn’t even get to see who opened it before Runa’s vision began to fade to black. He uttered a single word before everything went dark. “Help…”
As he came to, Runa felt a warmth in the air not previously there. He feels it stronger on his left side as he kept his eyes closed. A…fire.
He opened his eyes, seeing above him a wooden roof, with rafters going along it. He tried to sit up, but once again the pain in his side hindered the motion. He looked down to see the wound bandaged up.
He hears a gasp and looks towards the fire to see a young human woman, seemingly in her early twenties, looking back, holding a plate of food. “Thank goodness you’re awake!” She exclaimed in a soft, sweet voice. “I wasn’t sure how long you were going to be out.”
She sets down the food on the bedside table beside him, before brushing her shining brown hair out of her face, her auburn eyes now more plainly visible. She sat on the bed beside Runa. “Lay back, you need rest. No need to pain yourself by standing.”
Runa does as he was instructed, then looks at the lady. “Where am I?” He asks. “Who are you?”
She chuckles. “I could ask you that last question too.” She says. “But to answer, I am Feru, and this is my family’s cottage, halfway between Nornsow and Icia. Now you answer me; who are you?”
“Runa.” He responds. “I think.” He follows, somewhat muttering. “And these names…they seem unfamiliar.”
Feru looks at him, confused. “You think? You don’t know your own name?” She asks.
“I…I don’t remember.” Runa tells her. “I remember one-maybe two fragments from before I woke up in the woods last night, and that one word. I feel like it’s my name.”
Feru nods, a look of concern in her eyes. “Amnesia.” She says. “Seems to me like you have amnesia. Eventually you should get your memories back, but I’m not sure how long it will take.”
Runa nodded. “I understand.” He looks at the food she brought. “And thanks for the food.”
She smiles. “No problem.” She pauses for a second, leaving a warm silence in the room around them. “Oh!” She says, breaking the silence. “Since you’re awake, you should eat with the family! My dad should be home from his trip to Nuiwar by now, so he’ll be there with us. He’s an apothecary, so he might be able to help with your wound after breakfast. Here, let me help you get down there.” She moves over and helps him sit up, as he winces through it. “Oh, sorry!” She says, as she more gently helps him to his feet, keeping herself there as a crutch for him as he goes down the stairs. Once there, he sees a woman with blonde hair and auburn eyes sitting at the table, along with a man with brown hair walking through the door, before his grey eyes met Runa’s.
“Feru, who is this man?” He asks.
She sits him down at the table, in the fourth chair that’s there. “Dad, this is Runa. He walked up to the door early this morning with this huge wound on his side asking for help. Then he just passed out! We needed to help him.”
The man stares Runa down, then his face brightens as a smile creeps onto his face. “Well, we’d never leave a man to die.” He said warmly. “Get him some food, Fera.”
Feru nodded, then went upstairs to fetch the plate she’d brought up earlier. “So, where are you from, dear?” The lady asks.
“I don’t know.” Runa responds. “I don’t recall much of anything from before this morning.”
“Oh dear.” She says. “William, do you have any potions for that?”
“I have some stuff to help heal his wound faster, but I don’t have anything for the amnesia.” William said. “Unfortunately, only time can sort that out for him.”
Runa nodded. “Thank you for even that, sir.”
“No need for formalities, Runa” William told Runa as Feru put the plate in front of him. “You can just call me William.”
Runa smiled faintly. “Thank you. All of you. You have no idea how much this means to me.”
“It’s nothing dear.” The mother says. “Now eat up before your food gets cold.”
During the meal, the family makes small talk with their new guest. At the end, he weakly tries to get up to take care of his plate. “Here, let me get that for you.” Feru tells him. “Dad, can you help him with his wound?” She then asks William.
“No problem.” William replies, getting up to go make what it is he needs to help Runa.
“Thank you.” Runa responds to both William and Feru as they go off, leaving only Runa and the mother in the room.
“No, Runa, thank you.” The mother, who Runa had learned was named Sari, told him. “Since you showed up, Feru’s seemed happier than she has been for a while.”
Runa gave her a confused look. “Why was she so sad.”
Sari sighed. “Well, she wasn’t always an only child, first off. She lost her little brother and sister not even two years ago, and that left her devastated. Especially after her fiance was killed the year prior by bandits.” She sighed. “Runa, I need to ask you a favor, but you can’t let Feru know I asked you this.”
Runa leaned in. “What is it, Sari?”
“Can you stay here with her?” Sari asked. “She needs someone here with her besides her parents. The only reason she’s still here anyways is to make sure we’re okay, I’d like her to have something- someone-here that truly makes her happy.”
Feru walks into the room and sits down next to Runa. “Don’t worry, my dad should be finished soon. It usually doesn’t take long.”
“Okay, thank you.” Runa tells Feru as he sits back. Then, he simply nods to Sari. I promise.
William walks back in with a glowing red potion inside a glass cup. “Here, drink this. The wound won’t disappear completely, but you’ll definitely be much better.”
Runa takes an drinks the potion, and he feels the pain in his side fade dramatically. “Wow, that’s way better.” He says. “Thank you William.”
“No need for thanks. Helping people is just what we do around here.”
Despite William saying that no thanks was needed, Runa still felt like he should do something in return for the care he was given. So, he got his bow and quiver and headed out into the wilderness to hunt. As Feru waved him off, he looked back at the quaint log cabin. Home. He thought as he walked away.
He hunted late into the evening, and returned to the building soon after dark, dragging a deer behind him. He closed his eyes as he walked and thought about his new home, and all the events that transpired that day. He could almost feel the warmth of the fireplace as he got closer.
His happy expression turned grim. He could feel the warmth of a flame. He could hear it crackling as well, though it seemed larger and more out of control. He opened his eyes, and his grim expression turned to panic. “Fire!”