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A Humbled Thanks ( Completed )

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The question hit Maragarn like a hammer. He hadn’t expected it. Though Su’Tharc had treated Maragarn with respect, he hadn’t exactly felt welcome in the Centaur city. Maragarn was still trying to sort out if was the Centaurs or himself that made him feel this way.

However, the Centaur asked a question and Maragarn felt he must answer it. “Well, Great One…” Maragarn again looked to the ground, “…we brought…shame to our people. We do not deserve to be aided. Surely we do want to survive but until we can fully atone for our past…then we will not be deserving of a future. It is only by the gentle mercy of Ehlonna that we are even able to find any sort of peace”

Maragarn recited a piece of the sermons that he had heard since he was born. He thought it best in this situation to adopt the humbled attitude of his tribe. It was an attitude that Maragarn hated because it was what he was taught rather than what he had come to personally believe. What he believed was far different than that of his tribe.

He found it odd that it was his Grandsire that helped him find his thoughts. He also came to suddenly realize that it was also his Grandsire, the very one blamed for centuries of bloodshed, that, through his own wisdom, had found the peace that his tribe sought and that he still had much to learn from him.

Eswarth listened with interest to Maragarn. "Aye, it's true that your kindred did a shameful thing, though no one truly sees the path of wisdom at all times." Eswarth was half musing to himself as he trod along. "But it seems to me that Our Lady of the Forest (and her gentle mercy, as you say), has given you a modicum of forgiving with at least an opportunity for redemption. How can we do anything less than that?"

It seemed reasonable to Eswarth.

"Many scholars are of the mind that you can not truly be forgiven for your trespasses until you have forgiven youself. Start there, young one. Forgiveness carries an energy that will afford  you the ability to set about correcting the errors of the past. Start there."

Eswarth liked the sound of that philosophy, but realized that he had forgotten the original issue. "And as for outside aid. Fair Elhonna has rendered you aid; it would be a slap in her face were we to do any less. That is my feeling at any rate.

Maragarn reluctantly looked up to the Centaur and regarded his words. At first he felt belittled because advice was given when none was asked for. He did see the wisdom in it though. It was what his Grandsire had been trying to say for many years. Suddenly he felt sorry for his tribe in that many, if not most, were blind to the mercy that Ehlonna had shown them. They were too steeped in the glory of the past to carry on and embrace the future. He wondered if they would ever find the peace they sought.

Maragarn struggled with the thought of leaving his tribe. If he stayed with them he would always live with the continuous judgment by the tribe. But the thought of not being with them was alien to him…alien and unknown. Perhaps if he struck out on his own he might find a place free of  prenotions and scorn. Maybe, just maybe, the Centaurs themselves could offer that. He had to be sure.

“Great One, though it is true my people have committed blasphemous rituals in their past it was not I that committed them. I wasn’t even born. To that I find myself guiltless. Please, tell me…how does your honored and ancient race view such individuals such as myself?” Maragarn chose his words carefully. He used the proper speak…elven…to ask his question. Eswarth could hear the dialect difference in his accent. It sounded a touch more “common” but could hear that Maragarn was trying his best to be as respectful as possible.

Eswarth glanced down once again at his new companion. "Well," he began carefully, "I'm not really clear on what you mean by 'such as yourself', but suffice to say that Centaurs, like all non-divine creatures, are as varied in sorts as the trees themselves. We do not truly share a mind, and you're as like to find the open-minded as the closed. I think that elves are similar, as would be dwarves, humans, and raptorans." He indicated his various other travelling companions as he spoke.

"Harumph...I don't think that I've answered you well, eh? But I think that your earlier comment is one that you should cling to; one that I agree with in point and sentiment. The violations of your forebears oughtn't be yours to carry forward. But still there are those who look to blame others for all the world's ails, never once looking into their own hearts...at their own guilt. Or innocence."

He let the thought hang in the forest afternoon, hoping that he had spoken to the heart of the question. Maragarn's next question - if there was one - would bear testament to that.

Maragarn cocked his head slightly and he rolled his fingers around his curled horn feeling the pointed tip. He glanced down at his cloven hoofs and brown, wooly legs. He truly felt no shame in being what he was. Eswarth’s words offered him comfort that perhaps one day his tribe would be seen as people to be respected and not shunned…mostly by themselves. Maybe, just maybe, they weren’t as vilified on the outside as he had been taught they were.

Still, Maragarn thought it best to be cautious until he had more proof…especially with his dark gift.

Looking up at the majestic figure he said, “Thank you Great One…truly my kin could learn much from yours.”

Maragarn hoisted and readjusted his travel pack and stepped away, slightly apart from the rest of the troupe.


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