Backstory

Cinnamon

The story of Cinnamon begins long ago. What started as a fairytale, turned to one of sadness and hardship. It’s a story of forbidden yet true love, and a lesson that just because something can be done, doesn’t mean that thing should be done.

CHAPTER I

It started when her mother, elvish and long lived, happened upon a scene of carnage one day while traveling along a narrow trail near her home. She found several bodies among the wreckage of a large wagon, the type families used when moving from one place to another. There was a man and woman, and two children among the dead, as well as four men dressed in ragged clothes. All the dead showed signs of struggle, and some of the men were missing limbs.

Hearing a whinny nearby, she noticed a man facedown by a horse, his hand hanging limply through one stirrup. Approaching, she found that the man still lived. Since she was a healer, she decided to try and help the man. Turning him over, she saw that he as well was gravely wounded, with a bloody gash on his forehead.

Stirring, the man opened his eyes, looking around wildly. After a few moments, he focused on her face and seemed to calm a bit. “Bandits” he said, before closing his eyes again.

So that was it…the man had come upon a family beset by bandits, and killed the brutes, but unfortunately not in time to save the family.

Grunting with effort, she managed to push the man onto his horse and take him home to nurse him back to health. As days passed, and with all sorts of rudimentary potions and ointments and elvish teas, he slowly recovered strength. Day after day they talked and talked. He told her tales of his travels, and that he was once in the service of a good king, but the kingdom fell. Since then, he had been selling his sword to merchants as protection for caravans. He happened upon the family and bandits while traveling from one city to another. She told him about her love for the forest, tales of her youth, and how her craft was healing through nature and small magic.

Since the man’s wounds were grave, it took weeks for him to heal. All the while he and the elvish woman spent their days together. Inevitably, they fell in love. Cinnamon is the fruit of that love.

Born out of love, but a victim of prejudice and circumstance, Cinnamon was destined to live a hard life. Unions between Elves and Humans were rare and frowned upon by both races. While a few kids were curious about her pointy ears and unusual olive skin, Cinnamon was often teased and bullied by most of them, in the small village near her home, when she had occasion to go there.

Forbidden by their parents, none of those children ever became her friend, so Cinnamon spent her time alone in the woods, playing on her own and observing and learning about nature, plants, mushrooms and herbs growing in the wild. Her mother shared with her the ancient art of animal lore, and she learned to communicate with creatures of the forest. She even learned, on a rudimentary level, how to listen to the elements (fire, water, wind, and earth).

Her father continued his work, but after one journey, he never returned. Without the protection of her brave father, Cinnamon and her mother were forced from their home by wicked townspeople, some of whom imagined that when any sort of disaster occurred, it was her to blame for. “It was that elf woman! She should not belong here!” They said. And blamed her thinking she had “cursed” them.

With the disappearance of her father, her mother struggled to make ends meet, traveling from town to town, taking whatever work was available in exchange for a few coins or a couple slices of bread. 

Her mother rarely got to use the knowledge of her ancestors, but made sure to faithfully complete the rituals of binding each solstice, and made sure Cinnamon learned and understood the importance of the tasks.

Cinnamon no longer had the luxury of idyllic days in the forest, she also had to work, often as a scullery maid or cooks helper. Her pointed ears were targets for scorn and ridicule, and she learned that most people, especially humans, were cruel and not to be trusted.

When she was only sixteen years old, her mother was killed in a brawl while working at a local tavern. She had nothing to do with the brawl, but was unfortunate enough to have stepped between two men who had no cares for anyone or anything.

Cinnamon fled the town, into the woods. Using the skills she learned as a child, she was barely able to stave off starvation. Every day she traveled deeper and deeper into the forest, determined to never again deal with the likes of humanity.  As time passed, she became at one with her surroundings, turning from mere survival to comfort and contentment. She became almost feral, and after years in the forest had mostly forgotten the ways of so-called civilization.

Many years had passed, and during the Summer Solstice of Cinnamon’s 33rd year, she was sitting before the campfire, her eyes closed, the pungent sweet smells of the herbs from the ritual she was performing slipping into her nostrils. Bittersweet memories of rituals past with her mother filled her thoughts.

She noticed a slight warmth on her right shoulder. Strange, since she hadn’t heard the noise of any approach. Unwilling to interrupt the ritual, she continued to meditate. Gradually, the warmth grew, spreading across her bosom until it was a warm embrace.

Beloved Daughter” was whispered in her ear. Stunned, she waited to see if the voice returned, or if it was just her imagination. It had been SO long since she had heard another speak.

Come with me”, said the voice. Cinnamon felt a gentle tugging sensation, as though she was being taken by the hand. She decided to let herself relax and be guided. She soon realized she could see, even though she had not opened her eyes. She could see herself sitting. Looking at her hand, she could see a faint presence, and then she looked into the smiling face of her mother.

Soon, they were floating through the air, and the sun rose, crossed the sky, and set. Then again, faster and faster, but backwards, from West to East. Before long, the sun was just a blur in the sky, and the seasons changed, winter, fall, summer, and spring. Again, and again.

Finally the frantic dance of the sun and moon slowed, and Cinnamon found herself in an unfamiliar land, hovering close to the ground. She heard the sound of hooves, and around the corner came a caravan of three wagons, and among the riders – no, it wasn’t possible! She recognized that chestnut mare, and the man riding it! It was her father!

Still in shock, confused on how she could see him, several dark shapes passed her on both sides. A war cry went up, and the caravan was beset by no less than a dozen heavily armed and armored men.

She watched as her father and three other men met the attackers, but there was no chance. She saw him fall. Now she realized at last why he never came home. Watching him draw his last breaths, she ran towards the now lifeless body, kneeled beside him and crying, she whispered “Oh, forgive me, Father…! I hated you all my life for abandoning us.” Through tear streaked eyes, she embraced him tight and added, “…I missed you so much.”

As the light slowly faded from her view, Cinnamon found herself floating again, shrouded in mist. Her mother’s voice sounded in her ears, as if circling her. “I’m sorry we left you all alone. We never imagined this would happen.

Cinnamon felt her face flush with anger at all she had endured, but that emotion was quickly replaced by guilt and an acute sense of loss. “What I’ve endured is nothing compared to you and Father. At least I’m still alive… you’re both dead!

Again she felt that warm embrace, a phantom hug. “My sweet child, our pain is long ended. We are at peace – almost so – but it’s you who are important. Yes, you are alive, but what kind of life is it?

Mother, I’m safe in the forest,” said Cinnamon. “I have everything I need.

But you aren’t being everything you need to be,” said her mother’s voice. “You ran from the world. I understand why you did, but it’s time for you to become what you are destined to be, to use your gifts and shine your light for all to see.

Cinnamon scowled “I don’t WANT anyone to see me. I wish they were all dead! I hate them!

Is that what truly fills your heart?” asked her mother. “When you look deep inside, when you REALLY search your soul, do you feel the desire to hate, or to love?

I love the forest. I love the animals and plants. My heart is full of love for them, but not for the humans.” 

None of them?” her mother asked. “What about your father? If he were alive, would he deserve to die, just because he’s human?

Cinnamon didn’t answer. It was too painful to think about her father, the shock of seeing him too fresh.

Your father was the kindest, most loving man I ever knew.” her mother said. “He gave up everything, and I mean everything, because of that love. It led him to protect others, that’s why he chose to do the work he did. Even though he died, I can tell you he did not regret trying to save other people.

That same love is in you. It’s a part of you. As is my love. We were so in love when life gave you to us, and that love continues, never waning, never ending.

And you obviously respect my teachings, I couldn’t be talking to you now otherwise. I’m here because, knowingly or not, you called to me. Thankfully so, because now I can do the one thing I need to do to be at peace, and that’s to remind you that it’s wrong to waste your gifts. It’s painful for me to see you, brought into this world by two people so full of love, lock yourself away.

Cinnamon felt her heart beating like a drum in her chest… she didn’t know what to do to change her feelings. She thought of all the years she had put between herself and the rest of the world. How could she just… “go back”???

Mother… I am scared…

This will be my final gift to you. To help you open your heart again and let it heal. To let you feel love for others, and to realize that not all creatures are bad.

Leave the forest. Believe in yourself. Share your gifts. And always, always remember our love and let it fill you.

Cinnamon felt the tears falling before her mother’s voice faded, and realized she could feel heat on her face, and hear the crackling of the fire. “Farewell mother… farewell father” she whispered.

Sitting there with her eyes closed, she considered all she had heard and seen. Was it real? Or was this just a vision?

She was trying to work up the courage to even think if she would seriously consider leaving the forest, when she opened her eyes and saw the fire had died down to just coals. Reaching for another log, she noticed something that hadn’t be there when she started the ritual earlier that night…a small, white mushroom, ringed in blue. She had never seen its like.

She knelt down closer, and when she was within a few inches of the stalk, she caught a sweet odor, like the necklace of flowers her mother used to wear.

My final gift” she remembered her mother saying.

Without thinking, and drawn to it, she reached down and popped the mushroom into her mouth. It tasted surprisingly sweet.

Suddenly, her chest swelled, as if her heart was going to leap out of her ribs. She fell to the ground, awash in a wave of emotion. She sensed world spinning. She heard a cacophony of voices in her head. She felt…EVERYTHING.

**The wood of her branches as she swayed in the wind. 

**Her lips as she kissed her child.

**The cool air on her scales as she used her fins to propel herself from the water.

**His sorrow as he looked at his hungry children.

**Laughing as he chased his love around the building.

**Spreading her wings as she leaned forward and fell from the cliff.

**Wiping the sweat from his brow as he worked the forge. 

**Leaping a brook, his antlers held high…

After what seemed like a lifetime, she gradually settled back into herself. 

Now she understood. Now she felt it — the connection. Now she knew what she had to do.

Leaning forward to lift herself from the ground, she fell back, off balance. Knitting her brow, she reached back and felt…what?

ANTLERS?!? I have antlers?!?

Taking the time to explore her body, she realized she could sense every part of her being. More than sense, she felt the ability to control. To picture herself like a fluid, changeable.

Thinking of the cliff she could swear she just left, she felt her body change again, slowly at first but then with increasing speed. The antlers melted, and she lifted her arms to reveal lustrous feathers.

Concentrating, she experimented with her new-found knowledge, and was soon shaping her body with more ease every time into any form she wished.

Smiling, and thinking of her parents, she formed an image in her mind. A creature of both man and magic. She extended her body, growing, changing. When she was finished, she looked with satisfaction at her two sets of strong legs, strong enough to carry her where she needed to go.

Gathering her most useful tools and belongings, and placing them in a bundle on her back, she turned toward the coming dawn and headed out of the woods…

CHAPTER II

After some days of walking, the forest had become more and more unfamiliar to Cinnamon. She had left behind the lands she knew like the palm of her hand. A couple of days ago, she had recognized a system of rocks and caves behind a big waterfall she passed as the same ones she fled through years ago to escape from civilization.

She recalled several days after she left the town, she heard a big water rumble. Following the sound, she found herself at the top of a cliff, the ending part of a U shaped canyon that contained a huge waterfall. Her father knew and told her about this place in one of his stories. During war, the King he once served was killed by an army of dark creatures, and with his death, the kingdom had fallen. Her father, knowing that sooner or later, death would head towards the town and its villagers, decided to ride his horse back with word of the king’s death, and save as many families as he could. He led them into the forest and hid them in the extensive cave system for months and they survived with no losses until the threat was over.

Remembering her father’s story, she climbed down the north side of the cliff, finding the path he described right behind the waterfall to get into the cave system, and once inside she made her way downhill even more until she reached a slow river at the bottom. She had used a driftwood chunk as a makeshift raft and floated with the current into utter darkness. After what seemed like hours, she had seen light ahead, and finally reached the mouth of the cave.

Standing now at the same spot, she realized it would be impossible to go back against the water current with all her belongings, so she decided to detour around the cliffs, even if it meant several days going uphill. That route also increased the possibility of finding humans… or elves… or some other living talking creature. The thought didn’t please her, though she knew she would have to face the fact one way or another soon.

While making her way around the mountains, Cinnamon began to notice a strange change in the forest. Something in the ambiance had shifted; something… she couldn’t quite explain, but the clouds seemed lower and darker than before and the daylight didn’t seem as bright as usual. A slightly odd stench seemed to saturate the plants all around. Anyone not as attuned with nature might say “Of course… Fall is coming, that’s all it is”, but not Cinnamon. She could sense things and see signs in the elements that no one else did.

But, perhaps it was just a reflection of her mood. When she first started her journey back toward civilization she was filled with joy and hope, but the longer she traveled, fear and uncertainty crept into her consciousness. Maybe that was causing her to imagine things.

As the hours passed, looking down as her steps took her forward, she noticed something on the ground that she hadn’t seen before. The grass and vegetation a few steps ahead, and a few steps behind her, seemed to be browning, as if Fall was happening all of a sudden. However as she approached, the brown field seemed to turn green under her hooves. It was quite subtle, almost imperceptible, so she walked back and forth, side to side, closely observing. Yes, it was definitely happening. The grass underfoot and the leaves on the trees seemed to change from brown to green as she walked close to them, and back to dry and withered as she left them behind.

Suddenly a strong wind blew through the trees, cooling the air abruptly. Cinnamon looked up, to see birds chattering and taking flight. Something had clearly disturbed them. Then she felt a deep rumble under her feet. Was it an earthquake? Now she heard as well as felt the rumble. It seemed a stampede was approaching! Cinnamon looked left and right, where was it coming from? Her intuition was telling he she had to think quickly. She bent over and placed her hands on the ground, buried her fingers quickly into the dirt and pictured them and her hooves growing deep roots. Concentrating, she made her skin hard as bark, her whole body into branches and her hair started growing leaves. She had turned herself into a tree, and as she continued to grow, her finger-roots extending ever deeper into the earth she heard the rumbling continue to grow.

Then she noticed a different sound…several slow and low-pitched voices were resounding around her… “It’s the darkness… the darkness… is …coming…” It was the voices of the trees whispering to each other!

As the rumble became louder, the trees quieted down, they were scared, she could feel it. She looked, and listened, and extended her senses. Now she could see them, through the trees, approaching fast. A horde of dark creatures; centaurs, fawns, elves of differing races riding emaciated horses. Darkness seemed to cling to the riders, some with their pupils dilated, the whites of their eyes a sickly shade of yellow. Others with eyes completely black as obsidian. Even though Cinnamon had never seen dark magical creatures, she knew that is what these must be. Feeling their touch through the forest floor sent a wave of revulsion through her changed body. Stranger still is that there were so many grouped together in a horde like this.

The dark creatures spread out, apparently hunting for something.

Again, she heard a deep, slow voice in her mind. “I see… a man… the darkness doesn’t possess him… Survive… He has to survive…” One of the elder trees slowly continued. “Child… you need to protect him… We can’t help him… but you can… Protect him… Be quick!… Protect him!

Cinnamon cast about herself again, and found that the elderly tree was right. There was a man, dressed in worn leather armor and carrying two saddlebags, running away from the horde. She looked into his eyes… quite normal, though wide from fear and exertion. He was obviously attempting to escape the dark creatures.

As the man ran, the sentient trees slowly lifted their roots and lowered their branches in several ways to block his path, diverting him, guiding him towards her. As soon as he ran close, Cinnamon tripped him and grabbed his foot with her roots, making him drop his cargo. As quickly as her tree-body would let her, she entangled both his legs in her roots, dragging him, lifting him up against her trunk, wrapping him up more and more in roots and branches. Soon the man was completely hidden inside the darkness of her tree-body. She then pulled the dropped saddles under the ground with her roots to keep them safe.

“WHAT…. the hell…..??!!!” The man sputtered, and tried to reach down for his blade, but Cinnamon quickly surrounded his hand and said “No!” Forming a human sized face out of her bark in front of the man’s face, Cinnamon whispered “Shh. Be quiet” The man stopped struggling. “You are safe” she added. She opened a small hole in herself above his head to allow light and fresh air into the cocoon-like space. “My bags!” the man exclaimed. “Shh. Safe and hidden.” she answered, “Now quiet, they are coming!” Hugging him and his precious cargo, she kept still, waiting and observing.

Soon she could hear the hunters, as well as feel them. “Where’d he go!!??? He can’t be far!!! FIND HIM! FIND HIM!” She could clearly see all the dark creatures riding around the trees, hunting for the man. One of the elves, who seemed to be the leader of the horde, screamed commands at the others. They spread out across the woods in every direction, searching. They beat the bushes, broke branches and hacked with their swords. Cinnamon could feel all of that, as her roots were connected deep into the forest, and she flinched in pain every time, but remained silent.

Cinnamon and her captive stayed in place, quiet, and waited. Finally the noise grew less, until they could hear no more. The forest quieted down, the tension and the oddity in the air slowly vanished away. Minutes later, the elderly tree whispered “It’s safe now, you can let him go.” She slowly opened her entangled branches and roots freeing the man, who jumped out of her hollow trunk to the ground. Then with much cracking noises her branches started to shrink, her leaves changing into entangled curly black hair. Her roots pulled free from the dirt, forming her legs and feet. Lastly, she pulled her root-hands off the ground, retrieving from the dirt the man’s pair of saddlebags. She placed the cargo at his feet, and then the roots shrunk down forming hands. Pieces of bark fell off her body, turned into glittery dust and disappeared on the ground, revealing smooth olive skin, and the remains of a tree trunk turned slowly into the body of a young woman.

The man watched the transformation with eyebrows raised, looked her up and down from head to toe as the transformation completed, then looked pointedly into her eyes. Dropping down to one knee, he quickly inspected the contents of both saddle bags, then stood up, slinging a bag over each shoulder.

“Well,” he said with a crooked smile, “that is without a doubt, the most interesting thing to happen to me today. Thank you.”

After a few seconds, Cinnamon realized she hadn’t answered and must have been staring at him. She quickly turned away and started dusting dirt and dry leaves off herself and fixing her furs. Avoiding his gaze she started to walk away.

“Wait!” He said, grabbing her wrist. “What… Who… are you?”

“I am …no one” she answered timidly.

“You just saved my life! You can’t be no one…” he insisted, refusing to let her go. “What’s your name?”

Cinnamon felt his firm grip. Slowly, she met his eyes and then averted her gaze. “They asked me to save you”.

“They?” He looked around, confused.

“The trees. They wanted you safe” pulling her wrist free from his grasp. She sighed and added “My name is Cinnamon. I was born elven… half elven.”

“You were born…” the man looked at her with eyebrows knitted and said “I’ve never seen an elf, or anyone for that matter, do anything like what you just did. There is obviously much more to you than meets the eye.” Smiling, he said “My name is Gunnar. It is nice to meet you, Cinnamon, and thank you again for saving my life.”

She nodded politely and said “You’re welcome.” She looked at the sky and noticed the sun was nearing the tops of the trees. “It’s getting dark. You should find shelter.”

“WE …should find shelter” he interrupted. “They might come back”. It’s not safe here, and I will feel much better knowing that I didn’t leave you alone in this forest. Besides, I have a few questions I would REALLY like to ask you,” he said, shaking his head and smiling.

Cinnamon and Gunnar headed out, looking for a place to make camp for the night. They found a grotto on the side of a small cliff. She gathered some wood to made a fire, and Gunnar asked if he could use her bow. She reached over and handed him her bow and quiver. Nodding in appreciation, he headed out to hunt. Settling in next to the fire, she watched him leave and thought about the events of the day.

She was surprised at how easily she had found it to talk with Gunnar. After years of being alone, she expected her first encounter with people to be awkward. But with Gunnar, it was just the opposite. There was something about him, that made her feel like he was a friend. Now that she thought about it, her only real friends had been animals, and when she had looked into his eyes, she hadn’t seen the cold menace she remembered from humans in her past. What she saw was the eyes of the forest; the wolf, loyal and brave…the bear, strong and proud…and the buck, gentle and protective.

She was still very wary of his intentions, but despite her best efforts could not help but be drawn to him, to want to know him better. She found herself anticipating his return. She also had many questions about what had happened. Who were those creatures who had attacked him? Where did they come from?

She sensed him before she heard him. Gods, he was quiet!

Gunnar came back with a couple of rabbits. Laying her bow and quiver close to her, he sat down by the fire and started to prepare the rabbits. Cinnamon remained quiet, as she rarely used her voice in all the years she spent isolated.

They sat in silence while Gunnar shaved bark from some branches to make a spit. Once the meat was roasting over the fire, he asked “How… earlier today, how did you do what you did?”

“I am a shape-shifter,” she said.

“A shape-shifter. I have never met one, the gift must be rare,” he said. “So you can change into anything?”

“Only living things. Deep in our spirits, we are all connected to each other. I can feel that connection, very strongly, and use that to become what I feel,” she said. I can feel you as well, she thought to herself.

“Well, either you are loved by the gods, or you are a dark witch. You said you were born elven?”

“Half elven” She corrected. “Mother was an elf. Father was a human. I lived during my childhood in the outskirts of Thessaly”.

“Well, half elven… the gods must think you are special then, for giving you that ability.”

“I am not… that special” she replied, lowering her gaze to the flames.

“What I witnessed today says otherwise, Cinnamon. You saved me, and you have no idea how fortunate that is for everyone. I have an important task to complete, and I must not fail. I can’t help but believe you were sent to me for a reason.”

“Well. I saved you because I was told to do so. All I did was to obey”.

“Some trees” he scoffed.

His dismissive comment irritated her. “Trees have been here long before us. When the trees ask you to do something, you don’t hesitate. They are old and their knowledge is infinite. But they are very very proud creatures, it must have been really important for them to keep you safe, to be bothered to talk to me at all”.

You can hear the trees talking?”

“I’ve always been able to communicate with other living creatures. My Mother taught me, it’s an elvish ability. I’ve always sensed the wisdom of the trees, especially during the days close to Solstice. But they had never talked to me in my own language before”.

“So. They asked you to keep me safe. And you obeyed, yes, but you still used your own judgment, AND abilities, Cinnamon. YOU chose to help me. Don’t underestimate yourself”.

Cinnamon felt conflicted. She didn’t think she was special, at all. Memories of childhood bullies made certain of that. And yet, the way he said that she was special awakened an unfamiliar feeling in her. What is this feeling?

She remembered feeling like this when her mother smiled at her as she learned the name of a new herb. Or when her father laughed and hugged her when she hit the mark with her arrow. She felt like this when a doe looked at her warily, but approached her anyway, trusting enough to nuzzle its nose into her hand.

She glanced up and saw he was still looking at her. She looked at the flames again for a moment, thinking.

“What were those creatures?” she asked.

“Know you not of Vitrollia?” he asked. She shook her head no. He looked at her, puzzled. “Well, not everyone knows, or realizes the danger. Let me enlighten you.”

“Those were dark scavengers. They are sent by Vitrollia to hunt creatures that have, in one way or another, not fallen under her spell. She sends hordes of them into the forest. It’s open season on people like us. They either kill you or abduct you, then take you to their dungeons and torture you until you succumb to her will or beg to be killed. There are very few safe places now, most of them are just remote little areas, or isolated enough for Vitrollia to not be interested enough in dominating.”

Cinnamon listened to every word of his story. She learned about the evil sorceress Vitrollia, and how the world in her domain had slowly, without even being noticed, fallen into darkness, turning creatures against each other, and corrupting the land. “She has been doing this for many years. She seems to take a perverse pleasure in corrupting the fey and other gentle souls” he said. “She has also enlisted the help of creatures of darkness, those who are inherently evil and hate everything living. They were the ones you saw whose eyes were black as the night.”

He told her about the secret resistance groups, and how he had been sent by the centaurs of the tribes of Cloudbirth and Roonwit with several vials of a powder-spell, “Invertitia” along with the recipe and precise instructions to replicate it. When inhaled, invertitia counteracts Vitrollia’s control. Creatures treated show confusion at first, often stopping whatever they are doing and standing with a blank expression on their faces. With time and care, they can be brought back to some semblance of normal.

The plan was to use Invertitia in a coordinated surprise attack against the dark forces of Vitrollia in a few days time. A signal would be sent and the attack would start at the exact same time across the lands. Gunnar had been delivering caches of Invertitia for weeks to different resistance groups around the country. This was his final delivery, meant for the men of Whitburn. Since humans didn’t possess the skills to replicate Invertitia, his current cargo was even more precious. They would have to make do with what he carried.

As she learned more and more about the dark state of the world, Cinnamon searched her memories. Maybe that’s why her Mother and Father chose to locate her family home away from town. She suspected they would have known this was happening. And about her Mother’s magical skills, she might even have been part of the resistance. But she wasn’t sure and there was no way to know. She did remember that the more time passed, people’s behavior became more and more cruel, so much so that it seemed to be their nature. Her father had mentioned once that the king he served, was defeated by an army of dark creatures. She had no doubt now they must have been commanded by that same terrible witch. Maybe that’s where all that evilness came from. Maybe during her childhood, it wasn’t that everyone was truly hateful, just that she was living through the start of the dark years.

“So that’s why it is crucial that I make it to Whitburn and the nearby villages with my delivery. If I don’t get there in time…” Gunnar shook his head. “And now I have no horse.”

Cinnamon recalled the words of her Mother during her vision. ”It’s time for you to become what you are destined to be.” The words resounded in her head. “Maybe,“ she took a deep breath and continued “I guess if getting to Whitburn is as important to you, perhaps I can help you with the delivery?”

Gunnar smiled, his eye widening. “I was hoping you say that.”

“Then we should rest” She said ”We have a long day ahead”.