Dark Moon appeared on the outskirts of Centauria a fortnight before the rumors of a dark and formidable darkness began to circulate throughout the Ancient Order of Centaurs.
He was badly injured and weak, mumbling incoherently before collapsing into a deep fever sleep. He was discovered by the great healer, Lil Cinnamon, who due to her great compassion and empathy for all sentient beings, could not bear to allow this stranger to suffer. Lil Cinnamon loaded Dark Moon onto a cart and carried him back to the Healer’s hut in Centauria.
Dark Moon lay in a deep, restless fevered sleep for 7 days and 7 nights. He appeared to be having terrible nightmares and would often yell out in his sleep or thrash and kick as if he was fighting someone or something. The Great Healer Cinnamon used her most powerful salves, ointments, potions and powders to heal Dark Moon and alas on the 7th day he opened his eyes.
He looked around at the Healer’s hut, smelling the herbs, flowers, oils and tinctures and the big pot of soup or stew cooking on the stove.
“Where am I?“, he thought as he began to try to sit up, his aching body protesting as he shifted position. He lay on a soft pile of fur rugs. The cottage was warm and comforting and strangely familiar. “What has happened to me?” “How did I get here?”….. so many questions buzzed around his pounding head. He lay back in frustration. His sore limbs and dizzy head would not allow him to sit upright.
The hut door opened and in walked a female Centaur wearing leathers, furs and pouches that appeared to be filled with all sorts of herbs, foods, oils and other wares as if she was returning from the market. She smiled warmly at Dark Moon and said, “Well, look who is awake! Now do not try to get up just yet. You are too weak“. Dark Moon stared at this kind stranger as she unpacked her baskets and pouches and put the things away. He struggled to remember how he had gotten here.
“Who is she? She seems so familiar, as does this place, but why can I not remember anything?” It was as if all of Dark Moon’s past memories were locked tightly behind a large metal door and he did not have the key.
“I imagine you are very thirsty and hungry“, the Healer said in a warm, kind tone. She dished up a steaming bowl of stew from the pot over the fire and poured a mug of cold water from a pitcher, putting a few drops or something from an amber colored bottle in the water. “Do not be afraid. This is just some healing tincture to help you regain your strength. It actually tastes very good“. Dark Moon was indeed very hungry and thanked her shyly as he took the bowl and mug and tried not to eat the delicious stew too quickly. Cinnamon watched in amusement at his zealous enjoyment of the meal.
“So, it appears you are on the mend Dark Moon with an appetite like that.” “How do you know my name?“, Dark Moon asked as she took the bowl and mug from him and sat it on a table nearby. “Well, the chatterbox of a Raven who was with you told me, many, many times” she laughed. Dark Moon turned to where she was looking at the glossy black Raven sitting on the window seal above him. “Dark Moon, Dark Moon, Dark Moon“, the Raven squawked, quite proud of himself. “Yes, that is my name and you Raven are Hluti.” “Hluti, Hluti, Dark Moon, Hluti“, the Raven squawked as he hopped around excitedly.
“Well Dark Moon and Hluti, I am Lil Cinnamon, a Healer, of the House of Cloudbirth in Centauria. You have been very ill and unconcious for 7 days and 7 nights. I was worried you might not wake. Can you tell me how it is that you are here, in Centauria?”
Dark Moon propped himself up against the wall on one elbow with a slight grunt of pain and shook his head, obviously very confused. “I have no recollection of anything before this moment! I do not know why I am here or even from whence I came. I know this Raven, I know my name, and you, you kind Healer, are so familiar, but, but how can this be that I cannot remember anything about my past?”
“Perhaps it was the fever or one of your many injuries. You were badly injured and on death’s doorstep when I found you on the edge of Centauria. You fell unconscious as I approached.” said the Healer in a comforting voice. “Let us not concern ourselves with remembering right now. First you must heal your body and regain your strength, then we will set upon discovering who you are and why you are here. Now, rest. The tincture I gave you will help you sleep.”
Dark Moon barely heard the Healer’s last few words as his eyes fell heavy and he drifted off into a peaceful, dreamless sleep.
Dark Moon recovered quickly under the care of the kind Healer and was eager to get up and out into this kingdom of Centauria. He found himself intrigued as he watched the Healer work to create healing potions, salves, ointments, powders and oils. He would often name the root or herb she was using, before she said the name, much to both their surprise.
“You seem to have a gifts of a Healer Dark Moon. Your knowledge of these ingredients makes me think that you have studied the healing arts. How would you like to stay on as my Apprentice? Of course you will earn your keep” the Healer laughed playfully. “I am sure there is some wood to chop, animals to be fed and gardens to tend to“.
Dark Moon smiled and said, “I would be honored to be your Apprentice Lady Cinnamon and repay your kindness in any way possible.” Dark Moon felt a strange feeling that meeting the Healer, arriving in Centauria… was all his destiny, fate… meant to be.
Dark Moon continues his studies and assists Lil Cinnamon ,the Great Healer, surprising her daily with what appears to be pre-existing knowledge of the healing arts. He loves the people of Centauria, he feels welcome and finds happiness in the hard work and his studies.
It is only late at night, when Centauria sleeps, when the moon is high in the sky, that he lay awake and wonders where he came from and why he is here. He wonders if he has a wife, a family? What of his parents? How does he know about herbs, potions, and the art of healing magic? Dark Moon falls asleep vowing to find out about his past life and discover why he here, in this beautiful kingdom and fulfill the destiny that he is sure awaits him.