Elisius Part 1

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It wasn't unusual in this day and age for women to fight; in fact, some became leaders of their tribes if they were good enough. But Rhisiart "Black Spear" did not hold with such fanciful notions. As far as he was concerned, the women should support their husbands when they came home from a battle; what a comfort it would be if the women were too busy fighting with the men to take care of the settlement! The argument that Boudicca had fought the Romans only fifty years earlier didn't hold water with him, because she had not defeated them. Rhisiart was an experienced warrior with a fierce temper which was not instantly recognised because he had an unnerving control over his emotions, and never lost his temper very often; but when he was on the battlefield it was as though nothing could restrain him as he sliced and chopped his way relentlessly through the enemy's warband.
Rhisiart had no sons. His wife had died giving birth to his only daughter, Elisius, and it was only his intense love for his wife that made him hide his bitterness at not having the son he had dreamt of. In the normal sense he cared very little for girls, but he could not abandon his wife's child; he had loved her too much. So, he brought her up himself- or rather, he went off to fight another tribe while the women taught her how to cook and look after the house.
For her part, Elisius looked after her father when he returned from his various battles, and helped out around the village when he was away. She never seemed to be happy when he left, or to miss him too much when he was not there; she just slipped quite happily from one routine to the other with such ease that it was questionable whether she had noticed whether he was there or not at all.
Elisius was small for her years, with rather wavy auburn hair and blue eyes, flecked with green. She was also very thin, but seemed to be quite strong just the same. She was of quite an irritable disposition, and could not put up with what she considered to be nonsense, and it was not always easy to tell whether she was in a good mood or not, but she was rarely in a very bad temper. She was also a very quick learner, but she never seemed able to do anything very well. She could do all the housekeeping skills and sing all the songs that she was taught, but she did them more or less the same as anybody else would do them. All in all, she seemed a pretty average person- quiet, insignificant, never one thing or the other. But it is a common belief that it is the quiet ones you've got to watch. Certainly, it could be easily believed as far as Elisius was concerned. For there, unmistakeably, underneath that casual, almost inconspicuous character, could be felt something like expectancy, anticipation of someone, or something, or some sign of her true calling, that would change her life forever.

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