Saint Nina swept the young beastkin’s feathery hair from his face. There was a strange familiarity about the boy, something she was not able to quite put her finger on. It had only been a few months since his arrival, yet he spoke barely a word. When he arrived with the cleric, Eustes, the elderly man warned her of the boy’s volatile demeanor. The boy was quick to react with violence at the slightest touch. Nina knew he had been through extensive trauma, judging from the wounds he had when he arrived. Despite healing his physical wounds, she knew the wounds to his psyche would take much longer to heal.

Eustes wove a curious tale when he brought the boy to the temple. He carried the blond-haired beastkin up the stairs, she rushed out to greet him along with many other priests of their order. Eustes’ tale was one of chance. He told her how, during his journey through the Dolman Jungle, that everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong. Bandit attacks, flooding, and even an earthquake. Eustes, a firm believer in fate, knew all too well the signs and symbols laid before him – The influence of the Gods. She kept Eustes’ story confined to those that were present at his arrival and ordered those present to secrecy.

Nina knew if Eustes’ words were true, if these events were interventions of fate, then this boy was much more than meets the eye. There were very few throughout Talmus’ history that had earned the interest of the Gods, and those that had often become known as the Voice of the Gods. These individuals would serve as the heads of the Faith, who were known as Saints. She herself had such a calling. She felt a certain pity for the young beastkin boy. If his calling was the same as hers, then his journey would be grueling and lasting, perhaps more so than even her own. For only one order of the Faith lacked its voice – Light. The Sun Temple, the seat of power for the Saint of Flames, was located within the Lorian Empire. A Saint of Flames had not appeared for hundreds of years, and with the suspicious death of the previous Saint of Flames, many of the Faith had begun to speculate the nature of the temple’s followers.

She sighed and thought of the future the Gods had in store for him, hoping this boy’s fate was much easier than her own. Within his first month, he made few friends and reacted poorly to the other acolytes. He kept to himself, and his dreams were plagued with night terrors, often calling out for help. High Priestess Amani brought further curious news when the young boy had told her of a vision he had while in the desert. Amani, who was already skeptical about taking the beastkin into the temple after Eustes’ story, was only more determined to see him gone after hearing of the vision. Nina knew after hearing all the details, all the stories and strangeness, that this boy was special to the Gods.

The High Priestess nodded and knelt before her, “Saint Nina, I’ll take the boy,” she whispered, staring at the blonde youth in her arms.

Nina shook her head, “I’ll hold him a bit longer, Amani,” she replied softly.

Nina looked down, stroking his blonde locks. A sense of peace filled her, knowing that she was able to offer this lost soul a home. She had only felt grieved that the boy still bore no name, whatever his previous name was, he had refused to speak. She never pressed him for it, but instead offered to give him a new name. One which he could make his own, yet he chose one for himself. She smiled, remembering how he approached her nervously, shuffling his feet and tugging at the hem of his chiton. He cautiously beckoned her to come closer before she knelt beside him when he whispered his name, his hand cupped to her ear – Lumi. Her cheeks brightened, recalling so vividly the meaning in High Talman, the ancient language of Talmus. It meant Light Bringer, a fitting name for the imminent Saint of Flames.

Nina looked up from the boy to the High Priestess, “I’ll put Lumi to bed,” she whispered.