The Legend of Brightbeam Lore
Excerpt taken from Chapter 1 in The Three Houses by Elise Nelson
There was a time when all the elements and attributes of humankind were bound within three beings known as the Spirits of Terra. They formed from the lack of composure the combination of their powers created. Every attribute each of them had—every passion, every power—pushed and pulled until they all tore apart, latching onto newly formed bodies. appeared after the powers they all contained, combined, couldn’t be held in one unit any longer. Each of the three possessed remarkable capabilities and were born in his or her own unique way. Their attributes were neither good nor bad. It was how they were used that caused either disarray or progress. The spirit goddess of light saw this firsthand.
Lumine was known as the keeper of light and peace. She didn’t wish to rule anybody or anything. She had such heightened emotional intelligence and intuition that she could see beyond the pettiness of war or the grays of disarray.
Lumine walked through the plush grass on this new planet she just bloomed upon. Humans already inhabited the Earth at this point, but there weren’t many. She found it harder to find any of them than dodge their eyes. She wasn’t sure what she was looking for as she walked up the grass and into the gritty mountains, the rocks scraping against her freshly formed skin; she just knew she had to get somewhere she could see it all. A starting point to finding what these humans were like, and to understand the flashes of visions she beheld as she took her first breath of life. She ached to learn whatever it was she could do for this world. Nothing else could pierce her thoughts or snag her concentration. Determination was one of her best qualities.
With every new second of consciousness, more knowledge plunged into Lumine’s mind. Terror struck her one moment, and astonishment the next. Flashing before her eyes was the potential humans had on this planet. The good, the bad, the everything in between. She soon realized how ignorant and petty humans could be. And how dangerous.
However, she also understood that there were no good or bad humans. There were only bad choices—ones that could ruin lives and pollute a soul beyond recognition. Not only did she need to find a place to live for now, but she had the strong desire to help steer humans in a better direction than their foreseen fate.
She was now more than simply a spark of intelligence and power in the universe. Lumine was personified and whole. Her own person, with autonomy and the ability to make her own paths and choices in this world. She recognized she wasn’t human, but she longed to study and understand them.
As she made it onto the peak of the mountain, her eyes took in everything that rested below. Small huts made of stone and wood were clustered together, as if being alone wasn’t an option for humans. Even though there were only a handful or two of them in this part of the world, they still clung together.
Her eyes narrowed as she peered down below, pushing her vision to look just a little closer. Her vision plunged into the village and she observed the humans as they spoke. It was a family. There was a man with a large belly and hairs sticking from everywhere off his face but his head; his eyes were soft and kind, and the way he looked at the woman next to him was even softer. The woman was taking something out of a cupboard and turning to speak to the children. Lumine caught the glitter of the woman’s eyes, which looked like crystals as the light poured in from their windows. She smiled just as brightly, her eyes still shining beneath hair as dark as night. She looked like the moon and its stars. Running between them were three little girls, all of whom looked like different variations of the two adults. Lumine noticed the plates getting set and the chairs getting placed in an orderly fashion around a dinner table. Her eyes shifted to the man, who was taking a plump loaf of bread out of the oven, its crisp ears brown to perfection.
Then something shifted in the room, and another little girl appeared. She looked quite similar to her sisters. Two of the girls had dark hair like their mother, and two of them had ruddy hair like their father. She was one that looked like her father. Freckles dusted her nose, which dimpled when she smiled up at her mother. The woman picked her daughter up and carried her to the table. Lumine knew right away that this scene wasn’t right. The girl had to be the second eldest at least, and around ten years old, and yet she was being carried. Something was wrong.
It didn’t take long for Lumine to spot it. When the family members each took their seats at their table, scooting in to get as close to the roast, vegetables, and bread as possible, the freckled little girl didn’t budge. Her hands picked up her utensils, and her body appeared to move just fine. All except for her legs.
She bolted upright and her vision shifted back to normal. The wind rustled leaves along her back and lifted her icy white hair in the wind. The strands trailed into the breeze like it had once been a part of it.
Her eyes flickered back to the family from the village. She can smell the lingering scent of the bread, fresh out of the oven—the sweet aroma warming the home against the chilly autumn wind. There’s a knock at the door, and the man opens it. He appears to know the withered old woman who shuffles through the doorway. Her hair is as white as the mother’s eyes are crystal, and her body is hunched with age. He places his hands gently on her back and leans down to kiss her on the cheek. The young girls all squeal, and three of them rush over to her, bouncing with delight.
“They long for unity and companionship…but…” Lumine’s voice trailed off as she recalled the visions that struck her into consciousness when first appearing on this planet. She saw wars and carnage, pain and terror—all at the hands of one human to another. “Yet, they become masked and maddened with rivalry and the lusts of selfishness.” She continued watching the family as the mother helped her disabled daughter reach up and hug the old woman entering the home. “And they suffer so much pain.”
Her heart seemed to plummet from her chest to her stomach, and an overcoming desire to get up and act washed over her. She took one last look at the top of the home before striding down the mountain to face the family herself.
A knock at the door turned the family quiet. It was as if everything in their little world, all tucked within these mountains, was in peril and that freezing and not uttering another word would keep them anchored to the lives they loved. Lumine knocked again, softer this time, but when no footsteps came forward, she called to them through the door. “I won’t hurt you,” she said calmly, her voice a cool balm to the ears within those walls. “I just want to help.”
After another moment, Lumine heard something. She folded her hands together in her lap as she stood tall, her head almost as high as the doorway to the small home. The knob turned and the door opened. The family was all huddled together at the table, fear evident in their eyes, all except the father. Although fear swam in his eyes too, he stood tall and answered the door with the guarded posture of someone who would look Death straight in the eyes if it meant protecting his family. “Yes?” he asked. “Who are you?”
Lumine lifted a thin hand, hoping to show that she was harmless and that she didn’t want anyone to be anything but calm. The mother gathered her girls like a hen with its chicks and squeezed them tighter as Lumine approached. As the goddess knelt by the chair of the girl with paraplegia, she lifted her hand again, but this time at the mother, who was about to jump over the table. “Please. Allow me to help you.” The soothing melody of her voice calmed everyone in the room, and the mother slowly sat back down, gathering her daughters as she watched in wonder at this mysterious woman with white-silvery hair that pooled to her ankles.
Lumine’s lifted hand fell gracefully to the freckled girl’s knees. The young child stared at the goddess, wide-eyed and apprehensive—apprehensive, but unafraid. She smiled at the little girl before closing her eyes and illuminating the entire room. Her power flooded from her fingertips and cast light on the child. The mother got to her feet, her mouth ready to yell, when the light fades and the girl is visible again. The room slowly dimmed, and the air was quiet. It was as if, for the briefest moment, time stood still.
Then a small voice crept through the stillness, uttering words even more beautiful than any balm Lumine could ever speak: “I can feel my legs…Mama, I can feel my legs!” The child’s face lit up on its own now, her mouth wide with a grin showing a recently lost tooth.
“What?!” Her mother rushed around the corner of the table and fell to her knees at her daughter’s chair. She held the child’s hands and watched her left leg start to swing. She clasped a hand over her mouth, and her eyes reddened with tears.
“Mama, Papa, I really can feel them! I feel them!”
Her mother burst into tears and pulled her daughter into her arms, and the father soon followed. Suddenly, everyone in the entire room was huddled in a big hug, with the newly healed daughter at the very center, beaming like a star.
“Oh, Areya, how wonderful. I just, I—I can’t believe I,” her mother said and then cried again, holding her daughter close. Lumine smiled at the family as she got to her feet. Once she stood, she felt a large hand cup her shoulder. She turned to see Areya’s father. Tears had spilled down his cheeks from beneath his bushy brows.
He sniffed, snuffling back tears, and said, “Thank you. How can we ever repay you?”
Lumine shook her head. “It’s not like that…”
“Who are you?” Another voice came from the girl’s direction, but it was her mother speaking this time. Her voice wasn’t rude, but it was mystified, and her eyes were a mirror image of the apprehensive gaze her daughter had worn just moments before.
Lumine smiled. “My name is Lumine. My tale is a little strange, and perhaps not one to be spoken of during such a special moment, but I am here to help all of you.” She gracefully gestured to everyone in the room and then pointed toward the door. “To all humans. I have gifts I’d like to give.”
“Oh, you gave us the most wonderful gift we ever could have dreamed of,” the eldest woman in the room said, her voice as wobbly as her limbs, “but we can direct you to the next home if you’d like.”
Lumine lets out a melodious laugh. “Oh no. I don’t mean that I will be bestowing miracles upon people. No. I want to teach you—I want to teach everyone in your village—some of the skills and knowledge I possess.”
“So you can teach us how to heal people like that?” one of the little girls asked; she appeared to be the eldest. She looked like a miniature of her mother, with dark hair rippling past her shoulders.
The corners of the goddess’s mouth turned up, her pale eyes lit up with amusement. “No, dear, but I will show you how you can learn to find ways to heal people, but in ways that can be passed on. In ways you can study and grow from.” She crosses her arms and looks at the others in the room, making eye contact with the mother of the home. “There are many things I would like to teach your people—not just in the healing arts. Would it be okay for me to live here for a while? I will do my very best to teach all of you what I can.” She bowed her head, her hair sliding from behind her shoulder to the floor at her feet.
She felt a hand touch hers and looked up. It was the mother; her eyes were lit up and a soft smile rested on her lips. Tears formed in her eyes as she said, “You healed my little girl. I would love to learn anything I can from you. I’m sure we all would.” She gestured to her family, and then she cast her eyes to the wall and then looked back at Lumine. “And I’m sure the others in the village will feel the same way.”
“Thank you, um…”
“Clarise,” the woman said, still smiling as she wiped away tears. “My name is Clarise.”
“Lumine. I’m very happy to meet you all.”
Several years passed by in the village. Lumine taught the villagers how to give one another medical care; how to understand mental and emotional health and wellbeing, as well as the physical; how to express one’s self in the arts; and many, many other things. Mostly, she tried to instill good habits of self-reflection, study, and giving others the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.
Because of her, the people in the village (and in the ones close by) learned how to survive and thrive in ways they never knew possible. They learned about different sciences that aid in healing, and how to communicate with one another. She educated them on the follies of war and the hubris many humans fell prey to. She taught them as much knowledge as she thought they could take, and she always found new ways of teaching them.
She brought communities together, passed on everything she could, and made friends with and loved each and every one of them (even the ones who never seemed to trust her or learn to love her back). Then, one day, she looked out at all of them and realized they didn’t need her anymore. They clung to her for advice and techniques, but she gave them all they needed to know. So, she decided it was time for her to move on to the next place. She would have loved to live with these people for as long as she possibly could, but she knew she was needed elsewhere. There were many villages just like this one all over the world, and they needed her too.
On the day of her departure, she stood in front of the villagers with tears in her eyes and a heart filled to a point she hadn’t known possible. Before speaking, she looked out at their faces and caught a glimpse of Clarise, Johnny, and their girls. When her eyes landed on Areya, her heart squeezed even more. Humans may be capable of pain and terror, as I saw in my visions, but they are also capable of so much love and compassion that if the world depended upon the most selfless human hearts imaginable, nothing could ever shatter life on Earth. It was all about choices. Selfishness vs. Selflessness. Lumine realized that even more now.
Areya pushed through the crowd and leapt onto Lumine, wrapping her arms around her. Lumine patted her on the back. She is now a young woman who, because of Lumine, was once a little girl who could spring up and down the hills and mountainside with her many cousins and sisters, never once having to look back at the life she lived before other than to be grateful for the blessing she was given. “Please don’t leave us. It’s been so peaceful since you came. We can’t do this without you.” Tears soaked Lumine’s gown where the rosy-haired girl had her face pressed up against.
She placed her hand on Areya’s head and crouched down to meet her gaze. She wiped away the young woman’s tears and gave her a smile. “Don’t ever doubt yourself. You’re capable of amazing things.” Despite being nearly fifteen, Areya rested her head against Lumine’s hand and let the goddess dry her tears as she snuffled and struggled to compose herself. They were family now. An aunt and niece from different worlds. This was another lesson she taught them: it doesn’t matter where anyone comes from, everyone’s hearts beat the same. “You will always be in my heart,” she said with a bittersweet smile, “as I will forever live in all of yours.” Areya smiles up at her and gives her one last hug.
When she stepped back toward her family again, she turned to look back into the goddess’s eyes and ask, “Well…is there anything else you can teach us before you leave?”
Lumine’s eyes crinkled as she smiled. “Yes,” she said, “Never doubt yourself, and never look down on anyone, even if that person’s yourself.” Areya gave her a confident smile, showing through her eyes that she knew Lumine understood her heart like any aunt or mother would. The two share a smile before Areya nods and returns to her family a few paces away.
The villagers are all grouped together as they watch their teacher part ways with them. There were twice as many people living in the little town tucked within the mountains when she left than when she came, which warmed her heart as she waved to them all on her way out of town. She thought back on how much they’d grown, both in terms of personal growth and physical village growth. Once they became more confident about going out into the world and finding others to work with, they naturally multiplied in size. They discovered towns nearby to trade with, and people to learn and grow with. Some fell in love. Some started lucrative businesses with one another. And some simply found friends who they could share their skills and lives with.
As Lumine made her way off that mountain, there was one thing all the villagers had in mind as they watched her go: because of her, they’d never be the same.
She taught them peace, healing, and philosophies she hoped they’d ruminate on.
As she took the initial steps into her new journey, something glimmered in the sky above her. Something that sparked a familiar feeling from within--a piece of her she thought went missing when she came to upon the Earth. She watched the spot in the sky and smiled as she saw what appeared to be a horse with wings gliding towards her with the graceful ease of a small morning dove. The closer the animal got to her, the stronger the feeling inside her grew. Soon, the animal stood beside her, and when she touched its smooth coat, she felt the instant connection of a kindred spirit from outside the bounds of mortality.
She stroked the pegasus’ mane with a wistful smile. “Let us go. The rest of the world awaits.”
After that day, she went from place to place, traveling the entire world, teaching her philosophies and spreading her attributes to every human she could. She gave them the knowledge, and she trusted them to do the rest.
When it came time for her to part with the world, she was at peace. She knew that no matter what would happen, at least she gave the world something that gave them hope. Something that could save them, if it ever came to it. In every hour of need.
Over centuries, her gifts were passed on from generation to generation. Now, those who possess her talents belong to the honorable house of Brightbeam.