The road to burrowers end was only a three days journey from Xanter, for anyone other than a changeling that is. The world seemed to always get in the way of the journey for most changelings. A small twist in the road meant a new area to investigate and new wonders to experience.
Copper noticed the warm glow of the fire ahead. He had been traveling along the road for what seemed like years to him. He was just about to camp himself for the night, but it was fortunate enough that someone else was in need of his company. He smiled as he skipped ahead. He knew they would be excited to see him, whoever they were.
“Hello !!! fellow traveler” Copper called out merrily, as he approached the campsite.
The old man sitting at the fire turned and looked sternly at the changeling. The old man’s long white beard twitched slightly as he realized the new comer was just a changeling traveling along the road.
“Hello there little one.” his voice was serious and copper paid no attention to that. He was transfixed on the ruined tower and crumbled walls just a short distance away from the road. The moons full light lit the ancient tower in a pale glow as it filtered through the trees stopping just short of the campsite. Copper looked on in wonder as he imagined an imaginary line separating the tower and the campsite. This line, in the changelings mind, prevented the moon light from crossing. To copper this was an odd occurrence, certainly one that led him to many new questions.
“Do you think it’s haunted?” Copper asked as he seated himself near the fire.
“The ruins?” The old man asked as he looked over his shoulder. He smiled knowingly as he returned his gaze on the changeling.
“yes the ruins.” Copper answered as he looked quizzically at the old man. Such an odd answer for such an obvious question, he thought as he settled himself in.
“The only spirits that dwell there are ones of memories and regrets.” A sadness appeared across the old man’s face for a moment as he paused to gather himself.
“Trust me on this little one, the arrogance and ego of men is all that echoes amongst those dusty rooms.”
Copper looked over at the ruins longingly. He smiled and looked at the old man.
“My name is Copper Tenderfoot” He smiled innocently; the old man had to have heard of him before. It would take a few minutes he supposed for the realization to settle in.
“Copper is it?” The old man smiled
“A fitting name for a changeling.” He always enjoyed talking with changelings. Of all the races in shadora the changeling race was the one race with a unique perspective on spirituality, morality, and anything else for that matter.
“I am very fond of it myself,now that you mention it “ Copper answered as beamed in satisfaction.
“Master Copper, I wonder if you would indulge me for a bit and listen to a tale I have been working on” The old man leaned forward and grinned as he spoke.
Copper loved a good story, he wasn’t too sure about this old man’s ability to tell tales but he would give him the courtesy of listening.
“I love a good story!” he answered as he settled himself in a bit more.
“Excellent… Excellent my boy” The old man smiled as he leaned back and started to tell his tale….
There was once a man who wanted a second chance to go back in time and do it all over again. He believed he was in control of what once was. He pleaded with the creator daily to allow him to go back into time and undo all that had already been done in his life. The creator granted his request and sent the man back to his early youth.
The younger version of the man had no recollection of his older wiser self and simply went on is way in life. He made all the same choices and all the same mistakes. The creator returned and showed the man what once was and what was once again.
“I don’t understand!” The man cried…
“I wanted to avoid all those things that I did and all the pain I endured.”
It never dawned on the man that his hindsight was guiding him. He did not possess the ability to see the paths and choices he could or would make. He wasn’t a god and he could only see the moment.
The creator smiled and asked him a simple question.
“Can you control when you are born?”
“No” the man answered.
“Can you control how the weather will be today?”
“Of course not”
The man was getting frustrated he couldn’t understand what the creator was trying to say.
“I don’t understand, what’s the point of these questions?” He boldly inquired.
“You think that you control all your actions and choices do you not?”
“Of course I have freewill!”
“Can you control what others will say and do? Can you control what lies in wait around the next corner?”
“No” the man answered as realization started to settle in.
“You can determine what steps you will take but I control where they lead you and what will or will not be in your path next” The creator answered.
“Now go and play and stop trying to be something you are not”
The old man ended his small tale and looked at copper. The changeling was looking deep into the fire his forehead creased in concentration.
“Well?” The old man asked.
“It was a good story, but..” Copper hesitated.
“But what?” The old man was surprised at Copper’s hesitation.
“You see changelings don’t view the world like that.” He perked up instantly the more he talked.
“To us the idea of choice is natural its part of the world. We choose and we follow our choices, we don’t regret them, unless of course you lose a limb or something, that might be a bit regrettable but then again you get to use a cane!”
The old man chuckled and Copper smiled back as he continued on explaining his view of the story.
“I don’t know much about the creator, or free willies, but I don’t think he, or maybe she, or maybe it, bothers much with what we do day by day. It’s only the real big things that matter not the small things.”
“Really?” The old man mused as he slowly stood up.
“Master Copper you have an amazing journey ahead of you. I suggest you remember my story. It may one day serve you well.” He smiled and started to head off toward the old ruins.
“Wait! Where you going?” Copper jumped to his feet, but the old man had disappeared.
“You never told me your name” He whispered as he stared frightfully at the ruins.
“I knew there were ghosts in there.”