“Mama,” Caleb said a whisper into the night. He looks older illuminated by the flames of the campfire. When the young boy saw he had Nott’s attention he said to her “I love you Mama”
Nott smile and pressed a kiss into his auburn hair, “I love you too Caleb”
Nott was not Nott when she met Caleb, she was still Veth. She was scared out of her mind, pressing Luc into her arms hiding him from everything. There was a Zeminan woman begging for her son to live. They goblins dragged her way, and the woman begged her to watch her son.
The little boy was most certainly human, eyes as blue as the sky on a summer day. She wrapped the tiny child up in warmth, Luc looking over her shoulder at the tiny things, a few months old at most and the tiny halfling boy whispered to the crying baby “It’s okay, Mama will keep you safe”
“He’ll need a name,” Yeza had said in a whispered into her hair that night. Luc asleep in his lap, and the human baby asleep in hers. He’s a heavy weight in her lap, but he’s sleeping peacefully and Veth doesn’t want to disturb him.
Veth shifted just enough to look up at Yeza from where she was pressed against his side and hummed in agreeance, and after a moment of silence, “Caleb. Caleb Brenatto”
Yeza smiled and pressed a kiss to her, “Welcome to the family Caleb Brenatto”
She hears Caleb’s tears as their dragging her way. Loud cries for his Mama. She breaks free and the guards are chasing her. She crashes into Caleb, whose growing up big and strong and whispers a goodbye into his hair.
“It’s alright Caleb,” Mama says to Caleb as the woman who had taken Caleb is trying to pull them apart frantically calling for the guard. “Mama will always love you sweetheart,”
The guards finally drag her off and all she hears is Caleb’s screams of Mama.
“Mama?” Caleb says interrupting in the middle of the bedtime story, she’s telling him. “How come I don’t have a Dada?”
Her little boy is so young. So small, and yet bigger than her already. She smiles a small, sad smile and says “you did once upon a time. He was very smart your papa. He made all sorts of chemicals. And your older brother was too.”
Caleb asks about them.
And she tells him all about her other two boys.
Jester was young. Too young to be doing the things that they do. She would guess the Tiefling is younger than Luc would of been if the goblins hadn’t taken him. Just sometimes it crosses her mind that she might be younger than Caleb.
That thought scares Nott more than anything. Caleb would barely be fifteen now, if he wasn’t dragged away from her grasp almost ten years ago.
Jester is still a child.
A child who was forced from her home, and puts on a brave face about it.
Nott runs her fingers through her curls, and hums a her a lullabye after a hard battle once. It reminds her of the songs she use to sing her sons.
Her hands are green, and Caleb is balling his eyes out. Her hand are green and clawed and she isn’t her. She scrambles towards the infant, wrapping her now green arms around his form, and starts to sing, just like she had the night before. Her voice is still the same, her skin is just green.
Caleb calms in her arms.
Her Husband is dead. Her son is dead.
It’s just her and Caleb now.
She has to protect him.
She meets a group of adventures in a tavern.
Her name is the Nott the Brave.
Caleb is getting big, babies grow. And she knows from experience that infants grow fast.
She’s started to hear the goblins talk. She has to protect her son.
Caleb is getting big, but he’s still small enough that she can carry him.
She knows that it isn’t going to be like that for much longer.
So she runs. She holds Caleb close to her chest and runs as fast as she can.
The Goblin don’t catch her.
She wakes up with green skin and to a baby screaming.
Her name isn’t Veth Brenatto anymore.
Caleb runs infront of her hobbling along on his tiny toddler legs, every few seconds stopping to look behind him trying making sure she is still following him.
She smiles and waves every time. It’s reassuring that he looks to her, and it’s reassuring to him that she waves back.
He, awhile into the walk towards their next destination, stops and pulls a flower from the group, his chubby fingers wrapped around the stem, and runs back towards her.
“Mama,” Caleb says holding it up to her, she smiles and thanks him. When she leaves the flower in her hand, the little boy looks at her expectantly. She blinks at him a couple times, not quite sure what he was waiting for.
“Mama hair,” Caleb says, and she slowly winds the stem of the flower into her hair. Caleb smiles, a toothy smile at her, and says “Mama Pretty,”
She knows it’s a lie.
She doesn’t cry when Caleb is taken away from her.
She doesn’t cry when Caleb is taken away from her.
She doesn’t cry when Caleb is taken away…
She doesn’t want to cry, because that makes it real.
It means that the last of her family is gone.
“Caleb Brenatto,” he says one night. Her son is older now, almost fully grown and knows her full story. He thinks he can save her. Nott wants to be her again, but she’s afraid it might not be possible. He’s still her boy. She still wants to protect him more than anything.
“Caleb Brenatto,” he says with a confidence that she hadn’t seen in him since he was a child. “A proper name for a proper wizard.”
Nott smiles at her son.
“Caleb Brenatto,” Veth says in a soft whisper, and Luc smiles waving hello to his new younger brother.
“A proper name,” Luc says with a toothy smile and an air of excitement around him. “A proper name for my little brother, I think.”
“It’s alright,” Mama said to him a whisper into his hair. “It’s okay, everything is gonna be fine Caleb.”
He’s tears subsided, and his tiny fingers grasped her clothes pulling her closer.
“I love you mama,”
“I love you too”