Author's Notes: The characters and plot of this story are my own, I created them. Though as with any story, plot may be influenced by things beyond the range of my brain, particularly from other stories. If there is anything that seems too close to another story, please tell me. It is easy to make things all too similar without realising this.

Secondly, the language used is Finnish, though, I am sure, not very accurate Finnish, as I am nowhere near fluent, and in fact hardly know a bit of Finnish grammar. The land is supposed to resemble (probably very distantly), Finland. I am someone who is obsessed with Finland, Finnish, and various other Finland related things, so I wanted to write a story with a bit of a Finnish element in it. Surprisingly perhaps, I am not Finnish. The names are also Finnish. If you speak any Finnish, feel free to correct any mistakes I make in things that people might say in the language, later in the story.

As usual, reviews are much appreciated, and I will try to reply by reviewing something of yours. If I don't, it is because I forgot, or because I am being lazy. :)


Nimetön's Gift


Book One: Wondering of the Future


The Letters: I

The whispers and creaks of the night were loud in the silence that reigns when the world is asleep. But not all in the world were asleep, for one girl was awake to listen to them. Her name was Suvi Järvinen, but that did not mean much on its own. A name is nothing without its owner. She had blue eyes, a clear blue like the light that shines through blue crystal. She was tall, taller than most her age, and slender. Her hair was so blonde that it looked almost as white as the moon at full, and a fifteen, she had no brothers or sisters. She lived with her grandmother, a wise woman or lointija, in a discreetly placed hut on the outskirts of the city of Ohi. Suvi's grandmother was called Auli, and she was much respected in Ohi as a healer and a seer, though thought to be rather mad and grow more so with age.

Suvi had been woken, some hours before, by her dream. It was a strange dream, and she still remembered it clearly, and knew she would continue to remember its every detail for many years to come. In the dream, she had been walking barefoot through a forest of tall pines and cedars. The noontime sun glittered through the branches, falling on the forest floor like drops of gold. She wore long floating white and silver dress, and her hair was braided in many long braids. And it seemed that she had been walking for hours, and walking still. Then she began to sing, but what the words were Suvi could not tell.

And now that she was awake, thoughts of the dream made it impossible to go back to sleep. But Suvi did not mind much. She liked the darkness of the night, and the silence. Often she would stay awake late into the night, simply sitting and listening. The dream was an unusual one, in that it was clear as if it were truly happening, unlike most dreams where everything is a bit blurry and confused. And it felt real, as if it she really were walking through that forest. But she did not know where the dream could have come from, for she did not recognise the forest, there grew only a few pines around Ohi; there were no great forests of them.

She sat on the bed with her back up against the wall, eyes closed, breathing in the cool winter air. She shivered then, but made no move to draw her tightly knit shawl closer around her shoulders and block out the chill. She liked cold almost as much as she liked the dark, and could not abide the heat of summer. At least in such a northern, wintry land, summer did not last over long, and winter was happy to return.

A loud and urgent banging on the front door to their small house startled Suvi, and she got up off the bed to answer it, wondering who on earth would be banging on the door in the middle of the night. Her bare feet padded softly on the wooden floorboards, and her long white night dress fluttered around her ankles, tickling them. She hoped the knocking at the door would not wake Auli, the old woman needed sleep, loosing it would not lessen her age in the least. Through the kitchen and the workroom where Auli did her work as healer Suvi walked silently, tiptoeing so as to avoid making too much noise. She unhooked the chain on the door that kept it locked, and opened it.

A man in green tunic and black breeches stood there on the doorstep, panting heavily. He held out a black envelope to Suvi, who took it and examined it curiously. "Message for you from the head of the Guild of Shamans, Oppi Valkoinen," the young messenger gasped. "Very urgent, that is."

Suvi nodded, not sure what was going on. "Do you want something to drink before you go?" she asked courteously, turning the envelope over and over in her hands.

The messenger shook his head. "No thank you, I have to go, I'm expected. No time to stop. Thank you though. Now I must be off." Without another word, he turned and jumped up on the horse that stood in the street outside the house, and rode off.

Turning and closing the door behind her, Suvi took the letter back to her bedroom and opened it carefully, trying not to rip the black envelope, which was sealed by a bit of red wax. The envelope was addressed in silver ink, which shone in the half-light from a street lamp outside the window. It said in a flowing and beautiful script: To Suvi Järvinen, the city of Ohi. Inside was a sheet of off-white paper, folded in thirds so as to fit inside the envelope. She pulled it out and unfolded it carefully, too curious to wait and ask Auli if she knew anything about the letter first. The letter read:

To Suvi Järvinen:

Not long ago, the seer Sanna Niemi saw a vision of three people, standing in a clearing in the woods. They were robed, and each held aloft an object. One held a flute, another held a drum, and a third held a bell. The seer perceived the names of these three people, and you were one of them. But we cannot tell you which object you held.

On the eve of spring, go to the Garden of Tears on the island of Lasi Saaristo. There you will meet the other two of the three. You will also meet a man from the Guild of Shamans. He is a highly esteemed seer, and you will know it is he immediately, for he has a scar in the shape of a crescent moon on his left cheek. This man will take a potion already prepared, and go into a trance. When he is in the trance, he will one at a time tattoo the symbol of the object you are to hold on your inner left forearm.

Your job, along with the other two, is to find the object appointed to you. I wish you luck, for there are those who would keep you from finding your objects, and you must be wary of them.


Oppi Valkoinen, Head of the Guild of Shamans

Hands shaking, Suvi folded the letter up again and put it back in its envelope. She set the envelope on the little table next to the bed, and turned away, mind racing. What were the three objects for? Why did they have to find them, and once they were found, what were they supposed to do with them? And why were they in danger? Suvi felt like her brain was being stuffed with information and questions. But there was no one around who could answer those questions, and it seemed she would have to wait quite a while to find someone who could.

A flute, a drum, and a bell. Suvi wondered which object she was to hold. She did not know how to play any of them, and rarely heard them played. She did not even know which instrument she preferred. She liked the sound of the bell, but she also liked the sound of the flute, and the slow methodical pounding of the drum was interesting as well. But she supposed it was not her decision to make anyhow, and whichever instrument she wound up with, she would be happy.

She wondered also what would happen if she didn't go to Lasi Saaristo and the Garden of Tears. What would happen if one of the three were missing? She wasn't sure how she would get to the island, but maybe she could find a way to pay someone for taking her there. Suvi knew almost nothing about boats, though she lived in a coastal city.

Outside, Suvi could see the sky going grey with the cold light before dawn. Day was coming, and perhaps it would bring new insights and questions. She would show Auli the letter and see what she said. Auli would know what was to be done. Hopefully.