Aska watched her mother getting ready for work. She always loved to watch the care her mother took with each and every article of her uniform. First were the shirt and pants so tightly woven with the latest technologically advanced fabric that it would stop not only a bullet or a knife but also any acid that might be thrown or spit. It was also blessed by four different Shamans and Clerics to stop any magic attacks. The amazing part of this fabric was how light weight and soft it was to the touch. If you didn't know it was there for protection you would think it was just the latest fashion. She would follow this with her vest adorned with hooks and clips to place the various magical amulets and good luck charms she had been given over the years.
When Aska had been younger she had asked her mother why she bothered putting on charms from religions that she herself did not believe in. Aska's mother had smiled at her and told her that just because she did not believe they had magical powers didn't mean the person she was fighting didn't. And the more she won, the more her reputation grew, the more magic those amulets would seem to possess. After lacing on her boots and strapping her weapons to her side, she would put on her last amulet. Her last good luck piece. And the only one that Aska knew she believed in.
There was a ritual for Aska's mother for putting on this amulet. First her mother would take it off of the hook on the wall then she would open the locket and look at the picture. Then she would close the locket, kiss it, then place it around her neck and tuck it under her shirt. The final step before she turned to leave she would place a hand over the locket and close her eyes for a few seconds. Aska had never asked her mother what she was thinking during those minutes but she knew what the locket contained. It was a picture of Aska and her father. Eleven years ago when she was born. Eight years before he died.
Aska's father had been a warrior as well. Once Aska was born they didn't fight together which is why only he was lost the night his team was ambushed and not Aska's mother as well. For almost two years after his death Aska's mother did not go in to the field, she trained squad members who had just graduated from the academy. Teaching them real world lessons that their instructors in primary and secondary would have never thought them ready for. Giving them the skills they would need to survive. To protect those that needed help from those that would use their power to take advantage.
For those two years Aska's mother worked only during the week. She was there for every teacher's meeting at school. She even volunteered for a bake sale once and watching the young children from the primary school trying to get up the nerve to buy a cupcake from Aska's mother was fun. But for those two years she did everything she could to give Aska a normal safe life where she never had to worry about losing another parent. And they were both miserable.
Aska's mother was a warrior. It was her gift. Her calling. And Aska knew that teaching the other students was not fulfilling to her. All warriors who lived long enough eventually became teachers but to be a warrior in your prime teaching instead of patrolling? It was unheard of. Aska also felt guilty every time she would hear about a bad magic that got away. When someone would get hurt or worse die in her area. Because she knew in her bones if her mother had been there it would not have happened. That nothing got past her mother. So one day she sat her down and told her she thought she needed to go back to work. Real work. Leave the teaching for those with nothing else they could do.
And so for the past year she had done just that. Leading her squad on patrol and in to battle when necessary. Aska's aunt had come to live with them during this time. Not only to help around the house and to make sure that someone was there to take care of Aska when her mother had to work odd hours but also to help guide Aska with her own gift. Aska's calling was not to be a warrior as her parents had both been, she was to be a prophet. Her gift coming into fruition the night her father died. She had witnessed the ambush and the attack. Watched the life being sucked out of her father by the Sorcerer Shakel She had such a clear vision of the incident that she helped find her father's body and in the arrest of Shakel and his followers.
The problem was she had witnessed it only a few minutes before it happened. And as it was her first vision she wasn't even sure it was a vision and not just a nightmare until the next day when she learned her father had not come home from patrol. Aska learned on that night why the gift of prophecy was the only one of the four gifts that they also called a curse.