Chapter 12

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Lhynette and Eyrmysse raised their torches as Wyxotte did, but before the old witch could speak the words, Arhyvhynne cried out, "Wait!" All eyes turned to the young white robe as she ran to the foot of the bridge and knelt there.

Wyxotte was unsure as to what she should do. She looked to the gathering of witches, but there was no sign, no sound. Neither Dhynelle nor Qelharre made any motion. Wyxotte turned her eyes to the islet. Eyrmysse did not seem to care one way or another as she just stood there, defiantly. Finally Wyxotte looked at Lhynette and the white robe simply nodded once. Wyxotte, though not convinced it was proper, granted her assent and Arhyvhynne crossed the bridge. Lhynette, who was also in tears, though hers were of relief, welcomed Arhyvhynne with open arms. The two witches hugged and then Lhynette held Arhyvhynne at arms length and looked into her eyes. "You have done the correct thing," Lhynette told her. Lhynette embraced Arhyvhynne again then brushed Arhyvhynne's cheek with a kiss. She said "I will serve you as I did your mother," then turned and left the islet.

So there the sisters stood, on either side of their mother. White and Black. Light and Dark. Synthesis and Opposition. Evolution and Involution. The coven looked upon them, wondering which would become their new leader. If it were Arhyvhynne, would she be able to control the power? If Eyrmysse, would the power control her?

Suddenly, a shadow was cast upon the Grove. There was an intake of breath by the witches as a huge silhouette could be seen against Khyaroh, the larger moon. It moved across the night sky and circled the Grove three times before it spouted flames into the darkness and gave a shrill cry. FireQueen had paid her last respects to the High Witch.

Wyxotte regained the attention of the assemblage as she thrust her torch high above her head. Arhyvhynne raised her torch as did Eyrmysse, though more slowly and with a badly shaking arm. Then Wyxotte proclaimed loudly, "Qhen Khyrhyelle, let the Illusion of the World pass over thee unheeded, as thou goest from the Midnight to the Morning." With that, the dwarf dropped her torch into the pond. The Witches of the Moons repeated the blessing and disposed of their torches in the pond as well. Though only the sisters now held torches, the Grove was still brightly lit by the light of the moons which focused on Qhen Khyrhyelle, wrapping her in its unearthly glow.

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