Chapter 17

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"Before you stands Arhyvhynne, the High Witch of the Moons," the voice of Qhen Rhyvhelle proclaimed. "Know that she is our chosen and as such you are bound to her and by her. Be ye faithful and loyal to her. Be ye guided by her wisdom and truth." There was a brief silence before a clap of thunder resounded through the Towers marking the departure of Qhen Rhyvhelle.

The four witches in the antechamber picked their heads up in unison. They laid their eyes upon Arhyvhynne who was enshrouded in radiance. There was a power there, a maturity unseen before. How much of it was a glamour was uncertain. Beneath all of it, she was still only a seventeen year old girl.

Lhynette was the first to speak. Her voice was heavy with emotion and tears welled at the corners of her eyes as she said, "Arhyvhynne, lhe ehe ehsaltaat ede bennhez frah thut strezhell." Which is to say "Arhyvhynne, you are the most exalted and blessed amongst all women." Lhynette used the old tongue, the language of magic and spells. It was not lost on the other three witches.

Arhyvhynne, herself overcome with emotion, gave Lhynette a warm smile then managed to say, "Will you all please get up?"

Wyxotte shook her head and placed a restraining arm on Dhynelle who was beginning to rise. "I believe we ought to offer our fealty."

"It is not really necessary," Arhyvhynne said, somewhat embarrassed.

"Yes, it is," replied Wyxotte firmly.

When they had finished, the witches questioned the High Witch about the Trials but were answered with vague references, in part due to the sacredness of the rituals and in part due to Arhyvhynne's memories being magically bound. Lhynette then asked how Arhyvhynne felt and if she was alright. The High Witch responded that she was for the most part in tact but that she was in desperate need of some rest.

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