Chapter 17

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"There are a few things which must be dealt with first," Wyxotte told her. "You must go to the Grove for the Impartation Ritual. When you are done there, you must call your first Council meeting so that we may elect your replacement. As soon as she is with us, we will have to organize your coronation this evening. It is now slightly after midnight. You should be able to get a few hours rest between the meeting and the coronation."

They began to get themselves together to leave when Arhyvhynne brought up the topic which had been carefully avoided. "Has anyone seen Eyrmysse? I am worried about her."

Wyxotte answered for them all. "I would not worry about your sister—unless you are worried about how she will conduct herself."


Alone, with only a pouch in her hand, the new High Witch made her way out to the Sacred Grove in the very early hours of the morning. She stopped at the edge of the pond and cast her eyes upon the islet where only twenty hours before she watched the remains of her mother burn into the sky. Though the pain was still fresh in her heart, she had been numbed to an extent by the Trials. But only to an extent. She allowed herself only a brief period of grief before preparing herself.

As she disrobed, Arhyvhynne thought about how nice the night actually was. She looked up with appreciation at the glowing moons and twinkling stars. The temperature was warm and the scents of spring flooded the senses, intoxicating her. Naked, she entered the pond and cleansed herself, then swam out to the islet as was required by the ritual. The fresh, clean water felt so good against her skin she was reluctant to leave the pond. But she did so and wrung out her long, blonde hair as she stood on the grassy knoll. She opened the pouch that she had taken with her and mixed the prescribed ingredients which included oils and powdered herbs. She anointed herself with the ointment, rubbing it all over her body, deep into her skin. Then she added a splash of pond water to the pouch and the remaining few drops of the ointment and drank it.

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