Chapter 17

Page 1 ¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ 8 ¦ 9 ¦ 10 ¦ 11 ¦ 12 ¦ 13 ¦ 14 ¦ 15

Arhyvhynne immediately began to relax. She could feel the tension and stress from her mother's death and the Trials leave her body. The sights, sounds and smells of the Grove became intensified. She gazed out at the beauty of the flowers on the islet caressed by the moonlight and she closed her eyes, letting their aroma wash over her. She drunkenly made her way to the great argentree and the sight of it brought fragments of memories from the Trials. The High Witch reverently ran a finger along a leaf, then a limb and finally the trunk. She embraced the tree briefly and then laid down at the trunk in a fetal position. She closed her eyes and fell into a half-sleep.

Arhyvhynne was conscious of her surroundings but was also aware that a part of her, the spiritual part was somewhere else as the same time. The High Witch saw a holy place, some sort of temple or shrine. She was dressed in her customary white and she knelt down in the temple, exhibiting her veneration. A chalice magically appeared before her and she accepted it and drank deeply. Arhyvhynne was still aware of her physical surroundings but was undisturbed even though she knew she was not dreaming. She could now detect the presence of others though she did not see them. Voices entered her mind imparting knowledge that belonged solely to the High Witch. Some dealt with spells while others were purely informational. Some rested just beneath her awareness and others deep in her subconscious. The seeds were planted that would blossom as time, experience and necessity wove their intricate threads of life.

Still in a daze, Arhyvhynne sat up slowly. She looked around the islet. The sky was still in darkness, the moons still visible. How long had the Ritual taken? An hour? Two hours? Or only minutes? She had no idea. Using the argentree, she got to her feet and made her way to the pond, sat down at the edge of the bridge and dangled her feet in the water. She lost herself in the ripples before she looked across at the Towers and saw lights from candles or torches flickering in a couple of rooms. The massive towers and the land encompassing it all seemed to reach out to her, accepting her, renewing its welcome. Impressive, she thought. And all my responsibility. Wonderful, she added cynically. With a frown, the High Witch pushed herself up, swam back to the other side, dressed and went to meet with her Council.


Previous Page    Next Page