Chapter 17

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The black woman spoke with unfeigned humility. "I am not sure I am worthy of such confidence, however, I am at your command, High One. Should it be within my power, I will endeavor to perform any task that you require of me. If it is your feeling, as well as the Council's, that I may in some way assist our sisterhood, I will gladly accept the position."

"Good," Arhyvhynne said with an air of satisfaction. "You may take your rightful seat among us." Xenyssa stood and took the seat that had previously been Arhyvhynne's. The High Witch let out a deep sigh. "Now let us get down to business."


For the second time in the last forty hours, the Sacred Grove was the gathering spot for the Witches of the Moons. The first event had been laden with sorrow, the air filled with the heavy sound of dirges. But tonight was a time of celebration as light, airy chants floated along the eddy of breezes. The twin moons were high in the sky, thinly veiled occasionally by the passing of clouds still tinted with the pastel pinks and purples of the setting suns.

Anticipation was at a peek as the coven waited for the appearance of their new High Witch. The Council members, including Xenyssa, stood upon the islet, also awaiting the emergence of Arhyvhynne. The three white robes all appeared in good spirits, eagerly looking forward to the ceremony. Wyxotte continued to act out of context, being animated and speaking freely. Lhynette had the spirit of a young schoolgirl, now that (in her eyes) she had been justified in "forcing" Arhyvhynne to partake in the Rites of Trial. Even Xenyssa, normally reserved, allowed herself to show a morsel of exuberance. Of the black robes, only Qelharre seemed to be enjoying herself to any degree. Dhynelle had remained relatively subdued, partially due to the selection of another white robe (the last three High Witches had not worn black). Then of course, there was Eyrmysse. She had not been shy in exhibiting some of her new found powers, silencing many who sought to suggest that she had not been the best candidate. The sister of the High Witch looked on in uninterested detachment, thinking all the while that this should have all been for her. Even Uriel was present, though his presence was protested by both Dhynelle and Qelharre. Arhyvhynne demanded that he be there, her only compromise that Ghemella would be his "escort."

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