Chapter 17

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"My main concern during this reign will be to assist not only our sisterhood, but our individual selves as well, down the proper Paths of progression. In line with this is my desire to protect our interests throughout the realm and to keep the Witches of the Moons as an autonomous state as much as is possible. In light of recent events, I am afraid that this may be a difficult proposition. Be that as it may, with the assistance of the Council, who I expect to greatly rely upon for guidance, I feel that we will be capable of dealing with the darkness that threatens us."

"To you, my sisters, I ask that you continue to live by the tenets that the High Witch Qhen Khyrhyelle had set before you." It was the first time she had referred to her mother using the past tense title and it was obvious it disturbed her. But she continued, undaunted. "Devote yourselves to the study and practice of the arts. Have faith and believe in the mystical powers that have been bestowed upon us. Work only under trustworthy direction, your teachers or members of the Council, and trust implicitly those with whom you work. Do all work with the deepest respect for the operators, objectives and spiritual beings involved. Take responsibility. Press your limits to increase your ability but do not make attempts into areas you do not fully understand. And of course, know, will, dare and keep silent. I will always be accessible to you. Seek me out when the need arises. Again, my sincere and deepest thanks."

The coven engaged in a final hymn of praise after which each witch approached Arhyvhynne and genuflected, paying her respects and offering her best wishes. Many times the High Witch discreetly looked down the line for a certain person, but Uriel was at the very end, the last to greet her. It was the first time they had seen each other since Khyrhyelle's Last Rites and they hugged each other tightly. They stood apart then, face to face, holding each other's hands. Not a word was spoken, however. Arhyvhynne recalled fragments from the Trials concerning Uriel and became slightly disturbed. Uriel was happy for Arhyvhynne as well as for himself. After all, the other alternative would have been Eyrmysse and that could have gone very badly for him. As if they read their minds, both Arhyvhynne and Uriel turned and looked for the black robe. Their gaze was met by the uncomfortable stare of violet eyes. Eyrmysse scowled and turned away, walking back toward the Towers. It seemed the black robe also recalled something of the Trials and Uriel.

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