January – 1027 YD
It was four in the morning. Sevína roused the chamber fire to allay the chill of death.
__‘I fear this drought will not die easily.’ High Priest Arnaud cupped Sevína’s hand as she offered it. ‘Do not mourn me, my dear. I rejoice at crossing the Bridge, and long for my sojourn in the Otherworld.’ He averted his gaze from her anguish. ‘As I dreamt tonight, Miggest came to me. I placed my forehead to the earth before Him and He lowered His great head, touched His muzzle to my cheek, and spoke: Agat sheirbheáil liom go maith.’ You have served me well.
Sevína held fast his hand.
__Arnaud smiled, nodding to himself.
__Sevína observed a shift in his eyes and awaited her master’s final exhale.
__And so it came, quiet and content.
__‘You served well,’ Sevína repeated. ‘And with great faith, Arnaud.’ She held his hand for some time.
__Exiting into the hall, she leant against a tapestry, lowering herself to the floor in the darkness. Priest, mentor, friend—now predecessor. He bequeathed to her the duty of bearing the Ebony Throne.
__Her throat grew in grief; her mind shielded her with thoughts of the coming days. As the High Priestess of Miggest, she would captain An Líonra. She would be consecrated in a long sequence of rituals and ceremonies not performed since Arnaud’s accession thirty years ago, and then visit each of the region’s temples in a tour which would take months. She thumbed her ring, gazing on the large star sapphire—violet in the light—which had so often been admired by others. With it, she would not be cut off from Tenenum Temple, or Brennan.
Dawn came following a restless sleep in the hall. Vilsonius pressed a hand to Sevína’s knee; dry eyes furrowed.
__‘Go and rest, Sevína. There is nothing to be done this morn.’
__Sevína swayed and gazed confusedly at her surrounds.
__‘Here,’ he uttered, and taking her hands raised her to standing. ‘Arnaud passed in the night.’
__‘Yes,’ Sevína spoke quietly. She continued nodding, sinking into memory.
__Doors groaned from far off, and footsteps after. ‘The Custodia comes.’ Vilsonius bowed his head toward the Solar. Sevína followed him along the fifteen yards of hallway, and sank into a daybed. She beckoned to the fireplace; the wood kindled to life. She folded into the cushions where he left her to sleep.
‘I will not support the autumn trade without better negotiation. Màtac insults us.’ Sevína was revived by an hour and a half of rest, observing the cityscape through a window. ‘The people will lose faith in us if we exchange pride for grain and stock.’
__Vilsonius stepped aside as a servant brought in a fine breakfast for the new High Priestess. He took of this tray as the servant left.
__‘I once set myself to the task of locating the Interpreter of Lenyol.’
__This secured Sevína’s immediate attention.
__He bit into the still-warm bread. ‘Two years! Without that.’ He pointed to the ring on Sevína’s finger, then continued to eat.
__‘How did you begin?’
__He smiled. ‘Slowly.’
__Sevína paced toward him. ‘Was the Interpreter aware of their heritage? Could—would you do the same here?’
__‘I began the trail some six months ago. Perhaps you will return my ring after your consecration; I have some questions to ask of a family in Yardford.’
Image courtesy of: http://bit.ly/2sorEcY