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 rest my forehead on the earth before Him, paralysed in fear and wonder; and He lowered His great head, and touched His muzzle to my cheek, and spoke: Agat sheirbheáil liom go maith.’ You have served me well.
Sevína nodded. Words were insufficient.
__Arnaud smiled, nodding also, though to himself.
__Sevína observed a shift in his eyes, and held her breath, awaiting her master’s final exhale.
__And so it came, quiet and content.
__‘You served well,’ Sevína repeated. ‘And with great faith, dear Arnaud.’ She held his hand until she could bear her grief no more.
__Exiting into the hall, clasping her face to entomb her suffering, she leant against a tapestry, lowering herself to the floor in the darkness. Priest, mentor, friend—now predecessor. Her truest friend had slipped away, and 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.
More to come.