Sunday, 12 June 2011

Of Children & Crows (Part 1)

As Arapey begins to dip behind the Towers of Old making way for her twin, Ashan – the Lady of The Night Sky, a company of elves make their way from within the stone chambers of the city into the Rose Gardens.

In the failing light a lone figure sits upon a chair. To one side is another chair and to the other side two more, all three of which are empty.

The figure looks at each chair in turn but gives no voice to thoughts. With a wave of arm attendants, robed and hooded, come to stand beside her.

At the head of the company of approaching elves is a cloaked and cowled figure walking hand in hand with a young child. She walks with purpose and a gracefulness not often seen. It marks her apart from those around her for she is Avarin, First Daughter of the House Aditu and Queen-in-Waiting to her people.

The figure sat in the chair stands to greet her daughter and moves forward to embrace her and her grandchild in one motion. Amerasu is smaller in height than Avarin. Since the loss of her two children, Lerel and Navarre, Amerasu has struggled with ill health and caused all her House great concern. She is loved by all with a respect and genuine fondness that defies words of explanation. All fear that she may give in to her grief fully and join her beloved children in the Halls of Jhokl. Yet every time she is with Avarin and the child she visibly lifts and remembrances turn to joyous moments rather than those of pain and loss.

Turning to Avarin she asks pleadingly: “Is this really the only way for us to banish the shadows that plague us so?”

“Mother” says Avarin, “I know it seems wrong but…” Avarin turns to a figure at her side, who then steps forward and from the deep blue of her cloak hood speaks:

“It is the only way Etriel, for the Crows are lost and with them the spirits of those we love are also lost upon the Crow Road unable to reach Jhokl – long have we desired they find the peace denied their bodies. Ydar’s warband have done their part; now we know we must do ours. Give us your blessing for what we must do this night under the gaze of Ashan and the Crows. If we do not then Rauxlor may well perish under his burden and Aquila will be cast into everlasting shadow. Our grieving is killing the dream.”

Upon hearing this Amerasu kneels in front of the child and places her hands upon each cheek. She smiles and kisses each cheek in turn and then the forehead.

Speaking softly she says: “I feel the night is on your side. You have nothing to fear. You are blessed by Ashan and your bloodline my dear child. Look to your mother now.”

She then rises up and returns to her chair. Avarin makes to move towards her but a single look from Amerasu stops her in her tracks. In the strengthening moonlight tears glisten upon the cheeks of both women.

The figure to Avarin’s side moves forward and gestures to the left. “All will be well First Grandmother.”

“You have my blessing Tirandel – deliver us from shadows.”

With that Avarin, the child and Tirandel leave the rose garden and the company of the elves gathered there.