Chapter 26 – Speaking in Riddles

The silver-haired elf looked around tiredly as she staggered through the trees. Her legs were failing her. She had spent most of the afternoon walking along the river and resting at almost every chance she had. As the sun had slipped closer to the horizon she had grown more disoriented, her concentration lapsing for significant periods of time. A small part of her found it mildly amusing that her strength was ebbing and that she was powerless while the rest of her watched with growing concern that her condition was not improving. The thought was finally entering her dazed mind that she might need help. She leaned against a tree, breathing deeply. She hated relying on him in such a way, once upon a time she would have grasped at the opportunity, but now; she clicked her tongue in mild frustration.

 

‘Damn it, Antrandis. Why could it have not been sixty or even ten years ago?’ she hissed to herself, imagining the outcome, ‘I would not hesitate to call on you then.’

 

She closed her eyes, ‘Everything is more complicated now.’

 

Steadying herself, she looked up the river.

 

She had an unobstructed view of the sun as it neared setting, ‘So, Auryl, are you and Lumos going to embrace again tonight?’

 

She laughed half-heartedly to herself as she rested, her bright silver eyes shining in the light that shone down the valley, warming her.

 

‘We hear you, Silvast. We understand your mirth.’ came a soft voice in her ear.

 

Silvast turned her head, surprised, yet not; as the woman whose voice spoke stood beside her, ‘Lady Silvan Darneltar? Can you not help me?’

 

Silvan leisurely stepped around and stood in front of Silvast, looking at her as if she were some type of specimen that she had trapped, ‘We are unable to, it is unfortunate that we cannot, but you already know this.’

 

She nodded as she listened to the words of the goddess without surprise. Slowly sliding down the trunk of the tree, feeling its rough bark digging into her back, she looked up at the woman. She had long black hair tied in a ponytail and wore simple, unadorned clothing. The only thing setting her apart from any other elf was her eyes, depth-less jewels of infinity and an air of overwhelming power. Silvast raised her eyes and looked at her, a thought coming to her face.

 

‘Is this a part of proving my worth? Crawling helpless and hapless through a forest?’

 

The goddess looked down, a small smile on her face, ‘No. We feel this is unexpected, this event, this happening, this circumstance. In no way are your actions being judged by us.’

 

Silvast nodded, ‘Do you know why I am like this?’

 

Silvan looked at her, her eyes, orbs that contained a reflection of the universe, appeared to look through her flesh and blood. Her head tilted as she considered a thought.

 

‘Yes, we do, and yet, we do not. We do know that your sudden malaise is connected to this event, deeply connected. But at the same time, without understanding what has taken place, we are at a loss.’

 

Silvast looked at Silvan as the goddess looked away, staring at the start of the eclipse above.

 

‘You don’t know what happened?’ she said, her voice growing more concerned.

 

‘We do and we don’t. Somehow,’ Silvan paused, seeming distracted, ‘This is beyond us, before us, behind us. We feel it is best to observe, to watch, to experience what has taken place.’

 

Silvast looked up at the goddess, too exhausted to feel frustrated, ‘Lady Darneltar, do you always speak in riddles?’

 

Silvan turned and looked at her again, ‘We do not always,’ she paused for a moment, pondering the question, ‘But sometimes.’

 

Silvast sat quietly, her eyes half open, watching the balance of the Three walk to the water’s edge, a few steps away. Watching her as she glanced to the eclipse and then back at the mountains. ‘Silvast, do you know that we can not remember the last time we gazed upon the sight of an eclipse as we do now. It is strangely beautiful.’

 

‘My Lady, I am not sure how much longer I can keep my eyes open. Do you know what happened to me?’

 

Silvan watched Silvast as she struggled to hold her eyes open and knelt, sliding her hands under her and lifting her without effort, like she were a child and standing, ‘Shhh, Silvast, no sleeping now, there are wolves about. As much as we would like to let you feed, who knows how it will affect you. Though, those wolves could prove useful.’

 

She gently propped Silvast against a tree, ‘As we said, we are not sure how, none of us know. But, the one you are thinking of would be more suitable to ponder this. Tell us of the happening, as it happened, when it happened to you.’

 

Silvast’s head lolled to the side as she struggled to stay standing, ‘I was in Scarosant. I felt a significant disturbance in my domain, power like I have never felt before. It was at the height of the eclipse yesterday. I saw a great flash over the saddle of two mountains in the distance.’

 

Silvan nodded, ‘We felt it too. This disturbance you speak of.’ she paused, ‘When our sisters were kissing, hugging, making love?’

 

Silvast looked at the goddess with a strange expression.

 

‘We find your words, ahh, ‘embracing’ more valid.’

 

Silvast continued, ‘As I watched in the darkness, I felt like it was drawing at me, sucking the life out of me. Then I awoke in the valley before midday. I have no memory from then. The sensation was like I had teleported.’

 

Silvan looked at her curiously, ‘In a sense you had, though not traditionally. We felt it as a disturbance, a pulling at our mind, drawing our attention. We decided to investigate, though, we find it somewhat out of our reach. It feels somehow familiar, but not. Does it not?

 

Silvast nodded, ‘Maybe I teleported into the forest?’

 

The goddess smiled to herself, ‘In a sense. Though, can you feel it? We feel it, we feel them.’ she looked around again, distracted. Calmly, she let her eyes roam the mountainside, her eyes taking in everything seen and unseen. She tilted her head slightly.

 

‘There appear to be four sparks. Lives in the forest. They are not from here, they are from someplace else, that is here, yet not here. They may be able to give us understanding, if they survive the wolves.’

 

‘There are four people in the forest? That are not from here?’ asked Silvast as she watched the goddess.

 

Silvan nodded, ‘Yes and no. There are two. Both use magic that few here do, an old magic, ancient in these times, but still surviving, barely.’

 

She smiled apologetically, ‘We have said too much, we think. We may have even unwittingly meddled in the outcome of these events by telling you these things. You tell him, the one you damned, he will find you and them if he is not too late. We are undecided, if they, who have trespassed should survive or perish, we shall leave it to the fates. Maybe that thought is cruel, or not.’

 

‘Lady Darneltar, Silvan, I can’t call on him, I just.’ Silvast said weakly, once again sliding into a sitting position.

 

‘You are not weak to consider asking for aid, you are weak for not. You are giving in to your doubts. He will come to you, she will come to you, with the faintest of calls, do not consider yourself to be separate. They both have told you this. Do not feel ashamed to do so. We are surprised that we need to tell you this.’

 

‘But, I.’

 

‘Let us convince you to call for him. We will expedite your decision.’

 

Silvan knelt gently and whispered into the stricken moon elf’s ear, her eyes widening as she listened to the softly spoken words of the goddess. Now fully alert, she pulled back, staring at Silvan hard. Silvan Darneltar smiled back at her.

 

‘Call for his aid, do not allow your pride to get in the way, you have more pressing matters at hand.’

 

Silvast continued to stare at her, ‘Thank you, Lady Darneltar, you have hastened my resolve.’

 

‘We have merely provided you with knowledge, nothing more, an overheard missive from one messenger to another.’ she looked up at the eclipse, a small smile on her lips, ‘We have unfortunately already overstepped and changed the fates, for better or worse is yet to be written in destiny. We bid you a goodnight.’ she looked back at Silvast and was gone, like she had never been.

 

Silvast looked at the eclipse, her mind racing. The whispered words of the goddess screaming in her head. The silver dragon had been sighted. She thought quickly, she was in no condition to project her telepathy such a distance, but there was another method. She desperately clawed at the residual energy in the air around her from Silvan’s visit. The goddess who had plans for her. One of the three sisters, all the same yet vastly different, like one whole person, split into three. Silvan Darneltar, the sister of fate, destiny and the balance. Silvast’s eyes flared in the darkness, she looked at the eclipse, understanding that she had a slim window to draw on its dark magic. She dug her hand into the soil, feeling the roots of grass and the tree behind her, the life teeming within it.

 

She gritted her teeth and started the draw, a green glow building in the air around her as she absorbed the life-force of the grass, the tree she rested against and the surrounds. Under her hand, blight formed as she drained the life out of everything immediately around her. Browned and dried leaves, rapidly shifting to grey, green only moments before fell to the ground around her as she withdrew her hand from the soil, severing her draw. Her silver eyes glowed lightly as she watched the eclipse reach its zenith. Reaching out her hands she called upon the chaotic dark power of the eclipse, using it to shape the forest’s energy, immediately forming it into a carrier, a bolt of shimmering light. She struggled to her knees and raised her face to the heavens. Setting herself, she raised her hands, cupping them to her lips and breathed the power in through her mouth until there was no more. Smokey glowing tendrils seeped from her nose as she concentrated. Light spewed from her mouth as she screamed, her voice amplified and her words thrown into the sky encapsulated within a bolt of light, on their way to him. Unstoppable and unerring they lanced their way through the night, a small flash of light that shot through the sky, skimming the treetops.

 

As the words left her, she crumpled, falling limply to the ground, spent. She blinked slowly laying on her back, looking directly up at the night sky. A wolf howled nearby, as if in response to her scream. She smiled a little as her consciousness started to fade. She mused to herself, speaking to the goddess reminded her of being a child again. The goddess’s words filled with hidden wisdom, like a mother guiding her child from a lifetime of hard-earned knowledge and experience without providing the answers. Silvast lacked the energy to shake her head, her hearing started to tunnel and her vision dimmed. Her final thoughts on if she would wake before she were found, by either the wolves or his stormy blue eyes. At least if it were the wolves, she could feed.

 

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