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Beyond - Legends Legends of the Force, Book 2: “Cauldron-born”, 32 Chapters (OCs)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Legends of the Force, title of Book 2: “Cauldron-born”

    Author: @AzureAngel2

    Muse: @DarthUncle

    Editor: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    Special inspiration for a re-load: The new Star Wars movie that featured Lor San Tekka gave us little screen time with him. I wanted to know more about his origins, his social ties within the Star Wars universe. And suddenly, I realized that he could be in the prologue of this fan fic, too, along the side of Tionne Solusar. The enthusiastic Jedi archivist has drifted into the realm of legends since Walt Disney took over. And I needed more lovers of Force related relics gathered.

    Reason for a re-load: When the boards moved the original text got broken.

    Time frame: The prologue and epilogue happen years before the retirement of Lor San Tekka to Jakku and of course long before disaster strikes for the New Jedi Order in the form of the Knights of Ren (9 ABY). The main story takes place centuries before there is even an Old Republic.

    Summary: In the ruins of the Jedi library on Ossus Tionne Solusar shows her master Luke Skywalker and the explorer Lor San Tekka a precious book from the past.

    Disclaimer: SW is owned by Walt Disney, George Lucas and Lucas Lt.!!!


    Sources of Chapter 1:
    The Serpent Seed Doctrine by William Branham, its defender
    The theory of the Jesus bloodline, a hypothetical sequence of lineal descendants of the historical Jesus and some woman, usually portrayed as his wife or a hierodule, also used in the conspiracy thriller "The Da Vinci Code" (2003) by Dan Brown
    Wookieepedia The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe


    Sources of Chapter 2:
    The Wiccan chant “Born of water” by the artist Lindie Lila
    Wookieepedia The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe



    Prologue:

    One year ago Luke Skywalker had set foot on Ossus. Not soon after the Jedi knight the invasion of the planet’s surface had begun. Neither of Force-sensitives or hostile armies. The Obran Institute for Archaeology, the Hanna Institute of Antiquities, the New Republic Archaeological Corps and many others had started to sponsor excavations into the ruins of the Great Jedi Library.

    Among them had been Lor San Tekka, a galaxy wide explorer. As usual he had simply been driven by his passion for old Jedi artefacts and his wanderlust.

    He had no bonds left in life. There was no family to care for any more. He had lost his wife Nagina in the aftermath of the Clone Wars. But that tragedy had not been his only great loss. His entire clan had been burned to ashes by the laser of the first Death Star. They had not perished on Alderaan, but days before with the holy city of Jedha.

    Lor San Tekka is not a broken man though. His strong belief in the Force holds him up. Death is not the end and hate never helpful for the achievement of a goal.

    That Luke Skywalker and the seasoned historian have become first allies and then friends is no surprise to Tionne Solusar. The young woman had been among the first students of the Force that her master gathered around him. As a bibliophile she has made it her task to transfer data to the new Jedi Archives. She loves the smell of parchment and old book pages, likes to run her fingers through nostalgic data files.

    Today she has invited both Master Skywalker and Lor San Tekka into her realm. Her message had been brief and mysterious.

    “Come to see me about family matters.”

    Master Skywalker hopes that his student has found interesting data about his parents, especially his mother. There are so many unanswered questions concerning her.

    And Lor San Tekka wants to find traces of the woman he had loved like no other.

    A pair of pearly white eyes looks at the two men with kindness. Tionne is donned in the traditional robe of a Jedi archivist. Around her neck she wears a beautiful necklace.

    Master Skywalker smiles at his student. “I came as fast as possible. Patience is a skill of mine that still needs improvement after all these years. Master Yoda would scold me for my hunger for knowledge.”

    “Knowledge is a thing worth possessing.” Tionne Solusar gazes at the bearded explorer. “And why have you come, Master San Tekka?”

    “Because love is a mighty power.”

    The Jedi archivist opens an ancient looking book that is lying in front of her. Its pages are slightly yellow. Frail looking herbs, dry since centuries are stuck on the paper.

    Master Skywalker comes closer. “What is this?”

    “It is called a herbarium,” Lor San Tekka prompts straight away. “In botany this can be either a building in which the specimens are stored, the scientific institute itself or a dried plant mounted on a sheet of paper.”

    Having grown up on a desert planet the Master Skywalker always is fascinated by plants. His eyes wander over the elegant blossoms and thin leaves, wondering what his nephew, barely two years old, would think of this so-called herbarium. Ben Solo would probably try to eat the buds and spit them out again. The boy was still in his oral phase.

    “Somebody has made an effort to gather all this information,” Lor San Tekka concludes after a while. “Somebody with your patience and love for gathering things, Tionne.”

    “The preserved plants are not the most interesting thing. Please touch the book, Master Skywalker!”

    “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

    “Fear leads to the dark side,” offers the explorer, a huge grin on his bearded face.

    Laughing softly, Master Skywalker reaches out for the herbarium. A tingling sensation fills his entire body. “A very powerful Force user created this book,” he got out.

    The Jedi archivist nods. “The Force is with this book. That is how it survived centuries.”

    “What a wonderful addition to the archives,” beams Lor San Tekka, remembering Nagina’s love for flowers and plants in general.

    “Oh, there is more.”

    With that Tionne Solusar hands the explorer a drawing.

    “It is clearly done by a child, a very young child,” Lor San Tekka smiles.

    His wife, a dedicated kindergarten teacher, used to have many drawings like this in a special treasure box at home.

    A man in black robes, faintly looking like a Tusken Raider, can be seen. Force lightening dances around his fingertips, despite the black gloves he wears. He stands among red dunes. There is also a sort of palm tree.

    Lor San Tekka frowns.

    With bold strokes somebody has written in plain Basic, “Daddy the Sky Walker.”

    “Luke, you should see this,” he addresses his friend. “The old serpent line of Draconis. Nagina often spoke about it.”

    “The history of House Palpatine has nothing to do with me or my sister Leia, Lor,” Master Skywalker assures the explorer. "This has nothing to do with the Heinsnake Cult now, does it?"

    Lor San Tekka shook his head. “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

    Those words strike a chord deep in the Jedi´s soul. Master Yoda had once said them to him on Dagobah, when he was but a young and eager man. He had not known about having a twin back then, let alone that the infamous Darth Vader had fathered him.

    “I better listen then,” Master Skywalker promised Lor San Tekka.

    “Once upon a time there was a girl, not knowing that she was of royal blood. She grew up on a farm just like you...”


    [​IMG]


    Chapter 1: Cauldron-Born


    I am a child of the Unifying Force. My first memories are those of the azure sky and the emerald sea of grass spreading underneath it. The land is vast and empty, stroked by the celestial hands of the four winds.

    Trees are scarce. Those ashes and hazelnuts who have managed to grow duck themselves into the face of the plains. They are mostly mutilated by their constant fight against the elements.

    Old limestone walls, most of them fallen apart through the ages, mark long neglected farm fields where Mother Nature has taken over. Instead of corn and other crops the local meadow plants grew there wild and free: ragged robin, hog-weed and gorse.

    Blackberry bushes grow where ever they can. When cracks in the ancient walls contain enough earth ferns and mosses had made themselves comfortable in there.

    There are no neighbours at all. It is just Granny Críonnacht and me. She does not like to speak about my parents. Each time I make her, she says with a hushed voice, “It happened all long ago in the mountains. Very far, far away from here. Around midwinter. I took you out of your cradle and walked away from all the misery, from all the death.”

    In the end it does not matter all who my parents have been and where they came from. Mother and father must have loved me very much for they have left me in Granny’s gentle care. In her they have found the most wonderful guardian that a child could ask for. I am happy and content with that.

    Every morning I wake up to sunshine stroking my face with gentle love. Granny has my breakfast ready in the kitchen: porridge with honey and a big mug of milk.

    We live inside a little hill that has a grass roof, nine windows and a very colourful entrance door. It is as yellow and round as the sun above. All our furniture are made out of elder wood.

    Apart from our loyal cow we have six sheep and eight hens, guarded by the most pompous cock imaginable. We grow all our food by ourselves: various cabbages, potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, tomatoes and cucumbers.

    I am proud every time I can help Granny with errands. Especially when I have to enter the small kitchen garden right in front of our house. It contains all the herbs we need as spices or for making tea.

    Granny once told me that the patch of land we live on belongs to the royal family, the House Tjiehennet. It has been a gift to one of my ancestors for good service to the Draconian crown. As long as we stay on this land no harm will come to us.

    “It is a mad world out there, my dear. Drastic changes are brought by the foreigners from the stars,” Granny muses often and stares through the kitchen windows. “They claim to be human, but their skin is olive coloured and their curly hair is as black as the midnight hour. If you ask me, they are demons from deep space and have come for our immortal souls.”

    Each time I am about to leave the house, Granny stops me at the front door. It is time for my daily blessing. She reaches into her kitchen apron and gets a tiny powder box out. She opens it, mumbles some blandishments and puts a bright dot of colour on my brow. The bindi is for my protection against demons and bad luck.

    My days are spent in bliss and joy, stretching as endlessly as the grass sea. Sometimes I play, sometimes I learn hard.

    Granny is the best teacher imaginable. Her smile is warm and makes her emerald eyes twinkle in a very beautiful way. She never speaks a cross word to me, but there is no reason to. I am a very obedient child, eager to please her by all means. She is patient, wise and full of love.

    I am taught how to write the hieroglyphics of Cunabula, Elfin runes and the alphabet of the human race. But there is also a lot to do around the house. So I learn to spin, to weed the garden, to take care of our livestock and how to harvest.

    The most beautiful part are the chants. Chants in honour of the Great Mother. Chants to call the four elements. Chants about the beauty of the Unifying Force. Chants for protection. Chants for the sacred ancestors. I love them all and sing them as often as I can.

    Now and then I am given time to self-study with Granny’s holocron. According to her it has been in our family for ages. It is of pale blue quartz. Against the skin of my palm it always feels warm and moist. It activates at my pure touch. I like its inner heartbeat. It is like a drum calling me. What I like most though is the shining lady inside that talks to me. She always has interesting things to tell me.

    The planet that we live on is a world with various races and very different landscapes. There are the reptile blooded Ophidea. Pure human beings. The fair haired Elfin folk of the Daoine Side and their darker cousins, the Sleah Maith. Everybody lives together in harmony and happiness due to the wisdom of the god queens.

    When night falls and dinner is finished, Granny brings me to bed. She sits down in a rocking chair next to me and tells me about the sacred ancestors, the Serpent seed.

    Finally, it is time for the bedtime blessing.

    My nights are mostly dreamless. When I accidentally wake up in cold sweat and cry out in horror, Granny already hovers above me. She always says the same thing.

    “These are not your dreams, dear one. They belong to somebody else who died long ago. Let go of them!”

    Her kisses cover my entire face until I manage to come back from that dark place, where I do not want to be at all. It contains flickering images, powerful emotions and snatches of conversations that make no sense to me.

    The next day sunlight will wash over me again, making me forget the things that need to be forgotten. That were not mine to have.

    ********************************************************************

    Inaudible, I climb down from the crooked hazelnut tree that grows close to our kitchen garden. My heart is beating very fast with excitement. I am delighted somebody chooses to visit us.

    To be honest, when I first spotted our visitor, I thought he was a walking stone. But stones radiate but wisdom and calmness. The presence that I feel is too lively, too curious of its surroundings. I open all the gates of my mind, soaking in every detail.

    Star dust has put magic skills into the Elfin race by sheer accident. Druids have to learn words by heart and use wooden staffs to make that particular magic work. Granny has taught me to be alert of their kind. Their words can mutilate and kill other beings. They can make the weather change and infect illnesses.

    Suddenly I am very sad for our visitor. He will never know the energy field all around him, never connect with the Unifying Force due to his unnatural long life. To live thousands of years must be a very bleak existence. I bet he is not even aware that he is isolated and incomplete. He is forced to live in a dull universe, depending on spells and a piece of wood.

    Studying the druid with growing regret, I start to wonder if he will stay for dinner. Granny is a wonderful cook. Her stews are so delicious. She prepares them with much love and skill.

    Hastily, I make a plaid out of my unruly hair, trying to be as presentable as possible. I reach out for a little corn flower and put it behind my right ear. When I bent down to gaze at myself in the stream, I get disappointed. Its restless waters cannot serve me as a suitable mirror.

    I smooth my plain green frock. All of my clothing is woven out of sturdy sheep wool. Granny luckily stitches beautiful flower ornaments around the necklines and the sleeves. I hope this will do for the druid and that he does not look at my naked feet. Elves are very proud folk, fixed on elegance, beauty and perfection.

    The druid is a long and slender man with long blond hair. His cheekbones are very hollow, but he looks so bonny, so sophisticated.

    “Good morning,” I beam.

    “What are you?” he gurgles, a hand at his throat.

    Frowning, I answer, “I am a girl and my name is Sionnach O’Conghaile.”

    “Abomination,” he mutters. “Cauldron-born.”

    I blink at him, not sure what he means. Is he talking to me or to himself? For some reason he does despise me very much. The swirling colours of his aura tells me thus. Orange is a sign of anger.

    “You carry the lingering stain of a reptilian race that ruled when the universe was young,” he mutters, his eyes alight with horror. “The heritage of the murderers is embedded in you. The cursed thirteenth blood line of old Terra. The one that weaves in and out of the other twelve. In and out of history even.”

    There is a whooshing sound in the air and Granny jumps between us. Her daily combat training has made her body as lean and sharp as the elegant steel blade she holds.

    ********************************************************************

    “This is government property, sorcerer. You are trespassing,” she informs him with a chill voice.

    The druid looks at granny, unimpressed and aloof. “I am a free Elf and do not care much for the politics of Cunabula, half-blood.”

    “I am no half-blood,” Granny hisses. “My father is a survivor of the war and chose to kneel to the thrown of caput draconis. All the O’Conghaile did back then. Including me. I serve the crown since six hundred and seventy-two years.”

    “Why would you serve the child then?” the druid asks with displeasure.

    First I think he is speaking about me, but then it is clear to me that he is referring to the regina devina.

    “The land and the queen are one, always will be,” Granny answers, her voice somewhat clipped.

    “You could have left after the death of the true crown princess and the madness that befell queen Tamisra,” he suggests.

    “There is no madness.” Suddenly, Granny is very tense. So tense, I can see the veins in her throat pulsing. There is denial in her features. “The queen drew back from her duties for health reasons and put Arcānā in charge.”

    “Call it as you will, Tamisra left her thrown to a fourteen year old girl, unfit for the regal office.”

    “Arcānā is older than her actual years. Be glad that you carry none of her burdens.”

    “Burdens?“ The druid laughs dryly. “She lives a care-free life in her jungle city with priestesses at her hand. An off world senator fell in love with her. Every wish she has is fulfilled by an army of minions.”

    Granny’s beloved aura, that I have known for all my life, shows a display of colours I never thought she would carry inside her. It was like facing the abyss of a black hole. So much destruction was in her soul.

    “How little ignorant folk like you know about Her Majesty and the things she had to undergo,” she says in a strained voice.

    “That witchling brought this on herself, by beheading...”

    The sword does not only cut off the druid’s words, but also his head. It flies wide through the air and gently lands in the grass.

    While I stand there in awe, his blood spraying all over me, Granny licks the blade. “This is how ignorance tastes,” she says to herself. Then her eyes fall on me and her shoulders sag in. “Oh, Sionnach. I am so sorry.”

    ********************************************************************

    (To be continued!)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    Kahara, Darth_Furio and DarthUncle like this.
  2. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Fascinating beginning. And I wonder what this means:
     
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] =D= Wonderful prologue and plausible set up for a revealing of a legend.
     
    Kahara, DarthUncle and AzureAngel2 like this.
  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    You did it again, Azure. I'm hooked.
     
  5. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Nice and friendly way to grow u...[face_hypnotized]

    I like the framing story with Luke and Lor (note you added some to his story there), and think that you set up Sionnach's friendly and caring character very well. Nice.
     
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    https://img00.deviantart.net/677e/i...s_captain_hook_by_azureangel2ihrs-d2vlqnw.jpg



    @DarthUncle: Instead of writing this, grab your swimming trunks and let´s go to the fitness centre! You made your important phone call and now it´s time to sit in a whirlpool with your wife. Carpe diem!



    Our time window closes more and more each day... :(

    This story will continue some time after the 2nd May, when things are more clear again!
     
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  7. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Instead of writing this, grab your swimming trunks and let´s go to the fitness centre! You made your important phone call and now it´s time to sit in a whirlpool with your wife. Carpe diem!

    Sounds about right. :p Nice opening.
     
  8. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Ooh, I'm so happy to see Tionne and Lor both here. :D I've grown very fond of Tionne over the years and wish she'd end up in new canon somehow. And it's nice to meet Lor and see that his life has not been entirely desolate since Nagina's death.

    I really enjoyed the description of Sionnach's childhood world -- it sounds isolated but beautiful. The sudden violence surprised me, though of course there is always a lot of bloodshed in the ancient GFFA you've painted in such detail. I remember Sionnach vaguely from Serpent's Spawn and am curious to learn more about her story.
     
  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @CaraJinn: It means that a very young person painted his or her daddy a long time ago. You´ll see.


    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for your kind reply and the quick beta-edit. Still need to fill it in.


    @Cowgirl Jedi 1701: Good to know. The story is already written, but needs to get posted bit by bit.


    @Darth_Furio: Good to see you around, too.


    @Kahara: Having been an Au-Pair girl in Eire ages ago, I still remember the Irish country side. Plus a lot of legends about the Fair Folk. This is how the story of Sionnach came to life. Her personality is slightly inspired by Leetha from the famous Elfquest comic series.

    Okay everybody, including @DarthUncle, here we go:


    (Still Chapter 1)

    *******************************************************************

    The next hours seem like a never-ending nightmare. Granny is weeping bitter tears of shame. A shame that has nothing to do with the murder that she committed, but with the state of shock she has put me in.

    Even after she put me in our wooden bath tube I feel so dirty, so utterly dirty. The smell of the spilled blood still sticks to me. I can not get rid of it, despite all of the lavender soap that I use.

    Then, with no warning, sleeping memories awake.

    The angle from which I see Mother’s face is rather strange. A baby is supposed to be born in a bed and not on a stone floor. Womenfolk with towels and hot water buckets should attend to the mother’s needs.

    Father, whom I cannot see from my position, howls like a hurt animal.

    What scares me most is the large amount of people that look down at me dumbstruck.

    There is also a young girl with bloodshot eyes. She has blond hair, bound in hundreds of little plaids. Violet lightening is dancing all around her, lashing out to a tall woman that towers above Mother and me.

    Stop it right now!” the equally blond woman yells. “Has there not been enough death today?”

    This is only the beginning,” the girl answers grimly.“Step out of my way! I will have the head of the wolf whelp as well. Their kind will be extinguished from this planet once and for all.”

    I command you to end this madness!”

    Reptile fangs snap out of the girl’s mouth. “He should have never bred into our family at all. You cannot allow this! Not after all what happened during the war.”

    The war is over since centuries.”

    Not for me.” The darkness around the girl tightens.

    Granny yelps when she notices that my head sinks under the water. With amazing speed she took me out of the bathtub and carried me straight to the bedroom.

    “Sionnach, oh please come back to me!”

    I hear her coos, but I cannot return from the journey that my mind had set me on.

    Priestesses of the Snake goddess are working in their underground laboratories. Their faces are tense, their hands flying around hastily.

    “I want answers and no failures!” the blond girl shouts at them. She wears nothing but a wraparound garment around her hips.

    “The embryos are too weak,” somebody tells her. “We cannot undo the defect.”

    “You will do as I say.”

    Somewhere a woman in a yellow sari collapses without breath. She is dead before she hits the ground.

    Unimpressed, the girl picks up a laboratory glass. “I want new life being born out of this tragedy. You will not fail me. Do you hear me? One of these embryos will carry on the legacy of my beloved sister.”

    Granny’s voice tries to pull me back from the place I should not enter. “Sionnach, let go. You will go as mad as Arcānā. Please! You are more than a memory of a dead child. You are for real.”

    Bitter tears rain down on me. I am shaken violently.

    The girl presses her nose against the glass of the tube that I imprisoned in. “I want this one to grow and flourish! Breath life into her! Use all what it necessary!”

    Kisses cover my hair, my front, my eyelids and my cheeks. ”You are better than this,” Granny sniffs. “Your are stronger. Let go of what was! Be! Breath! Live!”

    *******************************************************************

    For some reason I live on. And I have not gotten mad. I already have known to be of mixed origin. Granny has insisted to be proud about it since I was touching my pointed ears for the very first time. “You are the blood of two words, three races combined in harmony in one body,” she had told me back then.

    But the rest, that Granny has told me, is a lie. Nothing but a lie. When she is busy in the kitchen one day, pealing potatoes for dinner already, I sneak out of my room via the window. While I do so the holocron rests in the pocket of my kitchen apron. I need to understand.

    About three miles from the house I sit down cross-legged. I am panting very hard from all the physical effort. Running is not a thing I am good at.

    Having secrets is another thing I am bad at.

    As soon as I sit down in the middle of my right palm, the holocron activates itself. The familiar face of the full-blooded Ophelia regards me with kind patience.

    “How may I serve your hunger for knowledge today, Sionnach O’Conghaile?”

    Despite all the recent events I have to smile. “Greetings to you, Mistress Sapientia.”

    She bows as she usually does.

    It has taken me a while to find out that Sapientia is not a real person taking to me. She is just a data base, a collection of records with interactive holograms. The basic knowledge can be accessed directly, like a computer encyclopaedia.

    Sapientia and I, we both are not real beings, nevertheless we exist in a strange universe.

    I take a deep breath before I manage to ask, “How can life be created, mistress?”

    “In its standard form, the big bang theory assumes that all parts of the universe began expanding simultaneously. After about one to three seconds had passed since the creation of the universe, protons and neutrons began to react with each other to form deuterium,... ”

    I stop Sapientia nervously. “Not the creation of the universe, I... I... er, I want to know about the creation of humanoid life.”

    “Certainly.” I receive another curd nod before she goes on speaking. “Sexual intercourse, also known as...”

    I flush but despite my great embarrassment I am able to interrupt her a second time. “I am referring to life out of a laboratory. Can they produce it there?”

    For some heartbeats I fear that Sapientia will not answer me. Her face is blank, but then her lips do open again.

    “A sample of a subject’s cells are taken when creating a clone. Then its genetic code is duplicated.”

    This is exactly what I need to hear. My hands begin to tremble with anxiety. The blood is rushing so loud through my veins that I have difficulties to follow every word that Sapientia says within the next moments. My head hurts a big deal, but I need to know all these scientific facts very, very badly. With my eyes shut, I let sink them in and settle down in my conscience.

    “Thank you, Mistress Sapientia. That is all for today.”

    My eyes remain shut. I cannot bare opening them. It is not only because of Granny standing behind me. My entire world has collapsed all around me. The only reason for me being alive is that the crown princess feels guilty for the death of her sister.

    “I am cauldron-born,” I mutter to myself. “There are no parents. I am but a piece of clay.”

    “Why do you torture yourself that way, dear one?” Granny says somewhere from behind me, her voice drenched in sorrow.

    I press my lips together, continuing to weep in silence. My body shakes uncontrolled.

    *******************************************************************

    The sky is cloudless. Midday sun stands high above us, blissfully unaware of the shock that I am in. By now Granny is so close that I can smell the ingredients from the stew on her: onions, parsley, thyme, pepper and potatoes. The touch of her fingers is very light. She starts massaging my shoulder blades.

    “We should settle our differences before she arrives,” Granny sighs.

    My eyes snap open. “Who is coming?” I manage to say, even though my heart is fully aware of the visitor’s identity.

    “Your aunt Arcānā, of course.”

    “She is not my aunt,” I protest meekly.

    Granny leans against my back now. “The crown princess is your aunt. And you never should have consulted fovea centralis.”

    I blink. “Whom?”

    “Sionnach, dear, this holocron is more than an interactive library. It is a communication device, tuned to an encrypted channel.” Granny shivers against me like a leaf in the wind. “Mistress Sapientia is real. She is an agent of the Draconian secret service, also known as fovea centralis.”

    Fovea Centralis, the area of the most acute vision within the eye. It makes sense to call a secret service agency thus.

    Guilt and fear are nagging at me, but I have no time to dwell in them.

    “You must go now!” Granny advices me.

    “Where to?” I reply drowsily, overwhelmed by strong emotions.

    “Further than your feet can carry you. To a place where Arcānā would never expect you at all.”

    “Why?”

    “A seed of madness is in her soul since many years. The Undead of the royal crypts feed it.”

    The Undead of Cunabula. Invisible claws reach out for me, whisper dark things into my head. Forbidden knowledge.

    “So you know them after all.” Granny narrows her almond eyes to thin slits. “You must not be found by them or your aunt. I fear for your soul. Run, child, run.”

    I am pushed forward.

    “Do not make me hurt you.” Granny cries openly. “This is not your fight. This is mine.”

    It pains me to see her crumple in front of my eyes. She used to be so strong, so composed.

    Suddenly, Granny smiles. “Death is but a door, young one. In death, I will be more powerful than Arcānā can imagine. There is a way to become one with the Unifying Force. Not only in body, but in soul. Without taking harm in the process. True love is the key.”

    Her hands reach out for me and she gives me a final blessing.

    “The Undead chose the wrong path. It was the dark side and their own ambitions that withered their hearts. They stepped out of the Circle of Life that is about giving and taking.”

    My throat is tight.

    “I will choose the light side of the Force. Do not worry for me! And now go.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Fascinating revelations and pivotal changes =D=
     
    Kahara, DarthUncle and AzureAngel2 like this.
  11. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    A new one with your OC Sionach
     
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  12. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    I like the turnaround where there is a real person behind the holocron, answering the clone!

    So, her heroes yourney is on the way, she still seems a very kind and honest person, I hope that she can maintain that without losing a lot.
     
  13. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Death is but a door, young one. In death, I will be more powerful than Arcānā can imagine. - Shades of Obi-Wan

    It was the dark side and their own ambitions that withered their hearts. - Pretty much the mantra of all selfish dark side users.

    Nice update!
     
  14. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @DarthUncle, @earlybird-obi-wan & @Darth_Furio, I am so glad to see you around. Your comments make me proud and lift my spirits up immensely.

    Perhaps @CaraJinn, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, @Kahara & some others will be interested in this re-written fic, too.


    Chapter 2:

    There is an old Druidic ceremony named the imbas forosna. After many days in a sensory-deprivation chamber a druid in training will be grabbed by his fellow brothers and dragged into the bright sunlight. The general belief is that the shock of this event will push the mind of the initiative into a higher state of consciousness.

    It is a similar shock that makes me move.

    In the distance I hear a rancor roaring in blood lust. It is an awful sound that makes my blood freeze.

    The holocron has shown me what the large carnivorous reptomammals look like. They mainly consist of fangs and claws. Yet they is a link between the Ophidea and those gigantic beasts of prey. The Elves even have a word for such relationships: anamchairde, soul friends. To me it is no surprise that Arcānā has such a fierce companion.

    “Quick, lass! Come here!”

    Startled my eyes recognize on a rider on horseback. He is at the other side of the stream, that marks the official frontier line of our land. Judging the fine attire that he wears, he is a laird, a nobleman of the Mountain Elves.

    “Do you want to live?” he shouts towards me.

    I nod slowly.

    “Then come with me.”

    Another wild scream raptures the air. Automatically, I turn my head towards it.

    Granny is a skilled Force user, but I fear that not even she can fight both the rancor and the mad crown princess ridding it.

    “Lass, I am very sorry for your family.”

    The rider has come very close to the water by now. He has a very friendly and honest face, framed by dark masses of hair. His aura also tells me that he has a good heart.

    “There is nothing we can do for them, except getting you out of here.”

    A third cry vibrates through the air.

    Through the Unifying Force I feel that Granny has moved on to a new level of existence. I cannot help that tears smart out of my eyes anyway. Half blind I stumble forward and into freedom.

    *******************************************************************

    The name of my saviour is Laird O’Gradaigh, nobility of the Sleah Meath. The young man has been visiting his Daoine Sidhe in-laws, bringing them the good news of the pregnancy of their beloved daughter in person.

    When we finally make camp-site close to the castle grounds of his father-in-law, his Lordship tells me a lot about his lovely wife Meala. I can tell that he is very much in love with her. With lively hand gestures he describes her beauty and her wonderful character, while I have to drink from the small whiskey bottle.

    “It will help to calm your nerves, lass,” he insists.

    Overwhelmed by his friendliness and the sorrow over Granny’s violent death I did not have the courage to turn his offer down. Dutifully, I drink the smoky tasting alcohol. Actually it has no effect at all on me. Not even my fingertips tickle a slightly bit. Perhaps this strong drink is only working for real Elves and not dirty pretenders like me.

    While Laird O’Gradaigh is preparing his quarry for us – three little rabbits - I
    saunter towards the lake, from which our worn-out horse is drinking greedily. I have a different need. There is this burden I carry with me. A beacon of darkness.

    The young nobleman gazes up, produces a little smile and goes on preparing our food.

    Would he recognize a holocron for what it is? He does not seem to notice that I am cauldron-born. There is hope.

    Praying to the Northern Lights and the Force, I walk on. While doing so, I cannot help my gaze lingering on the food. Seeing a rabbit being pealed out of its skin is more than I can bear. I actually am a vegetarian. Since my early childhood I have refused to eat meat. Granny had accepted it without questioning, knowing what reasons drove me.

    I walk towards the water in a blind haze. Once my hands touch the surface of the water, I remember a chant Granny used to sing to me when she washed me.

    “Born of water
    Cleansing, powerful
    Healing, changing
    I am.”


    Fear and anger are no good for me, nor my Midi-chlorians. Granny sacrificed herself for me. I can do better than dissolving in sorrow. For her I need to survive and become the beaton, Force healer, she wanted me to be.

    But first I must destroy my feeble connection to the Holy Isle of Cunabula. My aunt must not find me. Her darkness must not embrace me. Willingly or not, she killed the real me long ago. The little princess that I was going to be. I must break free from the Tjiehennet curse. The dark side of the Force is a choice, not a heritage passed on between generations.

    The horse give me intense looks when I take out the holocron of its very unlikely hiding place.

    Laird O’Gradaigh pays no attention at all. His eyes are still fixed on the dinner preparations. When he does look up, surprised by the sound of splashing water, my hands are busy cleaning my kitchen apron from the travel dust.

    “Did you hear that, too, lass?”

    “Must have been some animal, milord,” I answer matter-of-fact.

    “Well, as long as it is not that cursed beasties...” He breaks off when he gazes into my hurt face. “Come here!”

    My hands clench around my wet apron while the holocron is sinking to the depths of the lake. “Yes, milord.”

    The young nobleman gives me a long, thoughtful look. “Listen, nobody can bring you back what you have lost today. Not even Darach in all Her divine grace. The only thing that I can do for you is...”

    I am not hear what his offer is. The holocron has reached the button of the lake and screams out in vain. It feels betrayed by me and lashes out in dark fury. Or is it my aunt who has lost track of me?

    Laird O’Gradaigh, unaware from the high piercing shrieks, catches my limp body.

    *******************************************************************

    Weak in body and mind I am carried through the bizarre beauty of the Montes Nubii in a litter. The Sleah Maith have a very different name for the large mountain chain. They call it Geihreal Sliabh, which translates in Basic as ´Rocks of Fate´. Here, in a world of never-ending frost and snow storms, their ancestors took refuge from the reptile-blooded Ophidea.

    I know that I should be unhappy about it, but something deep inside me agreed with my new surroundings. The smell of winter tickles wonderful in my nose. Around these parts the world has a certain cleanliness and dignity about it.

    Continuously snow falls on cedars. It is ´iskald´ as the Udalars of these lonely parts would say.

    Several plaids are wrapped around me. Only my nose sticks out into the winter air. My viewing range is limited.

    Laird O’Gradaigh talks to me in a stream of soft words. About his wife Meala. About his hope for a healthy male heir. About his nagging fears of what can go possibly wrong. His own mother died in childbirth.

    Elves seldom get get off-spring. Granny once told me that they are as delicate as jungle orchids. They bruise easily, are prone to illnesses. She herself lost all of her children. They would not thrive. After the fifth miscarriage she chose the Way of the Sword. Luckily her family was not outraged but supported her by all means. In the old days it was an honour to serve the common good. After the war Elfin women were discouraged to be she-warriors. The enemy had had too many.

    The landscape becomes more barren. Trees get scarce.

    I am sure we pass some old battlefields. For there are weird spots of darkness in the Unifying Force. My feverish state makes me more sensitive for those ugly Force wounds forever embedded into the surface of the planet.

    Now and then I gaze up to the winter sky, try to catch snow flakes with my mouth. But most of the time I sleep. My Midi-chlorians work hard to reactivate my self-healing. In my head I quote more of Granny’s chants and prayers. But my concentration wavers more and more.

    Finally, there is soft torch light and a sea of voices.

    Despite all perils along the way Laird O’Gradaigh have made it to Dún Mor-Shiabh, his ancestral home.

    *******************************************************************

    The ducal household welcomes me, a total stranger, with much affection. I am pampered and cared for until the high fever is gone. They think that I am one of their kin. Actually everybody believes me to be that ill due to the vicious rancor attack that has killed my entire family.

    Once I am healthy enough to get out of bed, I make short walks through the large midwinter fortress.

    Dún Mor-Shiabh is an ancient monument. The walls breath history from every angle. The wooden panels, its descriptive wall carpets, the weapon gallery, the glass windows, the complicated stone ornaments – all is so serene and composed.

    One cannot feel that particular cold with the inhabitants of the fortress though. I am amazed about the high spirits in which they all live. Instead of hating the never-ending cold they embrace it like an old friend. Like somebody who gives them all the possibility to come together for evening singing sessions in the kitchen.

    Sometimes even Laird O’Gradaigh and his wife join those jolly gatherings, called ceilidhs. They last for many hours. Instruments are played as well: violins, Highland pipes, the Lowland pipes and the curious looking carnyx. Her Ladyship Meala volunteers to play harp occasionally. Now and then even spoons serve as percussion. Ballads are exchanged, jigs and reels make people dance happily.

    I am not an overwhelming singer. My talents lie elsewhere. Therefore my voice is rather mediocre, but nobody minds that. I am welcome as I am. Especially Salva is fond of me. She is an orphaned human girl of twelve summers. Laird O’Gradaigh has rescued her from the hands of slavers, when she had been barely three years old. Like me he had brought her here into safety.

    Svala is a very friendly and round person, looking cute in her Elfin servant robes. Especially with her two thick plaids hanging down her shoulders. Her hair is chestnut brown. It has a special glance. The most stunning thing about her are her eyes though. They have the colour of pearls. Her iris is almost colourless.

    The two of us get on very well. It is nice sharing blankets and pillows with her like I did with Granny.

    After a while life gets back to a reasonable pace for me and I asked about becoming a kitchen maid. My wish is gladly granted by everybody. The servants adopt me, an orphan of no means, to be one of their own. Without even searching for it I have found a new family. The Force has blessed me after the terrible happenings.

    Being a mere kitchen maid is a good cover up for I do not want to be known as a beaton around here. The Holy Inquisition is an institution that I do not want to be antiquated with.

    Since the Star Wars the majority of Elves have trouble with the concept of the Unifying Force. It is considered as something evil, unnatural even. Midi-chlorians are regarded as an infestation of body, soul and mind.

    Soon, I establish I new routine that keeps me from pondering too much about my past or my possible future. I give my best to flourish in the Unifying Force like a cherry blossom in spring.

    At dawn I get up with Svala and together we make our way down to the kitchen to help Drambuie. The thousand year old cook is a fabulous person, reminding me much of Granny. In her long life she has seen many god queens of Cunabula come and go.

    Together the three of us prepare a large pot of oatmeal for everybody in the castle and make porridge out of it.

    Right after breakfast, usually enjoyed with fresh cow milk, we go on creating delicious meals for lunch and dinner time: broth, shortbread cookies and the dreamlike cranachan dessert. We also cook a lot of dishes with fish and with meat. This makes us the most admired and beloved persons in the entire castle. We are its secret heartbeat.

    Each time I am off duty, I am taught skiing, especially the style that the Northmen call skidlöpning. On one of the frozen lochs, deep lakes that are so different to the ones in the Lowlands, I also lean how to skate: skridskoåkning. I am happy and contend. Life is as it should be.

    *******************************************************************

    Somewhat in the twentieth sun month of Her Ladyship’s pregnancy, Aobrann, her usually merry maid, enters the kitchen with hanging shoulders. “She is coming!” she announces to everybody present.

    Drambuie closes her eyes for some heartbeats, gripping the cookery spoon more intensely. “And her duties will call her away again.”

    “Not as soon as we all wish” Aobrann sighs. “I hate this woman. She is like a curse.”

    “We must accept though that she is family of His Lordship.” Drambuie opens her dark blue eyes again.

    She is just a cousin second grade.”

    “That does not stop him, my dear Aobrann, to hold her in his highest regards.”

    Before I can ask Drambuie whom she is referring to, the old woman says a name that I dread. “Her Holiness Mórag MagUhidir will therefore be treated as a guest of honour. Otherwise we put shame on this household.”

    I drop the bowl with porridge that I planned to bring to Gáirdean, the steward of Dún Mor-Shiabh.

    “Easy, lass, I bet Her Ladyship did not come for you or any other member of the household. She is not as evil as her reputation,” he ensures me, patting my back. Then he helps me to clean up the mess that I have made.

    The Holy Inquisition will arrived after all. Unbidden. I am in grave danger.

    *******************************************************************

    (To be continued!)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow, superb details on a rich culture and glad she was rescued and seems to have found friends.
     
  16. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
  17. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    This is something I explored in my fic and will in my sequel. None Force users views on the Force. Seeing what Force users have done good and bad you can imagine how "regular" beings could come up with these opinions. Nice Azure!
     
  18. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    love to see her again with her rich culture
     
  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @DarthUncle is out of hospital since Monday morning and we need to turn our flat up & down to gain space for all the incoming boxes that he will need for
    peritoneum dialysis. I already gave away 50 Star wars books, most for free.

    Anyway, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, @Darth_Furio & @earlybird-obi-wan thanks for sticking to this re-write story. I am glad about so many thoughful comments! @};-[:D][face_love]



    (To be continued!)


    *******************************************************************

    Evil is not the right word to describe Her Holiness Mórag MagUhidir. She stands high above such simple terms and this makes her a dangerous foe. Even more for she believes to be righteous and full of virtue. Centuries ago the dark side of the Force has crept inside the heart of the half-blooded Elfin woman and nestled down there. That she denies this fact to herself and the rest of the planet makes matters even worse. Instead of order and justice she brings chaos and unbelievable sorrow to the Elfin nation.

    I am on the highest tower in the castle grounds when the impersonation of the Holy Inquisition arrives. Blood makes noise when it runs through the body. I am afraid that my tell-tale heart will betray me with its loud bangs against my chest.

    My Midi-chlorians are in uproar. They can also feel the abbess in her dreadful intensity.

    “What are you doing up here, lass?”

    Gobha, the falconer, gives me a fright by addressing me so suddenly.

    In the Force Elves make no stir. When they have no Rune magic in them either, it is even more difficult to read their aura. The past months I had to unlearn everything that I knew and had to start over again.

    “This is the best view on the company I can get,” I reply. My eyes remain fixed on our visitors.

    Her Holiness Mórag MagUhidir has not come alone. Twelve priestesses have come with her. Their presence gives me a migraine. They are an itch that I cannot make go away. No matter how desperately I want it to.

    Gobha laughs dryly. “You can spot them far better from the court yard.”
    “Staring is not polite, my grandmother has taught me.”

    I want to add that Granny also has trained me how to gather the Force around me like a cloak. Just to me invisible to enemies, even those who were Force sensible like the abbess. Before anything fatal can slip from my lips I press them together.

    “It is all right that you are afraid of her, lass.” Gobha joins me at the banister. “Anything else would be unwise. Wherever Her Holiness goes she brings death and destruction with her. She is a curse that turned into flesh and blood.”

    My fingers cramp around each other in my kitchen apron. “But this is a family visit, is it not?”

    “That is what we all hope each and every time she shows up.” The eyes of the falconer cloud. “At least she has the curtsey to announce her visits a couple of days ahead. This helps us to prepare for the inevitable.”

    I find it sad for Laird O’Gradaigh to have a great-cousin like this. He is such a lively, young man with outstanding manners and humour. His wife can be glad to have a husband like him. To us he is a kind master. His farmers also are very found of him.

    “Are they very close, the abbess and His Lordship?” I ask.

    “They grew up in this castle together. His father was the only person who took the abandoned child in.” Gobha looked rather angry now. “They should have left her in the mountains to die.”

    “Why is that?”

    “She is of mixed blood, even though one cannot blame her heritage on her. Things like this happen in the war. Bad things.”

    I nod slowly, understanding. Being born out of violence, the abbess had chosen the wrong path. My creation has been an act of desperation, committed by a lot of women and their young crown princess in a sterile laboratory.

    The snow fall increases, but the thick woollen quilt around my shoulders holds me warm. Perhaps even my Tjiehennet heritage takes care of my comfort.

    “Do you know the abbess from her youth?” I dare to ask.

    Gobha shakes his head. “I served the family of Her Ladyship. When she married His Lordship I chose to come with her. But I heard stories from old Drambuie.”

    “Please enlighten me!” I beg for all knowledge is worth having, especially when one has a dangerous foe to meet.

    “The past is a dangerous place to visit. It is more important to live in the present. The Holy Inquisition is after everybody who does not act recording to the brehon law. Or pays their dues to the religion of Darach.”

    *******************************************************************

    Later in the evening, I stay in the kitchen and ask Svala to help to serve the dishes instead. Nobody finds this suspicious. The young human girl does not mind entering the dinning-room. She is rather unimpressed by the congregation of the beanmna feasa. No fear is in her heart, just amusement.

    “They look like ravens sitting on a branch together”, she muses when she returns with an empty tray, “They also sound like ravens.”

    Drambuie looks up from her steamy cookery pots. “You should not make mockery of them. They are dangerous.”

    Svala shrugs her small shoulders. “To Elves and all who believe in magic they are a danger. I believe in the Unifying Force.”

    I manage to cut deep into my left ring finger.

    “The Force?” Something that looks like faint anger crawls into the old woman’s eyes. “I cannot remember that we raised you in such unspeakable ways.”

    The other servants have fallen very still.

    Svala takes out the amulet that she is wearing around her neck all the time. “To believe in the Phoenix and the Force field is very common around my people.”

    “But you are not among your people any longer.” Gáirdean, the steward, has entered the kitchen. He looks not pleased at all. “You are with us and we do not wish you to get burned alive for wearing that. Give it to me.”

    Svala shakes her head. “This is all that I have left of my mother.”

    Gáirdean takes some bold steps towards her. “In her name I ask you to give that thing to me now.”

    Svala moves backwards, bumping against the oven.

    Old Drambuie is suddenly besides her, enclosing her arms around her. “Make sense and no fuzz! We only want to help you, child!”

    Not really thinking it through properly, I begin to suck my wounded thumb.

    An action that activates my Midi-chlorians. Blue light spreads and the damaged tissue begins to heal immediately. I am glad that nobody could see what I had done.

    Svala screams and howls when the amulet is taken away from her. It is handed over to Dòrn, the blacksmith, immediately.

    “Destroy this before it can destroy her!”

    The tears of the human girl fall like rain as Dòrn rushes off to his smithy. Huddled into a corner of a kitchen I shed a single tear, too.

    *******************************************************************

    The phoenix. The symbol of the forbidden Elfin god named Dealg. Among his followers he is also known as ´the sky walker´. He has been the first being on Draconis to become aware of the mystical energy field that held the Crystallite sun system together. He learned of its two halves – the Ashla, or the good, and the Bogan, the para-force of evil. Of course he passed this knowledge on to his kin – three children. Nobody knows where who they are.

    In the Northern Regions the teachings of Dealg has fallen on fertile soil, even among the humans who live there. This is the evil that Her Holiness Mórag MagUhidir has devoted herself to fight against.

    I wonder what Her Holiness will make of me, unofficial property of the Draconian crown. Will I be burned on the spot or tortured until I die of my countless wounds?

    While I watch Svala sobbing in a dark corner near the oven, Lady O’Gradaigh showed up. She looks pale and disturbed. I offer her a seat straight away.

    “Thanks, Sionnach.” Pregnancy has become her well until very recently. Now her knuckles are badly swollen and her eyes have dark rings under them. “I wonder if I can have a glass of milk.”

    I manage a courtesy bow. “Of course, milady.”

    Drambuie smiles at me, while I fetch the noble woman a big mug and add a honey pot with a little silver spoon. Then I take some milk from the oven, pouring it straight into the mug.

    Apart from Her Ladyship, the cook, Svala and me, nobody else is in the kitchen any longer. They were all staying out on errands since the dreadful scene with the phoenix amulet earlier on.

    For a while Her Ladyship is sipping her hot drink in silence, then she chooses to speak again. Her voice is thin, almost feeble. “I know about your knowledge of herbs, girl. Can you recommend me something that can put me to sleep more easily?”

    Before I can answer, Her Ladyship goes on talking.

    “They cause me nightmares, those women. It is as if they suck all happiness out of me and just leave despair behind.”

    Drambuie sits down next to her. “You have no reason to be afraid of them, milady.”

    “But I am. I am so afraid.” Her Ladyship breaks out in tears.

    “Do not be afraid. It leads... it is not good for the baby that you carry under your heart.”

    My hands shake and so I have trouble putting the honey pot back properly. But I cannot fail to notice the chance of words that the old cook has taken. It seems to me as if she almost wanted to say: It leads to the dark side of the Force.

    With tight lips I start to cut some honey bread for Her Ladyship and smear it with a lot of butter. She needs a lot of happiness right now. Sugar will be able to give her some.

    “I know I should not worry so much”, Her Ladyship continues. “Yet they do scare the wits out of me with their intense eyes. It seems as if they could look right into my heart and find all secrets in there. It is bad enough to face Mórag on her own, but to have some of her priestesses here is too much for me.”

    Drambuie nods sympathetically, while Her Ladyship goes on lamenting.

    In the meantime Svala sneaks out of the kitchen and I do not stop her. I carry on with my work, until I am asked to join the two Elfin women at the table. Gingerly, I place a stool between them.

    “Tell me, Sionnach, what is your greatest fear?”

    This question makes me blush, even though Her Ladyship has asked me in her sweetest and most gentle voice. “To face myself,” I answer truly.

    “What a wise answer from one so young.” Drambuie takes my left hand and squeezes it full of tenderness.

    “Pray, how old are you?” Her Ladyship gives me an encouraging smile. “You look not younger than fifty sun years, barely out of your Elfin teens.”

    Once more I am able to answer without lying. “I do not know. My grand-mother never told me and there was no one else to ask.”

    “Oh? You did not live in the village of Cranog itself?”

    The lie of my life has to be told in earnest truth after all. “We just stayed there for a very short time when I was a baby, but Granny liked the open plains better. She wanted me to grow up in freedom and solitude. The villagers were too chatty and unfriendly in her critical eyes.”

    “Was there nobody else in your life?” Her Ladyship looks astonished.

    “Granny has been my life. There had been nobody else apart from our animals. I have been complete with her.”

    Drambuie clears her throat and Her Ladyship stares into her half-full mug. The milk inside is as white and innocent as my words had been. My Midi-chlorians are proud of me, yet I feel stricken. It will always be like this, a half-life.
     
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  20. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Nice mix of elves and old legends with the Star Wars.
    En STERKTE Bouke
     
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Definitely has the deep legend feel to it. =D=
     
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  22. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Indeed @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha , there's a lot of mythology gathered here and interacting in interesting ways.
    And Sionnach is a real heroine, getting stuck in dangerous situations but still finding things to heal where she can, as long as she can be an unseen mouse. But, it must be a strain on her, not being able to really share her fears and worries with anyone.
     
  23. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @earlybird-obi-wan: Ik heb het hem gezegt. And thanks for reading!


    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: I am legend... ;):p



    @DarthUncle: How good you came to know Sionnach the past 13 years. [face_love]

    Okay, perhaps @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, @Nehru_Amidala & @Darth_Furio would like to come along on this Eopie ride, too.


    Chapter 3:

    Due to heavy snow fall, Her Holiness Mórag MagUhidir and her travel company stay on for another sun week. It is an unbearable time for me. I am playing hide and seek with the most dangerous woman on this planet. A darksider so mighty, that it is mind blowing. To shield myself from her is difficult, but I pretend to be part of my surroundings as much as possible.

    The Force has mercy on me. Nobody shows up in the kitchen area or stands in my way unexpectedly during my errands.

    All goes perfectly well, until Svala howls like a mad wolf. Right in the inner yard of the castle. In search of her beloved amulet she has entered the smithy and has managed to receive a third degree burn wound.

    Without thinking I drop the two buckets of snow that I carry and run towards her. Soothing her, my gift unfolds itself as easy as a bird uses its wings to fly. Under my touch the destroyed tissue turns into from black into a healthy pink colour.

    When I am done, I feel a draft behind me. It is not the winter wind. There is a great disturbance in the Force.

    Her Holiness Mórag MagUhidir looks like a statue of the goddess Darach come to life. Her black hair, shimmering with a touch of midnight blue, is piled up into a crescent moon, which forms a complicated knot above her bleak forehead. Her snow-white skin looks even more ghostly in her anthracite garment. Yet, in her eerie eyes the true distortion of her soul lies. They are yellow with red lines in them. She has come to close to the dark side. I have seen with Granny and I bet that aunt Arcānā has it, too.

    “What do we have here?”

    I do not answer that unpleasant voice, which wraps around my mind like poison ivy.

    “Can it talk at all?”

    Actually, `it` can speak the two main Elfin languages, the dialects of the Ophidea, Basic and some rudimentary sentences of the Udalers, the humans of the Northern Regions. But right now `its` tongue is glued to `its` upper jaw. I am speechless by so much scorn and cold hatred.

    “Until I have discussed your existence with my former apprentice Arcānā you will stay inside this property.”

    She wants to talk to my aunt, who has an unhealthy fixation on my dead mother. I feel rather dizzy when the tall Elfin woman sweeps away in cold grace. Only Svala’s solid body resting in my arms helps me to stand my ground.

    *******************************************************************

    The morning after her Her Holiness is gone I find a wooden amulet under my pillow. It has the form of a phoenix. Judging by the poor quality of the work, its maker is a mere beginner with woodwork.

    It soon occurs to me that Svala has some curious cuts on both her hands that have nothing to do with her daily kitchen tasks.

    In order not to bring doom on I keep the amulet hidden in my underwear. I suspect nobody will look there for it at all.

    Pretty soon life goes back to normality with all its little joys. Songs are being played in the kitchen again and musical instruments are taken out of their wooden boxes.

    When spring comes to the Low Lands, I am asked to accompany Gáirdean, the steward, to the city. He wants to buy new supplies in exchange for other goods, that staff members have produced: wooden statues of Darach, home-made pullovers, delicious fruit cakes and horse shoes.

    Six guards join our journey on horseback.

    While we are away, enjoying ourselves, Her Ladyship goes into labour. It is long before her actual time and there is no midwife.

    When we return she is already placed on a table in the entrance hall of the castle. Her body is wrapped in cotton wool from head to toe.

    Gáirdean and I have just come in time for the traditional wake.

    Why I am asked to bake the soul cake for the funeral celebrations I cannot remember. My shaky hands do their best to preform the sad task.

    I am also the person who is tasked to let the sin eater into the castle. He is a beggar from a nearby village. He always preforms the ancient ritual at local funerals.

    I accompany the sin eater towards the deceased.

    His Lordship has placed a slice of my soul cake on the dead woman´s chest. It is tough for him that he has to give the beggar a bowl of ale. While doing so tradition asks him to do that right above the corpse.

    The prayer, in which the whole staff joins in, does not catch my attention at all. My eyes are fixed on the pain stricken face of my master. I pity him so much. He has lost the love of his life and his son in one go.

    While the sin eater drinks and removes the slice of cake from the lifeless chest, I feel so utterly sorry for the kind laird. For him it is no relieve that the sins of his wife got now officially devoured by another person.

    I am sure that I would have been able to save Her Ladyship if I had been present last week. The Living Force would have granted me the wisdom to help her during birth.

    *******************************************************************

    The wake passes in a haze. Everything seems so unreal. The music, the dancing, the story telling. It is only when they carry the corpse outside the castle walls that I sober up.

    The wind is so cold, that it feels like a knife on my skin.

    While the flames devour the body of Her Ladyship, another person has joined the funeral party.

    Even though I do not look back at her, Her Holiness stares holes into my body.

    I fix my eyes on the fire only, aware of the phoenix in my bra.

    When the ash turns cold, the company splits apart.

    Fortunately, the abbess is gone again.

    *******************************************************************

    The parents of Her Ladyship arrive with great delay. Their son-in-law is too ill to attend them. Apart from Gáirdean nobody else is allowed to enter his room. With care and diplomacy the loyal steward takes on the tasks of a host. In the end it is also him who has to hand out the urn.

    After the ducal couple is gone, His Lordship needs another two weeks before he leaves his room. Utterly drunk he stumbles into the kitchen. His clothing is dirty and smelly.

    Helpless we watched our beloved master beating poor Svala into a pulp. Just for not bringing him the whiskey bottle quick enough.

    When His Lordship is gone again, I stagger towards the unconscious girl.

    Without caring what the rest of the staff thinks of it, I unfold my Force gift.

    Bruises, cuts and broken bones heal under my soft touch. I am one with the Living Force with every breath that I take.

    When I look up from my work, tired and spent, everybody stared at me with their mouth hanging open.

    Drambuie is the first to move again. She brings me a large mug, filled with cow milk. Even though she speaks no word, I can see the deep gratitude in her ancient eyes.

    It is Gáirdean who carries the sleeping human girl back to our bed room where nothing can harm her.

    *******************************************************************

    The next afternoon the steward tells us with bleary eyes, “From now on only I will serve him his food and drink. The female staff members are wise to either be in a group or in male company when moving through the castle. His Lordship is beside himself with grief. I do not know how long it will take him to overcome his dire loss. We all need to be strong for him.”

    Within the next weeks the drinking problem of His Lordship grows in ways that none of us could have imagined.

    Staff members start coming to me with medical problems, all wounds received by our master.

    I do not always use the Living Force on my patients, but I invent new ways of helping them.

    There are books in the library about healing herbs and I start to make my own herbarium.

    I also begin to produce my own lotions, pills and herbal tea mixes.

    Ceilidhs cease to exist. There are still gatherings in the kitchen in the evenings, but voices are hushed and fearful.

    The fits of His Lordship have become legendary. He is either destroying the furniture or cries on the floor like a little baby. Now and then he lashes out physically. When it is not one of us, his tenants get a share.

    I heal all the victims, which gives me an even greater reputation as a healer. My fame reaches the surrounding villages in no time. My name is whispered from mouth to mouth like a prayer of hope.

    All this remains unnoticed by His Lordship.

    Aobrann still has to heat the room of his dead wife, wash her linen and attend to her clothing.

    He also orders the gardener to put fresh roses into Her Ladyship´s room every day.

    Carpenters are sent for and asked to make toys for a little baby boy.

    Life at Dún Mor-Shiabh has turned into a dangerous dance close to the abyss. This is perhaps the very reason why Her Holiness stays away from her cousin.

    *******************************************************************

    The porridge which I had swallowed at dusk shoots up my oesophagus again. Quickly, I put my hands in front of my mouth. My Midi-chlorians also come to the rescue. The food remains in my trembling body.

    After a while of staring I shake my head in disapproval.

    His Lordship has done it again. There is no mistake about it. He lies in front of the fire place, snoring like ten men at once. The morning light illuminates his features in a rather uncomplimentary way. The empty whiskey flask is next to his nose. He is basically swimming in his own mess. The entire bower smells like the sewers of the midwinter castle.

    Nevertheless compassion overcomes me.

    His Lordship has undergone a total change of personality. In less than a year´s time he has build up the reputation of a brute and a madman. Only a fortnight ago he had bitten off the ear of a mountain farmer, who had been foolish enough to greet him kindly.

    I know it is my duty to fetch Gáirdean, the steward, but instead I move closer towards His Lordship. The kind of healing that I want to offer is small, but it will at least take away his throbbing headache. Perhaps it will help him to see matters clearer afterwards.

    But when my fingertips touch his forehead, His Lordship moves with the speed of the trained warrior. “Meala!” he exclaims, the alcohol still speaking within him.

    His Lordship leaves no inch of my face untouched. His breath is sour and stale. There is nothing I can do about it. He mistakes me for the mother of his unborn child. Over and over he sobs her name as if it is a prayer.

    I struggle to get free, but there is no chance to escape.

    *******************************************************************

    When His Lordship finally lets go of me, his look is glassy. I do not stay to help him up again, instead I pull up my knickers. His head lols back.

    In panic I leave the room.

    Nobody crosses my way while I run through the big castle.

    I stop in front of the kitchen door, leaning my forehead against the wood. Embarrassment and self-loathing make my chest heavy. I need to get a grip on myself again. It is known that fear leads to the dark side of the Force.

    “I will not be mislead,” I whisper to myself. “My soul belongs to me, clone or not.”

    This incident has no meaning at all. His Lordship will sink back into the sea of despair again. Perhaps he had not even realized that it has been the kitchen maid, whom he had given the hot kisses of a lover. Only one woman will reign his broken heart forever more.

    That I got hurt was just a bad coincidence.

    I try my best to stick to the breathing technique that Granny has taught me: reverse abdominal breathing.

    When I breath in I do not expand my tummy. Instead I gently tuck my abdomen in. At the same time I breath with a uniform and effortless motion.

    As powerful as this kind of breathing usually is, it does not change my problem. Unwanted, I have become a woman.

    There is no hatred in me about that. Love and compassion are central to my life. Perhaps this is because of the teachings of Granny. Knowledge that I am not able to speak of among the household staff. They would never understand the mysteries of the Force. Svala perhaps would, but we never talked about it. Instead we find comfort in the fact that we are both believers.

    *******************************************************************

    When I am able to enter the kitchen, my face is sombre again. Svala is asleep next to the oven, while Drambuie is cutting vegetables. I immediately join the old Elfin woman.

    “Sometimes I wonder if it is still worthwhile cooking for His Lordship. Nothing temps him any longer.” Drambuie sighs deeply and goes on to produce little slices of unions with her knife. “Apart from whiskey that is.”

    We both shriek when the bell sounds.

    “He orders breakfast?” Drambuie blinks. “My oh my, this is almost a midwinter miracle. Quick, Sionnach, fry His Lordship some crumpled eggs! Svala, wake up and toast some bread.”

    *******************************************************************

    From this day onward we find ourselves preparing all His Lordship´s daily meals again. He asks for breakfast, lunch, tea time, dinner and even a midnight snack.

    Everybody is delighted that he stays away from his whiskey bottles.

    Soon His Lordship manages to get back his friendly manners, even made jokes from time to time.

    Days turn into weeks and weeks into months.

    During a dull afternoon I am suddenly aware of a mysterious spark inside me.

    With the heightened intuition that the cloning process and my genetic share of the Tjiehenet inheritance have granted me, I always have been intuitive. But the shock of what has occurred between His Lordship and me had been like a heavy blanket. Now this blanket is gone.

    There is no mistake about it.

    A baby grows inside me.

    *******************************************************************

    For the sake of my child I learn to release my stress and ease my mind in the weeks to come.

    As a healer I know how essential the positive energy of the Force is for mind, body and spirit.

    Bravely, I work on.

    One night, when I am serving a plate with finnan haddie, His Lordship touches me by accident.

    “You,” he muses suddenly, his index finger still resting on my right hand. “We kissed, did we not?”

    I drop the plate with smoked haddock. Tears flood my eyes, when the red wine sauce leaves stains on my apron.

    His eyes tell me that he remembers it all now.

    “Oh Sionnach, I am so sorry!” he yelps. “I never meant to hurt you.”

    I am frozen to the spot.

    He gets up. “Can you forgive me?”

    I take flight.

    His Lordship does not follow, but I hear him weeping.

    *******************************************************************


    (To be continued!)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    Darth_Furio and DarthUncle like this.
  24. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I'm reading this. I'm totally reading it. I just don't always have something to say.
     
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow! Riveting and momentous changes! =D=