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At the Imperial Chapel of Thorneymoor...
Under the half-light of dusk, a tall and lithe figure slinks into the chapel with haste, closing the weathered door behind her. Her fiery orange hair and her equally fiery kilt swish and sway behind her as she hurries around the seated parish, drawing near to the altar where Friar Ealmund presides.
"Many apologies to this holy hoose for my delay, braw friar," she exhales through mingled exertion and worry, "but I was misled by ill faerie trickery. I hope that Brother Pike Wynters feart not o'er lang for me."
A rabbitskin sporran comes up in her hands, then parts its lips and spills its holdings onto the broad altar: two coarse stones, one blue as the skies of midwinter and shimmering with the sheen of ice, the other red as embers and smoking from where a pinch of the sporran's rabbit fur had clung to its face and come away with it. Both stones beam with a rich and bright radiance which wavers high into the vault and flickers over the nave.
"I give to ye the Hearts of Summer and Winter," Braweann attests with all solemnity. "When next ye lay eyes on Brother Pike, pray tell him that his quest for the Hearts is at an end. See them to Avendel or where'er ye deem fit for these stones of great power. Removed from their seat as they be, their magic shall soon fade. But the Librarians surely ken of how to rekindle it."
And then, with equal haste she marches back to the door. "But more work awaits me, O kindly hosts, and I cannae tarry here. Lang live the Emperor."
And in so bluntly excusing herself, Braweann returns to her black steed and bridles the mare's bearing toward the pass into the encroaching Thorneymoor Wood. Her words of allegiance to the Emperor were no truer than the offered "Hearts," and she hoped to be well away from Thorneymoor before the witchfire ebbed away and permitted closer examination. Or before the friars might think to dribble the stones with alcohol and weaken the alchemical dyes. Or before any of the clerics might think to dispel the warmth of magical fire or the chill of magical frost and unnaturally speed the dissipation of such magic-blasted temperatures.
In Braweann's hands, witchcraft so often provided the means to deceit. But by her heart, the greater good of Aolyth and her people was worth any measure of illusion and trickery, so that no enemy could imperil it. And how many commonfolk would suffer if the despotic Library found the real Hearts of Summer and Winter and thus acquired the power to warp the four seasons themselves?
The Librarians are persistent and they are greedy, never content with their lot. And if Braweann has any say in it, many more deceptions lie on the road ahead of them.
Weaving through the many trees and the hills of the Highlands, Braweann rides on to her next pending task. Perhaps Agnes Mac Lachlain will find her again....
Last edited by The Wids, 1/14/2013, 5:45 am
1/14/2013, 5:38 am
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