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Old 07-23-2010, 03:25 AM   #2
Mary the Prophetess

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,472

Seramella sat with her back to the door, silently looking out the window. Behind her, a soft knock, and then someone entering.

Without looking back, she spoke quietly,

What news of House Amaranthine, Veon? Were they successful in reaching Freeport?

The silence behind her gave her the answer.

The old woman said nothing for several moments. With her back still turned she asked,

Did any escape?

We do not know M'Lady. They were - betrayed.

Thank you Veon, you may leave me now for a time.

After a long while, she pulled out a scroll from the drawer beside her, and jotting down a quick message, she sealed it in wax, and placed it in a carrying tube.


Seremella faced the big man as he entered.

Have one of the squires, one that has some experience, take this to the Bridge Keep in the Steppes. See that he has a mount as well. He is to deliver it there to the Ranger, Turan, who has worked for us before. If he should fail to find him at the Keep, have him leave it with the Bard's representative there, with instructions to deliver it as soon as he is located.

Yes M'Lady.

Alone again, she watched the clouds building on the horizon. A storm was coming in. Seremella sighed. She knew what she had to do. Kneeling on the hard stone floor, the old woman began once again to recite the words she knew so well. __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________

Seremella sighed as she penned her report.

Reverend Mother,

It is my duty to inform you of the fall of House Amaranthine. From reports reaching us here, it would seem that there was an ambush of their company while enroute to Freeport.

This expedition was conducted on their own for their own reasons; no member of the Order or any of our agents accompanied them. The fate of the survivors, if any, is unknown.

The Guild House is empty and locked, and there has been no activity there for a number of weeks. The House in the WillowWood was observed to be unoccupied as well.

The one whom I informed you of was with their group when it was attacked, but that is all that is known.

The fact the the Guild was attacked in the vicinity of Qeynos as well as in the Commons, leads us to believe that they were not random victims of marauding Orcs. Their company was large and experienced; more than a match for any raiding party. I have reason to believe that they were betrayed by those with influence here in Qeynos; but, as is usual, there is no solid evidence of this. Without such evidence, we dare not bring our case before the Queen.

The Guild Leader was in Qeynos when the attack occurred, but she too has disappeared. Foul play, again, is suspected.

They had been informed of the existence of the tapestry, and had been warned; but apparently had dismissed the warning as not being relevent to their House.

I made the decision at that time not to inform the Guild Leader of whom they sheltered in their House, and it is I alone that must bear the responsibility for that decision. Apparently, others had already discovered the fact. We could do no more.

I await your further instructions concerning this matter, and accept whatever judgement you may see fit to give. As always, I am your obedient servant in Love,

Sister Seremella

Seremella rolled up the scroll, tied it with a ribbon, and sealed it with the sign of a single red rose. Handing it to a novitiate, she said simply,

My child, please see that this is delivered to the Mother Superior's office in South Qeynos this afternoon.

Turning back to her table she began to write again.

__________________________________________________ ______________________________________________

Sister Seremella was troubled.

The old woman put down the report she had been reading and stood up slowly. At her desk was a satchel containing twenty-one scrolls.

They had been recovered recently by a ship's captain, (one Delgue by name), who was employed ferrying survivors to the Isles of Refuge.

Captain Delgue claimed that he had penetrated deep into the Ocean of Tears itself, braving pirates, drakotas, and sea furies to a small isle where he had found a band of refugees claiming to be affiliated with the Order of Erollisi Marr.

They had placed the scrolls in his care to be turned over to the Order when he returned to Qeynos, with assurances that he would be amply rewarded for his efforts.

The refugees themselves, however, had refused transport and chose to stay at their isolated refuge.

The story was preposterous of course; obviously just another attempt to extort money from The Order by yet another charlatan.

Still, she had paid him a small fee on the possibility that perhaps this time there might be something of value recovered.

Gazing out the window at the mill and it's great wheel, she went over the sequence of recent events for what seemed like the thousandth time.

The expedition to Freeport, the Tapestry, the betrayal, the ambush, the fall of House Amaranthine, and now this.

It seemed as if everything was going wrong all at once.

The failed expedition had been her idea. She had presented it to the new Mother Superior, and had urged that it be attempted. It had cost the Order a great deal; both in terms of funds, which were always in short supply, and more importantly, in lives.

Sisters Nartea and Alcara, as well as Brothers Tirno, Onono, Erstel, and the Ranger, Conner; all gone.

So too, it had been her decision to withhold information from Jessamyn about a member whom she sheltered unknowingly within her House.

So many lives lost.

Seremella prayed silently for guidance; and for forgiveness.

Something kept gnawing at the back of her mind. Some thought that stayed just beyond the edge of her concoiusness.

Sighing heavily, she gazed absently at the great wheel turning slowly in the mill pond, her thoughts wandering.

Wheels turning,--wheels spinning,--spinning wheels--wheels within wheels,--circles,--cyles,-- patterns,--signs,--portents,--prophecies,-- Her head snapped up.

She opened the satchel at her feet and picked up a scroll. Gazing intently, she began to read.




__________________________________________________ ______________________________________________

Veon knocked softly on the door to the old woman's room. There was no answer.

He had been summoned from Qeynos by the young novitiate, Veasse. She had told him that none had seen the good Sister in two days now, and there was no answer to their quieirs at her door. They were worried.

M'Lady, he called, are you well?


He tried the latch, but it had been secured.

Stand back, he told the young novitiate.

 Veon was a big man, and powerful. He put his full weight against the door, and it burst open with a crash.

Seremella was sitting in a chair with her back to the door gazing out the window.

Lady, we were worried. You did not answe....

The old woman heard not a word. She sat staring; her eyes glazed over and unseeing, her lips dry and cracked, a small dropplet of spittle running down her chin.

Veon did not touch her, but said quietly without turning,

Summon a healer, and send a messenger to Qeynos. Quickly!

At her feet lay scatterd a number of parchments and scrolls. Veon glanced at them briefly, but they made no sense to him, so he bundled them up and passed them to Veasse.

Send a novitiate to Qeynos with these as well.

If he had known then what he held in his hands, he would have been far more cautious; and far more frightened.

__________________________________________________ ______________________________________________

Gwynneth was being hunted, and she knew it.

She ran.

Blindly tearing at the shrub and brush in her way, she tried to force a path through the tangle. Her heart was pounding in her chest, her eyes wide with terror, all reason gone.

Behind her she could hear the howls of the wolves.

They were closer now.

Torn and bleeding, she was near the end of her strength.

The satchel she was carrying caught on a thorn bush. She stumbled and fell.

Entangled, she scratched and tore frantically at the straps, wild with fear. Tearing herself free, she tried to run, but tripped again on the roots.

Crawling now, she sobbed, desperately trying to escape. Then the wolves were on her.

__________________________________________________ ______________________________________________


There you have the foundation of the story, and it is here that I depart and leave it in your own hands to do with as you please.

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