I turned and headed towards the center of the Gathering, walking around the edge of the South ritual circle and the raging bonfire within it. I made my way to the empty central ritual circle. My anger carried me forward to the center of the ritual circle. As the wind picked up, I noticed it was a chilling wind driven forth by the storm. What had been a dark sky turned threatening with heavy drops of rain falling and lightning crashing all around. I turned around and surveyed the Gathering around me. A storm would cause injuries and damage.
However, the storm was approaching so rapidly, it would be almost impossible to get the tents collapsed and people to safety in time. Another biting cold gust of wind buffeted me, but I noticed that it didn’t affect the tents on the edge of the ritual area. “It was as if…as if…the storm was coming for me!” I thought as my pulse raced. I laughed at myself and turned to face the storm. As I did, I saw the storm clouds lower and a torrential rain swept across the Gathering. A cacophony of screaming and yelling filled the air as vendors and attendees alike tried to find shelter from the storm. Pausing for just a moment, I turned to the storm.
“How typical. For all their love of nature and their rituals, they can’t avoid the forces of Nature.” Laughing to myself, I found myself thinking “Like this will do any good but it can’t hurt.”
“Do your best.” I screamed to the storm. It let up for just a brief moment, then returned even more intensely.
I found myself screaming even louder, “You will not take me. I am Andy Dymond and I will remain. You will disperse and return the sun to the skies!” the storm started to look even more menacing.
I reached down for the leather pouch on my belt moving in the gusting wind. I took it in my hand, feeling the four spheres and the wolf sculpture in it. My hand started to close around it as a bolt of lightning struck the pole in the East Ritual circle, setting the Flag of Air ablaze.
A voice seemed . whisper in my head to take the pouch off my belt. I took it off and clenching it in my upraised fist; I screamed, “If it is me you want, then come for me, not all those around me. I am just a man.” As I said ‘just a man’, the leather pouch glowed as brightly as a spotlight, a blue-white beacon in the storm. The beacon shot up into the storm and as quickly as the storm and laid siege to the Gathering, it was gone. There were scattered fair weather clouds, but it was as if the storm had not been there. I paused. “I know what I said, but there’s no way…the storm is gone. Was it really,” I shivered involuntarily, “after me?”
As I looked around, my vision was much sharper and he could smell the remnants of the storm and all the people. I brought his arm down and looked at the leather pouch in my hand. The four spheres were still present but the wolf sculpture was gone. I looked up my sleeves and on the ground, but the sculpture was gone.
Maikyl set down his quill. Thinking about what had happened during his spirit quest, he wondered why it would have taken a full quarter moon to give him such a short quest. There must be more that he could not remember or that would be revealed to him later.
As he sat thinking back to what he could remember of the vision quest, Kevyl returned with a flagon of Winter Spice tea and a plate of the best food the galley could muster on short notice.
Kevyl set everything down and Maikyj looked up and smiled at him. Kevyl reached back and untied a large stoneware mug from his apron string. He sat it on the desk and poured the tea into it.
“Maikyl, is there anything else you require at this time?”
“No, Kevyl. I simply wish…” Maikyl stopped suddenly, “there is Kevyl. Draw me a hot lilac and honeysuckle bath. I wish to meditate.”
“Yes Maikyl,” Kevyl said with a mischievous smile on his face, “I will return when your bath is ready.” Kevyl knew that after Maikyl had meditated in the bath, he would want to scrub clean and rinse himself. Maikyl had a strong sense of personal cleanliness that most others in Taljia lacked. He looked over his sovereign and couldn’t control the thoughts in his head.
Maikyl was lean and wiry like a wolf. Standing just shy of two meters tall, he towered over most of his court. Long flowing brown hair framed a boyish yet stern face with piercing brown eyes seemed to look through you. Broad shoulders tapered to a narrow waist and strong legs rounded out Maikyl’s appearance. Many suitors from across the domain had tried to woo him, but to no avail. Most had assumed that as sovereign and Revered Elpa, he was married to the Great Wolf in a spiritual sense. True, Maikyl was intimately intertwined with the Great Wolf as the Revered Elpa, he was also still a man who longed for love and companionship.
Kevyl was pulled out of his daydream by Maikyl, who had looked up to find him still standing there, “Kevyl, is there something bothering you?” Maikyl said his he looked down at Kevyl’s breeches.
Kevyl looked down and, to his abject horror, the nature of his daydream was obvious.
“Your highness, I was only thinking of you and…” Kevyl trailed off into a terrified silence, waiting for Maikyl’s wrath.
Maikyl found himself taken aback. Most of his suitors had been brazen in their desire to bed him. Only a handful had actually approached him as a man and not as a prize. He looked at Kevyl and found himself wondering what the citizens of Taljia would say to him marrying a commoner. Kevyl was the opposite of Maikyl. Short, stocky, pale-skinned with strawberry blond hair and sapphire blue eyes, he looked like most of the people of Taljia. Kevyl always had a smile on his face and he could lighten the mood of anyone in the castle and he had come to count on Kevyl’s sharp mind and wit to help him with the day to day affairs of the domain.
Other Briefers this week include: