Aephix Tes'Eestra retired to her quarters after the 'meeting' between the
Queen and the Serifi. She was still trembling from the encounter.
Thoughts, images, sounds all bombarded her - all she wanted was a hot bath.
As she prepared the waters, the darkness within her spirit grew. She knew that the coming of the petrasyph and its Bearer was blessing, yet too she understood that not all blessing was welcome. She tossed some lily petals into the warming water and breathed in the scent. Her mind cleared some and a roar of thoughts suddenly rose up within her, then it receeded. Time seemed to stop, it seemed to speed up. Loose petals fell from her fingers as she involuntarily shuddered. Tears fell from her eyes. Anger at the way of things flooded her soul, and then came the fear.
She began to repeat the words as taught her. Even as she dipped herself into the soothing waters she concentrated with all her might: "Fear is the soul-killer, touch it not - Fear is a thing for men, take it not within you - Fear is a useless appendage, cut it out." She let the rhythm engulf her and soon the fear faded from whence it came. She lay in her tub for a long time, the waters rippling across her abdomen, her thighs, the cheeks of her soft face. Her long hair floated freely in the hot water as she dunked herself in smooth motions, trying to clean the day's concern away. She lay in her tub a very long time, for there - even if only briefly - life was good.
Alryssa was busy looking over reports from the eastern campaign. The construction of Altri continued on schedule, the men-slaves and the women- servants did their tasks well. The Mistresses reported only three slaves escaping in the last month, and they were quickly found and made an example of. Alryssa chuckled at the thought of the three men, their bodies dessicated after the full sacrifice, being displayed for all to see. ~~the men there won't be running away any time soon!~~
The western campaign was not as successsful. ~~damn Snake!~~ she cursed. The great beast from the Inland Sea was taking its toll on the building effort. It came out only once every forty days or so, yet when it came only death followed. ~~need to get more slaves there...MalBoncton is as good a place as any...~~ She wrote out the orders and stamped her signal with hot wax. Tomorrow a band of warriors would head out to the MalBoncton lands to the northwest, and shortly thereafter the women would have at least twenty new slaves.
She continued her work, reading, examining, refining. She organized the coming week's duty roster for the city and studied the messages from the Shedayphin. This group of elite rangers had as their task the finding of Zerm and Myrrdin and any other foolish enough to band with them. The Shedayphin, however, was having little success. The magic men knew how to open the ether, how to twist the material plane, they knew how to hide in the darkest of places. They also weren't stupid.
6/17/2000 11:29:46 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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