Liope is diagnosed pregnant... Cateyln explains how.
|Chapter 12 Pregnant
Scene 1 of 12: Pluto and Bedelia discuss combat scenario.
"Tell me how we're going to deal with today's combat?"
"Yes, yes he answered eagerly....On the first series, w'll encounter a Troll, A Goblin and a Bat Wraith."
"So what’s the plan?" asked Bedelia.
"For the first encounter I think we should stand fast. We’ll let them close until they’re halfway from the corner... to where we’re standing. Then we need to maneuver in a direction away from the Troll, and into the Goblin."
"That will put the Goblin first and the Troll behind him, with the Gnome trying to get us from the flank. You shoot the Gnome through the head and I’ll take out the Goblin. Then you step back and I’ll take care of the Troll."
"What if the Gnome is wearing a full helmet?"
"What makes you think that?"
Bedelia shrugged innocently inclining her head towards Demetrio, the Training Meister. She tapped her head and smiled.
"You’ve got to be kidding me….a full helmet on the Gnome?"
Bedelia shrugged, smiling with affirmation.
"Well I guess we’ll just have to sweep by and I’ll knock it off…. Then you can tag him."
"This dancing you showed me yesterday, That’s the strategy we’ll use. You just move with me and I’ll know that you’re covering my backside."
"Call me, The Shadow."
"In the next sequence, instead of the Gnome we’ll see the Bat Wraith. Where do you suppose the wraith will appear?"
"I suspect," said Bedelia smiling again, "that it will come from the front this time and try and keep your big body between itself and my arrow."
"Very well, then we will do a twirling maneuver and you can let fly as it spins into view. Then we maneuver the goblin and troll as before and I will deal with them one at a time."
"I feel good about this," said Bedelia, beaming with confidence.
"In the last sequence There will be the troll, two Goblins and two bat wraiths. In this sequence we need to fall back down the street. As we do the Goblins will outdistance the Troll and the Wraiths will be the first to arrive. Again we will do the pirouette, and you can engage them with your bow. Once that is settled we will move on to the Goblins as we did with the Troll, putting one in front of the other. I will kill one, then the other and when the Troll finally shows up he will get the usual treatment."
I am so excited said Bedelia, jumping up and down. I can hardly wait for tomorrow.
"Now, I'm going to sketch the three scenarios in the sand and I want us to dance our way through each one of them. He bowed low, "Ready?"
"Charmed!" she replied.
Scene 2 of 12: Albiana and Varnack make love.
When they got back to the cabin they were met outside by Uta and Cateyln.
"We have Morgolic in the woodshed so the house is yours. Are you ready for this?"
"The day has already been a drama, what's one more act?"
"I expect it will go much better than you imagine."
Albiana walked to the door and slipped inside. The cabin was empty except for Varnack.
He was spread-eagled beneath a sheet, his wrists and ankles tied with leather thongs to the bed posts.
She walked over and knelt next to him. "Have they told you what the evening holds in store?"
"Yes," he answered, breathing heavily.
He strained against the leather straps breathing hard. Over his naked body draped a sheet and his erection lifted the fabric like the peak of a tent.
She changed into her gown and returned to his bedside. “Are you ready?”
"Yes my fragrance," he answered.
"Close your eyes," she whispered, " I've something to sooth your anxiety. It's called Witches Milk."
She crawled up onto the bed and unbuttoned the seam of her gown. Her breasts were small but eager and from her nipples came drops of the viscous white fluid. She leaned close and placed one in his mouth.
"You must drink from this...," she said, "It secretes an elixir that dulls scruple and gives hope to anxiety."
He strained on the fetters and took the font between his lips and began to draw.
His gentleness soon changed to an eager suckle that drained her breast, Thirsting for more he continued until it began to hurt. She pulled it out, inserting the other. This one too he drained of the milk.
"More!" he pleaded, "give me more".
"You have taken all there is," she explained, pulling the nipple from his lips.
With a sigh he began to relax…"Now it's my turn," she whispered.
They kissed and she felt the eagerness of his mouth. They embraced and she reveled in his manliness. In her mind, imagination danced to the entertainment of her awareness.
She buttoned her gown and began to tremble. Then she moved back until astraddle his knees. Reaching back she pulled free the sheet, raising it over his manhood. This she tucked neatly over his stomach and beneath his buttocks. His erection stood tall as she took the girth in hand.
Varnack groaned, as she lowered her mouth to the tip.
I must pretend I'm playing my flute she thought.
A strong and pungent smell assailed her nostrils.She took a deep breath Gripping his manhood she squeezed and a viscous fluid oozed up from inside. It too was an aphrodisiac called the Virgin’s Hope. Her lips closed and she gagged on the sticky fluid texture and bitter taste. Summoning all her determination she drew on the stem and began coaxing the ooze into her mouth. She swallowed stroking the shaft with her tongue until the last drop slid down her throat. The hot elixir burned at first but then a warm glow of relief began spreading that brought with it a euphoric serenity.
She stretched like a feline, then reached out clutching his body in tight embrace. They laid together thus for some time until the aphrodisaics took full effect. As this happened she kissed his mouth and felt his hunger respond. He wrestled against the restraints.
The secretions had ignited their appetites. The heat of passion that once smoldered, inflamed their straining loins. Desire spread over them like a hot steamy fog. The sight of his phallus brought to her clutch a fierce and unrequited hunger. His erection trumpeted an urgent and compelling need.
She came off him and threw the sheet to the floor. For a moment she gapped in wonder at the muscled and supple lines of his body. Suddenly, she felt an unexpected confidence. Squatting over his man spear, she guided the tip inside. It resisted entry and she had to twist it gently back and forth. A wetness began to surround the bulb and it began slipping inside. As it did, she lowered herself, bracing for the pain. It came swiftly and she gave the sting, giving it no opportunity for second thoughts. With a gasp she felt her hymen rent asunder, and blood tears of virtue spill from within. She trembled, trying not to cry out and began to sniffle.
"I love you Varnack," she said softly, "Take my innocence as a token of our love."
With that she raised herself off his stem, breathing deeply, tears streaming down her face.
"I'm sorry if I hurt you," he whispered.
"A small offering my love and one gladly made," Raising up she climbed off the bed and taking the washcloth from the basin, cleansed them of the stains.
"Hurry, my lfragrance, hurry, please! I can't stand this much longer," pleaded Varnack.
"Be patient, just a moment longer." Climbing back on top she mounted him once more. A second time she squatted. Then the Daemon of darkness took control of her senses.
“It is time for the dance." a voice spoke through her lips.
The beast within reared its head and her face contorted with lust. Her sharp nails dug into his shoulders as her legs splayed with obscenity. With greedy fingers, she took his sex, thrusting it into the soft folds of her flesh. Shame bowed low, as she threw back her hair. Wantonness blazed in her eyes.
"Serve me." she ordered, as he writhed up and down, twisting from side to side.
"Ask and it's yours," he answered,
"You know what I want, " she answered, "and you best deliver." Pausing, she came off him to the point of exit, She reached between her legs holding the tip poised. "Is there something in return I can offer?"
"Yes, you know there is."
"And what is that, my beloved?"
"Your innocence, I want your innocence."
"A high price," she teased, You will have to ask sweetly."
"Please! don't torture me," he said writhing about, "Set me free! Set me free!"
She threw her head back, laughing wickedly, as he strained on the bonds.
"Don't deny the heat," pleaded Varnack, "...please don't withhold it... please! anything but that."
"Will you be nice to me?" she answered..
"I will, I swear I will!!" he retorted, arching his back and kipping his shoulders. Thus he strained hard up, tormented by anxiety and starved by frustration.
At that moment, there came, twixt his pulse and her heartbeat, an unexpected presence. In the dungeon of her soul the door swung unhinged. With purposeful and deliberate stride a spirit walked towards them. The tapping of heels echoed from the floor, resounding off the corridor walls. The apparition approached and swirled about them.
"I have made him ready,” spoke Albiana in submissive mien.
"Do your duty,” the cold voice answered.
She bowed her head and began serving his lathered shaft with a gentle and rhythmic stroke. Varnack gasped, jerking in spasms of delight.
"Ungrateful man, " the Spirit scolded, "How dare you leave your lover unfulfilled!"
"He has more, much more," Albiana said reassuringly. She slapped his buttocks with a stinging hand, urging him on like racehorse. With new lease Varnack summoned his virility as she cropped his hips, urging him blindly towards the finish. Suddenly the pleasure took hold of her, "Sake, Sakes !" she cried out, ecstatically, gripped by an orgasm that sprouted from every nerve and fiber. Suspended in time she surged up and down, impaled on his unrelenting and insistent prod. Squeezing her sphincter she soaked up the last rivulets of joy before collapsing in exhaustion.
His body continued to strain, twisting and clutching, as he pummeled her feverishly. His hips heaved thrashing, as she rode relentlessly in a chaotic chorus of slapping flesh, straining limbs, and the haunting groans of creation.
When they finished she untied his fetters. "I love you Varnack," she said, kissing his cheek.
Then she led him down to the creek. Wading out into the waters he washed himself. She did the same splashing alongside. Then they returned to the quilts, escaping the cool breeze and went to sleep, spooned together in exhaustion.
With the dawn, Uta, Walinda and Karla came out to where the lovers lay. They held open a robe and helped Albiana into it. Tucking Varnack back under the quilts they led the young woman inside.
"Warm yourself by the fire," said Uta, "There's work for you and your betrothed will be too tired to move for the rest of the day."
Note: If I need to tone down I will use some of this verbage.
Her mind was swept clean of painful memories replaced now by a mood of anticipation and utter tranquilly. Mournful woodwinds and sweetly plucked strings took the place of what was once, blaring horns and clashing symbols. In euphoria, high above the ugliness of life, she danced with Varnack, and what he did to her body was stripped of obscenity and transformed into a harmony of anticipation and grace. His desire carried her blissfully along on a cloud of loving tenderness. His swollen manhood seemed to stretch out and pulse with every heart beat, as he slipped rhythmically in and out. As he pushed in, she rose up and as he came off she spread, arching her back. With her hands on his hips she responded to the timeless motion of intercourse. In and out, back and forth, up and down they moved, as the tempo increased in concert with their eagerness. Her hands shifted to his shoulders and he saw in her eyes a wild and hungry abandon. Her breasts jiggled and heaved as her respiration started coming in short gasps. They were bathed in perspiration. Sweat flew as stomachs slapped shameless on cushions of swirling hair. Lust threw off its bridle and fire ignited their loins. They groaned, driven with restless energy, bodies nearly spent, in a sea of raging passion. Above it all they could hear the voices of the yet unborn, laughing in delighted expectation as they awaited the coming storm. With a groan he rose up, hands pressing hard on her hips. She began thrashing as excitement peaked and the throes of orgasm reared its head. It spread inward climbing up her spine until it reached her heart. She exploded in a frenzy of thrashing limbs and contorted features. As she twisted and heaved beneath him, her innocence cried out in disbelief. Then he felt his own relief begin to splay about. Without pity or remorse, Varnak exerted his dominion. Thrusting hard he seated his member, while his spirit ripped the door from her soul. Arching up she surrendered, as the squirt of his seed filled her womb with the hot spit of creation.
Scene 3 of 12: Bedelia meets Climatus
That night Bedelia sat in her room working to untangle another thread from the snarl, when she heard the call to attention. Who could that be? she wondered and got to her feet and stuck her head out the door. Up the stairs came Mirabel with a lantern. Behind her came a Knight with two men at arms and finally, one of the most beautiful women Bedelia had ever seen.
I wonder what this is all about?" she thought, ducking back inside.
“The room is here on the right," said Mirabel the House Mother. "Two-oh-Seven, right here." She banged on the door frame…. "If you’re in there Bedelia, get decent. You have company. Bedelia turned up the lamp, her heart pounding. She had never had a real "Visitor" before. The House Matron opened the door and the Knight entered the room followed closely by Lady Kulrick.
"You must be Bedelia. I’m Clematis La Vinneous, Pluto’s mother." She looked about the room and then walked over to the young girl, taking the lamp and placing it on the hearth. She embraced Bedelia. "It’s a pleasure to finally meet you my dear."
She turned to the Knight, “Squire, have one of the men at arms rustle us up some tea and make yourseles comfortable, I have so wanted to speak to this dear girl and we have alot of catching up to do. It could be I'll be staying awhile. “
She walked over to the desk and saw the box with the snarl of golden threads sitting there.
“Is this how you amuse yourself Bedelia?" What a stimulating way to spend your time. Please show me how you untangle the threads…I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. Do you sew? I love to make quilts. As a matter of fact the ladies and I just finished one. A huge red Dragon, spitting fire on a pale yellow pastel background of pure brocade silk…I must show it to you….Do you ever get to the exhibit hall? They have a display of antique armor that goes back two thousand years and next door is the botanical hall….They have every mushroom know to man…and woman too… do you like mushrooms“
At length Clematis took a breath and realizing that she was carrying on paused.
“May I join you at your table and perhaps you can show me what this box and huge snarl of gold thread is all about.”
“Yes my lady,” said Bedelia, getting over her shock at the overwhelming presence of Lady Kulrick. She held her chair and Pluto’s mother settled herself comfortable into it. Then she grabbed another from the corner and seated herself nearby. Clematis peered into the box staring intently at the golden threads.
“This box was given to me by Lady Olivia." said Bedelia. "She told me to unsnarl the threads and braid a necklace for Pluto. Already I made a first braiding and he's wearing it. Took me the better part of two nights. Now, as you can see, I’ve disengaged two more threads and with any luck should have another twist ready by Monday."
Next to the box of threads was a doll. Climatus picked it up.
"And who might this be ?" she inquired.
"That's my baby. Her name is Molly. Meister Demetrio gave her to me....said I must protect her with my life. Pluto has been helping me keep my promise."
Clematis looked about the sparsely furnished room, at the wide eyed girl and the table with the golden threads. Tears began to roll down her cheeks and she struggled to control emotions that came unexpectedly to heart.
“Are you OK?” inquired Bedelia.
“I’m better than OK,” Clematis replied. "I’m overjoyed at finally getting to meet you. Now tell me child, what did Olivia say when she gave you the box, with the threads, if you don’t mind my asking?”
“There was no confidence implied,” Bedelia answered. “She said that Pluto is all balled up inside, like these threads, and that I was to unsnarl them and braid him a necklace.”
Climates reached into the box and pulled lightly on a thread. “They appear hopelessly entangled,” she observed wistfully.
“Almost, but not quite; with patience and love they reveal their secrets and when at last they come free, it is a most wonderful feeling in the world.”
At that point the door opened and the Man at Arms brought in the tea. They sipped a cup together making small talk and getting to know each other better. Finally, Lady Kulrick said,
“Now let's apply ourselves to this task of yours and perhaps by joining our love together we can separate a few more strands.”
And so it was that they worked silently for the next two hours and succeeded in separating three more. At Length Clematis stretched and said
“This is most fatiguing, but it seems we have made some progress.”
“More in the last hour than I accomplished in three days.”
“We must do this again soon but before that time I was wondering if you would do us the honor by coming over for dinner Friday night. I would so like for my husband to meet you and I know Pluto will be thrilled.”
“I would be most honored, Lady Kulrick.”
“At seven O’clock then my dear. I'll have Pluto come by with the livery to pick you up.”
“Yes my lady.”
With that Clematis swept out of the room, down the stairs and into her waiting carriage.
Scene 4 of 12: Morgolic regains consciousness.
Early the next morning Uta was talking to Morgolic. He was weak but conscious. She was feeding him soup. He was ravenous and after two bowls, she quit spooning it and let him drink from the lip. He paused between mouthfuls, recounting the full story.
"Lets make sure I have this correct. You gave Liope a pouch into which you placed the Scarab and the gems."
"That's what I said and that's what I did.. was there something wrong with that?"
"The Council wants to put to rest the possibility that you and Liope might have been more, shall we say... intimate?"
"Are they Nuts? Given the time and circumstances that would have been absolutely impossible. Where do the get these asinine notions?"
"Liope carries the Elven scent."
"Must have gotten it from the Scarab... damn thing liked to suck me dry."
"There's a possibility that Liope might be pregnant."
"Then they need to look elsewhere....maybe she has a boyfriend."
"One that reeks of elven scent?"
"I can't speak to that...Like I told you, it wasn't me."
"Well, I believe you...now tell me, when the Snagar picked up your trail you were wearing the Scarab, right?"
"Yeah, around my neck. So what?"
"Did it appear different when you took it off then when you put it on?"
"Yeah, now that you mention it. When the Snagar picked up my trail, l was a bit nervous... you understand how that would be... anyway about that time it really bit down and started itching. Then on top of everything else I started feeling weaker and run down."
"When you took it off and gave it to Liope did it appear different than when you put it on?"
"Yes, when I first put it around my neck it adhered to my chest with a light suction. When I took it off and gave it to LIope there was a gaping hole and the thing was engorged with my blood. It was bulging out from between the gold straps of the setting. You don't really think the Scarab is responsible for Liope's pregnancy?"
"I'm trying to keep an open mind. Before I get too enamored with the Scarab I'll take your advice and check out Liope's boyfriend."
Now you're starting to use the old noggin. Anything else?"
“That’s enough for now,' she said Uta smiling, "You look much better this morning?“
He groaned and belched, bringing up some of the soup.
“You gave us quite a scare, and its going to be awhile before you get back on your feet.”
He shifted about with the dry heaves. It seemed as if every muscle in his body was screaming out.
Cateyln came over and put her hand on Uta’s shoulder. "You’re quite a woman," she said..
"Morgolic just finished telling me what you did on the cliffs…I’m in awe. You’re the one to be complimented.”
“It was a close call. Matters developed quicker than we expected."
"My mother and I."
"I have a thousand questions, but one stands tall among the rest."
"How did you get Morgolic up and going. He was totally exhausted. How was it that he managed to fight off the Snagar and make it to the cliffs?"
"It was the mists. Gabby conjured up the mists. They are as powerful as they are unpredictable. They can kill a man and for an Elf, it must have been like the drought from hell. "
"A powerful elixir indeed. I could feel its effect as he related to me what happened."
"I was there and can vouch for his pain."
"What he did is a miracle that will be told in legend for the next thousand years. The saga of Morgolic, the Audacious Elf.”
They laughed together in the pleasure of each others company.
"So where will you go now?" asked Uta.
"Back to Orin, if he’ll have me."
"Why would he hesitate?"
"Because I left him rather abruptly."
"Ah yes, the 'Stray thing'"
"How do you know about that?"
"The Council has been working tirelessly, trying to discover what happened in the High Pasture. I sat down with Ubocastor before coming, and he revealed all that he knew.
"They’ve been very thorough."
"What they've gathered leaves them thunderstruck."
"I can imagine… and they've only tiptoed on the cusp."
At that moment Varnack came through the door. He was pale but in otherwise good spirits.
"You'll not believe what happened yesterday," he blurted out, unable to contain himself.
"And what was that?" asked Uta.
Varnack looked over at Cateyln, suddenly not so sure of what he was about to say.
"Cateyln will find out soon enough, when she gets to town."
"You know they went to Nirvana to find out if Liope had the Essence and the Stones?"
"Do I really want to hear this?", said Uta, shaking her head.
"They broke into her house."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, the Deputy caught them red handed."
"Oh my goodness!"
"As he questioned them Liope got too close and the matron’s suddenly had the answer to their questions."
"You mind elaborating?"
"Liope reeked of the essence. She smelled more elfen than elfs. And around her neck, on a mithril chain hung a pouch with a variety of gemstones, including a ruby."
"Where did she get the scent?"
"Morgolic thinks it might be from the scarab. It was engorged with his blood.
"How interesting," said Cateyln, clapping her hands. "What else she urged," eyes wide.
"Walinda tried to wrest the the stones away and did she ever get the surprise of her life."
"Yes, go on."
"Liope levitated her up and threw her against the wall… he demonstrated…"and Ka thunk! She was knocked unconscious."
The two gasped.
"I wish I could have seen that," said Cateyln.
"Oh we," can answered Uta. " Come over here Varnack. Put your hands on Cateyln's head and I’ll bridge with you."
They joined thus together and began to see everything witnessed by Albiano, as relayed to the Council the night before. At first the two were amused but when they saw Liope grab her stomach and the evil laughter, Uta severed the link abruptly.
"I don’t like the looks of that," said Uta. "What do you make of it."
"Cate shrugged and walked over to the window. At length she continued, "I must get to my daughter at once."
Uta looked over at Varnack inquiringly?
"Karla and Walinda are coming here to take over the nursing duties," he spoke up, "The council wants you to examine Liope."
What makes you think she's is in any mood to be examined by Elves?"
"Don’t worry," replied Cateyln, "we’ll go together. I"ll persuade my daughter."
Scene 5 of 12: Uta examines Liope and finds her pregnant.
It was close to noon when Varnack, Cate and Uta got to Middletown. They went straight to the Smith’s house and knocked at the door. Liope opened it and was overjoyed to see her mother. She was not nearly as enthused by the presence of two Elves.
“I know what you’re thinking ,"said her mother, "It's all right. Varnack is just leaving and Uta's my friend.”
“I’ve heard only good things about you Uta," Liope answered graciously, "that speak highly for your character."
Uta had never met Liope before and was surprised by her comment.
The two friends sat down at the Kitchen table while Liope fixed tea. When it was ready she brought the pot over with three cups. After serving Uta and her mother she joined them, pouring a cup for herself.
"Father will be so excited when he finds out you’re home. I warned him you were coming and he told me that he'd never locked the door on you."
"Well that’s a relief said Cateyln… though I expect I have much to atone for?”
“He missed you mom, we both did.“
“I know you did," she answered.
"You won’t leave us again will you?"
"Now that Gabby’s gone, there's no where else for me to go."
"Good!" Said Liope clapping her hands…" we can be a family again and there's so much I need tell you."
"And I'm eager to hear it, but all in good time. First however,"
"I wish there was some easier way to say this..."
Her mother's mind was masked. "What asked Liope, nervously."
"I need to have Uta examine you…"
"I'm fine mother, honest I am."
"You could be pregnant."
"Huh?" Replied Liope, wide eyed, rising from the table. "That's impossible."
"I'm still a virgin mom, I swear I am."
"Then there's nothing to worry about, is there?"
"Of course not, no of course not...examine me all you want."
Liope relaxed sitting back down in her chair.
"What makes you think there's a chance?."
"Morgolic awoke this morning."
"If he said we did anything he's a liar."
"He said he gave you some gems and a Scarab."
"Where are they?"
"You have the Scarb... as for the gems they're around my neck." She withdrew the bright silver chain and the purse with the jewels.
"You gave your mother the scarab? Uta inquired, looking over at Cateyln.
"Oh that. It's a Coven thing, Mom said she would take care of things." She has the setting. Was there something about that dead Insect, I should know?"
Cateyln spoke up. I should have mentioned it. It was an heirloom, an ancient relic, given by Gilbert, the husband that sired Miranda's line. He fell at the Gorge with Orwald. It's been passed down ever since waiting for that special someone to rekindle his legacy."
"How did it respond when Morgolic gave it to you?" continued Uta.
"Morgolic dropped it into the purse with the jewels. Oh my God!" she exclaimed suddenly as the implication of where this was all leading dawned. You think I'm pregnant by the Scarab"
"We'll soon find out if you're pregnant. After that we can examine the possibilities. Are you sure.... you haven't been with someone?"
"I swear to you, I'm still a virgin...honest. I'm a good girl."
"I believe you Pumpkin," said her mother.
"Please mom, have her check me out, I want to know... right now!"
Cateyln looked over at Uta.
Uta smiled back reassuringly, "It won’t take but a minute. All I have to do is listen to your stomach."
"What do you want me to do?"
"Lift up your blouse… I need to take a listen."
Liope lifted up her blouse and turned in her seat. Uta got down on her knees, putting her hands on the young girls hips and inclined her ear. First she listened on one side, then atop, next on the other and finally below. At length she sighed…
“Tell me this isn’t so." pleaded Liope.’
“I’m sorry, so sorry, so very sorry," said Uta, becoming emotional.
“It’s really not all that unexpected,“ said Cateyln with a sigh of resignation.
“What do you mean not unexpected?", answered Liope.
“What I mean is that the Prophesy said it would happen.”
"The one regarding the return of the Husbands."
"You believe it?"
"The scarabs were created for a purpose. Is it unreasonable to think that one finally got around to doing what it was supposed to?"
"Quit talking riddles and tell me what is happening."
"Gabby was your grandmother. Now I am heir to the Nirvana line and you are my daughter, a gifted Witch, who will one day inherit my power. The time is at hand. Don't you see Honey, you're one of the four who will welcome home the Husbands."
"Stop! Stop! Have you forgotten what 'Dead' means? Spare me the mumbo-jumbo. This is nonsense and I'm in no mood for it."
Cateyln looked over at Uta… She was staring pensively out the window.
"I wish we'd been able to spend more time together. This has all happened so suddenly. Sit, and drink your tea while I explain a story that's been a thousand years in the making."
"Please do." said Liope.
Scene 6 of 12: Background on War of Confederation.
"Six hundred years ago the Four Witches of Nirvana reigned over the Southern kingdom. Their husbsands were mighty warriors, and together, their rule brought peace and prosperity to the land. They collected taxes, dispensed justice, maintained order and under their stewardship life was good and there was an abundance of all the things that make life worth the living."
"Then from North there came an invading army and defied the authority of the Covenant. The Northerners streamed South bringing havoc and pillage to the lands. The Husbands rode out to meet them and found the great city of Cornith besieged and about to fall. In the first battle, the siege was broken but the losses were staggering. The city was evacuated and women and children began a long trek to the mountains which became know as The March of Redemption. From all parts of the kingdom, elves, dwarfs and men joined the exodus. The Northern armies soon replaced their losses and two fold more besides. They pursued, pressing relentlessly as the Southerners retreated. In a series of delaying actions they covered the endless flood of refugees. Down the Pallidino road they fled until at last they reached the Causeway that arched up 200 feet above the Tiberian Gorge. On the other side loomed the mouth of a tunnel that disappeared into the mountain. The Army of the Husbands had by this point dwindled to under 400. They drew up in the center of the Causeway. The Northerners pressed hard upon them. The Husbands were ever at the front holding back the onslaught. As the last of the refugees disappeared into the tunnel, Oligarth blew his horn. A lynch stone was pulled free and an avalanche thundered down, burying the entrance. At this point the fighting was hand to hand and so intense that the rearguard teetered on the verge of being overwhelmed. Once more Oligarth blew his horn and from beneath the Causeway another lynch stone was drawn away and the magnificent structure of masonry and stone collapsed into the canyon below. All those that stood thereon plunged to their deaths and were swept away by the raging waters.
"Where did the refuges go?"
"Down ways still secret until the road led them to safety. It is said they were redistributed in small groups throughout the land and ever since moved about and shifted, as their numbers grew and threatened to reveal a growing power."
"When the war ended the North occupied the citadel east of Nirvana. The ruins stand to this day. The sisters went to ground, hiding in the mines left behind by the dwarves. Eventually the garrison was called back to Emporium. First the miners returned, and then the farmers; but Nirvana today is a but a shadow of the splendor it once knew. There was a broad road through the valley that is now little more than a rocky path. A viaduct once ran from the glacier and brought fresh water into the town. And there were baths and fountains and gardens and there was a buzz of small industries that produced woolens and yarns of flax and smithies that produced iron for agriculture and weapons of all kinds. From the mines came an endless flow of gems, gold and silver and most precious of all, Cooper-Stall."
"What's all the mystery about the husbands if they fell to their deaths?"
"Of course the Witches knew their husbands had perished, but they had a plan. The went and interviewed the survivors and all their names were placed in books like this one. Knowing the genealogy of their husbands they began searching for common ancestors among those that remained and began encouraging marriages and keeping careful records. They did this with elf, dwarves and men for the three have much in common, if you go back far enough. Slowly they began to see patterns and they began to weave the threads together like a tapestry. You Liope, are one of the final threads but there are others who will soon be returning to Nirvana. It was found that Morgolic carried the essence of the four Elven tribes and even a common ancestor among the dwarves. It was a major discovery and his essence will be very important to our work."
"So the Husbands will return as descendants of the original heros?"
"If Morgolic was so important then why was he placed at risk?"
" A foul-up. The witches and elves have always been as oil and water. We were not paying close attention, when the discovery was made last year."
The Cisterians, who dwell along the great ocean, had been doing some work at the gorge where the Causeway fell into the river. Ten miles downstream they discovered the sword of Orwald, husband to Olivia, first among the witches. Word leaked out and reached the Imperium. They sent a battalion of grenadiers to obtain it. Morgolic was there when the elves got word of the impending raid...There was little time to prepare and a battalion of the Elite Guard closed fast. The Elves hastily contrived a plan to make it look like a small group of warriors was trying to carry the prize to safety. Instead, Morgolic took the sword and hid until the enemy went past. Then he then evaded West and then South, through the Valley of Men, racing to reach the Tristan forest. It worked to perfection until things went sour and a party of Snagar picked up his scent."
“Then the gems don’t really belong to the Elves, do they? Rightfully they belong to the descendants of the first Witch of Nirvana?”
"And my lineage is from Orwald and Olivia."
"Indeed, it is."
"Somebody needs to explain all this to Walinda."