Originally posted on my Describli site as a response to a prompt. With some minor changes this will be the first chapter of the last book for my series. Much of the plot is here, so feel free to suggest a title and provide feedback in the comments. Also posted on my wordpress blog at talesfromthemists.wordpress.com
The queen sat opposite the hooded woman pouring water into the silvered cauldron. The cavern was dark in the flickering candle light, the orange light reflecting off the still waters. The woman was robed in white with long silver hair peaking out from her mantle, a silver pendant hung from her neck bearing a resemblance to the young queen’s own necklace. It intrigued her, but she said nothing of her dead mother’s trinket.
“Queen Saoirse of the forests,” said the fey woman in an ethereal voice floating over the water.
“Great things will come of your struggle, your legacy will ring true as this world fades into myth and legend.”
Saoirse’s eyes grew wide at the seeress’s prediction, the world was to fade into the realm of legend even after everything she had done to save it. Saoirse, her brother and her friends had sacrificed their safety, their childhoods, and some of her men have even sacrificed their lives to prevent such events from coming to pass.
The old wizard from her father’s castle had prophesied the events that would lead the Chosen to bring down the forces of darkness. She had done everything that old man had said for years, not questioning any request no matter how strange. Now her father, her best friend, and many of her men laid deep in the earth, and the Seeress of Ciells was telling her it was all for not.
“Do not lose all hope, my queen,” the seeress whispered staring down into the pool of water as forms moved on its now rippled surface. “What do you see?”
Saoirse craned her neck over the cauldron and saw flashes of images almost two quick to process. A burnt battle field, a young woman with flowing black hair standing before a crowd of angry men, her brother sauntering out of the forest clad in green armor with his long sword in hand and the five-point star upon his shield, an emerald dragon raising his great head to the sky yawning to the moon, the tree of the nine worlds, and an isle vanishing into the mists. She was unable to interpret the visions the seeress gave her, despite her Sight.
“What was that?” Saoirse said gripping the faerie treasure that hung around her neck.
The seeress lowered her mantle to reveal a young white face, with emerald eyes and a silver head dress of a crescent moon upon her brow and silver locks that fell past her knees. The lady was too young, not too much older than Saoirse herself, the ancient Seeress of Ceills was barely out of her twenties. No, that wasn’t right, for the Seeress had always been described as thus…
“You’re one of the sidhe?”
“Yes. The sidhe are very interested in the outcome of these competing prophecies. We are wardens of the earth and keepers of the deep. It is in our interest to ensure this branch lives on.”
“Of the Crann Na Beatha?” Saoirse gasped clutching her mother’s necklace even more tightly. “If a branch of root dies…this isn’t just a struggle to save our world, is it?”
“No, child, it’s not.”
Saoirse stood from the table and paced the width of the cavern. “But you said this world would fade into myth and legend. If the fate of one branch is entwined with all the others, than how is it a sure thing that we will vanish into the mists, yet prophesied that we can save the nine worlds?”
The seeress waved her hand over the cauldron and closed her eyes singing lightly in the Old Tongue. Wind blew through the mossy fronds covering the mouth of the cave causing the candles to snuff out, leaving them in complete darkness.
In the darkness with her keen eyes could pick up the seeress and her silver hair blowing in the wind that swirled around her, her song grew louder and her eyes glowed white in the darkness. Saoirse watched half in awe and half in terror as the Seeress sang her prophecy. She could only devise some words from the ancient tongue. Death, vanish, fade, Ragnorak, magic, life…It seemed not to make sense, but all the same it filled her heart with dread.
The wind died down and the candles were re-lit filling the cavern with a flickering orange light and the seeress stood over the cauldron bent over, clutching her chest and gasping for air.
Saoirse ran to the Faerie woman’s aid, using her own small body as a support.
“What did you see?”
“The conflicting prophecies are not as they seem, my queen.” she gasped. “The two prophecies are not just conflicting. One of the of prophecies that is false.”