Elaine 8: "Waking the Trees"
(03/06/98)


She sat at a low table, blonde hair almost obscuring her features as she bent her head low over the tabletop, intent on her work: a large, elegantly designed compass rose etched into the wood, with nine points. Her attention was focused on one, and she appeared to be carving a name under it...

Mine.

It sat there, lit by the rosy glow of the fire, exactly as the waters had shown me. I moved to it and stood there, carefully tracing a finger over the letters of my name, carved in my mother's elegant script. "You've seen this before," Desire's voice cut into the silence as she came beside me.

"I saw this," tapping a fingernail on my name, "being carved. In Rebma." Other names marked the different points: Joaquim, Harlan, Sorsha, Eve, Christophe...

She nodded, realizing my reference to the pool waters and the visions. "By whom?"

I paused, my heart swelling with various emotions, and I brushed the note I carried tucked in my sleeve. ' Perhaps someday we will meet again, daughter.' "My mother."

It did not take Desire long to discern that this shadow had long ago, hundreds of years in fact, been occupied by Brand. And that is was even now occupied by my mother. I settled myself in one of the chairs by the fire, the one facing away form the door, and settled Weirwindl across my knees. ' There lies a path ahead of you, and it diverges many times. You will know which turn to take, for your father's voice will speak to you, and urge you on the course you know is right. Never fear his voice, and never fear that in knowing you were not the daughter of his blood that he did not love you as the daughter of his heart. This sword, carried at his side all the years of his adult life, is a reminder of his character, and a promise that good can triumph over evil, and Order can win over Chaos.'

I stared into the dancing fire and waited, not knowing what else to do. The thought of seeing her again, after all this time and all that has happened, angered, terrified and overjoyed me all at once. I now had acess to answers I had always wanted, but now was almost afraid to find out what they were.

Not that that was going to stop me, of course...


Harlan was quiet and distant on our ride to Mica's former home, and I must admit, I was a bit too irritated with him and how he'd been avoiding me to bring up the topic I knew we needed to discuss. No sense in making some snide comment in the heat of the moment, as I'd only become more irritated in trying to repair any damage done by it. So instead I mulled over things I could do something about. It was only a few days 'til the coronation, and I needed to move quickly to solidify my powerbase. My marraige to William will be of great assistance there, for all the difficulty it is causing me with Harlan. But I must not let drop the matter of the assasination attempts, and I must find out how things fare in Danjan. I cannot them them stand without leadership for very long, if this unification is going to work. Should someone manage to place him or herself upon the throne there, it is oly going to make things that much more difficult when I reveal myself. Perhaps Harlna, since he is known to them can make his way in...

Our discovery in that shadow broke the ice between us a bit, and we fell once again into the comfortable camraderie that had marked our relationship. Not that that was going to let him off the proverbial hook, mind you...

We had stared at the irregular grassy mound in the midst of the ancient battlefield. Harlan scraped away some of the dirt to reveal a deep black marble. I assisted by conjuring a shovel, and soon he had revealed a large enough section to unveil that the large dais that bore the same elaborate tree design as Mica's door.

"Let me see if I can clear some more," he said as he scrambled onto the object, and promptly vanished.

I blinked, somewhat startled, and then pulled his Trump, which, thank the Bright Lady, he answered. It seems we had discovered some sort of transport device.


We fit in rather well at the Shadow faire, and the information we gathered proved to be quite interesting. Nine of those marble daises, throughout shadow. And Brand, who once held the sword I now wield, associated with all we have investigated so far, as well as my long-missing mother...


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