It is oft spoken of fruits forbidden,
that they be sweetest of them all,
yet love that’s worth lay forsaken,
be a bitter thing bound for our fall,
what pain to adore upon virtuous merit,
yet be condemned of novel frivolous vice,
what can stand before such blind hearts,
who reprove by err more cyclical device.
– Allara Vera, Circa 140, E.R.
Coria 30th, 648 E.R.
Kiannae sat in a dark clearing, and waited. The moon was no more than a pale sliver in the sky, providing little more light than the stars. In the morning she would leave, and though Taloe often seemed to know most of what she did, there had been no discussion of the mater. Taloe had not visited her in the night for over a week. She had been too distracted with preparations to seek him out. At first there was a awkward relief, but slowly this shifted to worry for the spirit that shared her physical bond to the mortal world.
A harsh unintelligible whisper cut through the air, like the sounds of the dryad forest, yet harsher, and more unnerving, for they were not at all familiar. They did not even sound quite Sylvan. Kiannae opened her eyes, and what stood before her was not Taloe, but something else. An old woman glared at her in the moonlight. She was as naked as the boy always was, but somewhat less substantial, like a hollow shell of thin threads. The harsh whispers repeated, threatening, demanding, but beyond comprehension save the emotion behind them that could be felt in the bones.
Continue reading “Chapter 9”