Three days after the New Moon, I am sitting in the common room of the Oberon’s Palace. I shift into a shamanic trance, and find myself kneeling in a tunnel underneath it… and someone standing behind me with a lantern light.
“It is I, Lady,” he says.
And I recognize the ‘energy’ as Faer’n, but without the mischievousness, the casual playfulness of a rogue; no, none of that. In fact, it seems he holds about himself a sphere of energy, and I ask him about that.
“It is to protect you by keeping myself and my energy from interfering in your work, Lady. I have changed… as have you.”
And it’s true. But I can’t put a handle on the change, although it feels ‘right’ and ‘safe’.
I turn back to what I’m doing. My hands are brushing off the dirt on the path in the tunnel near the wall. Something is underneath it, near the surface. As my hands are doing this, and my mind contemplating the outcome, I’m also conversing with Faer’n.
“Why do you suppose the Oberon granted me the Elven tongue?”
“What he did was grant you the ability to be a true Faery shaman.”
“What do you mean?”
“How else communicate with sentience in the Faery upper and lower worlds without the tongue? When you travel in shamanic ways in your Human realm, do you not speak in your mind with Human words?”
“Well, yes, that’s how I am; how I think… oh, I get it. Then all my perceptions are drawn through the veil of my humanness, my perceptions are human-based; my language reflects my human perceptions; kind of like that?”
“Yes, Lady; kind of like that. And, of course, you are Elc’yrr, which is more than a shaman; it holds wizardry and healing, too, which require words, which are more effective and powerful in the language of the environment in which you are standing.”
“Whoa. So the gift of the Elven tongue kind of makes me like a for-real shaman, wizard, Elc’yrr in the Faery realms?”
“More than kind of, Lady.”
“That’s way awesome. Way.”
“What is it you are seeking here?”
“I was drawn to this place, called to find a piece of some kind of relic that is very important to our present time. I have a sense of it being very ancient… like connected to the time of the last Change, that destroyed Faery… or at least, decimated it and tore the Veil, and caused unimaginable disaster throughout all the realms. Even Human.”
As I am talking, my hands feel the touch of something beneath them – solid, but not – as if an energy shield protected something of immense power. I work my fingers around it, sifting away the sand. As I brush dirt off the ‘shield’, runes begin glowing, but mostly none the like as I have ever seen. Nor, from Faer’n’s lack of response, any he has ever seen either. As I finally manage to make enough room to pick it up, the tunnel area we’re in begins to shake and crumble.
“Lady, we need to leave… now!”
I grab the relic, stand next to Faer’n, and let go the magic that drew and held us here.
We end up crashing down and out of the Palace’s common room fireplace, covered in soot.
Faer’n looks at me and grins (now that’s the Elf I remember!)
“Shall we go for the King?”
“No. We cannot leave here. He must come to us.”
“Oh, really. Well, ok, that ought to be good.”
“Just call the page outside the common room door to go get the Oberon.”
And he does.
Soon, indeed, the Oberon, in casual tunic and leggings of royal purple, walks in. Tatiana is close behind. When he sees the two of us covered in black soot, I can tell he is almost about to laugh, but instead he tries to put on his imperial demeanor in order to ascertain why anyone would dare get him up in the middle of the night.
Before he can ask, however, I hold out the relic for him to see.
“What is this you have brought, Lady Lighthawk?”
Faer’n is trying unsuccessfully to hide behind me.
“Besides the rogue, I mean.”
“My Lord, this is of great import. Understanding the message on it may help save the realms from some of the catastrophe that seeps through the Veil daily. But the runes, for the most part, are not known to me.”
“Nor I. Sit it on the table, and let us examine it more closely.”
As we gather about it, I watch in fascination as the runes seem to move about, and within, the surface of this ‘thing’… for it is more than relic, it is as if alive; as if the message is a living path etched upon it, and has to be followed in order to ‘read’ and comprehend the pattern of runes, and the story they tell. Weird.
Fortunately, I am not alone in perceiving this ‘weirdness’.
“These runes are so ancient, I’m not sure they are even recorded in the library,” the Oberon finally replies.
“But I can feel their importance and connection to this present time and place, my Lord.”
“I agree, Lady, but what do we do with this knowledge – this ‘relic’?”
“I must walk it, I think. I must walk it to discover its secrets and knowledge, and then bring that message back to you.”
“I am tempted to forbid that… except that I, too, feel its importance and imminent Call. Then, it is settled. We will set this up in the inner Keep room, under Royal Guard. He (and he looks straight at Faer’n) can stand inside the room with you, with supplies, if necessary. At the solstice, the Veil will also assist you in this endeavor. You have a separate destiny and call. Be at the ceremony, but not in it. Be here.”
“As you will, my Lord, so shall it be.”