Welcome to Branwyn of Llewelynn’s version of the Xenavers,
ego of B-Bard4sure, who had the nerve to actually ask for her own
the twilight of my life, gazing over the familiar soft green hills that surround
Avalon, my thoughts travel back to a group of women I encountered oh, it seems
life times ago.
is a story of two nations that were close to disappearing;
...A time that Avalon still
had some of it’s purpose and power and Amazonia was a magical domain where
many stories came from, told by well travelled Celts who recognized the similar matriarchal blueprint of ancient life;
...When the paths of gods and humans were entwined with each other and
gave a certain balance to life’s events.
balance came to falter when the hearts of people turned heavy with
discontentment, greed, anger and fear. Their respect for life poisoned by a
growing evil, feeding on the darker part of human nature.
events I will write down here in the hope they will never be forgotten are tales
otherwise passed down the Avalon bloodline by word of mouth. For as long as I
can remember it’s been done that way. I thought it was time to break our non-
writing tradition and record all I know and remember. Maybe, just maybe the
generations to come will learn that the heart can conquer evil.
the once champion-rebel of Avalon, “Oh my heart, my soul, where will you linger when Avalon withdraws into
the mist for the last time?” I
laid down my duties with out regret and chose to be the creator of my own
destiny, or so I thought.
Now I will tell the tales of brave women and love...
Avalon, My Amazon
ALL OF US... ALL)
Bronwyn of Llewlynn
It all started with the sound of goodbye.
Beside the stables of a grand house in Northeast
Britannia, a mother kissed the temple of her daughter and lingered there longer
than the woman had intended. The painful sting in her heart forced her to
express the love she felt towards the red haired figure standing before her. She
inhaled the sweet scent of the girl’s thick red hair. The woman would normally
restrain from showing her feelings in a physical manner but it would be a long
time before she saw her daughter again. Boadecia, also known as the Queen of
Celts smiled; hoping in vain it would mask the pain and fear that was etched on
her face. Her ‘little girl’ was leaving.
The girl wrapped strong, toned arms around her mother
and held her in a surprisingly gentle hug and whispered, “I’m scared too,
Rhiannon sensed her mother knew more than she did about
what was to come. Her mother knew more about Rhiannon than she did of herself,
she suspected. From this moment on her life would belong to Avalon. All she had
learned and was about to learn was for the greater good. Of what she had no
concrete knowledge, but figured it had to do with her fathers desire to rid
himself of her. The arguing between her parents had to stop. The young woman
felt a big relief at the thought that her mother would finally have some peace.
Leaving still hurt though.
Trying to keep the disappointment off her face, she
begged to the gods silently. Please let
mother stand up to aunt Eilan. You know as well as I do that this destiny thing
is up to something or someone beyond your sister, mother. And what about me huh?
No one has bothered to ask what I want, what I feel or need. I tell you over and
over again but you never answer or seem to listen to me.
Rhiannon let the older woman go reluctantly and mounted
the dark brown mare standing patiently behind her. She knew her mother had
taught her all she could. The fact that Boadicea had given her daughter her
favourite horse must mean she loved her. Letting each other go almost
‘killed’ the both of them.
Boadecia watched her daughter ride off on the mare,
which would lead her straight to The Lake of Avalon and be of some use
protecting her along the way. The mare was spawned of her own battle mount, a
grand beast you could count on. Please
Eilan, you have both of my children now. Don’t break Rhiannon’s spirit by
forcing YOUR will on her. I swear I’ll hunt your soul till the end of time if
you do sister of mine. She prayed in silence.
From the shadow of an old oak, Prasutagus watched the
departing of Rhiannon. He waited until she was out of sight and walked towards
Boadecia. He comforted her as best he knew how by wrapping his arms around his
wife. Deep inside he could feel a sense of relief. Thank the gods that trouble attracting, pointy-eared freak has gone. He
thought to himself and walked his love back to the big house, looking back once
to make sure the girl had gone for sure. Boadecia would call her back as soon as
she found an excuse. For now they would be a happy royal family of two and he
planned to make the most of it.
To mark the High Priestess to be
The trees cycled through their wardrobe over the next
seven summers. Britannia was constantly under threat by one enemy or another.
Boadecia called on her daughter as often as she could. Usually it was because
the Queen of Icenian Celts could do with all the decent warriors she could
muster. A never ending repetition of attacks by Saxons, Vikings, Scots, and
Romans kept Boadecia and her and her armies on their toes for many years. The
constant need of new recruits thinned down the population drastically. Women and
men were welcome to help defend the homeland, any way they could. Britannia, as
the Celtic Queen liked to call her home, was far from united. Her Queen dome was
no more than the Northeastern part of Britannia. About three-quarters of the
land was united by the joint efforts of the Queen and the druids and priestesses
of Avalon. Times were hard and the united nobles were not easy to keep
satisfied. If the war lords and kings of the continent, across the sea’s,
weren’t trying to take a piece of her beloved land, some self proclaimed war
lord or idiot would try holding part of the country for ransom to gain power.
Boadecia’s need to keep in touch with her daughter was flamed by the fact that
Rhiannon was changing fast and the uncertainty of a Queen’s life. Boadecia’s
part in warfare was very hands on. It was getting harder to recognise her
daughter, let alone really reach her. The short periods of time they shared in
between battles left little room to ask her how she was feeling. Rhiannon was
never permitted to stay away from Avalon longer than a fortnight at a time.
Sometimes the young woman rebelled against Eilan and stayed longer. She then
spent most of her time roaming the forests of Albion, Norfolk to the Scots.
Leaving her mother as an impressionable girl, the red
haired youth matured into a tall, athletic and stable woman. The warrior’s way
was still within reach at times her mother needed another good swords woman. The
discipline needed for battle and Boadecia’s talent to get the best out of
every soldier gave Rhiannon a mental balance. Avalon was demanding on the girl.
Seasonal visits to the Orkneys, where her twin sister Vivian resided, provided
her with very welcome news from round the known world. The islands north of
Scottish territory were some Vikings had tried to set up house, where conquered
by Prasutagus for his pride and joy, Vivian. The islands roughed landscape and
wide variety of animals to study gave her a break from the exhausting lessons
Eilan kept her busy with. Learning to obey her aunt was proving to be the
greatest challenge Rhiannon had ever faced. The High Priestess was not just
teaching her the way of the Lady. She wanted the girl’s soul, or so it felt.
Rhiannon was being trained to become the next High
Priestess of Avalon. The woman’s skills grew stronger and more varied as Eilan
taught and influenced her as much as her niece let her. Unknown to all whom had
a stake in her future, Rhiannon did not feel she was in the right place at all.
The red head wanted to set off into the world and be a warrior. Not stay on the
small island and practice the druids’ sciences and rituals that Eilan thought
were important. She loved her homeland and most kinfolk. She enjoyed learning in
general but something tugged at her soul. Something stronger than soil, blood
ties or even gods.
was right. This young thing is a natural. Eilan
concluded to herself as she watched Rhiannon master the sight over little time.
Much less time than the High Priestess had needed, as a novice. She figured that
the Moon Goddess would claim the young woman soon. Beltaine
I should think... yes ... I like Beltaine. Eilan made note of the coming
festivities and reminded herself to let the Taliesin know the time was right.
Her own intuition was doing overtime and her usual cool, High Priestess radiance
was fading while the student rapidly grew more able than her teacher. If only
she could talk the girl into letting her warrior image go. Boadecia,
you stubborn piece of work, had to leave your mark all over the girl, didn’t
you. At least you didn’t refuse her like you tried to do with Vivian. Hubby
saw to that didn’t he. The Priestess cursed under her breath, walked over
to Rhiannon and took hold of the young woman’s left hand.
Rhiannon stopped meditating to find out what the old
crow wanted of her this time. I’ve
almost had enough of this game of taming the warrior. Rhiannon thought as a lung full of air escaped from her mouth
in an impatient rush. Patience you fool.
Just sit it out until you’ve mastered what Eilan has to offer. Then get out of
here. She put in mind and looked over Eilan’s shoulder as she stood up.
The redhead saw that a couple dozen priestesses had
gathered at the foot of one of the offer tablets in the stone circle, half way
up the Tor. Her friend Ionah was among them. They held the sacred attributes
needed to tattoo the symbol of the Mood Goddess on someone and looked at her as
if she was their target.
Rhiannon let Eilan lead her to the offer stone. A
deafening silence descended over the field. The stone was covered in rusty, old
bloodstains and mosses. The Celt sat down on the end of the stone and gave her
aunt the chance to prove her wrong, face blank and arms folded. After all, Ionah
got here first and was next in line to take her vows and be marked, before she
became a full-fledged priestess during the festival of Beltaine. Rhiannon came
up with several ways to get out of the stone circle fast, in case things took an
unwanted turn. Really letting her aunt have her way was never part of the plan.
She had confided in Ionah about this when Eilan announced the next group of
novices that were to be called. Her friend had promised to help her get off the
island if Eilan refused to respect the Celt’s wishes.
The priestesses formed a circle and started chanting.
Eilan soaked a sponge in a bowl of water and said some blessings. She called on
the Goddess to bless her choice too and locked eyes with Rhiannon.
“I already have all the markings I’ve ever wanted
and more, you old hag.” The Celt screamed as her face went the colour of her
hair from the anger rising within. She stood up fast. “I don’t think that an
all powerful Goddess needs the indigo moon sickle between my brows to be able to
seek me out, do you? Isn’t being The One mark enough.” Rhiannon knew her
arguments fell on deaf ears but kept on yelling at her aunt.
“By the way, I have these great tattoo’s on my
cheeks that only two other, rather magnificent, royal women wear. The sickle
doesn’t match them.” Rhiannon could feel the priestesses around her hold
their breath as the tension level rose between the High Priestess and her
chosen. “I don’t want any more done on my face, thank you very much.
Aren’t my ears enough punishment.” She caressed her own cheeks and ears and
laughed wickedly. “What if I’m not The One. For the love of Hearn’s
friggin antlers, look at who you are dealing with, stupid, narrow minded
crow.” Rhiannon kept circling the High Priestess fast, not blinking and not
giving the older woman a hairbreadth of room to move. She stopped when Eilan was
trapped between her and the altar stone in the middle of the circle. “You were
saying, Eilan?” Rhiannon looked around the circle of blue robed women and
right hand flew up, aimed at the young woman’s face. Rhiannon sucked in air
and caught the High Priestesses wrist, just before the cold and bony hand
connected with her face. “And you are trying to achieve what?” The Celt
sneered and pushed her aunt to the ground with ease. She was after all only half
the size of her mother and at least ten summers older.
Sprawled on the grass and held by the wrist like a
naughty child for all her priestesses to see, Eilan felt humiliated and angry
but kept her face neutral. Rhiannon had rebelled before but not like this. She
had never used force while on the island. Close
the circle and nobody dare move, unless I say so. Eilan commanded the other
women with her thoughts and then spoke to her niece with venom on her breathy
voice. “You will yield to the Goddess my dear, you must. It is beyond your
“Now that wasn’t very smart was it. Don’t bother
keeping the other lasses around, auntie. They can’t force me to do anything I
do not want to do. When will it sink in Eilan? You have no control over me and
if I make it so, not over them either.” Rhiannon looked from the High
Priestess to the baffled women standing around them. “Do not presume to know
what you have created, Lady of the Lake. Your actions now will echo through out
the universe, for ever.” The red head chuckled and waved a hand without
looking to dismiss her sisters. Rhiannon was beginning to enjoying herself a
little, shoving Eilan’s lessons back into her teachers face.
None of her sisters moved from the circle. They watched
and waited as standing stones. So
they like the show? Maybe I’m not the only one who loathes the entertainment
around here. Let’s see what the old bat will try to do now.
Rhiannon let go of Eilan’s wrist, took a step back
and folded her arms. Much to her expectation, Arafel, Eilan’s right hand women
hurried up to her mentor and helped the old woman up. She then walked back and
closed the circle again. Rhiannon laughed bitterly at her. Suck up.
The High Priestess looked at the red head for a moment
and smiled. “You will yield.”
Her voice sounded even more resentful and dark if
possible. The woman focused on Rhiannon’s left eye and challenged her student.
You defy the High Priestess, little girl.
Remember your place.
The Celt chuckled again, planted her feet firmly and
folded her hands together, index fingers pointing down. What do you want to do now, High Priestess? I’m not at all ready to
take your place, am I you caniving bitch. You are careless though. I’ve
mastered more than you know. For starters, blocking my mind and where about to
you at will. If you would like to find out the rest, you are going to have to
catch me first old cow. Bye-by.
Rhiannon took a few steps backwards towards her sisters
and planned to summer salt over the wall of women when Ionah grabbed her sides
from behind. Snatching one of her sister’s hands and arm, the red head swung
Ionah over her shoulder. The priestess landed on another sister, who slammed to
the ground under Ionah’s weight. This created an opening for Rhiannon to bolt
from the circle of women. “Traitor.” She yelled over her shoulder at her
devious friend with eyes shooting daggers.
watched her niece run from the offering field.
If you won’t surrender yourself to the Goddess one way, it will be dealt with
another way. The High Priestess signalled the women to cancel the rest of
the ritual, patted the dirt of her robe and grabbed hold of Arafel without
looking. The blond priestess grinned at Eilan and nodded. The two walked towards
The Lake and sat down to ‘talk’ in confidence.
Tricked or Chosen
All she could see were blurs of green bush and vague
shades of red light that filtered through the trees as she ran to the point of
flying. When her lungs started to burn so hot she couldn’t breath anymore,
Rhiannon dropped on all fours and howled. She needed to release some of the
anger and frustration that was taking hold of her heart. She almost tore into
her aunt and spooked herself. Where’s
all this aggression coming from? Anger I know, but this feeling is making my
heart ache all the time. I want to hit something. Crawling towards a stray
stone to steady her, the woman noticed a flickering of something under it. Her
hands methodically dug around the shiny object just enough to get at it under
the stone’s edge. The object cleared from under its hiding place as the red
head pulled and rose to her knees. The cool metal felt empowering and familiar
in her hands. “A sword?” She whimpered, still out of breath and swallowed
“Humm hmmm, it’s THE sword”
The wing cheeked woman’s heart jumped at the sound of
the voice. She swung round fast and rose to her full length, striking the most
intimidating pose she could summon.
“Like I said.” The old man continued and chuckled
at the woman’s moves. “The sword of Hearn the Hunter. It is destined to aid
a great man from the enchanted Sherwood Forest one-day, my beautiful Elfling. A
Saxon no less. Did you pay attention to any of my lessons?” The man smiled at
his student and saw her anger build.
“I remember the story different, but if you say
so.” Rhiannon chewed her bottom lip and frowned. She knew the sword was a
symbolic weapon and was owned by the High Priestess residing since the beginning
Rhiannon felt an almost bloodthirsty rage hit her as
she listened to the druid preaching at her about great men of the past and
future. She grinned at the old man she knew as The Taliesin, High Priest of the
Druids or Gwydion, friend of the family. The red head tried to relax a little
and prodded at some dirt with the sword. She didn’t trust the druid completely
but knew he was more of a talker than anything else. He’d bore her to death
with his secret sciences, stargazing and magick first.
“You keep saying Elfling, Taliesin. Do you ever plan
to elaborate or will you keep on offending me?” Rhiannon speared the sword
deep into the dirt, between herself and the Taliesin and folded her arms.
“Sweet child, you don’t want to know, even if I do
tell you more.” The druid replied with a grin and scratched his beard.
The red head looked at the blade still well at hand,
wondering if she would provoke her Goddess if she used force on an old man to
get at what he was insinuating. He
shouldn’t make fun of me like that. Nobody I know likes elves. Why insist on
calling the Queen’s daughter an Elfling? Is he tired of living? Before she
could act on those thoughts, her vision began to fade behind thick tears. She
dropped to the ground with a thud and found herself not being able to keep her
eyes open nor her mind sharp. Damned that
druid. I can’t move for Hearn’s sake. Leaning heavy on her arm that
extended into the sword; knuckles white from holding on for dear life,
consciousness left her.
“Yes, that’s right my Elfling. Sleep. You will soon
realise who you are, like it or not.” The old man grinned and sprinkled some
violet dust over the two of them and they vanished.
Rhiannon woke with a jolt and a surging headache.
“AUW. Basalt rips a girls butt to shreds. Oh, my head. Wait till I get my
hands on you, son of a Banshee.” She growled and the words came echoing back
to her, which did nothing if not worsen the mean thump in her head. I’m in the initiation cave? The groggy woman assumed. The slight
illumination caused by a torch lit the
cave just enough to recognise where she was. I’m naked? How long have I been here? She ran through a number of
the rituals that would normally take place in this cave. Beltaine was the
festival that traditionally brought the new High Priestess forth. Eilan had
planed to initiate Rhiannon, if she co-operated or not. All tribe elders, nobles
and anybody who was somebody and swore allegiance to Avalon would be there to
see it, making it impossible to escape.
The Celt didn’t feel cold even though she was
unclothed. They’ve kept me here for a
long time. I would be freezing if it were still the end of winter. Her
breasts and face were covered in dried blood, judging by the stale, metallic
smell coming from her body. I’M HERE FOR
THE GRABBIN’ NAKED HIGH PRIESTESS TO BE, PREPPED FOR THE MAIN RITUAL AND ALL.
Oh, sweet Ceridwen have mercy. Those two should be quartered and have their
limbs thrown out to the sea serpents, forget Tir na nOg. They can’t have me
willingly like all the others so they tricked me. It has nothing to do with the
Goddess. My lady give me guidens, I do not wish to offend you. I don’t want to
be the new High Priestess, even if this is truly your way. But I do not believe
it is. It’s NOT on. EILAN, TALIESIN... I know you can hear my thoughts. IT’S
NOT ON. You two have no idea who and what you are dealing with.” Rhiannon
knew she was bluffing but made her up her mind not to give in without a fight.
She tried to relax on the basalt bed and started to meditate.
Sitting cross-legged and hands together, index fingers
pointed to the earth, Rhiannon decided to leave Avalon or die trying. She would
defy the High Priestess, her sisters and even the Goddess if she had to. First
she had to get out of the cave and find out if her deity had forsaken her
completely. Unknown to the Celt a green glow started to surround her form,
coming from within the woman.
Her voice echoed back from the cave walls like a
mantra; “Fire... Water... Earth...
Air... Metal, Elements that be, fill me, serve me. Mother of all, Goddess of the
Moon, I call you... Ceridwen, Rhiannon, the unspoken one, the three who are
one... I invoke thee, I invoke thee.”
Rhiannon opened her body, heart and soul to her
Goddess. She invoked the power of love and forced her will to be silent. Her
fear subsided, the many voices of expectation and desire that frequently filled
her mind went mute. All that was left was silence. After listening to that
silence for a while, one demand like question formulated it’s self and forced
it’s way out of her mouth.
I am your Chosen One, show me NOW. Give
me a sign.”
A green light beamed powerfully in the cave.
Rhiannon tired fast and her personal desires ended up
mingling with the words that would command the Goddess to reveal her destiny.
All the gods Rhiannon placed her faith in were included in her cries for help.
the Hunter, I invoke thee, Cybele Earth mother, I invoke thee, Rhiannon face of
the Moon, I invoke thee. I ask for the power to serve my heart and extend my
knowledge and skills to all who need it, unchained by boarders and the selfish
will of my mentors and family. If I am to serve Avalon, let it be as a warrior.
I do care for this place and for those who live here, my Lady. Eilan’s will
can never be the way it must be, please let me go, help Avalon let me go. By my
ancient blood right I beseech thee.” The cave grew silent again
and the green glow dimmed.
Rhiannon came back to herself slowly and felt cool
metal and antler bone resting across her knees. It was not the sword of Hearn,
but a fine blade in a league of it’s own. The Celt slipped her fingers around
the bone and found that the grip fit to perfection. Made for her hand only. She
felt some confidence return and her eyes almost popped from their sockets at the
beauty and perfect balance of the blade. Her name was engraved in the shiny
blade. Eight sacred runes decorated with eternal knots and mystic symbols.
Rhiannon gave the weapon a few spins and jumped off the rock to inspect
the rest of the cave chamber.
A few paces away, laid over a chest she found an outfit
of died green leather. A cloak of the finest combed wool, woven in the colours
of Boadecia’s family kilt, green, purple and red. A silver Tork with matching
arm braces and some other trimmings were tucked in a box baring the sign of the
Goddess, the moon sickle. Next to the chest stood a pare of hind leather boots,
also imprinted with moon sickles on the sides.
well. My Lady has good taste. This is excellent in deed. Even Viv would like
Destiny called as the Amazon
Winding her way out of the cave, her path lit by the
torch, the red head thanked her deity. Strutting up the steep path Rhiannon’s
heart started to pound and the presents of death that suddenly over loaded her
senses. She could start to make out strange sounds coming from outside and
picked up her pace.
The new outfit felt a little strange but comfortable.
Rhiannon knew it was meant for her and she walked proud, taking in the details
of her new attire. As a warrior she could be free to do good on her terms with
her Lady’s blessing. That prospect suited her perfectly. The sharp and nasty
vibes coming from the cave entrance on the other hand did not. The light of the
torch was soon nothing compared to the bright blaze that hit her at arrival.
In the opening of the rock face stood a pale, bleeding
“What the- how long have I been out?” Talking to
herself was usually a sign that Rhiannon felt lonely or baffled. Her muscles
tightened of their own accord and she spoke close to babbling. “Arafel, w’t
is it. Who dh- did this to you?”
Before the blond collapsed on the ground, Rhiannon
threw aside the torch and caught the woman in her arms. She laid her down gently
and the priestess tried to speak. “Grh- greehh- Amah- zon wants Gahbr- rielle.
Help them... need the wah- warrior. Are yhou th-
warrhh-” Arafel grabbed hold of Rhiannon’s hair and her hand got
tangled in the braids to the side of the red head’s face. She let out a last
rattle of breath and blood. The Celts eyes stung as Arafel’s dead weight hung
by her hair, the tears of physical and emotional pain flooded her cheeks.
Rhiannon let go of the dying priestess as her eyes
caught the scene outside the cave. Everyone who called themselves true and loyal
to Avalon, almost all who had come to witness the ritual calling of a new High
Priestess, were lying scattered across the fields around the cave.
The air was filled with moans and cries and the stench
of burnt flesh and blood. The buildings closest to the cave were on fire. Their
once white plastered walls were stained with blood and grime. The grass field in
front of the inferno seemed to be ploughed open and the decrepped cavities were
filled with dead people and burnt body parts. Some priestesses were crying and
just lying there, too shocked to move. Others were busy running for cover, back
towards the village. The lords and ladies had tried to do the same but not all
had made it. A line of charred human remains led up to the thatched cottages.
The village cottages at the bottom of the field were still intact but filled
with wounded visitors and priestesses. Rhiannon’s sisters ran in and out of
the supply huts, arms filled with anything to bandage wounds and cool down
burns. Three priestesses were brave enough to make a run for the healers supply
cottage but got fried before they reached cover.
Amidst the burning chaos stood an Amazon woman laughing
hysterically and throwing fireballs at everything and anything that moved. She
gave off the most evil vibes Rhiannon had ever felt emitting from a woman. This
is clearly no average human. As fast as she could, the Celt screened the
field for the familiar vibes of her mother and twin Vivian.
Nothing. If Viv were here I’d surely hear or feel her panic. No, mother is not here either. She focussed on the drama in front
of her and sent a thought message her twin might be able to pick up.
No answer. Ceridwen watch over them, where ever they are.
Maybe they haven’t been invited to the island for this festival in
respect of mother morning Prasutagus. He got killed in a battle against the
Saxons come winter. Eilan wouldn’t want her around to see this farce anyway.
The Celt stood numb, sword hanging limp in her palm.
Although Rhiannon wanted to run over to the Amazon and thrust a blade straight
through her heart she realised quickly, she didn’t stand a chance of even
getting close enough to do damage. Her breath came in ragged, shallow spurts.
Her body protested against every movement but she managed to stagger backwards
into the now very attractive cave. Rhiannon focussed her mind’s eye on the
murderous woman and hoped she got through to her. Hey Amazon. Looking for a real
fight? Find me first.
Elemented, dear Velasca, Elemented
As Rhiannon had expected, the Amazon came looking for
her. The closer the intruder got to her, the more certain the red head was that
she was dealing with some sort of god.
gods, what does this murdering bitch want? The red head tried to
get into the Amazon’s mind. All the information she got was that this woman
had the powers of a god and was not in a hurry to leave without something. The
Amazon’s mind was filled with thoughts of revenge, death and
self-glorification. Rhiannon shivered at the Amazon’s thoughts and placed a
protective spell on herself. Maybe that would keep the Amazon from reading her
mind, as gods were known to do that.
priestess not so High and mighty. Do you really think you can hide from a god?
Don’t irritate me you weird little shit. Hand over the pretender to the Amazon
throne now. If you don’t... you only delay the inevitable.” The Amazon
laughed loud and threw her head back and sniffed the air. A warrior that tried
to creep up on her from behind distracted her. The Amazon flicked a fireball
over her shoulder and it killed the man on impact. She sighed and stared at her
fingernails for a moment. “I know
Gabrielle is in Britannia, I can smell her stench every where.” Velasca
bellowed loudly and stalked her way down into the heart of Avalon.
as air, fast as water, light as air, fast as water.
Rhiannon meditated, preparing for a quick get away.
in Hades is that mortal vermin of a bard?” The Amazon came
stomping into the core chamber of the cave.
as air, fast as water, light as air, fast as water, light as air. The
Celt felt herself become lighter, her nerves on edge like an over taught harp
“Avalon bids you a very, very warm welcome and
farewell.” Rhiannon whispers to the fuming Goddess. Her voice amplified by the
acoustics of the rock. Like an arrow from a bow she shot herself out of the
chamber, snatching Velasca’s dagger from its place as she passed the roaring
We can end this out side too, priestess. It makes no difference. I will fry you
AND the bard. That is non negotiable.” Velasca screamed at the rock
walls and started to walk back towards the entrance.
Just a few paces outside the cave the warrior carved a
moon sickle between her brows with the stolen dagger and invoked the elements.
Rhiannon made haste to reciprocate before the lunatic woman figured out what she
had in mind. She would not last a heartbeat once the Amazon got out. Arms and
hands raised to shoulder height, eyes focused on the moon she chanted, “Moon
Goddess, watcher and guardian of the elements, I invoke your power in me, fill
me. Take this offering from a mortal. Is this what you wanted of me?”
The moon turned a dark crimson red and the cave matched
its shade, as well as the Tork and arm braces the warrior wore.
Rhiannon could feel her body growing cold and numb. The
stone labyrinth that led to the heart of Avalon melted and sealed in the
screaming Amazon. The stone giant hissed as mist pulled towards its heating
surface like a magnet.
was harmless once again, although this not to the knowledge of the now
unconscious form that is Rhiannon, dead to the world lying before the
smouldering heap of rock. The chant and shock wiped the Celt out and she slept
in an instant.
Brian chamber monologue
The warrior woke groggy and stiff from lying in one
position, for how long she wasn’t quite sure. Rhiannon sat down on a heap of
rocks and focused on what was going on around her.
Priestesses were helping each other clear the field.
Some were crying. The baffled Celt cried along with them for sheer relief. Many
of the priestesses were wounded and at least five had succumbed to mortal
amounts of lightning and fire bolts. She saw a few faces she knew among the dead
visitors before closing her eyes again.
of Brannan, did a horse and cart run me down or what? My head hurts, everything
hurts. I’ve got to get off this island, then off the uh, Island and on a
boat... to where? Amazons, where do they come from already? Mom told stories
about them Trees, forest huts and short skirts and drums and feathers and come
on brain dead. Uh... Must find out who this Gabrielle is. Either I just helped
an innocent woman and this Gabrielle has some serious explaining to do or
she’s a black soul that wanted to harm my sisters. Can’t think clearly, must
rest and eat. Shit, cry... “Mother” Rhiannon’s cry rang across
the blood soaked field.
From the mists of Avalon to the misty mainland
In the crowded streets of Londinium, Rhiannon bargained
herself a place aboard a ship as help cook. The captain, a strong, friendly man
who came from Gaul, made sure the crew didn’t get rough with her. The times
they tried, he found the young woman could hold her own. The Celt made sure hair
or a hat covered her ears at all times. At home they would attract the kind of
attention she didn’t need right now. She didn’t know how foreigners would
react to a woman warrior with pointed ears. Frankly she didn’t want to find
out if the humiliating reaction of her kinsmen was anything to go by.
The voyage wasn’t bad and the multi-cultured crew
gave her fresh information on the various Amazon tribes. Especially when she
sang for the men in the less stormy evenings. She was tempted to get more facts
by tapping into the crew’s mind but reminded herself that she had no quarrel
with them. Instead, Rhiannon put some effort into learning the code of the
sailors and even made some friends along the way.
Getting off Avalon was the pits compared to this splash
in Llyr’s big gulp, or Poseidon’s realm as the Greeks called it. It was dawn
and Rhiannon stood on deck, leaning against some ropes, enjoying the salty air.
The wind caressed her scalp and made her hair dance. The red warrior cringed as
she remembered her efforts to get away. To summon the boat, the only boat that
could get her off the sacred soil, she had to go back and face Eilan once more.
First of all she threw up when the stench of death hit
her again, passing through the village center on her way back to Eilan. She
recognized Ionah’s badly charred body in the neat line of casualties. Rhiannon
prayed for the soul of her friend and mourned the loss of her sisters. Nobody
deserved to burn alive. Not these women for sure. There and then she swore to
find out who was responsible for this tragedy and not rest until she did.
Her aunt was wandering aimlessly through the narrow
lanes in between buildings when the red head spotted her. With a few back flips
the Celt closed the distance between herself and the High Priestess. “I need
to summon the boat,” was all Rhiannon said after she landed in front of the
older woman and before she locked eyes with her.
to me Eilan of the Lake. Tell me the words. She held her aunt by
the shoulders forcefully.
Eilan tried to close her eyes and failed. Her student
had become her master so it seemed.
The girl had access to her mind but the High Priestess
could not return the unwelcome intrusion. All she could do was give in or try to
unbalance the girl. Since the first was out of the question, she shifted her
weight onto her left leg. Eilan was about kick Rhiannon in the shin when the
girl grabbed her by the throat and pushed her to the ground in one move.
give me a reason to snap your neck, woman. Rhiannon held the
fragile woman down with ease and tightened her hold around the pale neck
slightly. Her knee firmly pressed against Eilan’s shoulder, just in case.
“You don’t have a killer’s instinct dear. Bluff
all you like, the chant is mine, and mine alone.” The High Priestess grinned
at her niece.
you are good at this aren’t you? Hmm, let’s see. You... you would rather die
instantly than ever feel any pain. The Celt pulled Eilan into a
sitting position and stomped her in the stomach with the free hand, jammed a
knee into her face as she slumped over and slammed into the old woman’s neck
with her elbow. With the hand still on the woman’s throat, she pushed her back
into the dirt.
enough? I can do that again if you’re not sure.
No problem. The red head held her
breath, raised her eyebrows in question and watched Eilan whimper and spit out a
few teeth. Her idea was working. The old woman was clearly scared of her display
of strength. The fear of more pain broke the High Priestesses power to block the
deepest part of her mind from being entered. Eilan had once told her niece that
she was afraid of pain and what the fear did to her. Listening had paid off. The
sight was not always needed to overpower Eilan, so it seemed.
The chant was simple enough and she got to The Lake
shore before any of the nobles Eilan had ordered to stop her, got the chance to
hinder her departure. The chaos provided good cover.
A light spray of seawater brought the red head back to
the present. The waters were getting rougher and she held on to the rope coils
stubborn woman. She’s so occupied
by the desire to be in control. Even if I’d killed an entire army of crazy
Amazons, she’d still be on about her orders and me betraying her.
Avalon gang and mother can get along without me while I find out who has the
blood of my sisters on their hands. That Amazon came looking for some woman
called Gabrielle and I plan on finding her. According to the ship’s navigator,
a Greek, there is a fairly well known bard who goes by that name. She travels
with a lady warrior but he didn’t know anything else, after being at sea for
so long. Enough to go on for now I suppose.
The ship came to port in mist covered Gaul territory.
Besides a couple of thugs roaming for food, coin or prejudice related
intentions, the road to Greek country was like a big picnic to the geographical
naive Celt. Her naivety being the best weapon to avoid attracting to much
attention. After dodging Romans, Saxons, Vikings and her father, Greeks seemed
pleasant enough. She soaked up the different cultures she crossed like a new
born, first realising that what it sees is really there. Rhiannon stopped at an
inn somewhere in Corinth for some cider and bread. The red head started to
wonder if she would ever find this Gabrielle or the Amazon tribe.
The inn held a collection of men of the macho kind and
several ladies of pleasure. Rhiannon settled into a booth near two good
vibe-oozing examples. They both nodded at her. The bigger man gave her a warm
smile, like she reminded him of something. The smaller blond man winked at her
with his hearts wisdom glowing from behind friendly eyes.
The Celt relaxed and became very involved in the cheese
and bread that a servant almost threw in front of her. Celts were not at all
strange to the Corinthian public she soon understood. She had managed to get
hold of some dinars, singing at taverns and inns on the way to Amazon territory.
People were helpful and kind, when you respected their ways. Actually, finding
Amazonia would be the real challenge. Villagers she had questioned on the
subject had gone a little pale and walked away. Rhiannon had decided that the
eaves drop approach, plan-b would become effective immediately, then realised
that she was staring at the blond man.
“The name’s Ioulas and this big bag of cuddly bones
is my best friend and travel companion Hercules.” The blond man beamed as he
spoke and gave his friend a playful punch in the ribs.
“Oehai- uh, Hi, Hello.” The gentlest face she had
ever seen on a man with such a large body turned to face her and smiled again.
Rhiannon extended her lower arm to Hercules, then
Ioulas and smiled at them. She suddenly remembered one of the stories Boadecia
once told her and her smile grew wider. “So you wouldn’t happen to be ‘The
Hercules: hero of the people’ I’ve heard about?” Her face still cracked in
a grin. The red head slid into the booth were the men sat and poured some cider
from their tankard as her minds-eye suddenly filled with pictures of Eire and
elves. She flung her head back and closed her eyes to suppress the memories of
her childhood home and it’s strange ancients. Where did that come from?
“Not from these waters hey, stranger?” Ioulas
guessed with a question mark for a face, also nodding and pointing to Hercules
in an answer to her inquiry. His eyes searched her face and ended up resting to
the side of her face long enough for her to guess her ears were showing.
“Not all together no. I’m Rhiannon of Avalon,
pleased to meet you both. I’m honoured.”
The Celt stated and locked into Ioulas’ concerned
“Eire” Hercules vocalized with difficulty and
cleared his throat “Are you from Eire?” He looked through the warrior
sitting across the table instead of at her.
“I lived there as a child, yes. Boadecia of Britannia
is my mother. She has a thing or two to say about the ‘little people’.”
The Celt looked at her beaker and sighed. So
much for eaves dropping then, gullible fool.
“And the Avalon factor you mentioned earlier?”
Ioulas interrupted her thoughts.
“Oh, that.” Rhiannon kept her eyes focused on the
cup in her hands and replied. “My mother and her sister take credit for that.
My life was planned out by the High Priestess of Avalon, mom’s sister. I was
to follow her footsteps but bolted before things got to far from my heart.”
The woman took a sip of cider and waited for their reaction. For sure these men must‘ve come upon their share of weird and funky
looking folks? Would they notice? She asked herself and frowned slightly,
nibbling on the inside of her lip.
Hercules was the first to break the silence. “Do you
have a place to stay for the night?
Ioulas and myself are staying at my brother’s
stables. You’re welcome to share with us and a couple of horses and Pe- uh,
His blond friend looked wide eyed at him before
standing up and walking towards the inn door.
Hercules was looking slightly off guard with a goofy
smile plastered on his face. Rhiannon decided to make use of the offer and
followed the men out. So there are horses,
a warm, comfortable stable hey, and clearly something that he doesn’t want me
to know about. The Celt sighed and almost skipped alongside Ioulas. What
“So who are you looking for Rhiannon?’ The blond
man asked and pointed the way.
“I’m looking for a friend. One of the priestesses
has developed a rebellious streak and I’m here to help her find the way back
to her family. They are afraid she might get hurt or lost.” Looking at her
surrounding with great interest, the Celt spun a tale and avoided eye contact,
as much as possible. So far the hero’s helper bought her story.
“Sounds like someone I know.” Ioulas giggled. “It
takes a rebel to know one and think like one. Do you need help?”
“Right now I need sleep and giving me shelter for the
night is all the help I can do with. Tomorrow you might be able to show me where
to find a map and supplies. Perhaps I could sing for you two as a return
favour.” A wide smile accompanied her request and offer.
New found wings
“And I’ve got strange connections. Didn’t feel
like mentioning your brother is the bloody King of Corinth. Anything else you
forgot to tell me?” Rhiannon edged the big fellow into conversation as they
entered enforced dwellings.
Hercules stopped, faced the curious woman, opened his
bulky arms invitingly and said, “Shoot.”
The red head lowered her head for a heartbeat, looked
up at Hercules and let him know she was charmed by his openness with a wide
grin. “As you were, friend. I don’t mean to storm the castle like that. Just
worried if I should know about protocol ‘n all. I’d rather blend in, hard as
that can be at times. At home they want folks to act like obedient sheep,
whenever some ‘big fart’ noble is around. No disrespect intended to your
“None taken.” Hercules replied. “What so ever. I
know what you are talking about. The
‘big fart’ brother is out yonder and we pretty much
have the place to ourselves. You know, the three of us and some ho-”
“You are not my type, the pair of you, so relax big
fellow, relax.” Rhiannon interrupted when she saw the man blush shamefully and
study a stain on his shirt with great concentration. “I think three is safer a
number than one, being a lass ‘n all. I trust you. Do you trust me?”
“You haven’t given me a reason not to. I know how
hard it can be as the stranger in town.” Another smile beamed across the
Ioulas led the way into a small courtyard at the side
of the main building and opened a door. The stable was sturdy and spacious. A
fire burned in the center, horseboxes to the sides, some occupied by mounts and
fresh straw as far as the building stretched.
Coming from a sealed box, seen from the corner of her
left eye, the red head heard a soft constant twitching sound that reminded her
of feathers ruffling. The building was saturated with a sweet, musky scent. Parasites
my foot Hero Man. You’ve stashed some animal in that box, I’ll bet. And I
just have to find out what Hercie is hiding, don’t I. The woman noted to
herself and hid a smile behind her hands, pretending to yawn. And
why does the king’s god-brother sleep in the stable anyway?
The two men eased into a routine and made a comfortable
place to eat and rest up.
Only a few of the King’s guards patrolled the
grounds, with his hero brother in for the night.
Rhiannon laid out her bedroll kept her leathers on and
got under the plaid she used as a blanket. Her sword by her side, she pretended
to fall asleep after wishing her companions a peaceful night an promising to
sing for them tomorrow. Am I getting
paranoid or was that all too easy? Such sweet blokes. Suppose I’ll find out
what they think of me soon.
A low, whispering voice crossed her thoughts the moment
she formulated them “So what do you think Herc. What’s an Avalon babe really
doing out here? A warrior and priestess at that? Ioulas asked his friend.
“Come to think of it... stick her in Gabby’s green top, imagine her hair a
couple of tones lighter and you gotta admit there’s a resemblance.”
“You have an uh, active mind my friend.” Hercules
chuckled and continued, “But I see what you mean. Although, this warrior has
about the same height as another warrior we know. A lot more woman coming at you if she’s into Xena’ s kind
of action. Not that Gabrielle can’t suck a hard punch. But why she is really
here, I have no idea? I do know that these ‘half breeds’ as some might call
them on the Islands”. The hero paused and pointed at himself. “Us. They have
about as much as a rough time over there, as I sometimes do here. I remember how
they mistrusted me vividly. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt for now.
The only part I’m curious about is why she never mentioned she’s a half elf?
She knows we saw her ears.”
Ioulas looked over to the sleeping form of Rhiannon and
took his companion’s word for it.
“I don’t think I would advertise my ears if they
looked like that. Greeks are known to act on their fear of the unknown. Makes
sense.” The blond man yawned and stretched his arms in the air. “I’m with
you pal. Now can we get some shuteye because Zeus won’t tolerate us coming
late tomorrow. You know how he hates it when Pegasus’ hooves touch land for
too long. The dumb animal gets cocky. And I don’t want to have to catch that-
that- Thing again.” He sighed and rolled himself into a pile of straw.
“Good night Ioulas, tomorrow should be fun. Don’t
worry about my father, as long as I have Pegasus, he can beg me for him. Mean
while, we have perfect transportation.” Hercules replied, sprawled out on a
horse’s blanket and dozed off with a grin.
As the two heroes’ fell into the arms of Morpheus,
Rhiannon waited until she could hear two steady, deep breathing patterns of
sleep. She sat up and gathered her gear without making a sound. The Celt
sheathed her sword and faced the horseboxes to her left, then started to
as air, soft as water, light as air, soft as water, light as air.
The stable bathed in a green glow as the woman chanted
to herself. Soft as water...
Quarter candle mark further, like a feather floating on
a breeze she headed towards the sealed horsebox.
Brain chamber dialogue
there horsi- aren’t you a divine looking, double pare of trotters.
wings to go hey... Okay here goes. Rhiannon took in the beauty
of the horse for a moment and started chanting under her breath. “Epona, I
invoke thee, by the spirit of the ‘uncloven hoof’. Let me control the
instincts of this beast. Pegasus, yield to our unity, sense I mean you no
The woman mounted the animal from her slightly elevated
position and dug her heals deep into its silvery white flanks.
The beast stood perfectly still, twitching its wings.
Rhiannon repeated her command and still nothing
it’s you. But how ca- you think as a human?
to you proudly by the Pantheon of Greece.
and thank them for me will you bu-- how can you be discussing with me?
to Celtie, hello? The gods are at work here. Now, say please.
stop fussing and get me out of here.
waiting... still waiting.
is that simple, hold on.
Woouaah, the doooor.
The warrior all but caught a glimpse of Ioulas jumping
and stomping around in the courtyard and Hercules smashing his fist into the
stable door. Pegasus lifted off with profound wing strokes and was above the
clouds in what seemed a heartbeat.
to m’ lady?
Easy for you to say
“Ephiny” The Bard hissed at the Regent sitting
across from her seat in the food hut, from a certain warrior’s lap.
“What did I do or not do now my Queen?” Ephiny
asked as she threw back some stray curls and looked straight at the Bard who she
wanted to interrupt before things got more or less out of hand. Gabrielle
noticed her eyes on them before she had the chance.
“That, stop staring and get some of your own...
girlfriend! Oh, come on Eph. Only you know we are here yet.” Her Queen added
and returned to biting her lover’s earlobe.
Ephiny took her eyes off the Warrior and her
‘demanding drapery’, with difficulty, intoxicated by their display of love. Easy
for you to say Gabrielle, how long has it been since I’ve - Her inner
musings were interrupted when a loud voice slapped around her ears.
“Can we have some privacy here?” Gabrielle asked
with a smile before that raven-haired woman reclaimed her mouth for a quick
“For Zeuh- It’s a public place... girlfriend. Get
to your hut already. Keep this up and the whole village is going to know their
Queen is having it on with her wife in the back of the food hut. It’s almost
time for lunch.” The Regent gulped down her wine and strode out of the
time they visit since they’ve admitted their love to each other, it’s the
same. They get so wrapped up in each other, where ever they are. How am I
supposed to get the Amazons to uphold some kind of privacy rule, when they do
that? She’s the Queen for Artemis sake. Despite herself, the Regent giggled,
remembering what happened when she was in love.
So long ago.
To catch a Queen
Slightly dropping from their safe height, winged horse
and rider hovered above the heart of the Amazon village. Rhiannon screened the
village as best she could so high up.
would be in charge here? What does an Amazon Queen look like? Plenty of guards
round the longest hut to the right. Hmm, steamy vibes coming from inside. Proud,
very distracted Amazon woman coming out of the hut, only two guards. Good,
do we say, Rhi, what do we say?
Pegasus, swoop down. Let’s catch us a Queen by making her come to me for this
beauty on legs.
Ephiny walked, deeply centered in her own thoughts,
across the village square.
[What really happens now requires proper explaining of
magick. But The Moon Goddess would have my hide if I spilled the beans here.
Sorry folks, more Avalon hocus pocus stuff we won’t bother about. Branwyn,
down girl. If you really want to
know more, visit the Harlequin’s hut, over at The Bards Village!]
In between two blinks, the Amazon found herself being
lifted by the scruff of her neck, planted on a white flying blob and float off
into sky while losing all control of her body.
Rhiannon grabbed hold of Pegasus’ mains tight as the
beast swooped down on the absent minded Amazon. She picked up the bundle of
surprised woman and pulled her up front.
Pegasus yielded to her command to lift and climb. The
red head caught sight of the Amazon’s perplexed expression. Hello
there precious, can’t take it all in yet can we. The Celt giggled and
dropped the killer-Amazons dagger she retrieved from the mad woman on the spot
where the curly haired Amazon had been standing.
The winged horse flew them to a field, a days walk from
the Amazon village.
lady, ‘t is here where this winged horsie gets off, God-Boss on line and he is
not a happy man. Tell Epona, ‘t was a ride... linking up with a kindred
spirit. Tell her... any time.
Rhiannon slid down from Pegasus’ back, holding on to
the Amazon to break her fall.
heart thanks you, my people thank you, I hope the Amazons will at hind sight.
on your way, divide and sever the link, beast be off.
la di da, woman. You think these sisters can’t take care of them selves
you say so Pegas- “WHAT?”
The snowy white horse was already a dot in the sky,
when it’s last word sunk in.
Leather dug into dirt, callused hands clenched fists
full of it. Xena was down on her knees, panting, teeth flashing as she snarled.
Gabrielle stood besides her looking from left to right
with fire spitting eyes. The Bard couldn’t figure out whether to scream or
scream even harder. She needed more than the usual search party, right now. The
bard filled her lungs for a few commands, loud enough to raise the entire
Amazons, Guaaards, Unite.” The Queen howled.
“Gabrielle.” Xena sighed and got up.
“Gabrielle.” Xena voiced loud to snap the blond out
of her angry daze.
“Honey, We’ll find her much faster if we go look
for her together. The sooner we get Eph back, the better.” The Warrior
whispered into her lover ‘s ear and put an arm around her startled wife.
“Take control my love, you can do it, focus.”
hold it, freeze.” The Amazon Queen commanded over Xena’s
shoulder were her chin rested upon.
girl. Xena chuckled to herself and looked round at the
gathered Amazons and confused guards. Turn
on the royal stuff.
“Now listen up. Xena and I will take Argo and go look
for my Regent to the south. That’s where the Pegasus horse seemed to be
heading. Eponin, secure the village and assemble as many teams to search the
other directions, just in case. Clear?” Gabrielle stated somewhat out of
breath but with authority.
“I go where the Queen goes, and the Queen stays here.
You aren’t on the road right now.” Solari reminded her Queen, stepping
forward, hands buried in hips to back up her line, anticipating an argument from
either Xena or Gabrielle. “Xena can tag along with one of the Amazon parties
if the rest is okay with the idea. I don’t think it would hurt to have the
Warrior Princes around right now.”
Lizzeah, the head battle instructor, who got on well
with Xena offered to guard the Queen’s Consort if she joined her party and
winked at the Warrior.
Gabrielle planted her staff down with a thud and looked
at Xena for a moment. She realized by the look on her Warrior’s face that she
was on the brink of bolting off on her own. She herself was quite disappointed
but knew her duties had changed the moment they had returned to the Amazons for
a visit and took control of the talking again.
“While we are standing here arguing, that stranger on
the flying horse is getting further away from us. Must I remind you that an act
of war has just been committed here people. For the sake of Ephiny’s safe
return, listen to Xena and work together. I promise to stay here with Solari and
help arrange the village to be safe guarded. Now MOVE.
Etiquette’s of a Celt
A pale and restless Rhiannon put a light sleep spell on
her captive, the moment Pegasus was out of site and the Amazon started to
realize something really, really strange had overcome her. The woman reduced to
a heap of skin and leather at the slightly nervous warrior’s feet.
how long it will take a whole village of Amazons to find me? Maybe the Greeks
use their own magick. Gods I hope not. The Celt sat the dozing woman
up against a tree trunk near the clearing where the winged horse had left them.
She tied the Amazon’s hands on her back with a belt, fumbling at the knots
with trembling hands. I say, my
captive is rather a looker. Will this woman understand why I had to take her the
way I did? With leather straps she bound her ankles together. A shard of
plaid serviced as a gag.
The Amazon started to come round after Rhiannon had
checked her surroundings for signs of trouble for at least the seventh time in
half a candle mark. No fire, the smoke
will give me away to easy. Olivewood will never burn without smoking. Not even
with a simple spell. I need all the time I can get with this Amazon. Gods I hope
she can tell me who ordered that crazy god woman or what ever she was, to
slaughter my people over this Gabrielle?
“Hmmmnh, hrr, oohwwwhelleghrraah.” The Celt heard
coming from the tree.
Ephiny struggled against the tight restraints and fell
over on her side, giving up what she knew to be a lost cause. “Hhhhuuwwh
“Don’t know if winning is the point here.” The
red head replied and walked over to the woman slowly, screening her general
state. She’s a little shocked and pretty
angry. Figures. Rhiannon kneeled and pulled the Amazon upright.
She’s also drop dead gorgeous in leather.
“I apologize up front for snatching you like that.”
Huh, yeah. Good start Rhi. The red
head frowned and took a deep breath. “ I usually pay my opponents the respect
of a fair fight. Can’t afford the luxury in this time and space though.”
Rhiannon told the Amazon to her face and straddled the woman’s legs, keeping
her distance by staying on her knees. “I mean you no harm woman. No harm at
all, for I pray to any God who will listen to help me, see the truth here
Amazon. Artemins, I hope your Amazon can
muster up some empathy here, help me huntress. I want an explanation. The
Amazon side of the story. First I need to tell you my side and hope you know the
point to it all or at least some of it. For your Queen’s sake and mine.”
Rhiannon swallowed hard. For a fraction of a heartbeat, the Celt thought about
tapping deeper into the curly blonde’s thoughts but rejected the idea. That
will get me into more trouble than I need. The Goddess will have my hide for
Ephiny frowned. Who
in Hades is this woman? She’s so cute I’d almost over look her kidnapping me
just for that but what in the known world is she on about? I must remember to
ask who braided her hair and where she got those amazing boots. Oh, Bad Amazon.
“I am going to take the gag off now.” Rhiannon let
the Amazon know and placed a hand over her heart before doing so and said, “I
come to you for help, may it be in a hostile manner. I apologize once more.”
The gag came off. Rhiannon stood up to get some water for the silent and
somewhat dazed Amazon.
Ephiny gulped down the fluid offered to her eagerly.
The plaid dried her mouth so bad she couldn’t utter a word and her throat felt
sharp as knives. After catching her breath she stared asking questions in a
rush. “Who are you? Pegasus- how- why- what are you talking about?”
The Celt squatted next to the Amazon and took a slow
deep breath, closing her eyes for a brief moment. Looking Ephiny straight in the
eyes the Celt started to explain. “Who I am is difficult. Here
we go again. Rhiannon of Avalon will do for now. Pegasus, I borrowed him
courtesy of Hercules and his friend.” How? Know anything about magick?” Stupid,
stupid. The Celt chewed on her lower lip and looked pensive.
shook her head once and her eyebrows raised in question. This lady is so nervous I could reverse the situation if she got
comfortable enough to untie me. Magick?
“Didn’t count on it. Maybe some day I can show you.
Why is a good question though.” The Celt swayed a finger at the sitting woman.
“Why is to the point.” Rhiannon got up and started pacing in front of her
captive. She wanted to explain things fast, before the Amazon wrote her off as
an enemy or nut case all together. “The proof of my story should now be in the
hands of your fellow Amazons. When you get back, it will verify my story. It’s
like this, some medium height, brown hared, blood thirsty, out of her mind-“
Rhiannon’s body started to shake all over and her
mouth went dry. Visions of the horrendous scene she walked into after winding
out of the cave forced her to her knees. She had been so focused on getting to
Amazon territory, that the journey had left her little time to feel. Pushed down
anger, frustration and guilt fringed relief caught up with her as soon as the
words from her mind connected to the pit of her stomach. Great,
tears. What a way to convince a warrior woman of what happened. Let’s take a
short walk Rhi.
After walking into the woods for a while Rhiannon
regained control of her emotions She swiped her face with the back of her hands
and found her way back to the clearing. She looked at the other woman with an
embarrassed grin. Why didn’t I just
knock on their gate for Hearn’s sake?
Ephiny cringed at the sound of the crying warrior who
was clearly trying to suppress her pain and save face. As she waited for the
warrior to come back, the Regent had a try at loosening her ties. Damned,
this woman knows her knots. Okay Xena. Time you found me already.
When Rhiannon appeared beside her, eyes puffy and
breath still ragged the curly blond spoke and made sure her voice was gentle.
I’m Ephiny. If you untie me, we can maybe start over and help each other. You
are clearly hurting and you think the Amazons have something to do with the
cause of that pain. Am I right so far?”
The red head blinked away the last few tears and
squatted. She stared at the Amazon for a while before letting her head hang.
“I don’t know if I can trust you yet.”
“Tell me what happened to you that you seek vengeance
so far from home. I don’t understand.” The Regent held her breath in
anticipation of the warrior’s reply. Come
on gorgeous. You can do it. Trust me. Hazel brown eyes travelled over
Rhiannon’s face and took in the curious woman. What do those cool tattoo’s mean and why are her ears shaped like a
wing? Ephiny felt a sudden blush spread all over her cheeks and tore her
eyes off the woman in ha hurry, hoping the Celt didn’t notice.
“Okay” The Celt stood up again. “My village was
attacked by some insane Amazon-like goddess. She set fire to everything in sight
and killed many of my people. Some of my fellow priestesses were also killed.
She came looking for a person by the name of Gabrielle. Some kind of bard or
perpetrator to a throne or something, I think she said.”
Ephiny’s heart shrivelled into a tiny ball when the
words of the red head hit home and her face went white as a sheet. Please
let me be wrong.
Rhiannon picked up on the shift of emotions in her
captive and started pacing to and from the Amazon. “What? Tell me, please.”
She stopped moving and stood over the tied up woman. Tears were announcing her
anxiety and pain once again and the Celt fought them back unsuccessfully.
“Velasca.” Was all that the Regent uttered before
her face went hard with anger. She tried to kill our Queen. We got rid of her or
so we thought. She must have found a way to free herself out of the lava pit she
was trapped in. Oh Gods, Gabrielle.” Ephiny whispered under her breath, closed
her eyes and let her headrest back on the tree. Realizing the warrior must have
heard her Queen and friend’s name escape from her mouth, she added, “Velasca
also tried to kill my best friend Gabrielle. Gods, did that lunatic Velasca
follow you, do you know?”
At the sound of that name the Celt drew her sword
instinctively. “No. The bitch was cremated and her ashes are trapped in a
melted down cave for the rest of eternity as far as I know. You know the
Gabrielle she came to Avalon for?”
Ephiny slumped with a sigh of relief. Tears welled up
behind her eyes and she lifted her head to face the Celt. “You did the entire
Greek Amazon nation a tremendous fav-- you did actually kill her, yes? I mean
see her dead body.” A trembling voice enquired to be sure.
“Is she blessed with powers of your gods in any
way?” Rhiannon knew the answer to that but was not completely convinced of
what her senses had picked up. Greek gods were not her speciality and she was
very emotional at the time.
The Regent swallowed hard and sniffed a few times.
“She managed to get her hands on some Ambrosia. The food of our gods.”
“That explains her aura. Damned.” The red head
turned to face the tree the Amazon was sitting against drove the pommel of her
sword into its bark with a loud crack and howled.
Panting hard she re focussed on the sitting woman and
spoke in a slightly higher pitched voice, “Velasca will be stuck where she is
for a very long time. But not forever as would be what I was aiming for. Damned
this.” For a moment Rhiannon was having trouble deciding what to do or say
next. Gods no. Please. I don’t want to
go back, but if that bitch is still a threat to Avalon, I must.
“Hello up there.” Ephiny called out to the dazed
woman. “Does keeping me tied up solve your problem?”
“Sorry, no. Of course not.” The Celt knelt beside
the curly blond and slid her blade through the leather straps around bruised
wrists. Wait just a moment, she hasn’t
answered me about Gabrielle. Oh no-
With one move the Amazon was loose and on top of a
startled red head, pinning wrists to the grass with one hand, the Celt’s sword
in the other pressed to her neck. Ephiny took advantage of the fact that
Rhiannon was distracted by her thoughts and emotions and squatted so close. She
grabbed hold of the Celt’s leg after the knife slit the leather and pulled the
woman’s feet from under her. At the same time she rolled over and onto the
Celt pressing her down. Ephiny breathed into her captive’s ear, “I feel for
your situation Avalon woman, but you still have to stand before my Queen and
answer to the charge of kidnapping her Regent.
Now will you co-operate or do I return the bondage thing and kick you to
the village?” Ephiny finished cutting her legs free and lifted some of her
weight off the flustered Celt.
On her back under the Amazon, Rhiannon tried to refocus
and found that impossible to do during the first set of deep breaths she managed
to inhale. Breathe woman, breathe. She
focused on the Amazon ‘s forest brown eyes and inhaled deeper. This
is making things worse and oh, those eyes. Co-operate, yep, just a tick.
Rhiannon blinked a few times, swallowed the surprising new feelings
down hard and looked at the face, hovering over her.
“I give up and will face your Queen.” So
you are the Regent, so close. She said with a husky voice and swallowed
again. “Ephiny, about the tying up.” Her brain interrupted her speech again.
“Not required. I will come of my own free will for I expect your Queen
to understand my motives when I tell her. And you, will you tell me more about
your people?” The Celt ended, totally out of air.
“And she melted Velasca into a deep cave on Avalon.
I’m sure she’s talking about Velasca.” Ephiny finished her summery of
recent events and the Celt’s explanation. She scoped the room for reactions.
Her statement was made on behalf of the Celt, now guarded by two Amazons in a
far corner of the conference hall.
To the Celt’s amazement, her former captive spoke
from her heart and not from a bruised ego. The women gathered in the hall, all
Amazon Warriors as far as Rhiannon could figure, were discussing the matter,
mumble style, as if she wasn’t in the room. Most of them accepted Ephiny’s
conclusion that the woman was harmless. About fifteen of them would not hear of
it after examining the stranger closely.
Xena disturbed the meeting and came through the hall
door with a boot flying in first, pushing Eponin aside in her stride towards the
crowd. “Where is the abductor?”
Ephiny rushed over to the Warrior and held her hand up
to block the woman’s path.
She leaned into the raven-haired woman and whispered
something into her ear. Xena took a step back and said, “Report to me Regent.
I will call a council of needed after we hear the facts.
“She’s not a threat to your Consort or the nation,
trust me your highness.” The Regent ignored the hissing, coming from the
center of the hall.
“That remains to be seen Regent.” Solari added
herself to the scene but lowered her head when she met her Regent’s warning
“Would someone please fill me in already.” The
raven-haired woman snarled at no one in specific, eyes rolling up impatiently.
The Amazon collective started to discuss and argue with
each other to the point that shouting was a better word to describe what was
taking place. Xena stood among them with her arms folded. Her face grew hard and
her nose twitched.
Rhiannon giggled softly as she saw what the arrival of
the Queen caused to the atmosphere in the hall from a distance.
Hello ladies, over here. Questions directed to me are an option. Yoo-hoo. Not a
dead legend yet girls... right here. Oh come on. Chaos already? The Queen is
pretty informal with her subjects. This just might turn out to be fun after all.
people... what in the name of Zeus is going on here?”
Gabrielle shouted as loud as her voice permitted, standing on a table with hands
around her mouth. She had entered the hall a few moments after Xena and was
amazed by the way her Amazon’s were all saying the same things but were not
hearing each other.
Xena motioned her Bard to get down and felt her
impatient rage subside at the site of this beautiful woman. She tried to smile
and take matters to a calmer pace, taking Gabrielle by the hand and helping her
off the table. The dark Warrior whispered something to her Bard and grinned.
Gabrielle stood slightly behind her lover and lowered her eyes.
The Amazon’s settled down and waited for Gabrielle to
take over. Much to their surprise, she didn’t.
“Gabrielle, Ephiny has managed to reverse the
situation and has brought her kidnapper in.
They must have passed the guards some where on their way back.” The
Warrior gave Ephiny a wink. There seems to be some confusion about her identity
and what to do with her. The Regent says she’s from Avalon.”
Traces of mischief danced round the raven-haired woman’s mouth.
“I think she’s a warrior of some sort, judging by her moves on
Pegasus. Bring her forward guards.” Xena demanded, razing her voice so they
could here her at the far end of the building.
With eyelids drawn to a slit, the Warrior scoped the
hall and stopped near a tall shadow at the end of the room. The stranger’s
face was cloaked by shadow. The guards shoved the woman towards the waiting
Rhiannon corrected her balance after the first few
shoves. The last one made her crash down on her knees hard, nose almost touching
the boots of the Queen. Shrugging her shoulders she lifted her head and had to
lean back on her heals to stay up when she saw who she was kneeling for. This
is getting more interesting all the time. Xena, an Amazon Queen?
The Bard studied her Consort’s face, as the
Warrior’s eyes grew wide with a mixture of recognition and surprise.
Xena’s puzzled eyes analyzed the woman before her.
One eyebrow vanished behind dark bangs. Unless
she’s found the spring of eternal youth that’s not Boadecia. She’s got
Bo’s marks though? Yes... she’s... Oh... Ares in Tartarus who again. I know
sickle on the boots, yep Avalon. A moon crazy warrior priestess... no doesn’t
ring a bell but she’s from that weird Island so everything is possible. What
else, she’s in my good book for taking care of Velasca for now. Must tell her
“The Amazon Nation thanks you for taking care of
Velasca. I believe you dropped this dagger earlier.” Xena broke her stare and
smiled at the woman. The Warrior pulled Velasca’s knife out of her left boot.
She slid it to the center of the table her lover was standing on, so all the
Amazons could see for themselves. “Now I remember who I’ve seen that dagger
Gabrielle turned her attention to the Celt and gave her
the once over. This woman is interesting.
She clearly knows Xena and I think Xe is starting to remember who she is. Who
does she remind me of? Those tattoos are like Boadecia’s. That warrior woman
was the only good thing that happened in Britannia. Right, I need to know more,
now. How did she get mixed up in all this?
Xena pulled the Celt to her feet. “State your name,
“I am a priestess of Avalon, daughter of Boadecia of
Britannia.” Her reply came boldly.
Xena. Think back eight summers.
Before the crowd broke loose and started demanding the
Celt be put through more examinations to prove she meant no further harm,
Gabrielle decided to intervene.
“Can we please talk like civilised Amazons and find a
comfortable place to do that. At least, if everyone is satisfied with the fact
that the Queen believes this woman is of no further threat to either the Regent
nor herself?” Oeps. Not very subtle
bard. The Queen’s scribe would not be so bold. I think I know that she’s
harmless but will the Amazons settle for so little explanation? Will Ephiny?
“Yes, the Bard speaks wisely. The woman is familiar
to me and I will settle the matter in a more pleasurable surrounding. The Regent
will report to you if council is needed.” Xena, secretly enjoying the role as
Queen, examined her fingernails closely and waved at the Amazons casually.
Struck with some confusion, the Amazons left the hall,
all but the royal guard and the Regent.
“My Queen, may I suggest we retire to the food hut
and continue the conversation in some comfort?” The Bard smiled at the part
time Queen and Ephiny.
Ephiny untied the red head, winking at Gabrielle.
“Let’s go shall we.” The blond bard took Rhiannon
by the arm and escorted her down the hall.
“And you are?” Rhiannon inquired.
“Gabrielle, Amazon and Bard.” The blond woman
answered and blushed. “I write down what goes on around here.”
At the other end of closure
Done telling her story in finer detail this time round,
Rhiannon felt relieved.
It took most of the energy she had left not to burst
into tears again. The Bard had poured her two beakers of port so far. The tangy
liquid had gone straight to her head.
She noticed a puzzled pair of blue eyes, frequently
flashing at her and decided to give the clueless Warrior a break. After all,
Xena and the Regent treated her with respect. Now her lost childhood hero had
become Queen of the Amazons, she’d better do the same in return.
“Hey, Xena.” Rhiannon let out with a small burp. Oops,
you’re not at home Rhi, keep it polite and ya might live another day. This is
Xena, remember. “Picture this, a sloped battle field, the usual muck and
trenches. A bunch of berserk Scots to the left, garrison of Boadecia’s troops
right. You at the head of her men. A young girl runs out of your garrison
pointing a sword at that Scot ‘head fart’ and all goes a-wire. You lunge out
to her; she ducks and fits you with a tailor made black eye. You dive at her
again and crash on top of the young thing and break her arm landing. She-”
“Yeah, yeah... which one are you then, Vivian or- Oh,
no. You’re Red Terror Rhi. The Warrior interrupted, jumped from her seat,
leapt to the Celt and folded her into a bear hug.
“What in the name of Tartarus are you doing here girl?” Xena asked,
holding the newfound piece of her past tightly. She started to worry about the
answer and her decision to greet the woman as if she were an old army mate and
let her go.
Gabrielle and Ephiny were looking at the two hugging
and wrestling women before them with astonishment.
“So will you two let us in on your, uh, past
together?” The Bard required.
The Celt broke away from Xena and caught her breath,
leaning against the table the select group was sitting around. She avoided
direct eye contact with the Warrior who had let her go a little to sudden.
“Well,” Rhiannon panted and the Bard interrupted.
“Catch your breath first. You’ve been through quite an ordeal to get here.
We don’t want you getting hurt now, do we.”
“Thank you.” The Celt said politely and bowed her
head, not looking away from the blond woman’s gaze. This lady is really something. She almost outshines her Queen. “I
know Xena from the time she was part of Boade-”
The Warrior nudged the talking red head into a chair
and took over, “Boadecia, the warrior woman we helped scare off Caesar a while
back.” Xena’s voice went soft and quivery,
“That is probably why Velasca went looking for Gabrielle in Britannia.
I couldn’t figure that part out until now. Dahowk attracts evil like-” She
stopped and looked over to her soul mate for reassurance and sat down hard,
numbed by the pain reflected in green eyes.
The Bard blew her lover a kiss and nodded, in aid the
now sitting woman continue her story.
No matter how hard it was to hear the Destroyer
mentioned again. “What about when you were in Boadecia’s army.”
“I’ll explain Dahowk later. Never the less, this is
a part of my past I’m not sure how to feel about. It might help Rhiannon’s
case if I let you in on it though.” Xena started to fidget with the straps of
her leathers and took a deep breath. “So she kidnapped Ephiny. The Regent is
unharmed and the kid had no other intention than find out the truth. Seems to
me, she’s the one tacking all the risks here.” The raven-haired woman stated
and noticed the growing audience. I guess
I owe them the truth too I they are to believe me that Rhiannon is not here to
harm them, but Gods why is getting darker in here. I can’t focus like this.
A few at a time, the Amazons had gathered as close to
the area where their Queen and her strange guest were dining, as possible. They
caught on to the role switch between Xena and Gabrielle pretty soon and wondered
where this was all leading.
“I was wandering all over the known world, lost in
darkness and ended up in Albion. Up north-east in Britannia.” Xena cleared her
throat. “I was fishing unknowingly on Boadecia’s land and was being spied on
by a young girl. I caught the kid and before I knew it, her mother had an arm
and blade around my neck. The kid, is Rhiannon. Her mother Boadecia, Queen of
Celts. What the older woman saw in me I don’t know, but she let me hang with
her army. She was taking back some land from the Scots. Eventually she let me
join her ranks and taught me some moves.”
Red Terror Rhi, as the kid was known, had a major crush on me if I
remember correctly,” Xena smiled at the Celt nervously and continued, looking
over to her Bard. “She was never far from me and I stuck close to Boadecia,
because of my less than honourable plan to take over her army and do some of my
own damage. After investing a couple of seasons with the older woman and her
family, getting to know them a little, I postponed the take over. They were
getting through my emotional walls, and I... liked it. Especially the kid got
under my skin. She liked me even though I ignored her at first. The kid-”
“Hey, Warrior,” Rhiannon interrupted, possibly the
longest public speech Xena had ever dared and almost shoved the woman off her
seat. “Drop the kid thing already. I wasn’t a kid and you know it. You
weren’t even eighteen summers yourself, woman.” The Celt feigned an angry
expression and looked Xena in the eyes. “You were angry at the whole world and
everything on it. At the same time you let your guard down to teen facing
I didn’t take that anger personally and you let out a
part of the real Xena. Lots like the Xena I see here now. Mom was a fool for
trusting you completely. She thought she could again in Gaul. Even I could see
you weren’t ready to surrender to any sort of authority completely.” A
giggle escaped the Celt’s mouth. “Look at where you are now. Queen of
Amazons. Top dogs all the way. Point proved.”
The red head paused and took a sip from her beaker. She
chuckled soft as a cat’s purr and looked at Gabrielle, who gazed at the
Warrior Queen with a loving smile. The Bard was taking in this new information
about her lover from across the table. Her face almost materialised the way she
felt about the woman. Now that has to be a
pare of deeply in love eyes. My youth hero has found a mate who doesn’t get
spooked by the past too quick, lucky thing. The women thought to herself and
wanted to finish what she had started, when she noticed the now over crowded
food hall. She felt all eyes were on Xena and herself and broke into a cold
Gabrielle studied the faces of the two women centered
in more attention than either of them obviously could handle and helped out
gladly, “So you two go back a long way, huh?” The Bard took her lover’s
hand in her own and waited for Xena to look at her before she spoke any further.
“Do you two want some time to talk in private? My, our quarters are more
private. Share the rest of the story later if you both wish.” Gabrielle had
the distinct feeling that the Celt was just shy in her new surroundings and
wasn’t struggling for words. Neither was she really angry. Her Consort on the
other hand was struggling to no end. Xena’ s expression had changed to the
‘stare into oblivion and keep control’ look. The blond leaned into her lover
and whispered against the Warrior’s lips, “I want to hear the rest my love
but I don’t want it to become a torture for you. Take your time and focus on
who you are now. Come back to me my heart.” Gabrielle finished with a kiss.
A sigh of relief came from the Celt when Ephiny stepped
close to her, offering her hand as a sign of peace. In return Rhiannon clamped
her hands over her head to seal the unspoken truce between the two of them and
to her own amazement, winked at the Amazon, who mirrored her stance.
“We will talk later, priestess, or should I call you
princess?” The Regent whispered to the blushing Celt.
The gentle pressure of her Bard’s lips brought the
raven-haired woman back to herself and she nodded. Looking over at Rhiannon to
check that she wasn’t going to deck her from behind as a joke, like she used
to do and trailed along behind Gabrielle like an obedient wife. The Queen pose
Gabrielle excused herself, Xena and Rhiannon. They left
the food hut escorted by Ephiny and Eponin. Amazons went about their way and got
back to evening routines.
Solari waited until the hall was empty and sat down to
think. “Did I see that Elf-thing make
eyes at our Regent? What’s an Elf? Where did I get that from?”
Babes in Arms
“Give us five Rhi.” Gabrielle asked the Celt,
opened the door to the royal quarters and encouraged Xena to walk in. She
smiled, followed her love and disappeared.
“Take all the time you need Gabrielle, all the time
you need.” Rhiannon replied at the vanished blonde’s request. I’ll
be standing right here appreciating your... drop dead beauty of a Regent.
’Kay, while you go feel up your Queen. She thought, standing on the porch
before the hut and winked at Ephiny again, wondering why she couldn’t keep her
eyes off the woman or didn’t feel a care in the world other than mapping out
every colour in the Regent’s eyes.
They could clearly hear two gasping women spend a
little quality time on each other against the door and Gabrielle mumbling to her
lover. The guarding curly haired Amazon blushed and fixed her gaze on the
stairs. Eponin tried to suppress a giggle when she caught the Regent blushing
from the corner of her eye and stared at her boots.
can’t I relax around this Avalon woman? Ephiny reflected on new
feelings she could not make sense of, leaning from one leg to the other on the
porch. She kidnapped you moron, of course
you’re still tense... what would those sweet soft lips taste like? Bad Amazon,
hurry up Gab.
A few drips of candle wax later, the door flew open and
the three waiting women jumped to attention. “At ease ladies and Rhiannon
welcome in.” The Bard spoke, face flushed a healthy red and extended her arm
as invitation. “Eph, join us, Ep, goodnight sister.”
Eponin nodded and trailed her way back to the food hut,
talking to herself in riddles. “Lucky she’s the Regent, very lucky Regent.
Wouldn’t mind a piece myself, but I’m glad I ain’t the Regent. Poor
Xena was lighting candles all around the hut. She took
one look at the Regent, whose gaze was resting upon the Celt and for the entire
afternoon had not left her former abductor’s side. Red Terror Rhi was as good
at seeming confidant as the Warrior remembered she could be, stealing glances at
the nervous Amazon. Xena encouraged the women to sit on the furs and pillows
scattered across the floor by getting comfortable herself and patting a fur. A
fire was blazing in the hearth.
Gabrielle settled down against her Warrior’s side and
pulled the hesitating Regent down with her. “Sit down with us. You are part of
this situation, Eph. Velasca would have realized fast that I already left
Britannia and would come back looking for you too, eventually. Don’t you want
closure?” She asked her friend lovingly.
“Let’s not blow this all out of proportion, Xena
let me help out and tell them.” Rhiannon said and found a sheepskin to sit on,
back against a wall and stretched her legs to relax.
“No.” The Warrior replied determined, sliding an
arm around her wife’s waist.
I’ll tell the story.”
each other, don’t try to tell a story. Leave that to me. Help each other.”
Gabrielle took over when Xena paused to breathe.
The Bard turned to face her lover and continued, “
Xe, talk to her as a warrior, former lover, friend or an enemy here to make
peace for all it will help to inspire your tongue. Talk to her, not to some far
off horizon. I believe you can do it.” She kissed the vulnerable woman,
shivering at the touch of the gently exploring tongue that greeted her own.
Gabrielle eased away from Xena and glared at Rhiannon
with eyes so icy, they seemed to almost freeze blood. “Hey Celt. No teasing
the Queen. I’m on to you kid.” More than you can fathom right now. You are a
piece of work aren’t you. Try any stunts on my wife or Regent again and I turn
the guards on you. You don’t want that, I tell you. I however sense that this
is not your intention and you are quite lost to yourself dear. You have nowhere
to go either I suspect. Humour me and help out here.”
The Bard realized she was sitting up, leaning on her
trembling arms and fists. She snapped out of Queen mode and closed her eyes to
reconnect head with heart. She looked back up at Rhiannon and continued,
“Sorry... you scared me with the Pegasus stunt and-” She looked over to
Ephiny and swallowed hard. “I hadn’t realized how hard it got to me until
now. And I do resent you toying with Xena. Would you please remember where you
The Regent crawled to her friend and locked the woman
in her arms for a brief moment. “I’m here Gabrielle. I’m safe now.” She
breathed into her friend’s ear.
Xena waited for the women to settle down again and for
the Celt to remember to
breathe. She resumed her hold on Gabrielle, inhaled her
wife’s scent deeply and asked the red head, “Where do we start?”
“Where ever you want my friend.” The Celt replied.
“Friend? You can call me a friend after all that
I’ve done to your mother and sister.” Xena said surprised at the younger
Rhiannon only nodded and invited the Warrior to speak
by opening her arms wide.
Xena looked down, closed her eyes for a moment and
explained to her friend and soul mate.
“I got bored after nearly three seasons, staying on
in Albion. Boadecia was getting prepared to
sack a fortress the Scots had backed her ally off the
in the autumn. I thought it would make a good headquarters for a while. I wanted
power and was about to take it. I seduced Vivian, Rhiannon’s twin sister for
kicks. I play rolled the mysterious warrior for Rhi to stroke my ego and played
nice to their mother. Viv was a little manipulator like me and we got fed up
with each other real quick. Pretty clueless huh.” The Warrior sat up, pulling
Gabrielle into her arms and nuzzled the Bard’s neck, trying to steady herself
and waited for reactions.
Rhiannon watched Gabrielle close her eyes to saver the
intimacy and subtle, non-verbal plea from her lover. The Bard gently started to
rock her Warrior and whisper sweet nothings to the woman.
“Xena,” Rhiannon interrupted the lovers before her,
and also caught Ephiny withdrawing her eyes from her the moment she spoke. The
red head opened her arms once again. “I knew Vivian was a tease and lost in
her version of reality, where physical release was identified as love. That
lesson can be a struggle. I am finding that out for myself. Viv is changing, so
are you by the looks of it, so there’s hope for me yet.” The red head
grinned and realized she was staring at the Regent.
What am I doing?
Xena smiled warmly at the Celt and said in a low voice,
“Got the guts? Go the distance my friend, go the distance. Presuming the woman
you desire feels the same about you.” She added with a lopsided grin, glad the
tension between them was gone.
“You regard me as a friend after what I did to
you?” The Celt knew it was her turn to
do some confessing. She already knew about this
mysterious Dahowk and sensed that these women had been traumatised enough by
this evil being. Eilan had kept any news from outside Avalon from her, although
she had over heard her speaking about Dahowk the Destroyer. The whole disastrous
event did however start to make some sense now. I’ll keep the conversation close to home. The bard’s heart almost
stopped when Xena mentioned Dahowk, with good reason. I think we’ve all had
enough excitement for one day. I know I have.
“Absolutely. You wanted an honest experience; I gave
you one. I’d never do that for an enemy or anybody that I do not connect with
in one way or another.” Xena smiled again.
“I knew you kidnapped me to force mother out of her
position and take over her army. You thought I only worshipped you but I played
you for selfish reasons too. I knew drink worked like an aphrodisiac on you.
Knew you wouldn’t really hurt me... or mine for that matter. I worshipped the
freedom you represented to me... wanted you to be the one to help take away some
doubts about, you know... myself. ” A blush crept up the Celts face and she
opened her mouth to speak again.
“Yes Rhi, I knew.” Xena barged in on her before the
younger woman thought of another set of doubts about herself and continued.
“I’m glad to have obliged, friend. It wasn’t all bad, from were I stand.
You didn’t have to twist my arm and I am truly sorry for kidnapping you. Thank
you for being there to reach me in a moment of total darkness with your
kindness. I only strayed from the path of light back then. It wasn’t until
later that I chose it consciously. You were one of the first who had the guts to
challenge my way of life with the power of friendship. That you have in common
with my Gabrielle, as well as the gitter and chatter thing. Do you think we can
rise above the events of our past?”
“Yes. And the present events?” Rhiannon wanted to
settle this and get on with her own questions.
“I see no reason to dwell on it any longer.” Ephiny
shared her opinion after listening carefully for a long time and shared her
thoughts. “I think we should give the Velasca problem some more thought
though. She’s trapped like before, but not forever.”
“Agreed. But we will do that tomorrow morning. I
could do with some rest.” The Warrior scoped the tired faces of the women
present. “You are welcome to stay in the village.” The Warrior met her
wife’s green pools for confirmation and went on. “As long as you need to.
Eph, get the port and some beakers, we’ve got some
making up and toasting to do. Let’s leave making a plans for later. Oh and
Rhi, meat the real Amazon Queen, Gabrielle.”
The gathering in the Queen’s quarters went on for two
rounds of candles and several skins of port. Through out the village tongues
were wagging and Amazons let their imagination fill in the blanks of today’s
Just before dawn, two spent women lay in each other’s
arms talking about the events that night and savouring the after glow of their
“Xena.” The Bard lay draped over her lover and
asked. “Do I remind you of... her?”
The Warrior snuggled up to her wife tighter and
replied. “No Gabrielle, she reminds me of you.”
“Oh... that’s okay then.”
At the far end of the village Rhiannon tossed and
turned in her cot. Of course the blond is
Queen. Xena took on the right pose but the Bard, that woman screams royalty from
within. Do all women that chose to live in a group have to play games?
had never gone the distance before. Didn’t know how, I had accepted that as
one of my weaknesses. The Elf inside me knew better but was never let out long
enough to have effect on my ways nor did I recognize this. The subject of elves
scared me witless. Mother always looked afraid when I asked about elves and
Vivian told me the scariest story during our childhood stays in Eire. She made
me believe I was swapped by the dark elves as a baby.
life the warrior way and having Avalon’ s arms around me for so long, all
thoughts of innuendo’s made about my elf like features were reduced to a dull
ache in my heart every now and then. Nothing in all the known and unknown world
could have prepared me for what effect she, the Amazon, would have on me. All of
‘Bout the matter of our Champion
*Excuse me dear colleague, might I bother you for a
bit?* Ceridwen directed her words to a very concentrated woman in front of her. Of
course she has to but in just when I’m relaxing.
*Just a drip, sister.* Artemis hit her target with
divine ease and turned to her visitor.
*What brings you to my part of the great cosmic
puzzle?* The Goddess of the Hunt asked the Moon Deity.
*’Bout the matter of our champion. I am here to let
her off the hook and take care of some business for The Goddess.* The dark eyed
woman scratched her head and wondered how she would explain her way out of that
one. The full extent of The Goddess was
not part of her curriculum in school.
*I know when I’m spiritually outranked... besides, I
owe you one for Velasca. The Elfling did us a favour.* Artemis said and re
strung her bow. *Be my guest,
suppose I’ll see you at the Big Gathering later. Are all parties involved up
to speed on the whole deal yet? * Then little specks of gold dust were all that
was left of the Huntress.
*Patience my dear. All of The Goddesses special
creatures will find their memory of Atlantis in due time.*
The air before Ceridwen started to ripple and drift
towards the hut where her champion was out cold from exhaustion and the alcohol
consumed that night. *Now it’s up to you my chosen one... remember who you
Fitting in between a pillow and a
Rhiannon did her best to be useful around the Amazon
village. She practised sword drills with Ephiny and Xena, when the Warrior was
not otherwise engaged. From The Queen she learned about Amazon customs and
rituals and vice versa. Hungry for knowledge she devoured her guest’s library.
The Celt felt a sense of peace when she was with the Queen. Gabrielle was
objective towards the Celt and after a while, treated her as one of her
subjects, with love and wisdom. All she requested in return was a few of her
guests native songs, round the fire at some occasions and her participation in
guard duties. Rhiannon found it hard to let go of the place for she knew she
must return to her sisters some time, in the near future. The Queen’s
hospitality didn’t make it any easier.
Amazon life was not so different from the way she and
her sisters lived on Avalon, except for the celebrations frequently visited on
her hosts. Rhiannon found the Amazons to be more relaxed and exotic. The openly
shown affection between women was not custom to her either. Priestesses put
their sexual energy to more of a ‘cosmic’ use and kept interaction strictly
physical. Love and affection were considered as unwanted distractions. The
festivities, Avalon style, were rather formal and always the music, dancing,
food and drink were laced with mind-altering herbs and their effect. This would
give Eilan easy access to her priestesses’ energies.
Rhiannon did not dwell on comparing worlds. She sucked
up each new detail of the adventure and her new friends varied lives. The red
head started to wonder if this felt like ‘home’ and lived for the moment,
loving all of it. Her heart on the other hand was growing restless, like a child
coming out of a bad dream. The Celt started meditating daily before sleep to
keep control, wanting to find some reason to stay longer and leave, all at the
same time. There were a small group of Amazons that tried to help her leave by
spreading gossip. During the day that never made her feel threatened but
reminded her that Amazons are only human and not perfect. At night, the rumours
about her strange appearance set off downward thought spirals.
happening to me? I find myself among friendly souls and am treated like one of
their own by most women. I don’t deserve it. The others are right. I should go
back to my own sort. What do they need a freak like me for. What do I need them
for? Why am I so restless? I’m still here... why?” Rhiannon
lay on her back, staring at roof timbers thinking to herself. She had been
offered a room in Ephiny’s hut and had accepted with mixed emotions. For three
moons now she had listened to the Regent’s nightly sounds. By day the Amazon
was never further than a stone’s throw away from her, studying her every move,
questioning her about her world and life. Rhiannon had gladly shared her family
history but kept her knowledge of magick and the sight to herself.
Avalon.... Eire... nothing makes sense anymore... Amazonia... Albion? No, mother
will have me back on that damned, mist covered rock in no time just to avoid my
questions. The Orkneys... and let Viv fix me up with some lame fellow... out’f
the question. And what in Tir fTautha’s name will I do in Eire? Go looking for
relatives that don’t remember me. Face it Rhi, it’s time to cross Llyr’s
watery back and let the sisters know all is well and the Amazons mean them no
harm. What about Xena’s plan to check on Velasca and think up a plan to get
rid of her forever. Then what? Why is knowing my heart so difficult? The agitated Celt rolled onto her side and tried to get
some sleep. When she finally did doze off her thoughts transformed to dreams of
battles and wild oceans of lava.
Manuvours of a Regent
“Queen to Regent, Helloho in there.” Gabrielle sang
and waved a hand in front of her hypnotised friend. “One more treaty to look
over and sign. Then you can go run around our enchanting guest again... okay
Eph? Okay, enough already Amazon. I’d rather be doing something else besides
learning to be a Queen all day, you know.” She added with a giggle, noticing
that her Regent was still far away.
Ephiny snapped out of her daydream and quickly looked
over the scroll that Gabrielle was holding out to her, deliberately avoiding eye
“Do you think we have led past lives Gabrielle?”
The Amazon asked her friend in a matter of fact tone and kept reading the
“Hmm” The Bard started to pace slowly in front of
her partner and mentor at Amazon law, looked over to the woman avoiding their
usual closeness and answered, “I think so, yes. I can’t put to words how,
why or any of that just yet, but yes I do. A point to life is figuring out the
lessons of each one I guess.” Gabrielle walked over to the Regent and cupped
her friend’s chin in her hand to gain access to troubled, teary eyes. “What
is it Eph? Talk to me?”
Ephiny shook her head out of Gabrielle’s gentle grip,
kept shaking it vigorously and staggered backwards. “Can’t, don’t know
how. Not yet. I will first have to get her to talk, really talk.” The Amazon
cried and hurried out of the Queen’s library.
Gabrielle made her exit a few moments after the Regent
and went looking for Rhiannon.
Under siege by a random attack of emotions, Ephiny went
straight to the practice fields and challenged Xena into a sparring dual. Xena
suggested they’d start by practising some feints and side blocks. The
raven-haired Warrior dropped her sword and took position. Oh boy. She’s all worked up and ready to punch someone. What in
Tartarus did you say to her Brie?
Once the free styling got well on its way, Ephiny’s
moves got less focused and more like what her Bard would call a frustration
punch up. Xena dragged her sparring partner to a barrel of rainwater and dunked
the curly head into it.
“Cool off first... then we talk.” The raven-haired
woman commanded to the now gasping and dripping Regent. I see that your effort to find out what is going on with her has not had
a constructive effect so far, my love.
The Warrior thought as she held Ephiny down a little longer the second
dunk. Don’t know if my warrior talk will
do the trick either... here goes nothing.
Xena lifted the woman’s head up by the hair and looked into blinking,
“Let’s go for a walk Regent.” Xena said with a
voice that let the Amazon know resistance was futile and shoved the woman
towards where the forest grew thicker, away from the village and it’s curious
“Talk.” Xena commanded and took position walking
slightly behind the Regent, resting a hand on the woman’s sweat soaked neck.
“Rage will hurt you and your Amazons. You don’t want that Ephiny. I know you
better than this, come on, talk to me woman.” The Warrior ended, exaggerating
her impatience with the Amazon.
Ephiny shook water out of her ear, lifted her face red
with fury up to Xena and shouted as loud as she could, “WHY ME? Huh, WHY?”
“What’s got’ n into you Eph. Is it that bad?”
The raven-haired woman placed her arm around the Regent’s shoulders, voice
tone now low and confidential. Think
I’ll drop the warrior thing now. She softened her face and waited for
Ephiny to talk.
“Why do I always have to fall for everything
non-Amazon that comes within sight. Why does it always have to be so... so
different. Don’t say you haven’t noticed she’s not completely human? Have
you seen the way she is with animals?” Ephiny looked helplessly at Xena and
went on. “Why didn’t she kidnap Solari... or anyone other than me.” She
tugged at her own hair in frustration and yelled. “ I’m the flaming Regent
for Artemis’ sake. All this can’t distract me. I can’t.” The Regent sank
onto a tree trunk and pulled the Warrior down with her. “I can’t do this,
“Hmm?” Xena leaned her elbows on her thighs, then
looked back at the Regent with raised eyebrows. “And.”
Ephiny copied Xena’s posture and hung her head.
“She’s leaving. Problem solved I guess.”
“And?” The low alto of the Warrior’s voice and
her knowing grin were enough to convince Ephiny that Xena had already figured
her out, before she had herself.
“I don’t want her to leave but it’s better that
she does, for her own safety. You’ve heard the talk around here, haven’t
you.” Shaking hands dragged through curly hair and sad hazel eyes rested upon
the Warrior’s face.
“Rhiannon is not Phantes, my friend.” Xena said as
she cradled the Amazon in her arms and tried to be of some comfort. “Don’t
compare, just try to figure out what you feel. That’s hard enough, I know.
Then find out how she feels before jumping to any conclusions or plans, Eph. One
step at a time.” The Warrior did her best to sound optimistic. She knew very
well how hard it was for the Amazons to accept Ephiny’s feelings for a
Centaur. At least Phantes was from around here. She also knew that the Celt had
to return to Avalon and she had already made up her mind to accompany the red
head. Velasca was trapped once before. She didn’t count on it that a mere
relocation job was enough to keep her there for too long.
The Regent got up from the trunk, looked down at Xena
and tried to smile for her friend. With a broken voice she spoke. “Guess I’
m just scared. Sorry you ended up as my punching bag.” She dropped herself
next to Xena again and leaned her head on the Warrior’s shoulder. “I have to
get back and apologize to my Queen as well. I left her in the lurch back there.
As the Regent strode off to see her Queen, Xena stayed
put for a while and thought about what Ephiny had just revealed to her.
say I blame her. Red Terror Rhi isn’t going to let up that easy though.
Eph, she’s in for a tough ride... your Celt doesn’t know who she is herself
and you want her to tell you if she feels... anything for you huh. She’s too
busy finding herself.
do see you my love struck friend effect the Elfling. I’m just not sure in what
way. Xena rose to her feet
and casually walked back to the village, humming a tune to herself. Trust
your heart Eph. Some how she
figured that the two women were in for a struggle. Something big was happening.
Xena felt it in her blood but could not make any sense of it yet. She stopped
dead in her trails and raised an eyebrow. Elfling,
where did that come from?
One royal to another
Gabrielle searched around the village for Rhiannon and
found her in the kitchen above a pan full of steaming grape leaf wraps.
“Princess, may I have a word?” The Bard asked when the red head noticed her
enter the steam room.
“If you start calling me Rhiannon your highness,
yes.” A playful smile accompanied the red head’s words and she put down a
spoon and grabbed a rag to dry her face damp.
“Rhiannon it is then, if you drop the highness thing
and call me Gabrielle.” The Bard leaned back against the door and smiled back
at the Celt.
“Would you do me a favour and have a good talk with
Ephiny. I can see you two have a distracting effect on each other and don’t
like what it is doing to my Regent.” Ink stained hands kept waving about,
underlining their owners request. “She is expected to carry out her duties
responsibly and I’m here to make sure the circumstances for her to act as
Regent are optimal. Do you understand what I am asking you to do?” Will
you kiss her already.
Rhiannon blushed and turned her back on the Bard.
So Ephiny is not over the kidnapping at all. So that’s why she doesn’t leave
me alone for even a heart beat, when she’s not working.
Facing the now slightly frowning Queen once again, the
Celt answered. “I will make peace with your Regent, I promise. I didn’t
realise that she still felt uneasy about me. I-” Taking a deep breath she
paused. “I am sorry to upset the village with my presence.” Me and my dumb ideas about not using the sight outside Avalon to keep
interactions equal. I know the villagers will gossip, no different than at home,
but I would have seen this one coming if I had used a little.
“Don’t be sorry. We Amazon’s are only human, like
you. Any stranger in town makes tongues loose. We don’t get many. I ask this
because Ephiny is a close friend and I would like to see you two getting along.
You spend enough time together so I assumed everything was fine.” The Bard
walked over to Rhiannon, picked up a wrap on the way and offered her half.
“Thank you Gabrielle.” Playing with the snack,
Rhiannon felt a little nervous. “What made you change your mind about how the
regent feels about what I did to her?”
hasn’t got a clue either. It’s what you do to her now woman. “Well,
she is rather distracted all the time and-”Hold
it bard. Eph hasn’t admitted she has feelings for the woman... yet. Back off. Gabrielle
waved her hands in dismissal. “Maybe
I’m just an over protective Queen and she’s just preoccupied with personal
matters. Promise me you’ll have a talk with her to make sure you two are okay.
That’s all I ask.”
“I will do that, I promise.” Rhiannon smiled
Learning is remembering
Rhiannon was still helping out in the kitchen, cooking
up the evening meal when Solari came looking for her. The Amazon woman gave her
the once over and glared, disapproval advertised all over her face. “The
Regent wants to see you, now.” Solari snarled at the Celt and walked off.
The red head grinned and poked her tongue out when
Solari turned her back. The remainder of the cooking Amazons giggled and waved
towards their leaving sister, gesturing the Celt to would do wise to follow her.
Rhiannon let Solari gain a good head start on her so
she had time to think. She didn’t get far when she picked up a conversation
coming from Argo’s stable, just around the side of the kitchen hut.
“...she’s in the kitchen.”
“And Eph?” Gabrielle asked her Consort impatiently.
“I don’t know Brie. I thought she was with you.”
The Warrior replied bored.
“They are as blind as we were, and clueless.” The
Bard added with a giggle.
“At least Eph is waking up. Don’t know if the Celt
will crack so easy.”
“Look love, I think we’d better not interfere
anymore. Even though I owe Eph for opening up my eyes to your love and Rhi for a
whole lot too, I-”
“Xena, it’s all right. The way I see it is that
Rhiannon of Avalon has the right to some privacy, as long as that kind of
freedom doesn’t hurt my Amazons. Her intentions still seem honourable towards
us. No reason to invade her mind, when her actions speak for themselves.”
Gabrielle interrupted her lover. “The woman is obviously going though a rough
time in her life and needs friends like her Xe. Ephiny can take care of herself.” The Bard paused a while.
“I would like to know more about why the Celt is changing, have you
noticed that her... how do I put it? ” The blond paused again.
Rhiannon had heard enough and picked up her speed to
close in on Solari. She prayed to herself. So
the Amazon babe has got the hots for me. Artemis, Ceridwen have mercy on me,
don’t complicate things even more. She’s making me crazy too but I don’t
know what to do.
The two woman arrived at the Regent’s quarters.
Solari knocked and entered.
“The woman you requested me to fetch, my Regent.”
The Amazon told her Highness.
“You want to ask me some more questions or learn
another song perhaps... I know a great tear teaser and-” Rhiannon was cut off
buy the door slamming shut under Ephiny’s arm.
“Be quiet. This time you listen to me, sit.” The
Amazon Regent almost commanded, ignoring the Celt’s attempt to be casual and
pointed to a bench. Ephiny sat down next to the red head and took a deep breath
to steady her nerves. She started to talk, voice breaking due to the lump she
felt growing in her throat. “Who are you really?”
“Rhiannon of Avalon, you know that.” You’ve asked
me up to the point of privacy breech about my life.” The Celt stood up and
walked over to a window. What is she
implying? Gods the tension in this room is almost unbearable.
“I’ve been having these strange dreams and
overpowering feelings, ever since you showed up.
What are you doing to me Elfling?” Ephiny asked,
tears rolling down her cheeks. Her face betrayed the surprise at hearing her own
choice of words. Elfling? What’s an
“You just c- called me an Elfling.” Rhiannon’s
Struck by how vulnerable and frustrated the Amazon
looked, Rhiannon felt tears of her own form behind her eyes. Tears of
recognition. She slipped her hand over that of the Amazon and squeezed it
“I don’t know what to tell you.” The Celt started
and faced the shaking woman beside her. “I am a descendant of the Ancient Ones
by the blood of Boadecia, and a reluctant Avalon priestess. That you know. The
Elfling part is a total blank to me and frankly, it scares me witless.” She
ended out of breath. “I don’t even know if it’s true. I mean, the word
elfling is used to trash an elf or half elf that tries to live among humans,
“You don’t remember anything... at all. Didn’t
your mother tell you anything?” Ephiny asked, locking onto the Celts eyes,
searching the woman’s face for some answer. Anything that would make what was
happening, make sense, put it in some sort of perspective. Come on woman, open up to me, please. I can’t stand this much longer.
“Welcome to the family’s secret Ephiny. No again,
sorry.” Rhiannon replied bitterly, bowed her head in shame and covered her
face with her hands.
Ephiny realized the woman was suppressing her sobs by
the way her body tensed up.
She wanted so much to comfort this woman but was
hesitant to act upon her desire to touch Rhiannon. The Regent nearly leapt from
the bench with surprise when the red head continued to speak.
“Tell me your dreams. I can at least listen and try
to help you... friend.” Rhiannon smiled at the Amazon, flinging back her thick
red hair. “If you want?”
Ephiny got up and fetched some beakers and a canister
of water. She needed time to decide were to start. How do I do this without scaring her even more or making a fool of
myself? The Amazon sat down again and poured the Celt some water then fixed
herself a beaker full. These dreams are
connected to her, I can feel it. Be strong Eph, you can do this.
“This is pretty personal stuff. Are you all right
with that?” The Regent asked to be sure.
The Celt nodded and added. “I presume we are past the
kidnapping and this is about something bigger.”
“Gods yes. Oh, please believe me it is. I would like
it very much if I may also consider you as a friend. That is how big this is
becoming.” Ephiny sighed hard. She was not quite sure about anything than that
she wanted to be close to the women, in any way possible.
“You are scaring me but what do I have to loose,
right?” The Celt bit on her lip to feel something else besides her heart
“Right. It’s one dream actually, in different
variations.” Clasping her hands together the Regent continued.
“We- uh, you and I, that is- kind of like... fall for
each other. Over and over again. Like- Like past lives or something.” Ephiny
stopped for air and looked away, afraid of her listener’s response.
Rhiannon gently placed her had on the Regent’s hands
again and closed her eyes.
“Snakes?” She uttered and opened her eyes
immediately, stunned by what appeared before her minds-eye.
“What?” The Regent panted, letting Rhiannon’s
hand slip between her own for a tighter hold.
“I just saw snakes. In your dreams, do snake’s or
the snake as a symbol, play a large part?”
“Yes, most of the time.” The Regent almost squeezed
the blood from the red head’s hand.
“Yes... does that mean anything to you?” Ephiny
The Celt slowly stood up as if hypnotised. She walked
over to a window and opened it for a breeze of fresh air and dragged Ephiny
along with her. She turned her head to face the woman. “If what you say is
true, your dreams may teach me how to remember. You are receiving the dreams
from the part of me I do not know and can not reach on my own.” She sighed,
her mouth stayed open as if to speak. She
is dreaming of past lives. If the snakes appear as tattoo’s around her wrists,
I’m in big trouble.
“Something tells me Rhiannon, Avalon Priestess knows
what to do now and that scares me witless. I must first let you know about the
latest dream. Last night’s variation before I loose my nerve all together.” She
knows more than she wants to tell me, I can feel it.
Ephiny let the Celt go. “The better choice of words
would be, the here and now part I am beginning to feel but not understand. The
feelings grow stronger as we speak. Don’t ask me to explain that because...”
She paused to focus on the dream instead of her throbbing center and continued
with a trembling voice. “I’m going solely on intuition here, priestess.”
The Amazon took a deep breath and continued. “I ‘m falling in love with
you... again, but must be patient and wait, for my lover has lost her way and
can’t see me... ME.” It was the Regent’s turn to fight back her tears. Say
Rhiannon walked to the silently crying woman and folded
the Amazon into her arms, from behind. “I hear you. I can’t reach you as far
as you need me to. I’m sorry lass, I’m sorry.” She whispered into the ear
of the shivering woman as Ephiny surrendered to her sorrow.
Before the Celt realised what is going on, Ephiny
struggled free from their embrace,
turned to face her and slammed her up against the door.
Her face features grew serious and her eyes seemed darker. With a husky
undertone she breathed into one of her captive’s pointy ears. “Let me reach
you instead... let me in Elfling.”
The Amazon leaned into the Celt and their lips locked
like a volt.
Rhiannon felt like she was falling into a deep pit,
while surges of lightning raced through her veins. Barely standing the exquisite
torture of old and new feelings and images starting to overtake her senses, she
pushed the other woman away. Far enough to get out of the Amazon’s hold on her
and out the door.
you dumb Celt. Slow, deep breaths, one, two, three, good girl.
go back in before her heart breaks. Ceridwen help me. She’s having the same
dreams as I did when I was a child. What in the name of The Goddess is going on?
helped herself refocus on breathing and re entered the Amazon’s quarters. As
her eyes readjusted to candle light, the red head could make out the Regent’s
form, draped on her cot. Could she be a
far off descendant of the Ancients?
“Ephiny, thought I’d pass out on you there,
sorry.” Rhiannon offered in explanation of her action. “Whauw.” She walked
over to the bed and sat down beside the crying Amazon Regent. What do I do now. I want her so bad, but that’s usually how I stuff up
any chance of getting emotionally closer to women. Gods, she’s so gorgeous. Rhiannon
stroked the Amazon’s curls and let the Priestess in her come forward.
“There is another way to go about this Amazon.”
Avalon’s knowledge crept up from the back of her mind and guided her new
approach, pushing any sensual feelings aside. “First I must return to my
sisters and let them learn of my findings. I must also renounce my function as
Priestess of Avalon.” Rhiannon slid her legs on the bed and wrapped an arm
around the now heavily breathing Amazon, and continued with a slightly trembling
voice, “I have served them long enough and will return to make sure Velasca
stays where I left her. I intend to pay my mother a visit to find out more of my
ancient blood ties. By the Gods I will find out this time. I have the best
purpose life has on offer and I owe you a better explanation than I can give you
Rhiannon cupped Ephiny’s chin and winked at the
anxious blond. “I want to come back and find out what is making us react to
each other so strongly. I don’t feel free to follow my heart at the moment all
though I want to. I can’t explain.”
Ephiny wanted to cry out loud so bad, she thought she
would drown in her own tears or die fighting them. Her thoughts spun into a
downward spiral. So she’s leaving .I
knew it. She almost passes out from my kiss, slips outside, returns as this in
control Avalon chick and talks about leaving on this quest. What about me?
Don’t my feelings count? Doesn’t she get it that what she is doesn’t
matter, let me in damn you.
The Amazon sat up and fell for the ocean green pools,
that belonged to the woman before her, all over again. She tried to kiss
Rhiannon but the woman placed a finger on her lips and talked some more. Ephiny
sat there numb, just letting the Celt soothe her hunger for any kind of
closeness with words and promises. Tears slowly subsided and the Amazon regained
her control, nestling herself against the Celt’s body and relaxed.
The Celt looked at the woman in her arms. Empowered by
a connection she felt growing, that could only be described as love, she lightly
kissed the Amazon’s curly crown. A little voice from the depth of her Elfling
soul cried out for recognition.
Ephiny was overcome by exhaustion and numb from all the
emotions. Morpheus stepped in.
The God of slumber had been having a harder time
catching the foreigner woman over the past fortnight.
Listening to Ephiny’s breathing pattern, the Celt
made note to herself to ask Xena for a serious workout in the morning. Now she
needed to release some of the stress of being unsure about everything, including
how to leave this wonderful woman alone until she left, without going completely
insane. Rhiannon let go of the sleeping Amazon and tip toed out of the hut. She
strolled around the village for hours thinking up a plan, a way to make things
right for everyone. She crept back to the hut and laid down in her own cot, more
frustrated by her plan than anything else. The human part of her anatomy finally
relaxed after cultivating herself to a climax.
Oh Avalon, my Amazon
Rhiannon woke with a scream, soaking wet and tangled in
A candle mark before dawn, the Celt had dozed off,
right into the heart of a nightmare.
Now she was on her knees, next to her cot with the
sheets around her legs, sword in one hand, growling like a wild cat.
“It’s all right, Rhiannon. It’s all right.”
Ephiny talked softly to the woman on the ground as she closed in on the sword
carefully, thinking a dreaming Celt might be a dangerous one.
Solari and Lizzeah rushed into the room. The Regent
quickly stepped between the alarmed guards and the red head with her hands
“It’s all right, she’s dreaming. It’s a
nightmare. I’ll take care of her. Leave us please.” The Regent commanded her
guards in a stern voice.
“She killed them all. She killed them.” The Celt
panted hard and collapsed under the weight of total confusion and utter
Ephiny took the sword out of the unconscious woman’s
hand and lifted her back onto her cot. “Sleep now restless one, sleep.” She
whispered and settled herself next to the red head. “I’m here if you need
me. I’m here love.” The Regent noticed that the sleeping woman’ s skin had
a slight green glow and glistened with pearls of sweat. The Celt
started to mumble in a language she could not understand.
The Regent slipped from the bed gently, walked over to
the door and ordered Solari to get Xena and a healer. This fever is no good at all.
“XENA” Solari yelled as she ran towards the
practise grounds. “Eph needs you, like right now. I’ve got to fetch the
healer. See you later.” The Amazon voiced to the worried looking Warrior as
she took a deep breath and bolted.
Xena dropped her sword, replaced it with her chakram
and sprinted to the Regents quarters.
Ephiny waited for help holding on to the now shivering
Celt with one arm, soaking down the woman’s face and neck with a wet linen rag
in the other.
“Gods, what is going on inside you my brave one?”
The Regent asked out loud. This reminds me
of when I tried to help Phantes fight off his nightmares. Phantes would try to
suppress parts of his Centaur nature for my sake and pay for it at night. Let go
woman. To all Gods that will hear
me help her let go. “ Let go Rhiannon, only you can set yourself free.”
She continued thinking out loud.
“Let go of what?” The Warrior asked, leaning
against the doorframe.
“She first has to find out what to let go of Eph.”
Ephiny’s heart raced but she didn’t look over to
Xena, who had startled her, making her presence known. The Celt was waking up
and the Amazon kept her eyes on the woman’s fever plagued face.
are you? I know you, but who are you? How can I know you, how can I want y--
The healer apprentice’s hands descending on the
Celt’s face interrupted the Regent’s private thoughts.
“My Mistress is on retreat. I can see the woman has a
fever but that’s all.”
The young student healer looked anxiously from Xena to
Ephiny. “I think Xena is the better choice. You’ve been to her land, you
must know something about her?” She chattered on nervously.
Xena stepped towards the bed, stood looking at the Celt
for a moment and said in a matter of fact way, “ Eph, keep her comfortable.
Sponge her down to help break the fever. I’ll make her some willow bark tea.
As for the physical side, I’m as much in the dark as young Leta here.
Mentally, I’d say she’s suppressing something and running from it...
herself, all at once. I’ve heard she could be half elf. Don’t know what that
means. Her family kept it a secrete. Maybe she’s finding out right now. This
is were I need my Bard... be right back.” Xena rushed off to find her wife.
Ephiny kept her eyes locked on the Elfling’s face as
Xena had said something about a bard. “Leave us, the rest of you. You heard
the Queen’s Consort, bring me some fresh water.” She excused Leta and Solari
with a wave of her hand.
Rhiannon opened her ocean green eyes. Coated with tears
they looked up at Ephiny.
The Celt’s face disclosed her fear and confusion. The
Amazon stroked wet cheeks with the back of her hand and spoke softly, “Where
did you go my Elfling?”
Voice quivering the Celt replied, “Oh Avalon, my
Amazon.” The woman floated out of consciousness again.
Debts and Promises
“I WILL go with you and that’s final.” Xena
yelled at Rhiannon, taking on her Warrior Princes pose, legs spread relaxed,
arms crossed, eyes narrowed to slits.
“I need to see for myself that Velasca is harmless,
for good. The Warrior hissed through her teeth. “Besides,” she added in a
more friendly tone, “ I owe it to your mother and Vivian to at least get you
home safely. You are barely over that fever my friend.”
“I don’t want you with me, Xena. Mother is grieving
and not in the friendliest of states. You two will be at each other in no
time.” Rhiannon spat. “I can take care of myself.”
Xena raised an eyebrow and shook a finger at the
younger woman. “You little-
“Well?” The Celt grinned and folded her arms.
“I’ll deal with it.” Armour rang as Xena slapped
her fist across her heart to confirm her promise “And I will stand by you all
the way.” The eyebrow dropped and a smile appeared.
“Tomorrow, two candle marks after dawn. Be ready
Warrior Princes.” The Celt let her relentless escort know. “Now say goodbye
to your lass and let me get on with things. Let the Queen know I will return you
safely.” She smiled at Xena and returned her attention to a list of harbours.
Ephiny took advantage of the fact that Rhiannon was not
paying much attention to her surroundings and surprised the Celt before she
could protest or run from her. The Amazon slipped her hand around the reading
woman’s neck, tangling her fingers in the thick red tresses of hair and pulled
her in for a passionate kiss.
Rhiannon took one look into the Amazon’s eyes and saw
desire beaming from the woman’s pools, ducked, turned and ran as far as her
legs would take her. She didn’t get very far before Ephiny caught up with her
and got chased all over the village center square.
“Do you give in? Ephiny panted out of breath, lying
on top of the Celt, holding her down like a wild animal.
Rhiannon kept struggling under the weight of the curly
haired woman, and shook her head from left to right, avoiding a pare of hungry
lips. She wanted desperately to surrender to this beauty and almost did when
Xena stepped in and pulled Ephiny off her.
“Ladies, you might like to continue this
‘conversation’ somewhere else? The whole village is watching and getting
restless.” The Warrior said in a low commanding tone.
Ephiny pushed Xena aside in her disappointment of the
woman’s intervention and strode off in the direction of her quarters
The Celt stayed lying on the ground, totally out of
breath and covered her face with her arms.
“Show’s over Amazons.” Xena yelled to all the
women standing around and scoped the square with a fowl smirk on her face, to
make sure they would react and get on with things.
Women hurried back to their activities and the
raven-haired woman knelt down by her old friend.
“You all right Rhi. Can I do anything to help you?”
The Warrior asked the exhausted Celt and brushed some red, curly strands of hair
out of the woman’s face.
Rhiannon reached out an arm to let her friend help her
up. She looked at Xena, shook her head and followed the path that led to the
Regents hut. Over her shoulder she mentioned to the Warrior, “I hope your
Queen is as good at mending a broken heart, as she is at inspiring chats.”
“Oh, for the love of sweat Artemis, please Gabrieh-
Xena’s voice gave up on her as she surrendered to her Bard’s gentle love
making. It felt like a sacred ritual being performed for her soul’s safe
return, by her personal Goddess from Poteidia. Her lover was taking Xena to the
edge of no return, over and over and over again.
Gabrielle lay between the Warrior’s legs and played
around the swollen nub with her tongue relentlessly, while she slid two fingers
in and out of her lover in slow a motion, once in a while spreading them wider
to fill her lover. The blond heard her wife beg and plea for release from the
sharp edge between pain and pleasure. Gabrielle replaced her tongue with a thumb
and held it still. The fingers inside her Warrior softly caressed the veins,
throbbing just two digits deep. She draped her naked flesh half over the
trembling Warrior and leaned up on one elbow.
“Look at me my love.” The Bard asked tenderly and
kissed her lover gently. “Come for me Xena.” Then she started to circle her
lover’s clit with more pressure and speed. Gabrielle leaned into the climax
yearning woman, penetrating her deeper still and froze when Xena yelled out
Argo’s name and jumped up at the sound of hooves galloping by their hut. The
“THAT DAMNED HORSE, I’LL MAKE JERKY OUT OF IT ANY
The Warrior collapsed the moment she tried to get up
from the bed with a loud thump.
“Beeeh- righh- backhh.” She panted, leaning on both
hands and knees before a now very angry, frustrated Bard and wobbled off with
The cool night air aided Xena to regain her edge as she
managed to move faster and more focussed on her mount’s familiar sounds. The
Warrior picked up speed and ran towards the Regent’s hut, climbed up on the
roof, ran over its rim and jumped onto Argo effortlessly behind a startled Celt.
She grabbed the red head by the scruff, dragged her off Argo and into the
nearest public hut. She shoved the woman onto a chair. Then tied her to it with
the string of Rhiannon’s bow as she ordered two guards to keep her in sight at
all times. Finally she rode her horse like mad to her lover’s quarters for
urgently needed release, leaving behind one furious Celt. No words were been
wasted between the two.
After a few moments of her lover’s frenzied feral
attention, the Warrior shot off over the edge of her orgasm and became one with
her soul mate and the universe.
Going home to come ‘home’
Xena had two horses prepared and rations to last at
least a fortnight, lovingly packed by her Bard. She now kept her wife trapped
between her harnessed body and Argo, kissing the young woman senseless.
Meanwhile the sun had well passed the noon.
Ephiny had spent most of the late morning calming a
sore, furious Elfling down and ended up having
to tackle the red head to stop her from attacking Xena, Solari and a defenceless
log. Warriors will be warriors.
When the Celt finally did relax a little she found herself being drawn to the
biggest distraction of all. Her body ached to dissolve into this restless
Ancient soul. A few times she made a move on the Celt but ended up confusing the
woman even more than she already was. Talking didn’t help either. She changed
tactics and stayed busy packing. The Regent wanted to drive Rhiannon out of the
village, only for the woman to return ‘home’ to her that much sooner. She
didn’t want to waist another precious moment on tormenting goodbyes.
“Xena, its time.” The Celt yelled at the orally
occupied Warrior and took one last look at Ephiny. Her heart felt like it would
burst. Last night’s dreams had plagued her with erotic images of the Amazon
Regent. In the dream Ephiny wore the marks of an Ancient One. Slender blue
snakes curled round her wrists. How can I
know you... who are you. Why don’t I remember? Rhiannon thought to herself and put on a brave face and said
farewell to her hosts.
“Come home to me whole my love.” Ephiny said to
Rhiannon and tried to seal all the love she felt for the woman in one long,
Rhiannon let her this time.
turned out to be the perfect travel companion apart from the arguments about who
was right about typical warrior traits and the best travel route.
left me alone to my thoughts when I asked and concentrated on getting us to
Britannia in one piece. This proved to be a challenge the closer we got to the
Ils. I became completely useless to anyone, including myself.
was totally taken by surprise when the change started. The Elfling in me was
being reborn and reintegrated...
was so tired of being scared that I tried to shut everything out, besides the
calming sounds of nature. Sharp pains in my back appealed to the healing skills
of my escort, all the way across the seas and kept us immobile in an obscure
village just off Britannia’s coast for a quarter moon. We had enough coin to
rent a tacky, rat-infested room from an even filthier looking innkeeper. I was
scared and completely in the dark about the metamorphose I was undergoing. Xena
used pressure points to dull the physical pain and told me some of Gabrielle’s
stories and poem’s to keep my mind occupied. I had no time or strength to give
Ephiny much thought, come to think of that particular time...
Phoenix trapped in her ashes
Laying on a litter pulled by Xena for the remainder of
their journey to Avalon made the Celt cranky and impossible to deal with. The
fever came back and the Warrior often wondered whether it was wise to continue
travelling at all. That stubborn kid has a
lot of making up to do. Hera’s tits, why didn’t I bring more willow bark.
I’ll have to find some more as soon as I find a suitable campsite. It’s
getting dark. Please no Banshees or other local weirdo’s tonight.
The exhausted Warrior put down the litter gently and
looked back at the strapped in woman. She massaged her cramped up arms a short
while and wanted continue following the trail to Avalon, when the younger woman
called her name in a gasp.
“Xenah, the pain’s gone. Get me out of this
contraption... now.” Rhiannon said, losing her patience fast.
“Hold your horses, let me examine you first Rhi.”
The Warrior replied with an equally impatient tone and started to free the woman
from her bindings. When Xena slid her hands lightly over the woman’s body, she
noticed muscles and bones that weren’t there before. Rhiannon’s collar
bones, shoulder blades and back muscles had grown into a different shape.
Between her shoulder blades a pair of green wings, the size of a hand had been
etched under the first layer of skin.
Xena fell back on her behind in astonishment. When she
landed on the forest floor, her jaw dropped and she just stared at Rhiannon. The
younger woman had the most delicate green shimmer about her that seemed to
radiate from her skin.
“What?” The Celt questioned the Warrior who seemed
to be in a trance.
“I don’t know” Xena replied with a concerned
voice. “I honestly don’t know Rhi.”
Xena explained the physical evidence of her change and
described the magically appeared tattoo.
Rhiannon got up from the litter, pulled her clothing
straight, then fell over the sitting Warrior in her attempt to draw Xena’s
sword and go clobber a tree.
“No you don’t.” The raven-haired woman breathed
between her teeth and took hold of the frustrated woman. “If you want answers,
I suggest we head straight for Avalon. I’ll check up on Velasca while you do
your thing. After that we split to go drill Boadecia.” Xena finished, nodding,
pleased with herself. “Focus Rhi,
Focus. You feel fine now because the fever has dropped again. Keep the water
skin handy and drink a lot. You are going to need your strength.”
Trusting Gods, the Girl and Magick
“I know it’s your choice but don’t you want to do
this with a little more style? Crossing with the boat may be the only way to get
on the island but what will you do when we get there” An amazed Warrior asked
the woman crouching next to her behind some rocks. This place is giving me the creeps.
Rhiannon remained silent for a while and thought about
what Xena was saying to her.
She looked out from behind their hiding place and took
in the majestic view of The Lake.
wish I never had to go back.
“Want to help me put a manipulative old crow out of
position? With a little of your quick thinking and surprise tactics, my
knowledge of Avalon stuff and the help of some gods, we can make it up as we go
along. What do you say my friend? The Celt grimaced at the Warrior and waited
for her response.
“No killing right, just altering this Eilan’s
amount of influence.” Xena asked to be sure.
“But asking gods for help isn’t my style girl.”
“Xena, how do I put your mind at ease on this one?”
Rhiannon looked out over The Lake, scratched her head and readjusted herself
against one of the rocks. “I don’t invoke a God directly you see. I summon
up the power they represent, in me. If I direct that kind of energy on anything
with intentions that do not correspond with the greater good, it repeats on me
in three fold. Future, past and present. Does that make sense?”
Nodding but not convinced the Warrior enquired.
“It’s a nice theory but what exactly can you do?”
“That’s a good question. I uh, left Avalon before
learning the full extent of my powers.”
Rhiannon closed her eyes for a moment and asked her
Goddess for an answer in silence.
“It sure seems like I’ll be learning that the
natural way. I hope it’s not all as overwhelming as melting rock.” That’s what you get for rushing off after trapping Velasca.
Xena smiled at her companion. “We’ll have to wait
and see what we find, when we get there. Shall we stick to the earthly manual
skills for now?” She’s got a smart
head on her shoulders and good intuitions, what could go wrong? What can’t go
wrong. I don’t know this place.
“Forget about gods or this place for a moment. Do you
trust me, my intentions Xena?”
Rhiannon asked seriously, reaching out to her
friend’s hand and holding it in anticipation of her decision. “It’s all
right if you doubt me. I understand because I’m not sure of myself anymore
either. One thing I can promise though, I will not take any chances with your
Xena looked down at the Celt’s hand, which was laced
with small scars, and calluses, squeezed it gently and nodded again. “I trust
you Rhi. I know it’s hard to know yourself and not wanting to be the odd one
out all the time. Just tell me what you want me to do.”
Rhiannon took a deep breath. “Let me meditate myself
into priestess mode for half a candle mark or so. Join me if you like. It is
full moon tonight. How’s that for divine intervention. We make a grand
entrance and end this now.” Rhiannon stated and started chanting, barely
The thick mist surrounding the island of Avalon seemed
to dissolve as the boat carved through The Lake. Xena got out of the boat first
and dragged it higher up shore and gave the Elfling a hand. The younger woman
had colored a pale emerald green from head to toe and her features appeared
sharper. Her cheeky ears poked though red strands of wavy hair and her fingers
had grown long and slender.
Xena took one of the woman’s hands in her own and
whispered humbly, “How beautiful you are Elfling, Good Luck.”
Rhiannon kept her eyes focused on the misty bank before
them and froze all but squeezing Xena’s hand to a pulp. From the mist a group
of figures were starting to appear. “Slight change of plans Warrior, they have
found us first. Get behind me.”
Not quite adjusted to the role switch, it took Xena a
blink to oversee the situation and wait for further instructions. She was on the
Celt’s territory now. If Brie could see
me now. She must go nuts wondering what will happen next, every time I come up
with a brilliant plan. She
thought to herself and registered a second flow of adrenaline rushing through
her system, just by thinking of her Bard.
Dampened by the fog a low familiar voice greeted the
women by the boat.
“Welcome back my little Elfling, you too Warrior
Princes. You two kept us waiting long enough.”
“Taliesin, what’s going on here?” Rhiannon let
out her amazement in a high pitched voice and unsheathed her sword fast.
“Come warm yourselves by the fire dears and I’ll
let you in on some of the events that took place since you left us, Rhiannon.”
The old man stepped clear of the mist and smiled at the prodigal priestess.
“Tut tut Elfling, Hearn’s sword can not be used against his Druids.”
The Celt hissed between her teeth. “It’s not
Hearn’s sword. It’s mine”
“I believe you found it here, my child. Same
difference.” The Taliesin’s reply came out as arrogant as ever.
“Why should I trust anything you say Taliesin, based
on what? That little stunt you and Eilan pulled?” Her hollow, sarcastic laugh
lost its echo to the mist.
“It’s all right Rhi.” The dark tone of a
female’s words overpowered the young Celt’s senses. “Come here my
child.” Boadecia walked from her misty cloak with arms wide.
Rhiannon’s heart stopped for a beat and she jumped
into her mother’s arms, crying for joy and fear at the same time.
Xena stepped back a few paces to give the women some
space but was grabbed by the wrist and pulled into the embrace by an
ecstatically grateful Boadecia. Feeling somewhat awkward the Warrior joined in.
“Let’s go to Vivian’ s hut. She’ll have a fire
blazing and plenty of warm mead waiting to be tasted. Catch up time.” The
Queen of Celts extended her invitation, wrapping her strong arms round the new
arrivals and led the way.
Xena listened carefully to the Taliesin’s explanation
of how the former High Priestess of Avalon was now trapped together with
Velasca, the result of her own greed.
“Explain this to me again, in lay mans terms this
time round.” The Warrior took a gulp of honey wine from the drinking horn
offered to her and looked at the Druid with a lost, slightly bored expression.
She had left Rhiannon with her family to check out the
rock Velasca was supposedly melted into. To her expectation, the nosy Taliesin
accompanied her as a guide. His actual name was Gwydion of Lotharian she had
learned from Rhiannon. An old family friend that had worked himself up the
druidicial ladder and was now one of Boadecia’s spiritual advisers.
The old man smiled at Xena with a trace of mischief
round his mouth, sat down on a bench by the rock face and started over. “Let
me put it this way Warrior, the powers that Be have replaced Eilan because she
no longer suited the greater good. Velasca came in handy I suppose, like a
decoy. They are stuck in the rock, draining each other’s powers and keeping
the stone around them from melting so they can get out.
The perpetual motion of greed dear.” The man paused and stroked his
streaky white beard. “I simply
got to Boadecia before she could kill her sister for abusing her daughter and
persuaded her to co-operate with me. I lost my faith in Eilan long ago and
planned to stop the egotistical, bitter woman’s plan to strip the new Goddess
on the block of her powers and reign supreme.
Rhiannon was merely a puppet in her game. Over the time the Elfling was
being trained in Avalon, I managed to turn the girl on her mentrix. This took
little effort for the woman’s heart is pure and she recognized Eilan’s true
colors. Vivian, Rhiannon’s human twin has been prepared and educated as new
High Priestess of Avalon ever since I was instructed to overthrow Eilan.”
Xena stared into the distance with a blank face as the
Druid spoke to her.
about right. The same old same old. Gods and humans and mixtures of all species,
trying to effect life any way possible, good or bad. Sometimes we are helpless
pawns, other times we have some illusion of control. I hate that, I hate that,
and I hate that. I can’t do a damned thing to change that.
The Warrior shrugged her shoulders to shake off the primal anger she felt
rising within, took a deep breath and pictured her Bard before her minds-eye. A
smile crept up on her and she confronted the now silent old man.
“Maybe you can help me with another mystery...
Lord Magick?” Xena asked the man and winked to get across the sarcasm
The Druid clapped his hands and giggled. “Good
Warrior Princess... you are getting the hang of it. Don’t take it all so
serious. Behind all disaster lays a
cosmic joke.” The Taliesin commended her attempt to be funny. “Referring to
the joke you think is being had by all, at the expense of Rhiannon now, are
you?” He asked, got up, lifted his long tunic up to his knees and trotted off
in the direction of Vivian’s hut. “Follow me.” The running man yelled over
his shoulder to the confused Warrior.
“Crazy old fool.... trust you as far as I can throw
you.” Xena thought out loud, first making sure he was out of hearing range and
then followed him.
Her mother’s daughter
“Are you having me on ma?” The now blackish, green
colored Rhiannon screamed after the pacing Boadecia, punching the older
woman’s ribs from behind. “You knew all this and let me go. What kind of a
mother are you?” The Elfling panted with a shrieking voice, sank to her knees
and leaned back on her heels. “You let me grow up without saying a word of
this?” Her voice broke and tears burnt as she surrendered to overpowering
emotions, stirred by her mother’s words.
Boadecia leaned down, pulled her child to her feet and
tried to hug her. Rhiannon didn’t give in easy and flung a couple more fists
at her. The older woman just tightened her arms around her girl and explained.
“Please love, I don’t know all of it I swear. I didn’t know until Gwydion
stopped me from trying to kill Eilan with my bare hands. After I received a
parchment from Arafel’s mother with word of the girl’s death, I snapped out
of mourning Prasutagus and decided to go take a look for myself. You were
already gone. We had to deal with Velasca and Eilan before going after you. They
would have destroyed everyone. The Moon Goddess appeared to our aid and promised
to guide you back here. You are her champion Rhi, you and Vivian are her Moon
children.” Now Boadecia was crying in her daughter’s arms. “Can you
forgive me for keeping silent all these years?”
“Mother, we were all used. Doesn’t that teach you
anything? Drop the self inflicted guilt thing.” Vivian’s irritated voice of
reason butted in. “How about letting the last skeleton out of our family
closet while you are confessing. Are you going to tell her of Eanfled?”
The young woman tapped her heel impatiently, steeling glances of her
reflection in High Priestess robe from a mirror on the wall.
“Who’s Eanfled?” Rhiannon eased out from the
comfortable safety of her mother’s arms and blinked away the moisture,
clouding her vision. “Mother?” Anxious green eyes flashed at the older Celt.
Your father’s eyes
“I’m off to tease a Warrior Princess, ladies.”
Vivian said grinning at her kinfolk.
Reacting to her sister’s sour face, “Don’t worry
little Elfling, I won’t be to harsh on her.” She laughed, made a pirouette
in front of the mirror and slammed the door behind her as she left.
“The little blood sucker. Haven’t the sisters of
Orkney been able to kick that mean streak out of her yet?” Rhiannon picked up
a stray boot and threw it after her sibling.
“She’s letting off steam, before the big ritual.
You know that Rhi. Xena can stand up to Vivian just fine on her own.” Boadecia
spoke warmly to her daughter. “Come and sit out on the porch with me love.
It’s a beautiful night. I need to tell you some things about yourself.”
The two women went outside, carried two stools with
them and got comfortable.
The night sky was metallic blue and the stars shone dim
above them. A full moon rising stole their power. She covered the island in
flickering patches of shadow and light, chasing each other over the soft hills
Rhiannon inhaled the musky night air and waited for her
mother to speak.
Every cell in her body tensed in anticipation of what
Boadecia was about to reveal.
Boadecia gazed into her child’s anticipating eyes,
leaned over and rested a hand on her knee. “You have your father’s eyes.
Every time you looked at me from the day you were born, up to now, I felt his
presence.” The Leader of Celts stood up, kneeled in front of her child and
“Your father is Eanfled, gate keeper of the Dream
Stone. Prasutagus and I got lost there once, on our way home from celebrating
Shamaine with Eilan. You were conceived the night before Eanfled let some elves
escort us back to The Lake shore.” The older woman stopped and bowed her head
to hide the tears, burning in her eyes. “I have told you some things about
elves. Remember the bedtime stories of Oswyn, the High Elf.”
The Elfling clamped her hands together in her lap and
waited for her mother to continue. Rocking back and forth numbly and looking
down at the kneeling woman like a prisoner waiting to hear the sentence.
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Part two: Within the realm of flying