BY: WRITTEN (A.M.G)
The Jorah Saga
Edrenn lounged on a sofa listening as her young charge got ready for the day. The Seeress was worried. Each day Vorrell grew more distant, argumentative and sad. Yes, definitely sad thought Edrenn as she ran her fingers over the ornate mask covering her own scars—her birthright. Living the life of a Seer was lonely and demanding, but Edrenn hoped the young Oracle would take something from her teachings. She had been Jorah’s Seeress for 247 years and at 272 years of age she should have some way of helping her pupil. But it was getting harder and harder for Edrenn to penetrate the walls Vorrell built around her.
Never in two thousand years of Seer history had an Oracle not accepted their birthright. It was baffling to Edrenn. Everything every Seer had ever known or experienced had been passed on to her when she ascended at the age of five and twenty. In that moment, when she went from an apprentice Oracle to Jorah’s Seeress, she had gained the wisdom and life experience of every Seer before her. No one had ever denied their calling. But more importantly, no Oracle or Seer had ever lied.
Edrenn nervously bit her bottom lip as she listened to Vorrell braiding her hair. Jorah’s Oracles and Seers only had three rules they had to live by: the wellbeing of Jorah and its people always came first, one does not lie and family, friends and romantic attachments are forbidden. Edrenn had broken the last rule long ago by allowing Vorrell to have a relationship with her younger sister. And now Vorrell had broken the second by not telling Qasette that her marriage to Dian was not going to be easy. The couple had a hard road ahead of them. But in all of her foreseeing, Edrenn had never seen blood. True, the possibility of war was eminent, but this union would end that. She had seen it. Vorrell had to be wrong.
“What?” Vorrell’s soft voice broke the Seeress’s musings.
“There’s a courier coming down the hall.”
Edrenn smiled playfully. “Really? How do you know it’s a courier?”
Vorrell sighed as she finished pinning her mask in place. “Okay, so I am supposed to be able to listen and tell you that the sound his boots make and how the fabric of his clothes moves lets me know he is wearing a courier uniform. He also smells faintly of ink, horse sweat and freshly made parchment. But my dear mentor, the reason I know he is a courier is because I can hear the swaying of the message orb chained to his belt.”
Edrenn clapped as she rose. “Very good, Vorrell. You almost got everything correct.”
“Almost!” Edrenn smirked at the heat in Vorrell’s voice. “What does that mean?”
Ignoring the young Oracle’s tantrum, Edrenn strolled over to the door opening it just before the courier’s hand could make contact. “Seeress,” a startled, feminine voice filled the room. “An orb has just arrived from Ereth.” The courier unlocked the orb from the circular cuff that wrapped around it and placed it in Edrenn’s palm.
“Thank you.” Edrenn could hear the courier’s clothes fold as she bowed then exited the room. Turning back towards Vorrell, Edrenn grinned. “Hence, almost correct. The courier is female.”
“A small technicality.” Huffed Vorrell as she stomped to her closet.
“My dear, sometimes those small technicalities are the difference between life and death. Listen harder next time.” Vorrell responded with a hot silence as Edrenn rolled the orb between her hands. Taking a deep breath she waited for the message the orb contained to form in her mind and was surprised when a silky voice filled her thoughts instead. “As you wish.”
The orb dissolved in her hand and if Edrenn had eyes she would have rolled them. “Even when Brighid sends orbs she has to be flashy.”
“Brighid?” Edrenn smiled at the interest in Vorrell’s voice. “As in the High Priestess of the Lorrae? Why is she sending you an orb?
“Because I sent her one.” Replied Edrenn as she sat back down on the sofa. If she was going to take Vorrell with her to Ereth, she had to make sure the Oracle was properly attired. She gently rubbed the front of all five fingers on her right hand. Where each fingernail should have been there was a small, vertical slit that stopped right at the first knuckle.
Raising her hand in front of her face, she slowly opened her eyes. Edrenn winced as light blinded her for a few seconds, she quickly waded through the various timelines her eyes allowed her to see and found Vorrell. The young Oracle’s gown was the deep midnight blue of the night sky. It flowed nicely down her curvy figure in sheer panels. The sapphire encrusted sleeves draped delicately of Vorrell’s broad shoulders and her mask was adorned with pale blue opals that flashed a light pink when struck with light. Vorrell had pulled half of her deep magenta hair into a mass of braids and curly tendrils that sat elegantly atop her head. The rest flowed down her back in a wave of voluminous curls.
Looking past Vorrell, Edrenn could see all five of her shiny ebony eyes staring back at her in the vanity mirror. Portions of her wheat hair were braided intermingling with her straight, silky locks spilling off the sofa and piling on the floor. As Edrenn gazed at their reflections in the mirror she couldn’t help but notice how different they truly were. Not just in temperament, but in appearance as well. It was hard to believe Teryn blood flowed through both their veins.
Edrenn’s skin was sun-kissed with a bronzy glow due to her daily venturing. But Vorrell’s hue was like pristine, untouched ivory. Edrenn rose and walked over to her charge wrapping her lean arm around Vorrell’s shoulders. The Seeress’s lean, 6’2” frame towered over Vorrell’s 5’3”, hour glass physique. “You look lovely today,” Edrenn said softly as she brushed a stray curl from her shoulder.
Vorrell turned towards her. “Are you looking at me?”
“Yes,” Edrenn lightly kissed the top of her head. “And I think it’s best if you wear boots today. It will make the journey more comfortable.”
“Wait.” Vorrell grabbed Edrenn’s hand. “Journey?”
“In three years you will ascend and be Jorah’s new Seeress. It’s about time you were introduced to the politics involved. You will go with me to Ereth today.” Edrenn gently squeezed her hand before dropping it. “Now, put your boots on. I’ll be waiting outside.”
Edrenn watched as Vorrell nodded. Then closing her eyes, she strode out of the room and down the hall. As she maneuvered through the palace, Edrenn’s long stride was confident. She might not have the aid of traditional sight, but she knew all the path’s Seers before her had walked and having lived in the palace city of Novean her whole life, each road and pathway was permanently etched in her mind. The Joran’s were proud of their Oracles and Seers. To make it easier for them to get about, nothing had changed within the palace or surrounding city since the first Seer was born over two thousand years ago.
As Edrenn rounded the corner, she was surprised to hear the determined steps of the queen coming towards her. “Your highness,” Edrenn inclined her heard towards her.
“How dare you undermine my authority, Edrenn!” Hissed the queen through clenched teeth. “There is no way I am letting you take my daughter to Ereth.”
Grabbing hold of the queen’s elbow, Edrenn ushered her in to a more secluded corridor. “Ahra,” Edrenn spoke sternly. “Get a hold of yourself. She is not your daughter. She is Jorah’s next Seeress. How many times do we have to go through this?”
Placing her hand in front of her face, Edrenn opened her eyes and stared at the queen. Ahra’s gaze was cold and unyielding. “I was the one that carried her in my womb and gave birth to her! How am I not her mother and she not my daughter?”
Edrenn watched as Ahra’s slender shoulders rose and fell with each angry breath. “In blood. Only in blood do you or the king have any ties to Vorrell. I broke the rules long ago by allowing her to get to know Qasette and I will not do it again. There is no knowing how long she will live till the next Oracle is born. Knowing you and loving you will make it that much harder when she outlives you or anyone else she may come to care about. Do you want her to feel that pain? That regret?”
Ahra briefly hung her head in defeat. Taking a few steadying breaths she tossed a wayward strained of her dark sapphire hair over shoulder then stood tall. “Fine. I will not bring it up again. But taking her to Ereth is too dangerous. Those emotion stealing liars can’t be trusted.”
Edrenn placed a calming hand on Ahra’s shoulder. “In three years Vorrell will ascend and I will die. She has to learn to interact with all our allies. Even the sketchy ones. The Lorraes have accepted their banishment and have followed the terms of the treaty for over one thousand years. We’re going.”
“Fine.” Ahra’s gaze gently followed the gold chain around Edrenn’s neck to the slightly curved, thin strip of gold metal clinging to her décolletage. “But stay armed.”
Edrenn nodded her constant as she placed a hand over the necklace. “I promise.” Her ears suddenly perked. “Vorrell is coming. You will excuse me, your highness.” Giving a curt bow, the Seeress walked out of the corridor intercepting her pupil.
“Edrenn,” Vorrell grasped her arm. “I heard your conversation with my—the queen. Do you think—“
“No.” Edrenn quickly led Vorrell outside. “We can’t delay our journey to Ereth. Qasette is relying on you to be here for her wedding this evening. We must leave now.”
Edrenn helped Vorrell up on her horse before mounting her own. Protected by an armed escort of Novean’s finest soldiers, they exited the city gates and rode toward Ereth. As they rode, the Seeress hoped she would find the answer she was looking for. How could she and Vorrell be having such different visions of the future? Edrenn had longed suspected someone may be interfering with her sight and it wouldn’t be the first time the Lorraes had overstepped their bounds. Heat coursed through Edrenn’s body as she brushed a finger along her necklace. If Brighid or any other Lorrae had broken the terms of the treaty she would destroy them.