Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sword & Sorcery part nine


Nekki groaned. There was only one person in all the Temple, besides the High Priest, who used her full name. Clarissa gave her a look of sympathy before hurrying into the class room.

"Mistress Ap Nud," Nekki made eye contact with the 'High Bitch of the Temple', as she was called by the lower years, though never to her face. The contact was brief and intended to let Sarah know that Nekki had heard and understood that Sarah wished to speak with her. Once contact was made, Nekki was careful to keep her eyes downcast and to appear as subserviant as she could.

"Your teachers inform me that you excel at scrying."

"Yes Mistress. Thank you Mistress."

"You have your glass with you?"

"Yes Mistress."

"Good follow me."

"Mistress," Nekki paniced. "I have classes Mistress."

"Then, when your classes are over," Sarah glared at the young apprentice who would place her own petty needs over Sarah's, "find me."


"Aleric son of Aleric." Sarah glared at the image in the glass, Nekki cowered in front of.


As soon as Nekki had appeared at her room, Sarah had jerked her inside and slammed the door shut behind her. "You can set up there," she pointed to a small table.

Nekki had wasted no time in covering it with a cloth of white linen, and placing her obsidian mirror on top of it. Round, black, and concave, it had its own stand, that held it at a forty five degree angle. Nekki placed to bowls on either side of the mirror. Into each she placed a lit stick of lunar incense. She sank to her knees before it and closed her eyes.

"What do I seek Mistress?"

"My sister."

"Do you have something of your sister, Mistress."

"I have a piece of her hair." Sarah had kept a few strands aside when the image of Apep had been made. "Two strands should be enough."

"That would be more than enough Mistress. Please, if you would, place a strand in each bowl so that it burns with the incense."

"Are your hands broken?"

"I am honoured to perform this service for you Mistress," Nekki chose her words carefully. "As well I should be. "I want to do this right and the sweat of my palms might alter the scry."

"Why would your hands be sweaty," Sarah asked with a smirk. "Surely you are not scared of me."

"Please Mistress," Nekki begged.

"Oh very well." Nekki heard a brief rustling as Sarah moved around her, and then there was the sharp tang of burning hair. "Done," sad Sara. "Satisfied?"

"Thank you Mistress."

Silently Nekki began to center herself, and took slow deep breathes, chanting inana with each inhalation and exhalation. She asked the gods to show the girl who belonged to the hair. The mirror cleared and an image formed, deep and smoky within its depths.


"The little fool went and got herself branded," Sarah seethed, speaking aloud and forgetting, for a moment that Nekki was in the room. But only for a moment.

"Gather your things," she told the frightened girl. "Mistress Triboda is waiting for you."

"But Mistress."



Mistress Triboda stood. at the door of her chambers, and watched Nekki stumble away. It was her task to be the Temple's Disciplinarian. A task she carried out efficiently and strictly in accordance with Temple Law.

An Apprentice could be disciplined for any reason by any one of her teachers, her den mother, an older Apprentice. Usually the reasons were good and sound. Sometimes the reasons bordered on the petty. But none so petty or self centered as the reasons Mistress Ap Nud would send a girl running to her door. They always made Mistress Triboda feel like she was part of Mistrees Ap Nud's pettiness, and she did not like it.

She looked forward to the day that she would open her door and see Mistress Ap Nud, the 'High Bitch of theTemple,' standing there.

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