A Forgotten Tale

Sometimes, the dance called life is graceful. Sometimes, you step on a toe or fall flat on your face.

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A Forgotten Tale

Post by Mairead Harker » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:41 pm

The death in water of a child born of those that tame and guide water, a sign of things to be.

Maggie frowned as she continued to read about that prophecy. While she preferred paper books, she found the tablet connection to her Uncle Eregor’s Library in the Tower to be very useful. In the last couple of weeks, Maggie, along with Pearl and Desdenova, had been scouring several of her family’s libraries for information on the runes and other things connected to the events on the Amore Belle and whatever had caused the changes in Michelle Montoya-Bidarte’s behavior. There were plenty of historical bits and anecdotes on Eldritch Gods wreaking havoc in various places and times. One that she took particular interest in was the sea devils that had attempted to take over Lemnos Island. She was brought out of her reading by the sound of a hammer colliding with the steel being forged. She put the tablet into her backpack and pulled up a stool to watch the master craftsman at work.

“Uncle Heph,” Maggie said as her uncle took a break from his work, “the more I try to find out about one thing, the more another speaks to me.”

“The search for knowledge often leads us to paths we weren’t expecting to find, Clover.” The Smith God took several drinks of water as he conversed with his niece. “What did you find?”

“I guess it’d be family history.” Maggie had her favorite, apple juice, to drink. “It makes me wonder if I’ve lived more than once. Gran only knew part of her story and some of it is in the family libraries. It was just waiting to be read. ” The teen had a look of consternation on her face. “Uncle Heph, what do you know about Margarītēs, a daughter of Poseidon and Amphitrite?”

It was a few moments between Maggie’s question and Hephaestus’s answer. “She drowned, Maggie.” His answer was simplicity itself, but he knew his brother’s grandchild would have more questions.

“She. Drowned.” Maggie’s brows furrowed as she considered that. “A daughter of the sea king and his queen and she drowned?” She was incredulous. “That’s hard to believe. Talk about twistedly ironic!” She set a hand on Heph’s arm. “Tell me more.”

Hephaestus went back to his work as they talked. “Accident or murder, it was never determined. She was given another chance as was her unborn child.”

“That’s where Zapphira came from?” Maggie’s lips puckered like an old man puffing on a cigar. “Water was the starting point and water is tied to what’s happening now.” Golden green eyes studied Hephaestus as he pounded the steel, folding it many times. “Everything has a purpose. Everyone has a purpose. Maybe this is part of hers … or mine?”
"And those who have not swords can still die upon them." - Eowyn, shieldmaiden of Rohan
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Mairead Harker » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:18 pm

Maggie spent days researching. Try as she might, she didn't find just what she was looking for. She did find more and more on that Old Soul and, maybe, just, maybe, a way to help her.
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Rhiannon Brock » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:22 pm

16 Dec 2019

As she went about the normal morning routine, Rhi tried not to let the kids pick up her anxiety. Gifted or not, children had a way of picking up on their parents’ moods. She could hear a sound like a ticking clock in the back of her mind; it was marking time, but whose? Hers? Surely not Eregor’s, he’d lived a few lifetimes and she’d already met those that were to come after him. Their children? Wasn’t it innocent blood and souls that were the most useful to those from the darkest depths? She’d written a will, just in case. There was the equivalent of a small army preparing to look after the trio of young ones. She got through the day, one hour at a time.

Near noon, Rhiannon found two of her nieces in the Tower’s library with books stacked all over a long table. One brow shot up, they were going on a language Rhi didn’t understand. She shook her head. “You two sound like a pair of twins that have resorted to using their private gobbledegook.”

“Close,” Pearl said as she ran her fingers over a passage of text written in Aramaic. “It’s a language that was developed for private coding, it’s never the same. Therefore, always secret and …” She gave her aunt a cheeky smile, “about as breakable as Diné Bizaad was during the Second Terran World War. And, yes, that one is on my to learn list.”

Maggie chimed in with a laugh. “It might be gobbledegook to you, but it’s not to us. How often have you heard someone say, It’s all Greek to me when what they really mean is, I haven’t got a bloody clue what you’re talking about.”

Rhi chuckled. “If you respond to that in Greek it usually gets you strange looks.”

“I usually ask them, Είναι πραγματικά; and they really look confused!” Maggie added.

“Have you found anything?” Rhi’s eyelids were hooded, worry rather than lack of sleep had gotten to her.

“Yes and no,” Pearl responded. “Not much about the symbols, they appear in various texts, but they have several uses.” She frowned. “Something that seems to be missed for a lot of cultists is that willing sacrifices are supposedly stronger ones.”

“You think those people opted to be sacrificed?” She studied each of her nieces in turn.

“Hard to say.” Pearl shook her head. “According to what I have read, the willing ones don’t get restrained. We’ve found page after page of historical accounts. There’s a culture that sacrificed the losers of sporting events.”

Maggie opened to a marked page in one of the books. “That’s taking git gud to extremes.”

A sidelong glance went from Pearl to Maggie. “I don’t think the people who coined that phrase intended it to be used quite that way.”

Glancing from Pearl to Maggie and back, Rhi asked, “Have you found anything that will be of help?”

Pearl shook her head and frowned. “Not anything to help Michelle or slow down the cultists.”

Maggie’s face had taken on the old man puffing a cigar expression as she opened several books to marked pages. “I did find some things, just not what what we were looking for.”

“Out with it, Mairead.” Rhi felt weary and her growing impatience was telling.

((Author’s notes:
Diné Bizaad is the native name for the language that was used by the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II
Είναι πραγματικά; translation: “Is it really?”))
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Rhiannon Brock » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:59 am

“I found things about Zaph.” She had the books open to the appropriate passages. “Her mother, Margarītēs, was a daughter of Poseidon and Amphitrite; her father was a child of Zeus and Hera.” Maggie rested her fingers on a particular passage. “Their game plan was to marry her off to a son of Hades and Persephone. Like tying the three brothers together through legitimate bloodlines.” The teenager shrugged.

“Thing is, Aunt Rhi, we haven’t figured out what was supposed to make her any different than other children that descended from all three.” Pearl looked up from the page she’d been reviewing. “Oddly, she seems to have absorbed or been given gifts in her spectral state. Almost as if someone was atoning for her not having lived as most people do.”

“Maggie just said it,” Rhi said with an edge in her tone. “Legitimate bloodlines from three brothers and their wives.”

Voices echoed as all three aspects of Zapphira spoke at the same time. “We were gifted with things as each of you were on certain birthdays. Those things were shared with each of you when we became one with you before you were born. Before we entered the spiritual plane, we were gifted with what your matriarch would call second sight. Have none of you asked why Rhiannon the elder doesn’t speak to spirits as you do?”

Three heads turned toward the spectral figures. They hadn’t considered it. Each had accepted that seeing spirits was a part of who they were.

“Stop it.” Rhiannon’s eyes closed and her hands went up in palms out position. “I have had one of you in my head for as long as I can remember. Can you all speak with one voice? Please.”

“We shall try.” While the voice still echoed some, it was easier to understand. “What do your books tell you, Pearls?”

Pearl and Maggie exchanged looks as they read the passages aloud.
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Mairead Harker » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:03 am

Maggie had a confounded expression on her face as she paused in her reading. “This had to be written by someone that wanted to erase our grandfather’s name from history. He’s referred to as ton asvoúrgo, means the badger, but who would name their kid Badger?”

Pearl gave her younger counterpart a wait for it look.

Rhiannon laughed. “Maggie, your primary gift is languages, what does Brock mean?”

Maggie used the Tower’s translation system for help with that question. “OH! It means Badger!” She gave her aunt a sassy smile. “I’m a polyglot not an etymologist.”

“Well, thank you, Dr. McCoy,” Pearl said dryly as she ran her fingers over a passage that she mentally translated from Latin to Common.

A grin slowly spread across Rhi’s face. “You forgot the Damn it, Jim, part.”

Maggie rolled her eyes. “You spend way too much time watching Uncle Gory’s vid collections!”

Rhiannon curled her fingers around a mug of hot chocolate and blew steam off of it. “My guess it was one of the Moirae.” A frown flitted across her lips. “There were stories about Atropos being jealous that she wasn’t the object of my father’s affections. She did things once upon a time and is still atoning for them.” The youngest of Rhiannon’s sisters being kept safe during a massive Nexus flux was a part of that penance. “She no longer has a burning hatred for my mother, but as for my father, I don’t know. I don’t ask and I recommend you tread carefully if you do.” She knew her nieces well enough to not make such a thing a challenge. Forbidden fruit, always the sweetest. Wasn’t that how mankind ended up in that Garden of Eden mess?

Pearl lifted her eyes from the book in front of her. “Jealousy is a dangerous thing. Jealousy, lust, and envy have caused more problems within the Greek pantheon than everything else combined.”

“What did you find, Maggie?” Rhi looked to the younger of her nieces.

“What Pearl said about jealousy being dangerous …” Maggie turned the book so her aunt could read. “I know you can read the Greek, but the rest, one of us can translate for you.”

Margarītēs, daughter of Poseidon and his consort, Amphitrite, and wife of ton asvoúrgo, met her death while heavily pregnant with a daughter. Murder or misadventure caused the death of both mother and child. Her body was found by a would be suitor who stated he dragged her from a pond and cut her free of vines that entangled and drowned her. He met his end after her burial. It is not known if he ended his life due to grief or was killed as an act of vengeance. His body was found across her grave with his own bloodied weapon nearby.

Pausing in her reading, Rhi commented, “This explains why Mom has always been wary of water.”
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Rhiannon Brock » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:22 pm

“It says more than that,” Pearl added. “It tells us that someone other than her husband loved her. He might have been Zaff’s father.”

“Or had hopes of it,” Rhi murmured.

“Yes, but if her husband suspected she’d been unfaithful. He might have been instrumental in her death.” Pearl looked back to the pages she’d been reviewing. “And if the wanna be suitor was also a murder victim not a suicide, it opens a few more worm cans.”

“Such as?” Sapphire eyes swept over the pair of scholars.

“What if the husband was found out as a killer?” Maggie pursed her lips. “He’d want that hushed up, especially if his wife was innocent.”

The ancient’s voice was again added to the those speaking, “Perhaps all of you are his atonement to his wife and why he left not long after you were born, Rhiannon.” The living souls turned their attention to the spectral one. “If I had survived, it had been foretold that I would have had eyes like sapphires, hence, the name I was gifted.”

Rhi let go of the breath she’d been holding. “Maybe him being named as guardian of children was a punishment for his actions. When Mom reincarnated, he had to make amends with her. If I remember the stories correctly, they were in and out of each other’s lives for many years. Her memories had been altered a few times.” She frowned. “I probably wouldn’t know that if I hadn’t been so closely connected to her when she was … taken a couple years back.”

Pearl avoided meeting the eyes of her aunt and her younger counterpart. “It also explains why she …” her words trailed off.

“Pearl?” Maggie lowered one brow in a puzzled expression.

“Let me guess,” Rhi sighed, “the outcome of possible future events is in question?”

Pearl’s fingers covered her mouth as she nodded. “She always told me she was never meant to be happy, but could help others to be that way.”

“You do realize,” Maggie said in a solemn tone as she tapped her fingers against a book cover, “that no matter his reasons for offing his wife, the child was still an innocent.” Her eyes widened as something clicked in place. “It really would be a fitting punishment. Forced to look after children for eons because you killed your own.”

Pearl lifted her eyes from yet another volume of lore.“Heracles was given twelve labors to perform as a penance for the murders of his wife and children. Imagine what they could and would have done to someone thwarting their plans.”

Rhi finished her drink and put empty mug aside. “There are far too many examples of bringing the sins of the father down upon the children.” She looked back down to the book her nieces had set before her. “Here’s where they go all whimsical and fey.” Her head shook once. “Created in water, forged with lightning,” she put her finger on a part of the passage and tipped the book for Pearl to translate.

“Created in water, forged with lightning, bound with blood.” Pearl’s brows furrowed in bemusement. “The hell?” Her dark hair swayed as she shook her head. “I’m reading, but it doesn’t seem to make sense. “Undone in water with water, trapped in the mists, freed by water and by …”

“By what?” Maggie asked.

“Shifts in time.” Pearl finished.

Maggie rolled her eyes. “This one of those Do the math things, is it?”

The wheels were turning in Rhi’s head ...
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Mairead Harker » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:17 am

Maggie and Pearl continued their research. Rhiannon prepared for the Tower of Water challenge which was set for the next day. She had agreed with Eregor that their children would not be in attendance. They would be in safe hands at Gardenhome Tower with several of their mother’s siblings and Maggie, their favorite storyteller.

The teenager had expressed a desire to watch the challenge match in person. However, when reminded of the potential danger to the younger children, she stayed behind. There were no rules when demons and any other creature hellbent on murder and mayhem invaded one’s home. It was kill or be killed; Mairead Harker wasn’t ready to die, not yet. She brought her oaken staff and a blade. The latter was especially crafted for her hands by her Uncle Hephaestus. Named Winter’s Twilight, the weapon had been fashioned to look like Claíomh Solais, the Sword of Light, the blade belonging to Nuada of the Silverarm. She had finally claimed birthday gifts from her great grandfather and two of his brothers. Her uncles, Hades and Poseidon, would have granted her nearly any single gift for that thirteenth birthday milestone, but her requests had been simple ones. Water from the Styx and the ocean’s depths were used to quench the blade during its forging. Mingled in the steel were six drops of blood, two from each of her parents and two from her own hand, strands from a unicorn’s tail, a vial of tears from one of Danu’s line, and a single dragon scale that had been shed. Maggie had been offered several options from her great grandfather, Zeus, including a chance to skip her teenage years and move on to being an adult. If her refusal confused the ancient, her actual request astounded him. Metal in a molten state had been sent to the Smith God’s forge. Her choice had been made, lightning mingled with steel, she hoped the finished blade of three would serve her well.
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Rhiannon Brock » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:20 am

The following day

The family settled at the table for an early dinner. Given the high stakes, it may well have been their last. According to the lore on those beings that had attached themselves to the current Keeper of Water, they were able to draw people deep into their realm and hinder them from departing. Bellies were happily filled and children occupied before Eregor and Rhiannon retired to a quieter place. Each with an arm wrapped around the other, the couple watch as the sun made its descent from the sky to the horizon. That ritual complete, Rhiannon lifted her gaze to her mate’s.

“The girls found something, a prophecy.” A hopeful squeeze of hands was passed between Rhi and Eregor.

"What is the prophecy?" he asked,

"What happens to Zapphira. How she can be freed." A moment passed, long enough for the clock to tick by a few seconds before Rhi spoke again. “Created in water, forged with lightning, bound with blood. Undone in water with water, trapped in the mists, freed by water and by shifts in time.” Leaning her head against his shoulder, she closed her eyes. "It's how she was created, how her life was stopped, and apparently, how to free her spirit."

"Shifts in time?" He raised one eyebrow.

"That ... that's you, isn't it? Water is Poseidon, lightning is Zeus, it's their blood that was bound. I'm part of them. The time ... that must be you." She was silent for some time. That prophecy had strengthened her resolve, she would be there.
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Rhiannon Brock » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:56 am

December 17, Twilight Isle

The challenge ring was filled with countless Eregors, from both past and present, allowing to come in behind Michelle’s mystic shield to strike, winning him the second match and the challenge. “And with that the challenge is over!” called Helea. “Eregor's quick thinking.. and repositioning, gives him the lead he needed to flank Michelle's attempt at a defensive spell. Congratulations, Eregor, on becoming Keeper of Water!" She then flipped a card over. "And well tried, Michelle!"

Michelle didn't seem the least bit displeased; she took off the key and walked over to Eregor, the one whom she had battled with. "Congratulations, Eregor. I hope you enjoy —your reward!" She shoved the key against his chest, and a sudden darkness enveloped the mage, devouring him into some other time and space. The Tower of Water crumbled and fell to pieces, surely to be reformed when the Keeper returned.

"Wh-?!" As the darkness enveloped Eregor, he turned towards Rhi, their eyes meeting... and then he was gone.

Eregor was gone, but was he really gone? She knew he could regenerate, but was it even possible for him to return from whatever pit or void he had been banished to by the creature infesting Michelle’s body? Was this what the prophecies spoke of, being freed by water and the shifts in time? As long as he held the key to the Tower of Water, Eregor represented both. There was no more time to think about it, it had to be now. Rhiannon wanted her husband back; their children needed their father. If Hephaestus had an inkling of what his brother’s child was up to, he didn’t show it. He knew the young woman’s mettle had been tested since her childhood. The first time she’d been put in a precarious position was at the age of six, she passed that test, but would she pass this one with so much more at stake?

They say when we’re about to die, our life flashes before our eyes. Rhi’s eyes closed, time seemed to stand still and she remembered.
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Rhiannon Brock » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:21 am

Many Years Ago - The Grounds of New Camelot Academy on the outskirts of Rhydin City

Demons had broken into what should have been a safe place, a warded bunker. Some of the teenage students of New Camelot Academy had been left back from a battle to safeguard the young children. Some were killed, some just fled, leaving their charges to their fate. A few of the magically gifted students tried to buy time for those carrying off smaller children. Infants and toddlers were taken deeper underground. Her brother, Garrick, two years her senior, had been fast on his feet and managed to guide two of the other youngsters to safety.

As Rhi started for stairs to follow the others, she heard something amidst the crackling of magical fire and sparks. It was the sickening sound of an arm bone being broken. Nicole, Garrick’s twin, had fallen. Her efforts to carry the youngest of her siblings, Rachael, had proven to be too much for her small slender body. While sturdier than her elder sister, Rhi couldn’t get both of them away nor could she leave either one behind.

As the mages were weakening, Rhiannon did the only thing that made sense to her. She gathered up what had been a wooden sword, a toy to some. It had become heavier and was no longer made of wood. Athena had seen their need and provided aid. In later years, Rhi would realize that Athena had enlisted the help of the master of smiths. Much like the Lady Eowyn in the bits of history she’d heard at Queen Teleperien’s knee, she stood between her sisters and the demons. There was no time for thinking, no time for questions. The girl’s heart pounded as both hands gripped the sword’s hilt. An animalistic growl came from her as she put all of her strength and weight into wielding the weapon. It’s said that bravery is being terrified out of your wits, but doing what must be done in spite of it. All that time training with Braven Goldflame and taking part in Swords duels had helped her to stand back up and fight harder. As Rhi’s blade took down one demon at a time, one of the mages took her chance. Lena gathered up Rachael, who had been wailing indignantly at the unceremonious dropping of her person. A disembodied voice echoed in the bunker, Run! Now!
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Rhiannon Brock » Thu May 21, 2020 7:32 am

Run, they did! There was barely enough time to escape before the outer wall collapsed. Familiar voices echoed through the bunker as the adults called out to their children and students. Fear, anger, and, in some cases, sheer terror, echoed as names were called out.

One of the teachers stared at the forms on the ground, human and demon alike. “What the hell happened here?”

Colleen hadn’t found any of her own children among the dead. Still hopeful, she headed toward the dark hole in the far wall. She lurched forward as she stumbled over something in the path. Trembling, she lifted the object that was unmistakably steel bound with leather. The crossguard above the leather bindings wrapping bore her crest, a rearing unicorn. The metal was covered in a thick ooze, whatever blood these demons had had soaked it. She was transfixed by the thing, staring at it, and at a loss for words.

“What’d you find?”

Collie didn’t know who spoke and it was a moment more before she found her voice. “It. Was. Wood.”

“Was?”

The voice from earlier spoke again. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means Rhi happened. I don’t know who helped her, but this sword is hers.” Without another word, she headed into the cavern. Frightened and tired children waited below.

That was the first time Rhiannon heard Zapphira’s voice.
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Re: A Forgotten Tale

Post by Rhiannon Brock » Thu May 21, 2020 8:43 am

December 17, Twilight Isle

As she slowly came back to the present, she heard her own voice. Rhiannon’s words were quiet, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Her breath was leaving her body, her heart slowed like a clock winding down. “That which does kill us makes us stronger still.”

Call him. Another voice echoed in her mind.

What? Rhi was confused, but the Old Soul had never guided her down the wrong road. It had become rare for her to speak. She wasn’t needed, not anymore. Rhi counted on Eregor for the counsel that had once come from Zapphira.

Call to him, Rhiannon.

How? I wouldn’t know where to begin... She’d been blinded by fear and even the words exchanged in silence quavered.

But he will. When your children are frightened, do you not sing to them?

Of course, but ...

He traveled in time and space long before he found you. Do you think he would lose you and what you’ve built without a fight?

I know the song....

Then call him home, my sister, and set me free.


She didn’t seem to hear her Uncle Heph’s voice, but she could feel him nearby. Her mother had often told her that hearts sang to each other. At this moment, she couldn’t afford to doubt it. It mattered not that no one else would hear her, as Zapphira said, Eregor would.

One touch was all I needed to know
You were the one for me
My fate and my destiny
You smiled and all at once I could see
I'd found a love so true
That I could give all to you


As Eregor came into view, Zapphira’s essence melded with the key for the Tower of Water to aid him in purifying the waters. She was free and Eregor was in the arms of her sister. It was their time and, as Rhi believed, it was on their side.


((Lyrics are from Rhi and Eregor's song, Paradise as performed by Styx. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEaSk8Mayd0 ))
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