Varanis — 1626 0580 Wyter
What day was this?!
After [[[s01:session-28|session 28]]].
The decision made, it’s time to meet the Wyter. The priest sends us to purify ourselves in the river. Wearing nothing more than my shift, my hair unbound, I make my way to the top of the river path. The others are there: bold Berra, deadly and dark; golden-skinned Serala, fierce and glorious; sweet Mellia, favoured of Chalana Arroy; Finarvi, new to our company, and Rajar in all his… glory. We are led by the Clan Ring of Blue Tree Tula, a somber procession of men and women. There are others there, come to watch this strange gathering.
The path is rough; we pick our way down without words. Each of us is presumably lost in our own thoughts of what is to come. For my part, I am praying to Vinga, seeking her guidance and her strength. I find myself wondering what Grandmother’s reaction will be when she learns of what Mellia and I do here today. I wonder too, if the Saiciae Wyter will be angry. Briefly, I wonder if my male cousins might have the right of it and if two clans is too many, but I dismiss that swiftly. I know what I am doing.
We plunge into the water together. It is biting, knocking the air from my lungs instantly. I clench my teeth to keep them from rattling together and feel a grimacing smile stretch my lips. Stepping from the water, my shift clings to me, water streaming from my hair in rivulets down my back. The breeze is cold, but not too strong.
Taking a deep breath, I join the others to ascend the cliff, ready to meet the Wyter. Waiting for us, is the priest, the chief, and all of the clan, it seems. The priest leads the way once more, followed by the Ring, by us, and then by any others who choose to witness. At top of the cliff, stands the tree. The whole of the tree is blue, with roots wrapping around a large rock before plunging into the earth.
Berra is the first of us to step forward. She approaches the Wyter Priest, who paints her runes on her face in woad. She embraces the tree and from what little I can see, a million expressions cross her face in seconds. She steps away and the tree’s branches seem to caress her as she leaves it.
Mellia looks at me, and I wave her forward. She is the best of us. It seems that the priest examines her hands a moment, before he carefully paints her runes onto each hand. She too is lost in the tree’s embrace for a moment, before stepping away. There is a peaceful expression on her face.
And now it is my turn. I face the wizened priest and his fingers dip into his pot of woad. On one cheek, I feel the swirl of the air rune, and on the other, the twisting lines of movement. He hesitates, and then reaches for my forehead. Instead of the parallel waves of water that I expect, he paints the stark lines of what can only be the mastery rune. I freeze a moment, steel myself, and step towards the tree. As my arms wrap around it, and I press my cheek to the rough bark, my world shifts.
We go backwards. Yelm dances from West to East, West to East repeatedly. Then he stands in centre sky. A voice says, “Since the time of sunstop, I have guarded here. Come in now and be my children.”
I offer my magic to that timeless voice, to make the connection complete.
[[f>image Varanis-BlueTreeTattoo size=”small”]]
“So, Thane of Colymar, Thane of Bluetree, will you serve these people?”
I do not hesitate. “Yes, I will.” The words feel right.
“You are welcome, and I will be watching. We’ve not had a foreigner since the first Heortlings came up from the South.”
Briefly, I wonder if I can be worthy of what is asked of me. “I will do my best to serve as I can.” And I mean it.
I step back and it’s like the tree pats me on my head. Some leaves get left in my hair. Later I hear that they almost look like a crown. There is a burning in my belly. Looking down, I see red drops of blood seeping into my shift. I feel certain that this is the tattoo Berra mentioned, though I do not remember receiving it. Looking around at the others who have gone before me, and at Serala, as she too steps away from the tree, I can see that I am not alone.