Chapter 17: Ceremony✔️

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Nel carries an array of wooden branches in her arms, Petra keeping a small distance between them as we make our way past the Elderwood tree, under the arch of twisted trees, glowing orbs of light following us until we are at the place of Rhovan and I's blood ceremony.

The tree glows a subtly soothing, ethereal light upon the ground, swirling around the circle of stones that has been set up a good distance away.

Nel kneels down, arranging the branches in a certain way, very swift and clever are her movements as she murmurs enchantments of peace and fertility.

Her hands start to glow and I can't take my eyes away from the sight as she lights a small fire.

It seems to dance in a way, though the Arradien's pay it no mind for now, continuing to walk around and ready themselves for the ceremony.

They are all naked and I stare as they pass by, all large chested and curvy, their bodies towering over me for the most part. They almost make me feel inferior, especially with my magyk not yet restored.

I have to wonder why I am the only one that is clothed. Even the men wear nothing to shelter themselves, the ladies admiring them appreciatively.

I suppose Petra does not want me to forget that I am, indeed, an outsider, someone who does not belong.

The tips of my ears wilt at the thought, but I try to keep my shoulders straight as I attempt to get a feel for Rhoavan's distance from me, but just as I get a hook on him I am pulled from my thoughts.

"Drink up Imp." Petra hands me some sort of wine and I hesitate at the offering. As I was deep in my thoughts, they must have been making the most of their own time.

"Go on, go on. It is for the ceremony. No poison here!" Petra says as she sways sideways, giggling a bit as she sips on her own cup.

I sniff it, pulling back at the lovely fumes that make their way into my nostrils. Even just that seems to haze me, make me lightheaded. "I don't think I want any thank y-"

But there is no room for argument as Petra pours it into my mouth. "Stop worrying so much. Have a little fun, Imp. You might not get to for much longer." She swears at me and I can't help the glare that seems to make it's way onto my face.

As the liquid makes its way through my system, I start to feel as if I am swaying, my movements a little slowed and unsure of themselves as I walk towards the seating area.

I hardly notice the stares, the looks of disgust thrown my way as Nel wobbles over to the dancing fire, calling all attention onto herself.

She begins her chantings, sprinkling a powder around the flames as she moves in a circle, once finished she takes a sip of her drink, as does everyone else in attendance, before moving back to her lover's side.

There is a pause, for just a breadth of air until Morrigan makes his way to the center of the crowd that has now gathered about the fire.

"Greetings," a small pause for his words to be reciprocated, "tonight we do have a change of plans and yes I do understand your concerns, but, as my son has informed me recently, we must change our way if we are to win in the coming war. What better way than to honor this Beltane with the gift of our own elven folk? We pray to the Goddess now that she may bless our people, may bless our lands and crops, because we are blessing this ceremony with her most favored of children."

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