02 - Legacy

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It was sundown and the sky was the color of blood. The waves thrashed against the rocks on Emerald beach, and if you really listened, you could hear the bellowing call of the sea pulling you slowly into its spell. Underneath the willow tree by the rocks was a passage to limbo-only the members of the circle could enter. Those with the gift could hear their chants deep in the night, especially on days like these.

The day of the crimson moon.

Layla, matron of the Rowan circle, walked out of the tunnel and up to the beach, close enough that the waves splashed against her bare feet, drenching the bottom of her beautiful green dress. She stared far into the ocean as though she could see past the ends of the earth.

Maybe she could.

"Matron," Martha Croft greeted from beside her. Layla turned to the black-haired countess and dipped in a bow.

"Lady Croft."

Martha looked about the beach and suddenly memories of the Rhodes falls sprung to mind. The falls were said to be the unreal rendering of Mount Olympus. It possessed the magic to do and undo but of course, it had its drawbacks. The falls chose what to do with its visitors, no one ever did have a say in the matter. She smiled to herself, if only they could have prevented the great divide.

"We're ready for the ceremony," Layla said pulling her back to brass-tacks. Martha turned to the redheaded Blackwood witch. After the aged war that wiped out almost all the most prominent and oldest mystics, the Blackwood bloodline became the oldest craft family. But in truth, in the times before the divide, they had been the bottom feeders.

"Why did you ask to speak with me then?"

Layla sighed, heavily. She had the most troubling news and the most difficult job. Being matron of the circle meant her allegiance was first to the council, and the Croft Dynasty-the oldest and most powerful family since the great divide. Lady Croft was head of that family. The black-haired, two-thousand-year-old vampire was anything but clement. Of all the Crofts, Ian was very well the only sane one.

"I do not intend to repeat myself," Martha warned calmly.

Layla nodded. "We may have a problem." She began. No response came from the Croft. "Odessa believes an Oriental witch just entered the city Lady Croft. That lineage was wiped out during the great divide. If really she is one, then we must act fast."

"Regardless of who she is, there are rules to be followed in Rebrook. Mystics are required to present themselves to me or the council upon arrival. It is the law," Martha intoned. Layla shook her head, a gesture that made Martha scoff. "Find out who she is and let me know." She was gone before Layla could blink or respond.

She turned back to the ocean and inhaled the serenity of it. Allegiance to the Crofts or not, her first duty was to her own-sisters of the craft. If an Oriental really had escaped the carnage, it was her duty to protect her...it would take all the witches in Rebrook and the ones North of Tamor to go against the Crofts and the members of the council. A much-needed rebellion.

"Layla." Camilla touched her shoulder. Layla turned to the youngest of the Rowan witches with a smile. "What is the matter?"

"Nothing is."

"Do not attempt to lie to me." Camilla countered quietly. "What did lady Croft say of the oriental? She wishes her harm?"

Layla smiled. "Oh Camilla, you shouldn't worry about this. You leave the worrying to me." She held Camilla's face. "Find out where the girl is and we will send her someplace safe before the core can find her." Camilla nodded and hurried back down the tunnel. Layla stole a glance at the red sky, straightened her dress and followed after Camilla into limbo. 

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