Chapter 1 (3rd of Earonitan in the year 6178)

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The orb hovered briefly and then alighted on the floor. Flickering slowly at first, it began to pulse faster and faster, growing as it methodically transformed. As the light faded, the form of another woman, her hair of platinum white and her robes of ivory, came into being and replaced it. The new woman's clothing fluttered in the ether, catching upon its invisible currents. With a stretch, she exercised long tired muscles. 

"Greetings, sister," Sarina spoke pleasantly to the white-robed goddess now before her. "It is always a pleasure to see you, Sashna. Times do not call us together as often as they once had."

"As I am always delighted to see you as well, my sister," Sashna responded. "Time, it seems, has not been on our side with the growing needs of the mortal realm."

"Indeed," Sarina lamented. "The mortal realm has grown to consume much of my time as well."

"Unfortunately, this is not a casual visit," Sashna confessed. "I have come because you have a soul that I desire. The time for a savior of the mortal world has come. This child shall be the one I choose to imbue with the power necessary to fulfill that most important role."

Sarina folded her hands up into her sleeves. "I suppose," her words dripped with sorrow, "it was too much to hope that this should be a friendly visitation. The name of this soul you seek?"

"Stormband," Sashna proclaimed. "I seek the soul of the child to be born of Eliza and Aurthur Stormband."

Sarina nodded and paced behind the table sitting in the center of her tower's observation chamber. Pulling her hands back out of her sleeves, she produced a glowing orb, swirling with clouds of milky white. She released it from her hand and it hovered effortlessly over the table. 

"The soul of Stormband," the Fate in gray robes stated bluntly. "As you have requested, sister."

"No!" another woman's loud voice crashed of thunder. Out of the nothingness, and in a roar like that of a thousand lions, she appeared. Her robes were black as a starless, midnight sky. Her hair dark as jet. "I too have come to claim the soul of the child of Stormband."

It was evident that both goddesses were surprised to see their other sister in the here and now. That surprise was not lessened for many moments after the cacophony of her entrance passed to memory.

"Octeava, a - a pleasant surprise to be sure," the Keeper of Neutrality stammered. The awe at the unneeded abruptness of her sister's entrance could not be forgotten so quickly.

Sashna stepped forward. "Stand aside, sister!" the Keeper of Law ordered. "I have already come forth to claim this soul."

Octeava responded with a crooked half smile. "You cannot claim an exclusive right to this child, sister. The Laws of our Father say that any who have a claim to the soul of a mortal must be allowed to execute it. And I intend to put into this child more darkness than any mortal has ever possessed."

There was a rush of power surrounding the platinum-haired goddess as bolts of blue energy climbed up her robes and then back down her arms to her hands. Sarina clearly saw her sister's hands ball up and cock back as The Keeper of Law and Order prepared to unleash the gathered power with the sole purpose of fending off her darker sister's ambitions. 

"Sisters!" Sarina stepped between Sashna and their newly arrived third sister. "There will be none of this within my domain! Those are my laws."

The look in her eye was enough to stand down the Keeper of Law. But Sarina could sense she was still ready to lash out. The power she had summoned had simply been pushed aside but not relinquished.

Octeava's smile only enhanced as she watched Sashna back down. The darkest of the Fates had not even so much as flinched, knowing the posturing of her sister was nothing but a fangless threat.

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