Chapter Five: PraeludiumMature

 Chapter Five:

Sleep, children.  Sleep, so you may listen to my voice.

            They slept.  They listened.  They slept in soft, sweet-smelling straw, in rays of warm summer sunlight.  They listened to the Lady. 

            The Lady’s words flowed as smoothly as time.

            The Lady’s touch was as gentle as sand from an hourglass.

            I have many names.  Yesss, Simon, some do call me the Lady.  Others have named me Beinnh Waelyngar.  And, indeed, Seymour, still others call me the Lady Raven.  I care not how you call me, only that you know that my true name is Moriba, Second Queen of Time.  Yesss…Queen of the Living Death.  I know all of you well.  Each one of you has been a guest of my realm at one point or another…perhaps by your own doing, or by the hand of another.  Some of you have gotten so far as to see the gates of the Realm Beyond, have glimpsed into the lands belonging to my sister, Queen Mortua of the Dead.  Two of you could reach out and touch it in this very moment.

            Do not.  I need you alive, every one of you.

            There are six of you, children.  You are the Six.  Remember that, if nothing else.  You are the Six.  You will soon be together united.  You are the Six.  Your fortunes have been joined since the beginning of Time…

            Open your eyes.

            They opened their eyes.  Before them was a vast wasteland, composed of grey stone and the twisted, bleached bones of a forest.  The sky was dark and clouded, as if it would rain.

            Children, this is my realm.  This is where you have all hidden your hopes and dreams.  Cast your eyes upon it.

            Do you see its terrible beauty?

            They did.

            Young ones, you see before you the bleak, brief prelude to chaos.  We are caught in the calm before the storm.  See you not these gathered clouds?  No rain shall fall from them.  No water.  Only blood…

            You are the Six.  Remember that, if nothing else…

The End

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