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The Seeress and the Stone 16
After the ball Angelia, Sparrow and Scotch began spending all of their time together. Scotch seemed to fit right into their group and Angelia was beginning to trust his opinion. However, neither she nor Sparrow felt comfortable enough to mention the group of refugees hiding in the caves above the city. She convinced herself there would be time to tell him soon enough.
A week after the ball, Angelia convinced her parents to let her stay at Sparrow’s house for the weekend. Geralde relented only because he and Christiana were traveling to Oceana for business. So Angelia packed a bag and walked to Sparrow’s house after dinner.
The girls talked and planned for most of the evening, but later on Angelia’s head started throbbing.
“Sparrow, I think I’m going to go to bed. I don’t feel well,” Angelia yawned.
“I have a headache. I think all of the excitement has worn me out.”
“Maybe we can hike up to the caves tomorrow. We can take a picnic up into the hills.” Sparrow fluffed the pillows and turned down the spread.
Angelia yawned again and crawled into bed.
“Angel, do you miss them?”
“Yes,” she answered quietly. “Very much.”
“Do you think they are all right?” Sparrow asked. Her voice quavered and Angelia knew she was thinking of her sister.
Angelia rolled out of bed and gave Sparrow a hug.
“They are fine, Sparrow. French and Le’Mone and Grandfather are watching out for all of them.” She had repeated the words to herself so many times that she was starting to believe them.
“Thank you,” Sparrow said as she climbed into bed. “Do you think we will ever see them again?”
“I don’t know. I hope so,” Angelia replied softly thinking of French. “Let’s get some rest. We need energy to hike up to the caves.”
“That’s a good idea. We can talk to Jord and find out how far in they have searched the caves.”
Angelia looked wistfully at the mountains. “I wish I could be up there exploring caves.”
“Me too. I never realized how much I hated school, until I got back to the city. Your grandfather’s classes were so much more interesting.”
Angelia laughed. “Indeed. Sometimes I put my hand in my pocket and grab the crystal just to see if I can see anything interesting.”
Sparrow giggled. “I wondered. Your eyes get all glazed over.”
“Just don’t tell my father.”
“Like I ever would.” Sparrow blew out the lamp and climbed into bed. “Goodnight, Angel.”
“Goodnight.” Angelia lay on the bed and stared out the window. The rising moon cast a soft, silvery light in the room.
“Do you think we should tell Scotch about Jord and the others?”
Sparrow was quiet for a few moments. “Yes, I do.”
“Do you think we can trust him?”
“I think so. I don’t think he would do anything to hurt you.”
“Me either, but he doesn’t believe everything either. I just don’t know what he would do,” Angelia sighed.
“Let’s tell him next time we meet,” Sparrow suggested eagerly.
“All right,” Angelia conceded.
She closed her eyes hoping she could stop her head from pounding and try to sleep. She grasped the crystal hanging around her neck. She never took it off now, but wore it under her clothes. It’s constant contact with her skin gave her brief glimpses, but when she wanted more defined images she had to grab the crystal. She thought of her grandfather wondering where he was. Then she thought of French and she drifted slowly off to sleep.
The moon shone brightly illuminating the road as she walked in her dream. She moved through the city like a ghost, her goal the mountains. An hour later she was on the path that led up to the hidden valley and the entrance to the caves. She walked and walked, not paying attention to anything around her; she just had to get to the caves. It was cold and she shivered, but she just kept walking. Finally she could see the trees shielding the cave entrance. The night was growing old, but darkness still hovered beneath the shelter of the trees.
Angelia came to the entrance of the cave. She stood there for a moment, feeling afraid. Her thoughts turned to the dark king that had haunted her dream months ago. She looked around, and no one was there. It was safe. She walked down into the cave. Darkness enveloped her, but the crystal around her neck glowed pale blue casting a dim, shadowy light around her.
She could see the firelight coming from the caves where Geoff and his group slept. She walked past them further into the mountain. The darkness pressed in around her, and somehow she knew exactly where to go. She found a deep crevice hidden in the wall. It was large enough to climb through and she did. Her robe caught on a rock and tore, but she didn’t care. She just kept walking.
As she walked further into the crevice she noticed a pale blue light coming from ahead. She walked toward the light and eventually she entered an enormous cavern. On either side of the entrance were two giant crystals. They were shaped like the one she had around her neck except they looked whole. All around hundreds of crystals dotted the walls, glowing in every shade of blue imaginable. It was those stones that cast the pale blue light. They looked like sentinels.
Angelia stared at the crystals and noticed that the blue light seemed tired. Her own crystal gave a strong light, but the light these gave was softer, darker, and older. Many crystals lay broken on the ground. These gave no light, but sat in dark, cold shards on the floor. She reached up and touched one of the sentinels. She could feel its power, but its strength was diminishing. Somehow she could tell it was dying.
She brushed the smooth surface murmuring words of encouragement in the ancient language. The crystal’s light brightened ever so slightly. Angelia smiled and entered the cavern. She stopped in amazement at the sight that met her eyes. In the middle of the floor was a deep pool with crystal clear water. A stone pathway cut through the pool to a smooth rock in the center. In the middle of the rock stood the largest crystal Angelia had ever seen. It was beautiful.
The blue light that came from this crystal pierced deeply into Angelia’s soul. Her heart thrilled just to see it. She barely noticed how the solid crystal walls of the cavern majestically reflected the light of the large crystal in the center. She stepped onto the path and approached the stone. As she stared at the crystal the soft voice came into her mind.
“Hello Angelia. I am glad you have come.”
“Yes. I am Ellinsha. I am the great Seer Stone. I have summoned you here.”
“What do you want?” Angelia spoke calmly with her mind. She knew she would do anything for this stone.
“I have a task for you.”
“A task? What do you mean?”
“For thousands of years I have lived in these mountains. I have seen people come to this valley and leave. From among those people it was Celedand alone who heard my voice and sought me out. I gave Celedand a token to aid his sight, knowing it would pass through the generations until it came to you. You are a Chosen One, Angelia.
“But why did you choose me?” This question had often come to Angelia’s mind. She wondered why she was chosen to have the visions. Her thirst to know overpowered her awe.
“Your birthright chose you.”
“My birthright? I don’t understand.”
“Your heritage is rich with the power of sight. You come from a very long line of Seers and Seeresses. When Celedand came to me I knew he would be a faithful Seer. One who would protect me and my gifts.”
“My grandfather often told me of Celedand. His name fills my heart with excitement and wonder. But he lived so long ago. How can his story affect me?” Angelia questioned.
“Celedand became the leader of the people. He was Ennalkai, the Seer. He held a special gift. This gift passed down through the ages. Even when Celedand’s descendants were dispersed, his gift was passed on. And now it has come to you. But you are different.”
Angelia interrupted her, “Because when I see visions I am there. I don’t just see the future, I live it.”
“That is a part, yes. But there is more. Your gift is identical to Celedand’s.”
“I can see into other people’s future when I touch them.” Angelia realized how unique this gift was. “No one else has had this gift since Celedand.”
“Celedand inherited his gift from his mother, but this was not all. You have the ability to communicate with the great seer stones and see the future of all the inhabitants of the earth. This was The Chosen One’s true gift. She was a Chosen Seeress forced to flee from her home. She took Celedand with her to save his life.”
“When this world came into being four stones were created and placed in the four parts of the earth. I was placed here in the East to provide protection and sight to the people who came to my land. My sister stones were placed in the West, South and North. Over time the Stone of the West went dark, for no people were found in the land, and she could offer sight to no one. In her weakness she was destroyed by a terrible earth shake.
“The Stone of the South has long been silent, but her fate still remains in the balance. The Stone of the North served the People of the Mountain. She dwelt with the people in their Temple. The people were good, but foolish. To save her loved ones, The Chosen One was forced to destroy the Stone of the North. It was she who was Celedand’s mother. She saw what the future held and chose a fate that changed the course of events of this land. It was she who brought Celedand to this valley.
“And now I am the Chosen Seeress,” Angelia said aloud, awed by the power that had coursed through her bloodlines. She didn’t feel worthy to be a Chosen Seeress. “What is the task you wish of me?” she asked hesitantly.
“My home here in these mountains is no longer safe. It is time for a Seer Stone to dwell once again with the people of this earth. All I ask is that you take me to a new place, protect me and the gift of sight.”
Angelia felt the power of this stone course through her mind and body. With Ellinsha’s help, surly she could accomplish this simple task. “I accept the task Ellinsha,” Angelia said reverently dropping to her knee.
The stone began to glow, almost as if the light was pulsing through it. “Rise Angelia Galashad. You are the Chosen One. The Seeress! Touch me and see,” Ellinsha commanded.
Angelia reached out her hand automatically and gasped out loud as images poured into her mind. She saw her grandfather, looking much like Celedand, leading the banished through the desert. She saw Celedand leading his people through the desert. She saw ancestors she never knew existed and she saw a woman. This woman looked exactly like her, except her hair was lighter in color.
The images whirled around in her head. Ellinsha showed her what became of the Ennalkai, the remnants of the true seers and Angelia began to understand the many factors that made up her life. She watched the images swirl around and then they came back into one. She was brought back to the cavern. She stared at Ellinsha in amazement.
“I am Ennalkai,” she said out loud.
It was not a question, but a statement. She stumbled away from majestic stone feeling exhausted. Somehow she made her way through the cave and passages to the crevice she had slid through. There her strength left her. The room began spinning and everything went dark.
“Angel! Angel are you all right? Oh Angel, please be all right.”
Angelia opened her eyes. “Sparrow, I’m fine, stop shaking me,” she replied, then looking at their surroundings asked, “Where am I?”
“We’re in the caves. Oh Angel, you must have dream walked again. But how did you get in here?” Sparrow’s face was a mixture of relief and curiosity.
She was in the passageway just through the crevice she had climbed through in her dream. Angelia recalled the dream conversation she had with Ellinsha. Then she remembered what Ellinsha had told her. She looked around at the cave and realized it wasn’t a dream. She really did see the great seer stone.
She looked at her friend, “I was led here, by Ellinsha.”
Sparrow’s eyes widened, “Ellinsha,” she said in a whisper. “At least it wasn’t the King.”
“I’m very glad about that,” Angelia replied with a grin.
Sparrow looked at her in awe. “What did Ellinsha want?”
“She wished to speak to me.”
“What did she say?”
“I’ll tell you, but let’s go back and find the others. What time is it?”
“It’s afternoon. We have been searching for you all morning.”
“I must have walked all night.” She looked at Sparrow with a puzzled expression. “How did you know I was here?”
“When I couldn’t find you I remembered what happened when we were looking for the caves. I felt certain you were here. We searched the caves, but couldn’t find you anywhere. I almost walked right by the hidden passageway, but I saw this.” She held up the torn cloth. “It was snagged on the wall by the crevice opening. I came in here and found you.”
Angelia suddenly realized that she was standing there in her nightdress. “Oh dear, I don’t have my trousers.”
Sparrow smiled, “I grabbed your clothes before I left. That’s why I thought you were here. I knew you would never go anywhere in your night clothes, if you were awake.”
They both laughed. Sparrow showed Angelia the way back to the entrance. By this time, the rest of the group was just getting ready to begin searching for Sparrow. All were relieved to see both girls.
When Angelia had changed and eaten she sat down and told the group about her conversation with Ellinsha.
“So I am supposed to take Ellinsha to her new home. I don’t know how I am going to carry her anywhere. She is huge.” She shook her head.
Geoff looked at Angelia. “So you and Celendar are direct descendants of Celedand, which we knew, but you are also descendants of the Ennalkai?” He whistled.
She nodded, “But Ellinsha’s definition of Ennalkai is different than the legends we have come to know. The Ennalkai are the people of the seers. When Celedand’s people left this valley they finally found a home in the far west. They lived there until something happened. I’m not sure what. But they were forced to leave that home. Some stayed nearby in the hills, some left by sea, some went through the mountains, and some wandered through the forests. Slowly a few found their way back to our valley. It was they who founded Viecity.
“My ancestors were some of those who traveled through the mountains until they found our valley. Grandfather is Ennalkai,” she paused, “and so am I.”
“I always thought the Ennalkai were a myth,” Jord interjected. “They were supposed to be some fierce warrior people in the west.”
“That’s what I thought, but we were wrong—no, we were misled. Ennalkai means Great or Chosen Seer or Seeress. The people we call Ennalkai are descendants of Celedand who have taken a darker path. I don’t know why they call themselves Ennalkai.”
“Perhaps to show the world that they are powerful,” Geoff replied.
Sparrow’s eyes opened wide in understanding, “So that’s why you see things.”
“Yes. But Ellinsha says my gift is different. She can speak to me because of it and I can also see other’s futures when I touch them. And when I see things I live them.” A shadow crossed Angelia’s face. “That’s why I black out after a vision. Each experience is so real and my mind is learning to understand the gift.”
Geoff interrupted, “What I don’t understand, is why the Ennalkai, or I guess Celedand’s descendants left their other home?”
“I remember Grandfather reading something about that in the scrolls. I don’t remember all of the details. I know there is something more that I need to know, but I don’t think even Ellinsha knows, or at least she is not telling me.” She shook her head. “I wish I hadn’t given all the other scrolls back to Grandfather. Perhaps we will find out in time.”
The group nodded. Geoff looked around at the group. “It’s getting late. Are you two staying here tonight?”
Sparrow shrugged, “I don’t know if we should.”
Angelia nodded, “I think we had better head back. We don’t want anyone missing us and sending out a search party.”
Geoff got up, “We will help you get started back.” They walked outside. The afternoon sun had begun its journey towards the horizon.
“If you ride fast you will make it just before the gates close. Let me know if anything else happens.”
Angelia nodded. “I will.”
The girls mounted Sparrows horse and rode for the city.