Whispering Footsteps
« on: April 24, 2021, 09:34:42 PM »
Musical Inspiration: Se'n har jag ej frågat mera
Location: Memorial Shrine
Date: Late Winter, AW 104

Soft, truly white hands delved in the soil around her, which eased most worries. It was a coincidence that her high collared light blue dress was both plain and pretty. Something made to withstand dirt and working in the garden and be curled on the floor in a corner reading. A smile bloomed as she thought of how her mother did not like it and fell as she thought of how her father had encouraged her reading, climbing trees, and more to become as close to nature as she could. While Aendaciana's father's death had been over a decade in passing, but it still did not feel like time had truly passed. Yes, she'd seen her watch-face dials moving in a precise and rhythmic manner and marked the calendar shifting with days, weeks, months and finally, years. Prince Kjerten Mikhail's death outside of Raej had remained a mystery, and that too did not feel as though time had truly eased the sharpened, knife-like pain.

The small personal shrine outside in her garden where she knelt current was subtle and modest by any standard. A small series of polished granite stones lay in the shape of a spiral. The Priestess Queen had slowly planted lilies, roses, and cloudberries around and among the spiral of heart-shaped stones. The flowers had begun from seedlings her mother found of her worst performing plants and gave Aendaciana the task of rejuvenating them. The goal was to see if she could keep the plants from dying. Initially, the suggestion angered her, but then after weeks, and then months, she found herself singing to the fragile plants.

Being a Priestess helped immensely more with accepting death than she ever thought it would have, but her father would not have lived for much longer. When not blended with some other type of Blood or Landen, the Dea al Mon were longer-lived than a few but not so long-lived as even the Nissi were. Eventually, they would have had to watch him age and die. It was perhaps the only hard truth that eased some minor percentage of bitterness. As a Queen, she had only been relieved that neither her father nor Prince Mikhail had been bonded males, as uncharitable as her mother found such a statement.

As a Healer, her mother never understood in depth what it meant to be a Queen, even though she constantly tried. Aendaciana's fingers split the soil, while the scent and presence of earth were more home than any building had been. This plot of earth had been suffering from minor soil erosion before she'd settled her attention upon it. It was the perfect activity to occupy her hands while drilling Protocol. Aendaciana Rilindisil-Tobiassen had not yet ruled any Court, village, or city. So that she was not quite a century old allowed her a certain amount of freedom to revel in the feeling of belonging to the land without the stress of tending to every person living in that specific region.

"Rilindisil," she murmured. That had been her father's surname, though commonly, most people assumed it was some oddity from her mother's family. She lifted a hand, cleansing it of the soil before gently brushing her fingers over both of her sharply pointed ear tips. These were often kept hidden by carefully arranged curls or braided hair.  She carefully covered them again in such a manner that the style draped rather than pulled at her ears. He had told her as much as he could about being from this other place, and fascinatingly, being Nissi as well did not seem as though she had to choose. The fruit of the cloudberry flowers, the rose petals, and the lily pieces once they ripened, Aendaciana made into candied jellies or just candies. But that wouldn't happen until later during the spring or even the summer. She gently touched a folded and tightly closed bud of a rose. Some portions she mashed up and made richer soil blends from her own Queen's blood, flower pieces that had died, and varied compost.

It eased the weight upon the Priestess Queen emotionally, even if she couldn't help but wonder if there was ever truly a way to rid herself of the grief. How many years were enough? A likely similar question asked by people who had been alive during Witch's reign asked themselves for their lost family. Witch had not been as the stories and teachings said she was supposed to be. Easing back to the white ash bench behind her, Aendaciana rose to her feet. She had spent enough time here for the day. Gently, she cleaned away the flecks of dirt with Craft, easing them back to where they belonged rather than on her hands and dress.

Turning toward the house, she saw a few people heading in the direction of her mother's office. The distaff thread was strong and confident. Unmistakably Mother.

*"Daciana? You're needed!"* A thin smile curled her pale pink, full lips. Where there had been grief and uncertainty was a touch of delight. Even with patients that were hurting, she loved to help. With a little more Craft, she hunted for every speck of dirt, even the imaginary ones.