Entreating the Mother-Goddess
Xenograg arrives in Nitesong in the predawn morning. He speaks with the high priest but exhaustion makes the conversation unproductive. The druid recommends that Xenograg rest, and the sorcerer does not protest very hard. His quarters within a Rouwan tree are ready and waiting when he arrives.
"Wake me at dawn," Xenograg instructs the attending page, who agrees while helping the Steward out of his armor. Xenograg reclines onto his divan and closes his eyes. He ponders which meditation to use, and suddenly remembers the prayer he learned just days before. Xenograg takes a slow, cleansing breath and begins to whisper the entreaty.
"O Mother, hear your weary child…," he begins—and falls asleep.
"Yes, mother?" is his reply. His voice is high-pitched but that seems perfectly natural.
"Come to bed, my boy. It is late."
"Coming. I am very tired."
"I know," replies Arra thu-Darelir. Her 10-year-old boy, Xenograg, climbs into his bed. She covers him with a blanket and sits on the edge of the mattress. The two just look at each other for several moments.
"I love you, mother," Xenograg says in a whisper straight from his heart.
"I love you, too. You sleep now."
"Stay with me?" is the boy’s plea. He does not understand why, but it is very important.
"Of course I will," she assures him. "I will be right here." Arra runs her fingers softly through his hair. The boy closes his eyes, sighs, and falls asleep. He sleeps deep and long.
"Xeno? Wake up." He wakes quickly and stretches. He sees the morning light coming through the window.
"Good morning, mother."
"Good morning, my boy. How do you feel?"
"I am glad. You have a big day ahead of you, you know?"
"Yes. I cannot wait, in fact!" Mother and son both smile at his renewed energy.
"Then off with you, young man," is her playfully-dismissive reply.
"General?" Xenograg starts awake and blinks at the page.
"It is dawn, My Lord." Xenograg can only blink at him again.
"Yes, you ordered me to wake you."
"Yes, I did. Thank you." The page bows his head and leaves. Xenograg rises from the divan to find himself rested as if he had slept uncounted hours. Then he remembers the prayer—and the dream. No, that was no dream. He closes his glassy eyes, his old heart filled with some sadness but more with love and gratitude.
"Thank you, Mother," he whispers, meaning both his birth mother and the mother-goddess, Arhis.
Xenograg begins dressing for long day ahead. They must find the Heir.
( Originally posted in the Rings of Honor web community forum. )