[Continuing the theme of my Epic Fantasy, ‘The Daighacaer’ (“Day-gar-care”); Extract from Book I, Escape from Mount Vilipend]
[Pronunciations: Queene (Queen); Tirǽche (Tir esh); Sháine (Shah een); Hǽlar (Hay laar); Sidhe Nnat’Llõugh (Sid Nat Low); Je Jarc (Jay arc); Ilin (Ill in]
[A ‘Sidhe’ is the inner sanctum of a castle in which the Royals and Nobles live and ‘Nnat’Llõugh’ is the name of the Realm]
Have you ever experienced a sight, sound, smell or taste which triggers either a memory or an emotion – either good or bad? For me, when I think of ‘Pretty Flamingo’ (yes, I’m that old) happy memories of my home in Durban North, Natal, South Africa, flood through me. Although my parents moved around a lot, our home in Durban North was my castle during my teen years.
So, here we are, after our slight backward detour, back in sequence again, with such a trigger...
A man standing near to their table walked over and spoke directly to Tirǽche. “I apologise for my interruption. I couldn’t help but overhear your name from your conversation. You are Tirǽche of Sidhe Nnat’Llõugh?” he asked.
Tirǽche looked at Je Jarc in surprise and then turned to the man. “Yes I am. May I know who you are?”
“I am Ilin, Highness. My apologies for intruding, but when I saw you walking here, I thought you looked familiar.”
“How do I look familiar to you, Ilin and should I know you?”
“I apologise for being so forward, Queene Tirǽche. You don’t know me but when I was a child I had the honour of travelling to Sidhe Nnat’Llõugh and was privileged to see you when you and King Hǽlar were addressing your people. It was a moment which has remained etched in my mind since.”
At the mention of her late husband, Tirǽche winced and paled. Her pain at his death at the hands of Caliginor’s minions was something which she thought she had successfully blocked from her memory. Caliginor’s grolls had gleefully pulled him limb from limb as he tried to protect his wife and baby daughter. Her name was gasped with his last breath.
“I’ve brought you pain, Highness” said Ilin. “I didn’t mean to do that.”
Tirǽche didn’t respond. She couldn’t. Je Jarc quietly asked Ilin to join them and ordered a long cool drink for all of them.
Ilin’s mention of Hǽlar did something extraordinary. As he spoke her husband’s name, the block which Tirǽche had built around her access to The Knowledge of Ages started slowly dissipating and then, in a rush, it was completely swept away.
Everything that every Yldryf had ever experienced flooded through her like an avalanche. Tirǽche caught her breath at the intensity of the torrent of information and emotion which engulfed her. She closed her eyes at the force of her feelings but, for the first time since Hǽlar’s death, she felt herself not only accept, but celebrate her birthright once more, and she again opened her heart and mind as she delved into and embraced The Knowledge of Ages.
When her drink arrived, Tirǽche automatically drank it without even noticing what it was she drank. She vaguely heard Je Jarc and Ilin talking but paid no attention to anything that was said.
She only refocused when Ilin asked “Mount Vilipend?” and she saw Je Jarc nod. From his nod, Tirǽche gathered that Ilin realised that she was present with them again.
Ilin looked at her with true compassion and said “Queen Tirǽche, I am so very sorry. Je Jarc has told me what happened to you.”
Tirǽche looked at Ilin bemusedly. “Thank you. I no longer use my title though, I am simply Tirǽche now.”
“Forgive me, Highness, but I will never be able to think of you as “simply Tirǽche”.
Tirǽche chuckled. “I truly am no longer Queen of anywhere Ilin, so in reality I am simply Tirǽche now.”
“Very well, Tirǽche but once again I must apologise, I deeply regret bringing you pain.”
“Are you also a Watcher, Ilin?”
“Yes I am, Tirǽche. It was in that capacity that I spent time in Sidhe Nnat’Llõugh. I didn’t for a moment think that I would have the privilege of actually meeting you, even though our meeting has brought you pain.” Ilin looked at Tirǽche with sadness in his eyes.
“The hurt was probably necessary, if I understand a little of how things are operating here. On’Dísera knew me and instructed me to go deep within The Knowledge of Ages. I don’t think I’d have managed to do so if not for you. I think you were meant to recognise me and to speak of Hǽlar, Ilin.”
“Thank you, Quee… Tirǽche. I understand what you’re saying and that may be a possibility, although I still am saddened by your pain.”
“Don’t be sad. I’ve found that The Lighte works in ways which I will never understand and even stranger ways in this unusual place. Hǽlar and I loved each other so very much and yes, to remember the manner of his death brings more pain than you will know. When he died I put a barrier between myself and The Knowledge of Ages so that I wouldn’t have to experience that pain ever again.” Unbidden tears sprang into her eyes and hung there like crystal droplets.
For this post and to end off, here’s the poem I’ve chosen for Tirǽche and Hǽlar.
What is Love in truth?
The feeling develop?
What is within us
The merest thought
Or memory of You
All my senses
What was it?
What is it?
That makes me care
For You so deeply?
The only rational
Can be that
Love is truth