Signs and portents
Seenaë's Dream with Siem
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During the conversation with Siem, as everyone is around you and speaking of their desire to see the kuzdun put to rest rather than destroyed, Siem steps out of himself and draws you away from the group. Glancing over your shoulder, you see that Siem is still talking to the group, and you are still standing there; arguing your point.
“Your heart is full of questions. But, no doubt, there is a smaller scale that has you perplexed. You are not yet who you should be. But growth is not something charted on any scale like a line in the sand. And you are still young. But tell me of your heart and maybe, just maybe I can lighten your burden.” Siem stops and gestures out into the trees. “What do you see?”
Uncertain what the god wants, Seenaë turns to look towards the trees. At first she sees nothing, but then she begins to make out a figure.
“I see…. someone in armour. I think it’s a woman, she has no helm and her hair is long. It’s red, like mine. She….. looks a bit like me. But it’s not me.” Realization begins to dawn, and she looks back to Siem, hope and fear warring in her eyes. “Is that….. my mother?”
Siem smiles. The trees seem to shimmer with additional light from the stars above. The figure steps back slightly into the shadows. “You only see in a dream what you bring with you. Echos of our past are in our future. And your future is as clear only as what you can see before you.”
He turns, and looks for the first time into the trees. “She had such plans for you.” he says with a sigh. “Do you think she’d be proud of you?”
Seenaë looks back towards the trees, yearning in her voice. “I don’t know. I hope so. I know so little about her….. Papa never talks about her, he never really answered my questions about her. And Korol was too young, he says he has no memories of her either.” She turns back to Siem. “Why would Papa never talk to me about her? If he loved her so much, wouldn’t he want to share her with me?”
The god sighs and nods. "Pain is never easy to remember. And trauma should only be lived through once. Your mother’s passing was a … turbulent time that left scars on your fathers memory all but obliterating the good times that came before.
“You are a child born to a troubled sky. The storm that followed, that uprooted your father and swept him and his little family away, still roils on the horizon. Perhaps he fears the storm will break, or perhaps he believes by trying to hide from the past the storm will never break and you will never know such heart-ache as he’s felt. Perhaps both or neither. Dreams can never be as certain as the answers you wish to find.
“You speak as a child when you see your father as selfish. It is a child’s love you hold for your mother. But you are no longer a child. Suffer not the hurt of a child’s displeasure. Instead, see what you have before you and know you are loved.
“Your birth was foretold, as too was your path in life. I do not hold to such things, but to your mother — this was important. So much so that it shaped the last days of her life. Your father never believed in such things and perhaps he seeks to shield you from the prophets that claim to know your future and seek to profit from it.”
Seenaë blushes slightly at his gentle rebuke. “I… can see that now. I was always angry that Papa…. that my father wouldn’t talk about my mother. Perhaps I should have wondered why he wouldn’t talk, instead of being angry at him. I never considered his pain at her death…… And I do know he loves me, even though he’s angry with me now, I know in my hear that he still loves me.” She looks up at Siem. “And I do cherish what I was given. I’m lucky he was never lost to me, I grew up with his love and that of my brother. It’s a gift many do not get.”
Seenaë looks back towards the trees, seeking the image she saw. “But I do wish I knew more about her. What she thought, what she wanted for me……” She stops, contemplating Siem’s last words. “You spoke of a foretelling of my birth, and of my life’s path. What could have been so important that is consumed my mother’s last moments? Was she shown the same thing I saw at my name day ceremony?”
Siem smiles. “No two people ever see the same thing.”
He waits a heartbeat before continuing. "If it is the prophecy you wish to learn, that is easy. Would that set your heart at rest? Would it grant your peace? Or would it lead only to more questions?
“You are a capable young woman with much before you. Currently, your life is your own. Prophecy will change that. "
“And calling your father Papa is not childish. It is touching. " With this he turns to look at you. “Let nothing I say here change you. I am just a guide in this dream. Not a source of wisdom or knowledge.”
Seenaë ponders his question. “Whereas I would like to learn of a prophecy concerning my fate…. I do not believe I am ready for such yet. If I am meant to learn it, if I am meant to LIVE it…… it will be revealed when I am ready for it. Whether I know that or not. The thought of others wanting to control my fate scares me, but right now the idea of a pre-ordained destiny over which I have no control scares me more. In the future, yes, I would like to know what she was shown. But not now.”
She looks up at Siem again. "Is there anything you can tell me about her that does not touch on this prophecy? I know Papa won’t talk about her, but I would still like to know…….
“Not all prophecy is pre-ordained. Sometimes a prophecy is just a hope for the future. Perhaps I am biased, and your goddess may disagree, but truly what good is free choice if prophecy is always accurate. " Siem shrugs with these words, then his face relaxes slightly as he thinks.
“Your mother … I did not know her personally; but I know she was a politically motivated person. She rose to a respectable rank in Kaldor in her church; and that can only be done by one not just good at a craft and a way, but also good with people and better still with politics.
“She was important and made waves on the future. But I also know she loved horses. Not just in the way that a knight respects his mount; but no, she truly enjoyed their company and that it was through horses that she met your father. She spent as much time as she could in the company of horses. Riding them, caring for them, even praying for them. She was an expert equestrian in every way.”
“The horses still speak well of her.”
Seenaë looks up at Siem, eyes shining with gratitude. “Thank you. I never knew of her love for horses. As I said, Papa never spoke of her. It’s nice to know that I have a small connection with her in that way.”
She grows pensive, thinking on the god’s other words. “I also had no idea she was so important. I knew she was a knight, but that is all. If she was so important, why did they leave? Did her marriage to my father cause such an upheaval that they had to go seek shelter elsewhere? And even so, wouldn’t they have been welcomed somewhere else, somewhere she could have gotten medical care?”
“Ah, but you said you didn’t want to know the prophecy of your birth and your life.”
He smiles fondly at you. “And she died far from horses.” he adds softly.
Seenaë smiles back. “No, you’re right. I don’t feel I’m ready to know. Which in some strange, convoluted way probably means I actually AM ready to know, but we’ll stick with no.” She looks off to the forest again. “That idea saddens me more than anything else, that she died far from something she loved. She didn’t die alone, at least, and was surrounded by people she loved and who loved her. That, at least, is a comforting thought.”
Seenaë looks back up at Siem. “I want to know more, but I’m afraid anything else I ask will touch on this prophecy. I suppose some day I’ll have to travel to Kaldor, and seek out people who knew her to learn more.”
Siem smiles. “It makes me so very glad to see you are learning the potency of dreams!”
He glances back at the woman at the edge of the wood, who is slowly stepping back into the shadow. “Prophecy has a foul tendency to find those that need to hear it.”
Seenaë watches as the image of her mother steps back out of view. “Then I will hear it when I am meant to. Or I will not, and remain ignorant of it. I don’t know which will make me happier…….”
She looks back at the god. “I have another question, if I may. When you first spoke to us, you addressed each of my companions by their name and title. But not me. You called me ‘sister.’ Why?”
“At last the heart asks its question.”
He grins widely and spreads his arms.
“I may borrow a page from a brother of mine in the heavens when I leave you with this riddle.
What, think you, connects me to you?
Answer that and you’ll have your answer."
“What connects you to me?” Seenaë ponders this question. “What could possibly connect us…..?” She looks up, hoping for a hint, and sees that she’s alone, Siem is wholly back with the others. “Nothing is ever easy, is it?” she mumbles to herself, and then finds that she is back among her companions, and hears Siem offering them all nods and pats on their back.
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