PART FOUR: DUNE
Avery had inadvertently gone on a spirit quest without meaning to due to her resolve in understanding what a Covenant with a god truly entailed by observing the history of the Druids of Lemuria.
Avery’s spirit guide, Clymene, came closer to her and Avery noticed that she was vastly different from the other Druids as she had long wings that enveloped her entire back, a few inches off the ground. Her dark hair was so long that it stretched past her feet, lying dormant on the ground.
Avery was enthralled by the spirit’s ethereal beauty and gaped at her even in the vivid dream world she had become a part of. Clymene was patient enough to allow her to come to and Avery smiled rather sheepishly at her.
“Daughter of Aurora, please take my hand as I take you on your spirit quest to answer your questions,”
“How did I get here?”
“Your resolve and thirst for knowledge conjured up this dream,”
“Are you… are you from the Ancient Tome?” Avery asked horrified at the realization.
“You should not fear the Druidic Tome, Daughter of Aurora. It serves its Masters well and seeks only to sate its users’ thirst for knowledge. You should be honored that it has chosen you, despite you not bearing any connection to the Druids it once served,” Clymene responded stretching out her hand.
“If I take your hand, there is no coming back. I… I am not so sure that is a wise decision,”
“You are here because you have already decided, Daughter of Aurora. There is no other way but pushing forward for your quest shall not end until its intended purpose is fulfilled,”
Avery blinked several times in awe but ultimately took Clymene’s hand and suddenly, she was enveloped in a strange gust of wind and unidentifiable dust surrounded her. Suddenly, she was spinning around wildly in a hurricane, observing Clymene’s entire body bathed in ethereal light, her hair suddenly as animated as the wind itself.
When things finally settled down, Avery observed a man, hidden behind a tree who was secretly observing a woman bathing in a stream. The longer she observed the man, the less human he appeared to be until it suddenly dawned on Avery that he was not human at all and neither was he any type of magical creature or member of any magical race she had ever encountered. The moment of realization allowed Avery’s eyes to be opened and she saw the man’s strong, darkly colored aura which bore a warm, brownish hue.
“Is he the god that your people made a Covenant with?” Avery asked Clymene.
“Indeed he is, Daughter of Aurora,”
Avery paid closer attention to the man as he continued staying hidden behind the tree. Suddenly, another man appeared and he walked towards the woman bathing in the stream. The man behind the tree impulsively ran towards the man and crushed into him, immediately taking possession of his body.
A sudden gust of wind then enveloped Avery again and she was transported to a vastly different scene where an angry King paced about the room throwing dirty looks at the Princess whom Avery identified as the woman bathing in the lake in the previous scene. The woman was heavily pregnant and guiltily looked away.
“How very unbecoming of a future Queen,” snidely commented the woman’s sister, entering the room with a smirk stretching from ear to ear.
“Where is the man who did this to my beloved Tempest? What are those bloody guards doing if they can’t locate that heathen?” the King furiously mused.
The Palace doors suddenly burst open and the possessed man came rushing in. He ignored all protocols and rushed to Princess Tempest immediately.
“What is the meaning of this? How can you be so rude- this- this is treason!” the indignant Second Princess Zephyr muttered.
“My love, is the news true? Is the child you bear in your womb truly mine?” the man asked her.
Princess Tempest looked away guiltily and Avery began to detect that she was also very afraid.
“What right do you have to address my daughter and the future heiress to this throne, your love? You are truly a bumbling fool and a dead man at that,” the King angrily stated.
The King nodded to the guards to kill him on the spot but something held the men back. The man possessing Tempest’s love suddenly emerged from the body he had possessed and it became abundantly clear that he was an entity whose capabilities were far beyond even the powerful Druids’ magic. The King immediately bent down in reverence.
“Your majesty, I am the god Dune. I have studied your people and know your ways. I know that you are a godless people but your souls yearn for the god-touch. Your daughter, Tempest, carries my daughter in her womb. I have come with a proposal. Accept all knowledge I possess on magic and in exchange make a Covenant with me. Make the solemn promise that you and your people shall serve me and worship me alone and I shall share everything I know, every bit of magic I possess, everything that I am, shall become yours as well,”
The King pondered the words of the god and accepted those terms. The Druids bore witness to the splendor of the Covenant and celebrated their sudden good fortune. Princess Tempest eventually gave birth to her first born daughter, Clymene.
Avery gasped on learning that Clymene was a demi-goddess and saw how the Covenant with the god Dune truly shaped the Druids’ life forever. In time, Dune and his daughters, Clymene, Censer and Cardea who became his most faithful priestesses, were worshiped faithfully by the Druids. The Druids prospered and grew in stature and knowledge of magic.
However, the Druids grew more ambitious with time, wishing to transcend all limitations of being Created; wishing to become more by becoming gods themselves. They had already learned how to conquer death by becoming immortal and by learning how to Resurrect their fallen. The world grew in fear of the powerful Druids who continued to grow in power and eventually conquered the world.
However, as they grew in power, they began to turn away from the solemn promise they made to Dune. They began to forget him and sort the means to destroy him should he prove to be a hindrance to their goal of becoming gods.
They massacred his beloved daughters and his love, Tempest, in cold blood and used the methods Dune himself had used to save them from the harm inflicted to them by his evil sister-goddess Llyr or as they would come to address her by Maelstrom, to enslave him.
Grief-stricken and rendered virtually powerless against the Druids, Dune used the last bit of strength he had within himself to curse the Druid people which resulted in all remaining Druids transforming into the Shtriga. Their deeds would soon be forgotten and the world would only come to know of the dreaded Shtriga for all time.
“You have thus come to the end of your spirit quest, Daughter of Aurora,”
Avery was still in awe even as she bid adieu to Clymene and returned to her own body to find that she was surrounded by her loved ones who looked very worried about her.
“Avery, what happened to you?” Emre asked her worriedly.
“I couldn’t help it, I’m sorry…” Avery offered up.
“Did you consult that insidious book once more, Avery?” Aurora asked her worriedly.
“Somewhat. I went on a spirit quest and learned the history of the Druids. I also saw what making a Covenant with a god truly entails,” Avery stated.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Shall the newly acquired knowledge Avery possesses prove useful to all Created creatures across her Reality or shall the dark past of the Druids dissuade her from sharing the proper way to make the Covenant? Stay tuned to find out. Links to the previous parts are listed below;