|A Mother's Call
Author: M.A. Silverwolf PM
Donatello Phoena believes himself above reproach. After his recent death at the hands of the dwarven warrior Korin Holderhek, the Great Mother's actions doesn't seem to make any sense.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Fantasy - Words: 1,885 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 11-15-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3074547
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Author's Note: This is a transitional piece for the game I run every Sunday. Doshi Rhojel is the founding head of the Order of Ozain, a religious order dedicated to the god Ozain. Donatello Pheona is the second-in-command as he is the head of the Mitaji House of the Order of Ozain.
This story takes place after the end of Shades of Light, in which it is discovered that Father Donatello has been dismantling Jarolyns (constructed lifeforms that were made over five hundred years ago in order to combat the forces of the Darkness) in an attempt to discover how to reconstruct them. The confrontation between Father Donatello, his odious pupil Sebastian, and the party resulted in the deaths of Donatello and Sebastian as well as the party fleeing Mitaji for the dubious safe haven of nearby Ogouri.
A Mother's Call
"Why am I talking to you?"
Doshi's tone was colder than Donatello could ever remember in his long years of service under her. Her reflected face in the stilled fountain appeared as ancient as her legend stated. Even so, her wheat-colored hair was still smoothly pulled into a coif at the back of her head. Her smooth skin was unmarred except for the dark circles lying under her greenish-topaz eyes which told the tale of the late hour. Lithia had to be a good two hours ahead of Mitaji, putting the oldest Order House's time as close to the last watch hour, meaning that both Parents were quickly approaching a full day awake.
True, Donatello had spent a quarter of that as a corpse in his office, but the raising process, especially from a destroyed body, was very taxing. He's been constantly on the move since he opened his eyes. The dwarf had clearly decided to tamper with the wards of the House before his departure. As a result, the only accessible portions currently were the dormitories and the dining hall. Master Su Ling and those few that were training in smithing under him were still sealed in the forge. Why, Donatello had not even had time to resurrect poor Sebastian! He was in no state of mine to play word games.
"I'm afraid that I do not understand the question, Doshi. It was you who called me."
"Are you aware that every House has a ward that alerts me when its Parent dies?"
At that moment it became clear as to why Doshi had called. She had clearly been alerted by this ward when the dwarf had slaughtered him. The only thing that remained uncertain was why Doshi was so angry without knowing the story. Perhaps it was the potential danger to the Rimon girls. Alexander Rimon and Doshi were close. Their betrayal along with the dwarf's would hit the Mother hard, and at such a time.
"It is true," Donatello admitted. "I accepted a guest into the House, only for said guest to slay me and make off with an important artifact. He tampered with the wards before making his escape. I have people trapped in pockets around the fortress."
"He tampered with the wards? You had a dwarven guest?"
"Yes, my Sister. Korin something-or-another- -"
"It wouldn't have happened to have been Holderhek, would it?"
The words sounded almost like an accusation. Donatello's brow furrowed as he tried to remember. Korin had been particularly evasive when it came to his background. Perhaps that should have been Donatello's first hint that something wasn't right. Dwarves were normally forthright. His mistake was assuming. Perhaps Sebastian was correct and his trust of people had blinded him.
"It might have been," Donatello admitted. "Sebastian- -"
"I don't wish to hear his words," Doshi snapped. "Tell me, Brother, have your problems with the keep been focused upon your presence?"
"I fail to see what that has to do with- -"
"You were Named, Donatello," Doshi interrupted with a hard puff that might have been a self-suffering sigh had it not been so forceful. Her lips pursed as if she had the taste of bitter lemon in her mouth. Her normally hazel eyes had begun to take on a hint of blue in her anger, turning it slowly to a solid teal. "I'll have to send Idonea to hold Mitaji in your place-"
"What in the name of the Father of Secrets are you talking about?" Donatello demanded. "I am perfectly capable of holding this keep-"
"Not anymore," Doshi interrupted yet again. "You were Named-an enemy of the dwarven people, if I do not miss the mark entirely, and by no less than the Folcvar himself! Even an appeal to the Adric would do little to save your life should this be found out."
"Dwarven rituals hold no power over the wards-"
"It is better to be silent and be thought a fool, Master Pheona," Doshi warned, "than to speak and remove all doubt. When the Viroa build something, they put their own wards upon it, to insure that the interests of the dwarven people are held. Mitaji is no different despite being a gift to the Order. It is a masterpiece of dwarven craftsmanship, as I had requested."
The change in title was not missed, nor was the emphasis placed upon who had requested the Mitaji Order House be built. It was an unsubtle reminder of what Doshi was within the Order. She was the Great Mother, the First Parent. It was she who founded the Order after serving Ozain for many years. Before her Calling, the clergy of Ozain were scattered and did not share their secrets with each other. Their numbers were few and their impact small. Now the Order was a uniting force among the surface races of Austra, and His clergy were held in the utmost esteem by most cultures. He had been among the Order's leaders, Parent of the second oldest House. Now was not the time to be making such a great change. Surely Doshi could see that!
"Great Mother, this cannot be," he protested, internally praying that he misunderstood her words. "I have served the Order faithfully for more than fifty years-twenty-five of those as Father of a House. Surely a mere dwarven fighter throwing a temper tantrum would not shadow such an impeccable service record!"
"Have you learned nothing about your neighbors in the ten years that you have held Mitaji?" The question was quiet for all that the words were flung with clear temper. Her eyes were no longer teal. Instead they were a steady capri, the glow of which even the magic of the pool could not diminish. "Korin Holderhek is no mere dwarf. He is Folcvar, one of the few individuals capable of regicide while maintaining honor! He has Named you a svikiavir, an act that holds no small impact and would not have been done lightly. If I allow you to continue to hold Mitaji, it would be the same as declaring all treaties with the Viroa null and void. The work of over a century would be washed away like so much detritus in a flood, and at a time when Austra cannot afford any divisions among her peoples. Do you understand?"
"I can still-"
"No, you can't," Doshi injected, her irritation plain. "You can do nothing. I will have Idonea ready her people, and at noon, you will have Master Su hold the portal for you to return to Lithia and for Idonea's group to take your place. Do you understand?"
"Su Ling is currently sealed in the forge," Donatello replied. His face was flushed between his humiliation and anger. "I need more time to prepare things. I have projects that need to be settled and I have yet to raise my child from where the miscreants cruelly murdered him. It would easier to move him if he were capable of packing his own things."
"I fear you misunderstand me, Donatello. Your child will not be coming with you. He will stay at the Mitaji House until next spring to give Idonea enough time to assess whether he should take his Journey or have his rank removed. Sebastian has been coddled for far too long due to your sentimentality over his mother. It is time that he either takes his place properly, or be freed to find his own path. Is Aine Eilish available? She's strong enough to hold the portal for the necessary length of time."
"Master Aine is currently available, but I still do not understand why the change is necessary and must be so quickly. The murdering thieves fled, and surely would think twice before showing their faces among civilized people. I would welcome Idonea's help in sorting out whatever it was that the dwarf did to the wards, but I fail to see why she must take control."
"I will repeat this only once more, Donatello Pheona," Doshi said coldly. The blue glow of her eyes had paled to an icy blue. This glow also was being shed from her hair like a halo of power. It suddenly occurred to Donatello that Doshi Rhojel was Ozain's Chosen amongst the Blessed, and she had been since before his several times great grandfather was even thought of, let alone born. She had earned her title as the Great Mother, far more thoroughly than he had earned his title as Father. "This is bigger than you and your precious pride. If I leave you there, Mitaji will fall. If not to the demons and goblins that have kept you House-bound this past season, then to the dwarves when they come to reclaim the keep from a betrayer of their people, as per the treaty. I will not sour nearly a century and a half of negotiations to assuage your ego!
"You have been treading a fine line, Donatello. To have earned your new rank among the Viroa, your crime would have had to have been particularly vile." She held up a fine-boned hand to shush him when he made to protest her assertion that he had performed a crime. Her nose wrinkled as if she smelled something foul. "I do not know what you have done. I will hear the whole story after your arrival in Lithia. I will see you at noon. I suggest that you rest, for tomorrow will be a busy day. Walk with Ozain."
Without his saying a word, the connection broke. He winced a bit at the magical backlash of such a sudden break. The fountain began flowing again, causing the water to dance and splash. Donatello could only scowl in discontent. Angry, he spun on his heel and stalked towards his office.
Rest, she told him. Donatello had so short a time to settle his affairs and clean up his projects. It would be a pity to lose his place in his research just because of Doshi's rashness. He couldn't take the dissected artifacts with him, as they belonged in the Vault, but he shouldn't leave them sitting loose and spread out across his work desk. And he still had a son to resurrect.
Next in the series: Head to Head