Mythal's Sorrow Part Two

The passage through the eluvian brought only a moment’s discomfort.  It hadn’t been pain, precisely, more a dislocation centered on his navel, one that slewed his viscera a hand’s span widdershins and his heart a finger’s breadth to the right.  The twist drove the breath from his body so that he gasped indecorously as he emerged from the blue glare into a diffuse gleam.

Had he been able, he’d have caught and held his breath the moment his eyes adjusted.  On the graveled path before him stood the goddess herself, her flowing gown coated in gem dust so that it glittered and flashed even in the muted light.  It had covered one arm and left the other bare, covered in a filigree of gold chased with bright silver.

The waist had been caught with a wide belt of pale leather on which her symbols had been worked in the same threads that sparkled from his own new cloak.  Her hair had been braided and coiled to lie over the exposed shoulder in tangled profusion while the sides had been tied and lacquered into impressive horns that swept back just shy of meeting well behind and above her head.

Mythal's Sorrow Part One

Abelas could not recall a time he’d been so afraid.

When he’d strode from the temple that had been the heart of his life in every way he’d had a destination in mind.  Once he’d known the way; he had walked the path a thousand times.  Once Mythal had been alive and her sentinels patrolled a wide swath of the wilderness that protected her home.

Abelas, his name never more appropriate in the anguish of failing in his final and most sacred duty, got no farther than what had been a road before his last, lingering bit of purpose failed him.  What had stretched across miles, shining white stones fitted with precision and arching over the gorge of a rushing river, now lay in rubble and broken spans.

The river had dwindled to shallow, still pools flanking a sluggish stream.  Once-familiar trees, stretching graceful limbs to shade the road, had gone.  A jungle had replaced them, choked with undergrowth and trailing vines that had strangled the trees into tortured shapes.  Yet this was no young forest.  Abelas could see fallen trees with trunks twice his height, their roots long since crumbled from the banks the meandering course of the river had undercut.