Slip of the Tongue
The soft patter of rain outside seemed odd to the wood elf; soothing and disquieting both at once. Rain would always be a balm to her, but until she'd come to Onaris she hadn't realized how much of its calming power came from the god it embodied. Karana did not dance among these clouds, and her soul felt the loss.
Still, that comfortable disquiet had its own familiarity, bringing with it hints of dreams or memories, she didn't know which. Sometimes, when she was very still and very relaxed, she could hear Kevek singing, too soft for her to understand. There were other voices, too, and other songs, unfamiliar but with the sense that she *should* know them. It felt sometimes like they came from deeper than her memories, something inscribed into her very being.
"What song is that?"
Aylrin's eyes flew open; she hadn't realized anyone else had come in, or that she'd been humming aloud. "Hello, Alecto," she greeted the other woman. "I don't know what it is, actually. Just something in the dregs of my brain."
Yet another of the familiar, disquietting things about this world. The only time she'd met Alecto on Norrath, it'd been as a Teir'dal priestess, and Aylrin had found her more than a little unnerving. The only similarity to her form there and her form on Onaris was the elven appearance. The white hair was pale gold, eyes blue, and every time Aylrin saw her she was wearing a pale gold cape and matching, furred gloves with small sharp claws at the ends.
Now Alecto grinned, settling in an armchair. This was one of the strange things about Onaris; finding out that Megera was actually more formal, and potentially more intimidating, than Alecto. "Sounds familiar, vaguely. Do you know what it's about?"
"Mmm..." An answering smile tugged at Aylrin's lips, and her eyes drifted half-closed as she thought about it. "Something about sunsets, and full moons, and the changing of the seasons..."
Distracted, the wood elf didn't notice as Alecto's smile faded, becoming a concerned frown. "Sing it for me? As much as you know."
Aylrin obliged as best she could, stumbling over most of the haunting melody, throwing in snatches of words as she could. When Alecto made no comment, she started again. As she would have started a third time, the other woman's voice cut across hers, clear and confident.
"The Power is strengthened
at the Full and New Moons,
Sunrise and Sunset,
Midnight and Noon,
Summer and Winter,
Springtime and Fall,
But where Blood is spilled
is the strongest of all"(1)
Shivering, Aylrin watched Alecto with a sort of dread fascination. There was no doubt in her mind Alecto was singing the tune buried so deep in her mind. And for the first time Aylrin understood why she could never seem to vocalize the lyrics properly.
The song was in Dark Speech.
Belatedly, she realized Alecto had stopped singing, and was now watching her with a steady gaze. "Where-" She swallowed, trying to clear the lump in her throat, and tried again, "Where did you learn that?"
"It's a spellcaster's primer," came the soft reply. "Particularly popular with Teir'dal necromancers, but most dark wizards learn it, or some version of it." The blue eyes narrowed, pinning Aylrin in place. "I think the better question would be, where did *you* learn that?"
Aylrin had no answer.
(The poem is a quote from "A Matter Of Honor" by Thomas K. Martin.)