Watching Esme, Oridin and the visitor – a golem of Astaroth approach the dead tree throne, Lavinia adjusted her posture so she was sitting more regally upon her knotted wood seat. Another raven happened to swoop down from the skies and landed just on the edge of the throne, bowing graciously with its wings spreading before the Supreme Elder. A note was tied to its leg, and while she could hear the one known as Astaroth give thanks for allowing this meeting and also the revelation about Gluttony, Lavinia untied the note and read the contents that were written in a familiar script. The Queen of witches could not hold back the laughter that bubbled up from the very pit of her stomach.
How odd. There were now two witches that held thrones of the seven kingdoms. Katrina had somehow managed to get the crown from the Princess Sayaka. It was completely unexpected, but there was a silver lining to this latest development. Folding the note, she tucked it into her dress, before returning her attention with a much more somber expression, when Astaroth had mentioned that he had no idea that Gluttony was after him, nor why.
“Now I’ll be able to prepare properly knowing who to expect.”
This statement brought a surprised look from Lavinia. Preparing for the onslaught of a demon Prince like Gluttony was going to be no easy feat, especially with the current upsets that were being caused by the time piece. Astaroth had not been present when the Lord Gluttony had, and missed the change in the Queen of witches herself, from the disruption in magic and time.
“You might have trouble expecting the unexpected.” By this, Lavinia meant that nothing was set in stone. “You see, there has been a shift in powers to many creatures both magical and not. This is more than some simple quest for power. For you see, there is a power that Gluttony cannot control – though he may fail to understand what that is.”
Rising up from her throne, she slowly walked down each step till she was on level ground and was standing before the gathering.
“You suspect I know why you are here.” Lavinia paused and then nodded to both ravens to take flight, before returning her attention to Astaroth. “A deal was done with a Prince who now wears a specific piece known as the right hand of doom.” The Dark one had explained to Lav earlier about what the consequence of this was, and that in order for Gluttony to keep the hand, he must bring a trophy that was worthy.
“The pain you suffer from. The stomach pains, the headaches. Your bodies way of letting you know that you are in danger. A sense that…serves you well.” It had, since the quest for answers to his ailment had brought him to the Witches circle, rather than going to a simple medicine professional.
“The heart that beats so strongly within you, is one of great power. The one that holds that heart in his hand….gets control of not just the heart’s owner…..but everything and more. A proud heart is akin to the heart of the Great Lion.:” If Astaroth was paying attention and closely, he might realize the severity of danger that he was in.
“You have one good thing on your side, aside from those that are honored to serve you till death. There is a time limit on acquiring the heart as the trade. You have six days remaining. I suggest, you return to your kingdom, but….before you do I shall give you a gift.”
This was when she looked to Oridin. The young apprentice mage that had been keeping close to Esme during this meeting, but eager to learn more about the path he was to take.
Lavinia went to a tree that had a large hollow in it and reached inside. She took out three black candles. Each one bore a special marking that was emblazoned as though by fire. She cut her finger and then with her own blood, she let it seep into each candle’s markings infusing them with a certain type of magic. Lavinia called over Oridin to her side as she went to hand him the candles.
“Take these, along with this.” Lavinia took a ring off her own finger, that contained a special stone that was jagged in shape. The black stone was small enough that it was easily carried on one’s person and remain undetected by others.
“Light the three candles at midnight, on the night of a full moon and place them in a triangle formation. The jewel ring should be placed in their center.” Handing the mage the ring, she added;
“Once all the candles and the stone are in place, speak the following words aloud:
Stone of the earth,
Guard my heart with your strength,
Protect it from evil and harm,
That no danger may pass,
No threat draw near.
Smiling at Oridin, she concluded what must be done after the chant. “Extinguish the candles and break them. Then get the Prince of Pride to wear or carry the stone any time he felt the need for added strength and security against an intrusion on his heart.”
The spell explained, Lavinia returned her attention to Astaroth.
“Take Oridin with you on your return and the gift will be put into play. It is the best I can offer you, and the boy will learn much on his travels. At the end of the sixth day, when the time piece has run out, he shall return to our circle and be raised to that of an Elder for his dedication to the craft.”
It would be a win win…surely. She waited with a smile for Astaroth and Oridin to speak.