The old priest turned to look at the young fur-clad warrior who stood before him, her face showing some sort of internal conflict quite plainly. He nodded and ushered her into his private study just off the shrine. “How can I help you?”
She paused for a long moment before speaking, taking time to get her thoughts in order, “You saw the duel earlier?” The priest nodded, “Then I then ye may ken why I am here.”
“You do not wish to marry him?”
Sorcha sighed and shook her head, “How can I? Ye saw that! He cuid barely hold a sword! How can I let a man like that touch me? Even fer the sake of my family I dinnae see how I can do this.”
“And of course such a choice has consequences.”
She nods and looks frustrated, “Aye. Ye ken they’ll tak the ship fer a start. My faither will be angry, my reputation will be damaged. Fer all I have made nae oath tae marry him, it’s still going tae look bad. There’s nae way oot o’ this that disnae leave a foul taste in my mouth.”
He looked at her long and hard before speaking again, “And what if I could give you an alternative? You could take the Oath, Siobhan’s daughter, that would give you time.”
That startled her to her feet and she started to pace the room, “The Oath? No one has taken that other than fer punishment fer generations. Fer the sake o’ a ship?” She shakes her head, “That wid be mighty selfish o’ me, my faither wid never forgive it.”
“For more reason that that, though I will need your word not to speak of this to anyone from the Clan ships before I will tell you.”
Sorcha looked at him in surprise, “O’ course, I trust ye. My word is given.”
The old man smiled sadly then, “Our people are dying. In the last few years we have lost five ships. There are less folk now than there were then and I fear that this will only continue. The situation out here is bad, the Fomori increase their attacks and how long do you think we will hold up if someone decides to take us out? We are few and unsupported, unless something changes then in a few generations no one will remember us at all.”
That knocked Sorcha and she stared at him in shock, “Are ye serious? Are the chiefs no daing something aboot it?”
“I am sure they have their reasons and their plans, but I do not think we can wait and see on this. If you take the Oath you can help your people, find Alba, or find help. You have always had a restless spirit after all. Time will forgive all wounds and what you can do for your people is more important than anything else.”
A few minutes passed while she thought before she turned back and nodded grimly, “Aye, I’ll dae it.”
He nodded and smiled at her, “Kneel then and give me your knife.”
She knelt and handed him the knife from her belt, he offered her a cup and she sliced her palm, the blood trickling down into the goblet. She repeated the old words, swearing her life to find Alba for the next five year, not to return to the ships until then unless she had completed her quest.
The old priest dabbed the blood on her forehead, drawing a rising sun with it. He then walked her through the corridors of the ship towards where the Queen of Argyll was docked, ringing a bell as they processed.
It didn’t take long before a crowd gathered. She passed her father on the walk, a scowl on his face and it took all her strength not to break that gaze and look away in shame. He would believe her motives entirely selfish, would think she did this just to escape the marriage that would otherwise await her.
When they reached the ship the crowd melted away, from here she would go on alone, well… other than the crew at least.
She paused for a moment, turning to look back at the priest and the ship she had been a part of since her birth.
“Hey! Wait up! Ye better not be leaving wi oot us!” A voice yelled down the corridor. Shortly after Duncan and the rest of her unit showed up with all of their gear.
“Ye dinnae have tae come wi me fer this ye know.” Sorcha said, though she grinned back at her second-in-command.
“If ye think ye get tae go off and hae fun wi oot us ye are much mistaken! So dinnae even think aboot it Captain.”
“Well I cannae really say no tae that, can I? Get yersels on board then you scunners.
Sorcha smiled as her warriors as they headed onto the ship. Whatever was future held she was glad that they would be with her, even if she could never tell them why she was really doing this.
- Sorcha of the Clan Ships
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- Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:01 pm
- Location: London, UK
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