Friday, April 4, 2014

Abbey, Orb's Year 941-944

Orb's Year 941
Fatima Farmer couldn't get over how quiet the Abbey was now without her mother or her rambunctious brothers.
 and lonely...

Maybe Irving was right. Maybe she'd wind up just like her mother - bitter and alone.

Just thinking about Irving made her angry, though.  She couldn't believe he'd lied to her - telling her that Henry hated her for turning down his promise ring.

Although, maybe that wasn't a lie...

Maybe Henry did hate her...

 She supposed there was only one way to find out....


Fatima soaked in the sight of Henry.  It had been ages since she'd seen him last.  He hadn't changed a bit - still endearing and sweet.

"Thank you for coming, Henry," she said softly, catching his attention.

Henry whirled around, nervously rubbing his hands together.  "Fatima!"   For a moment he seemed as eager to drink in the sight of her as she had been, but then slowly his eyes shuttered.  "Of course I came. Your letter said you needed to speak with me."
Fatima wrung her hands together as she stepped in front of her childhood love.  "I... well... this is actually really difficult..." she hedged.  "Your brother..."
"Cursed Orb, Fatima! I don't want to hear about you and my brother!" Henry said in a strangled voice.  Henry tortured himself since receiving the letter from her, wondering what she had to say to him.  His deepest fear was that she was about to tell him that she'd accepted a betrothal from his brother!  He wasn't sure he could stand it...
Seeing Henry scowl at her set Fatima's defenses on high.  She crossed her arms and glared.  "Henry Fischer! The very least you can do is listen! I'm trying to figure out how to tell you something important!"

Henry huffed.  "Fine. Spit it out already!"

"Irving lied!" Fatima blurted.  At Henry's confused look, she added, "He said that he'd told you that we were together, but we weren't! He told me that you didn't want to see me again because I... because I couldn't marry you...

Henry didn't need to be reminded of that day!

She continued, "But I just thought we were friends... at least until he tried to kiss me."  Fatima made a face at the memory.
"He tried to kiss you?" Henry demanded, seeing red.  Then the truth dawned on him... "Irving lied?  He made the whole thing up?" Henry asked, his voice cracking.  "But why would he do that to me?"

Fatima helplessly shrugged.  "I don't know, Henry. I'm so sorry!"  She reached out to touch his shoulder, but he pulled back.

Henry wasn't ready to be consoled right now.  He was violently angry.  A hardened look came into his eye.  "Just like he lied to the Royale Guard about me being the Thief. The lying no-good..."
Henry turned on his heel and stalked away.
 Fatima was left wondering if she had done the right thing...


 "Oh look!" Head Abbess Belinda cried out when she came to a stop before her familiar and his companion, Snowy. 
"A beautiful little kitten!  We shall have to name you Abbess!"


Abbess Belinda's good cheer diminished when Abbess Farrah requested a special meeting.  "I don't understand," she repeated.  "You're leaving the Abbey?"

Abbess Farrah blanched.  "Not forever. I just need to check in on my sister and her family.  I received an unreadable letter from my niece Amber.  I'm worried..."

Abbess Belinda frowned.  "It's never been done before, though! Once you come to the Abbey and choose the Path of Enlightenment, you are not supposed to walk away!"

In the end, Abbess Belinda was not able to sway her abbess to good sense and the young woman hurried to the Carpenter's shack.

  Orb's Year 942
Abbott Haydin Consul followed the recipes listed in the book to make the Elements.  He worked many hours a day studying the good book and trying to discern the Path of Enlightenment.
 Sighing, he took a break, leaning down to pet Atticus' head.  "I've been working on this so long, I forgot if I was trying for the Essence of Light or the Mystic Dust."
 He sighed as he stretched and turned back to the book.  Nobody ever said the Path of Enlightenment was easy!


Abbess Belinda dug through the writings Abbess Abigail left, trying to find a notation about how she should handle an abbess that abdicated.  Frustrated, she thought long and hard about how she should approach the dilemma.  In her mind, you could not be committed to the Abbey and the Celestial Orb if you were distracted by human worries and failures.

As much as it pained her to make her decision, she knew that she could not allow Abbess Farrah to return to the Abbey.


 "It's so good to see you again, Cousin," Faelyn Consul said as she sat beside him in the mezzanine.  "Have you made any progress on researching the medicinal mushrooms?"
Abbott Haydin sighed.  "I actually haven't had time to apply myself to that business.  My notes are sitting collecting dust."

Faelyn made a sound of distress, "That's a shame Haydin! Think of all the lives that could be saved!"

Haydin shook his head wearily, "I know. But, I find that there are only so many hours to devote to my studies and Head Abbess Belinda is very strict regarding our daily devotionals.  Especially since Abbess Farrah left..."
Faelyn hugged her dear Cousin goodbye.  "I'm sure you will figure something out, Haydin.  You always were the smartest one of us all!"

As Haydin headed inside, he couldn't help but wish he had a work-station set up much like he'd had at home! Perhaps Abbess Belinda would allow him to dabble in the science in his free time...

 Orb's Year 943
"Abbott Haydin! Abbess Brooklyn!" Head Abbess Belinda called in greeting.  "I trust you appreciate your portraits!" she indicated their likenesses hanging on the wall of all past Abbesses and Abbots.

"I'm surprised you still have Abbess Farrah's portrait hanging," Haydin said curiously.  "Didn't you make the decision that she would not be allowed to return?"

Belinda looked at the portrait hanging on the wall, seemingly mocking the Abbey's perfect record.  "Yes, well. She was an Abbess for however short a time period..."

Everyone took their seats.
 "Head Abbess Belinda, there is something I wanted to broach with you.  I'd like to set up a workstation on the upper-level to record notes and research..."

Belinda looked confused, "To what end?" she asked.
"I'd like to research the connection between the Celestial Orb and science.  Surely there must be some physical properties that we can apply to it to understand better.  Think of all..."

"No! Dear boy! Some things are beyond the realm of science and logic! The Celestial Orb transcends the physical plane!"
"But if we could just..."

But Belinda shook her head firmly.  "No.  And that is the end of the matter.  It is better to apply your focus to your daily devotionals and practice your Elements."

Haydin nodded his acceptance of her decision.

"And now, for other news! We have two new recruits we will be training!"


"This is all very mysterious!" Faith L'Adventurer whispered across the room to the boy.  "Don't you think this is quite mysterious!"

Brock nodded his agreement nervously.  They'd been waiting in the room for twenty minutes and the Head Abbess had not yet made an appearance.
They gasped in unison.
"I am sorry to keep you waiting so long.  My meeting lasted longer than I had anticipated."  Clapping her hands together, Abbess Belinda announced, "So! Are we ready to begin?!"
A short time later, she smiled at the two young children in their apprentice robes.  "Wonderful! Let us head upstairs to begin! Hurry along!"
Belinda watched the apprentices head for the stairs. With a wave of her wand, she materialized upstairs just as they were beginning to wonder where she was.

"Oh my!" Faith said, startled.

"Now, you shall read through this manual left by the Head Abbess Abigail.  It should explain everything you need to understand about walking the Path of Enlightenment.  You will have to be familiar with all of her devotionals before you become a future abbess or abbot!"
The apprentices grabbed the books and hurried off, eager to learn all they could about the Path of Enlightenment.

Orb's Year 944
Atticus and Snowy darted around the kitchen, playfully pouncing each other while their kitten Abbess daintily watched from up high.  As Snowy darted to evade Atticus, she jumped and landed in the food dish, scattering food across the floor.

At the sound of the metal ringing against the stone floor, all the cats nervously fled.
"Oh, blasted cats!" Fatima mumbled under breath, dropping to the floor to clean up their mess.  As she glanced up, she saw someone waiting by the Abbey doors.
"Mistress Fischer?" she asked curiously, stepping outside.


"Welcome family and friends!" Head Abbess Belinda announced, calling everyone's attention to her.  "Today is a very important day in these two young one's lives!"
 "Faith, Brock, please step forward."

Cautiously, the two apprentices came forward as they were instructed.
With a wave of her wand, Abbess Belinda whispered the blessing to open the apprentice's eyes to Enlightenment.
They were no longer mere apprentices, but an Abbess and Abbott in full right!
"Congratulations!" Haydin and Brooklyn said, hurrying forward to greet their new Celestial sister and brother.
 Then, with a turn, Faith turned and ran to hug her mother. 
"Thank you so much, Mother!" she cried out, willing herself not to cry.  It was like a dream come true!


Fatima watched sadly from atop the mezzanine - Mistress Fischer's words still ringing in her head. 
She'd never felt more lonely in her life.

And there was only one thing left to be done.


Head Abbess Belinda glanced up sharply when the door to her solar whipped open.  "Farrah!" she said, startled by her former charge's appearance.  Farrah was obviously heavy with child and her eyes reddened from crying.  "What is it, child?"
"Oh, Abbess Belinda! I've made a horrible mistake!" she sobbed.

Abbess Belinda pulled the young woman into her arms and tried to console her as best she could.  "Now tell me everything..." she said gently.

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