IF you have not read Servant of the Moon,
This CONTAINS SPOILERS. You were warned.
Who are the Daughters of the Tides?
Esther and Delilah Ayala, the Twin Oracles of Naphtal
The wolf and the doe...
Two packs, two skills, one destiny...
BENJMIN is a ravenous wolf,
in the morning he devours his prey,
in the evening, he divides the plunder,
he serves the Goddess with honor,
as he lives by fang and by claw...
NAPHTAL is a lovely doe
set free she bears beautiful fawns,
she speaks lovely words and terrible truths,
as she is blessed by the Goddess,
taking possession of the sacred waters...
THEY shall lie in the fallow forest together,
predator and prey, protector and protected...
Long ago the descendants of the two smallest packs of the Jacobian Remnant united. One to protect and fight, one to guide and comfort. The Benjmin warriors and the Naphtal oracles shared a destiny. The Benjmin were warrior wolves known to be fierce predators cursed by centuries of foolish, conquering Alphas who caused many conflicts which had greatly divided their numbers until they were scattered among the rest of the Remnant until the prophesy came.
The Naphtal were beautiful, dark haired, doe-eyed wolves, free spirited and gifted with the power to heal souls and see beyond this world. Their elders dreamed dreams and their children had visions, but warriors, they were not, and many times the envious tried to destroy or subjugate them until the prophesy came.
Since that time, the Naphtal Oracles lived under the protection of the fierce warrior wolves of Benjmin in an alliance that had lasted for centuries and would last until the end of their days. Each generation brought a new oracle to counsel the traditional warriors, and each generation brought a new set of problems in their ever changing world.
The allied packs of the Benjmin-Naphtal were attacked one stormy night. The Benjmin were destroyed. Of the Naphtal, only an elder Wanderer and a pair of twin oracles remained. The elder of the twins sacrificed herself for the younger, and the Moon’s price for restoring her life was that she would never be able to use her gift without great and constant pain. Now one is only a Wanderer while the other bears the burden of Delphi alone.
Their fate was foretold to the younger and revealed on a pleasant sunlit day before the fall of their pack...
They laid in the sunlight dapple grass surrounded by the tulips, lilies, and daffodils, flowers planet by their father’s hands and watered with his tears. This was the only place they could fell their Mother’s presence. Essie rolled over onto her stomach, and Del began braiding flowers into her sister’s ebony hair.
“Essie, do you think mother would be proud of us?” Del was the quieter more thoughtful of the two, always wondering about the feelings of those living and passed.
“Father and Nonna and the Alpha are, so I guess so,” the elder twin answered.
Esther was more vivacious, actively seeking adventures while Delilah buried herself in the boxes of book brought home by their grandfather, choosing to have her adventures through written words rather than in the world. Esther looked forward to the day when she could travel and experience places and people beyond the borders of their pack. Humans, vampires, witches, and so many other kinds of were-folk waited in the world beyond, a world she would never see because as an Oracle of the Moon, born to be protected and kept safe. Safety that seemed more like a prison to her than to Delilah. A prison made of white silk robes and marble walls, and moonlight-painted tendrils of incense floating in the air, chaining her to a destiny she wasn’t sure she wanted.
“You’re thinking about traveling again,” her younger sister’s knowing voice interrupted her thoughts. She was finished plaiting Essie’s hair.
“No, I’m not.” Essie sighed.
“Liar,” Del giggled, “You had that look.”
Essie smirked, then sighed, laying her cheek on the back of her arm, “I just want to travel, the world is so much bigger than we see in our bowls and grandfather’s books.”
Del laid back, having finished braiding a crown of jonquils and daffodils now upon her brow, she squeezed her older sister’s hand, then said,
“Someday Essie, someday things will change, you’ll travel and I’ll wear the incense chains you dread like jewelry, and we will both wish we were back here, laying the grass around Mother’s pool.”
Someday has come...
Ainsley Wemyss, the child oracle of the New Wemyss Warrior Pack
For over 400 years, the warrior wolves of New Wemyss had lived with honor and faith along the shores of the Black River Lake in Nova Scotia, on land given to them by the King himself. But their time was ending...
They were under attack. A blizzard was raging, wolves had come out of the snow to murder them all. Her sister had stopped a the rogue warrior from killing her after he had slain her brother, but enemy had managed to slash her sister’s face. He and another fought their mother as she shouted at them to flee to Mamo’s. Now, the sisters were trapped. A bloody Moire was by the back wall of the barn, 5 year old Ainsley pressed against the wall behind her. There are four dead warriors on the floor between them and the traitors. Moire had killed them.
Her sister’s voice was fierce,“Yu’ll nah touch ’er, Cauly. Aye’ll nah let ye harm ’er.”
“She can nah live Moire, all tha Wemyss wolves aire ta die tonight. But thay gave ye ta meh ’cause I love ye. Yur meh mate, now come along,” Cullen growled.
“Nay, I’m nah yur mate, an’ I’ll nah let ye kill meh sister. I’ll end ye like I did these dogs.” Moire’s courage gave Ainsley hope, and she could feel Comhnyall outside, and her papa was coming.
She could ‘hear’ Comhnyall talking to her sister through their mate bond, ‘I’m here Moire, jus’ behin’ tha wall. Be ready ta run.′
Her father spoke to Comhnyall in the old language,‘Tearruinn mo nigheanan, fìrinneach agus mhac dhileas (Save/rescue my daughters, my true and faithful son).’
Together as one the warrior wolves ripped the back wall of the barn away, Comhnyall snatched Moire and Ainsley away as their father charged through the hole, roaring a snarling challenge. Ainsely felt Cauly and Cullen die before her father lost his final battle. Comhnyall used his claws to climb the log wall behind the barn with Moire and Ainsley clinging to his back. They were shooting arrows at them and Moire grunted in pain, but held Ainsley tighter against Comhnyal’s back as he jumped down outside the fort. He held them to his back as he fled into the whiteout and the darkness. Moire pull the arrow out of his shoulder, then clutched her stomach.
‘Hold tight, beag sionnach (little fox), we be safe now,’ Moire’s wolf promised to hers. But Ainsley already knew they would never be safe, just like she knew only they and Mamó had survived this night.
They stopped once on the long journey to Mamó’s den. Moire was hurt, an arrow through her body, Ainsley wanted to cry but she can’t make a sound come out of her partially torn throat. Her sister was supposed to die tonight too. As Mamó tended Moire, Ainsley felt her sister’s spirit flying to the Moon.
“Comhnyall, ye must mark ’er now!” Mamó ordered him.
“M-Mamó?” he stuttered in question.
“Bite ‘er, lad an’ go bring ’er back,” Mamó hissed, pushing Moire’s body into his arms.
Ainsley sat down by the hearth, tears running down her face, and stared at nothing. She opened and closed her mouth like she was speaking, pleading with the Moon to spare Moire but no sound came out. Her grandmother and sister’s mate could not her her begging the Goddess herself for a small boon, for her sister’s life just for a while longer.
Sobbing, Comhnyall sunk his teeth into Moire’s shoulder, and Ainsely felt him get pulled to the Fields of the Moon. Around them everything was lush and green, like the perfect springtime. He could see their families and pack waiting for them in the Moon Goddess’ fields, as Ainsley could see them.
Ainsley’s childish voice called after them in the old language, begging, “Mo phiuthar, airson beagan den nas seusan, a ’tighinn dhachaigh, (Sister, come back home for a few seasons more.)”
Comhnyall shouted Moire’s name. His tawny wolf was already dragging her coppery one back to the land of the living, as he ran after her. Moire stopped and looked over her shoulder, then she turned and ran toward him, throwing herself into his arms. Comhnyall lifted her like a bride and turned to follow his wolf. He did not look back, he knew if he did he would turn around and stay with their loved ones. Moire clutched his neck as tears ran down her face and Ainsley heard her whisper.
“Ye came for meh, Nyall, I knew ye would nah let meh go alone.”
“I told ye, mo ghradh (my dearest), I would chase ye ta tha moon an’ back.”
Ainsley pulled on them as hard as she could, she felt her great-great-grand mother with her as they guided their souls back to this side of the Tides. Ainsley flew into Mamó’s arms, sobbing in relief and sorrow, there was no one else left of the once great warrior wolves of New Wemyss. Everyone else had gone to the Moon forever.
Over two years after the fall of New Wemyss Pack
Ainsley’s wolf sat outside on the hill over the house, the wind blew cold around her but she didn’t feel it. She only felt the pull of the rising moon. Watching and waiting, it seemed to take forever before it finally cleared the sea.
Her little red wolf’s tidal form yipped with joy and sprang forth, running across the moonlit waters toward the isle of green. The moment, her paws touched the grass, she tumbled into her skin and ran into her mother and father’s arms. Together, they rocked her gently and she sang with her mother as she twisted curls in her father’s fiery beard.
Her twin, Aryn, brought her a handful of flowers then they played chase through the tall grass. She felt the tug of the world and knew her sister’s mate was carrying her home. She ran to hug her parents before falling back into the world. But this time those around her vanished and the lady in white stood before her.
“Hello little fox, how are you tonight?”
“Oh, I be wonderful, we have a new house, a real house and I get my own room. And from the hill I can see the moon move across the whole sky. Nyall is teaching me the old runes and Mamó is teaching me to be an oracle and healer like her. And brother told me a new joke today... Why did the chicken cross the road?” In the world of the living, Ainsley could not speak more than a whisper and it hurt to do so, but here in the Moon’s Land, she had a voice again.
The Goddess smiled at her beautiful, childish voice and the riddle of ages, “Do tell little one: Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Ainsley smiled beautifully and giggled, “To be eaten by the wolf on the other side.”
The Goddess laughed, and it sounded like music, then she sighed. “Oh my precious daughter, how I treasure you, but I am afraid that it is time for you to start living for the world below. You have a great destiny, and you cannot live it here.”
Ainsley stared at Her, wide-eyed and chin trembling, “But I don’t want to live there. I want to live here, mama and papa and brothers are here, and soon sissy will be here. How will I talk to them if I don’t come here? How will I sing?”
“My child, I will make it so you can still talk to them, but you won’t be able to visit them, only call to them across the Tides as some oracles can. I am sorry, but the tenderness of my heart for you, little fox, has made me give you a boon that is no longer a blessing, for it takes you from the world of the living.”
Her silver-white eyes were so full of love and compassion that Ainsley wanted to cry, but instead she whispered, “I understand.”
The Goddess smiled, “I knew you would, grow strong, be brave. Your sister’s season is coming to its autumn. You will need to be there to love her mate when he can no longer feel love, and help open the door of his heart to another when the time comes. He does not understand what his promise to Me means.”
Ainsley felt her tears spill as she thought about her sister’s death. “She will not suffer, will she?”
The Goddess sighed, “She will feel the pain of leaving a world she lingered too long in, but I promise in her last moment she will feel nothing but love.” She pressed a kissed into Ainsley’s forehead, “Don’t worry, I will be watching. Sweet dreams, Ainsley. I love you.”
“I love you, Moon,” the child murmured as she fell asleep and she dreamed of a sliver of the moon hanging over a sapphire sea as the moon’s silver tears fell into the coming dawn tide. Ainsley knows that will be the last dawn her sister, Moire, will see.
DO NOT read this is you have not read Servant of the Moon,
CONTAINS SPOILERS. You were warned.
How we got here... A quick recap of SOTM.
Two ancient packs, the Benjmin warriors and the Naphtal oracles, allied for over a thousand years, had faced many challenges and many betrayals but none were as terrible as the one that came on the day the twin oracles were brought into this world. Tamaza Ayala had been the Delphi Oracle, the highest ranked and most powerful of the Moon’s seers. She had been given a gift by the Moon, the ability to manipulate and control the Sacred Waters of the Moon’s Tides, the mystical sea that separated the world of the living from the realms of the dead and beyond. A gift she passed on to her daughters on the day of her death and the deaths of almost every pup in their pack and a third of the adults. The enemy of the Benjmin-Naphtal on that day were not strangers but neighbors and family. As a result Luna Sari of Benjmin cursed the mates of their pack barren until this generation had passed into the Moon’s judgment, a call for justice paid for with the innocent blood of over 2 dozen, mostly pups, burned to death by the Des Rues, they were also banned from using the Moon’s Oracles or Her Temples by the Moon’s Servants. Twelve years later, they tried and failed again.
The Des Rues wolves were the descendants of a treacherous prince who had been exiled rather than killed after he attempted to seize the Old World Throne of the Monarchs. Sent to the New World with his followers, the Des Rues, often called the Brown Furs because of their sable coloring, has tried time and again to establish the monarchy in this land but the Moon and Her Servants had stopped them each time. The monarchy was not to established based on bloodlines but on the very nobility of the beating hearts of the worthy. To change and control their fate, the Des Rues sought to steal the last Naphtal oracles on two occasions 12 years apart, both attempts failed.
In the meantime, the future honorable Warrior King and the Queen with the pure heart were born in a small pack of warriors with an ancient and honorable history, the Des Rues sought again to change their destiny by stealing the Queen-to-be for their own heir, they failed each time. Yet during the course of their failures, the current Des Rues Alpha, Charles discovered he had not one but two sons; Charlemagne from his true mate, an apostate Oracle and disavowed Delphi whom he hated, and Helios, a halfling, from a witch he had an affair with before Charlemagne’s birth. These half-brothers were determined build the monarchy in their family’s name, but Beta Lothaire, Charles’ older brother, was not so sure.
Too many times Lothaire had seen his brother’s plans go wrong and been forced to pick up the pieces of their shattered pack. He considered his nephew Charlemagne to be as frivolous and vain as his oracle mother, Valaria, and he did not trust his nephew Helios or his witch mother Soleil. His family’s disrespect to the Moon disturbed him and more and more, he questioned his place with them.
Almost Fifteen years before Tamaza’s death, when she was the Delphi, she saved a pair of vampire children, a seer and a warrior. She rescued them from the Sun-worshipers who wished to sacrifice them to bring power to their god and chaos to the world. This group of wolves and witches, defied their Moon Goddess and witches, and served a Sun God of war, chaos, blood and fire. They needed the blood and bodies of the vampire children for a ritual to return their God to life. They wanted to rule and burn the world to ash.
Delphi Tamaza had thwarted their plan for another generation, but the Sun-worshipers were as patient as they were evil. So they waited as their newest Alpha came of age, the son their high priestess and of a powerful Alpha of Royal lineage, was indwelt by the servant of their sun god. Meanwhile they gathered power and more followers. Harvesting small covens and packs, burning the blood of vampires and wolves alike until the day they could wage open war and hand this world over to their Sun God. But first they had to overcome the Servants of the Moon and their powerful Delphi Delilah, the daughter of Tamaza Ayala and seize Esther Ayala to be the true mate of their Alpha and mother of the Sun God’s spawn.
The twins, Esther and Delilah, cut from the charred body of Tamaza Ayala the day their pack was attacked by the Des Rues, grew to be the most powerful oracles in generations. At five, they could share visions. At twelve, they witnessed the murder of their pack before it happened, but the plan to get them to safety and save the Benjmin-Naphtal was revealed by a traitor to their enemy. All were lost.
On the stormy night of their escape, the eldest twin was given a choice, lose her sister or sacrifice her future, but the sacrifice was not what she thought and instead of death, Esther Ayala faced a life without most of her gift. The loss reduced her and destroyed her self-identity because she was no longer an oracle. The only visions she had were painful nightmares of her mate who was a demon, so she hid her pain and regret behind a callous and careless attitude, but in truth, she was terrified.
Delilah Ayala, a shy but powerful oracle, was spared the night her pack fell by her sister’s sacrifice, and so years later, she faced a sacrifice of her own. Her mate Luca, knowing he would die, he loved her as much as he could until his last breath. Gifted with her mother’s power over the Sacred Waters of the Tides, Del performed many, almost miraculous tasks but she could not save her mate, and her greatest fear was that she would not be able to save her sister, or anyone in the war to come.
Born on the full moon of the winter solstice, Moire Wemyss, the Alpha’s daughter, and Comhnyall MacGealimir, the Master-of-Arms’ son, were promised a great destiny if they survived. To be the ones to establish the monarchy of this land, but in a single night, it seemed their destiny was stolen as was Moire’s health. The entire New Wemyss pack was destroyed during the storm of the century at the hands of the brown furs, their hired mercenaries, and a witch. But the Moon sent her most faithful, the Delphi Oracle, Delilah Ayala and her sister to help. Comhnyall, Moire, Moire’s little sister Ainsley, and her great-great-grandmother, the Elder Oracle Tiene, called Mamo (grandmother) lived in relative peace.
The Moon then chose Comhnyall to be one of Her Servants in exchange for protecting his surviving family for a season. SHE did protect them, allowing Comhnyall to move his family to a safe haven but sadly two years later, Moire’s season ended. Moire succumbed to her old injuries, dying from a half leaf of silver in her belly. She went to the Moon on a frosty, dark dawn, taking her and Comhnyall’s pup with her. In his grief, Comhnyall sought out and killed all but one of those who remained alive after his pack fell, he hunted his enemies until the Servants of the Moon brought him home.
While Comhnyall grieved and worked on the Northern Seas, Ainsley grew powerful in the ways of the Tides and loved the Moon with all her heart. The brown furs came for the survivors of New Wemyss again, but this time the Servants were there to aid in their escape. Being brought to the Moon’s Gate, the Delphi Delilah showed Comhnyall the enemy they faced in the strange burning lands beyond the Tides, and told him of his destiny.
And that is where we begin now... At the Temple of the Moon’s Gate, known to the humans as the Manicouagan Reservoir. Winter is just beginning. lived in relative peace. The Moon then chose Comhnyall to be one of Her Servants in exchange for protecting his surviving family for a season. SHE did protect them, allowing Comhnyall to move his family to a safe haven but sadly two years later, Moire’s season ended. Moire succumbed to her old injuries, dying from a half leaf of silver in her belly. She went to the Moon on a frosty, dark dawn, taking her and Comhnyall’s pup with her. In his grief, Comhnyall sought out and killed all but one of those who remained alive after his pack fell, he hunted his enemies until the Servants of the Moon brought him home.
While Comhnyall grieved and worked on the Northern Seas, Ainsley grew powerful in the ways of the Tides and loved the Moon with all her heart. The brown furs came for the survivors of New Wemyss a second time, but this time the Servants were there to aid in their escape. Being brought to the Moon’s Gate, the Delphi Delilah showed Comhnyall the enemy they faced in the strange burning lands beyond the Tides, and told him of his destiny.
And that is where we begin now... At the Temple of the Moon’s Gate, known to the humans as the Manicouagan Reservoir. Winter is just beginning.
Daughter of the Tides will begin posting on Yule 2018. I am hoping to give you a chapter a day until the Wolf Super Blood Moon in January! Be blessed and happy winter holidays,