* ICENI *
I couldn't quite decide which of my seers was being more ridiculous, Alanna or Cuinn. Alanna called for battle while Cuinn called for peace and Cadell and Gorsedd sat silently, watching.
"There can be no tolerance for their attacks, they must be culled." Alanna turned her face to me, the large arrowhead that covers her hollow eyes glinting from the streaks of light splintering across the hut through the thatched roof.
"Alanna raises understandable concerns," I pause, looking at Gorsedd. "What is your council?" He frowns and waves his hand dismisivley, the iron love knots welded into his eye sockets glistening.
"Alanna is the battle-seer, not I. I am the seer of love." he spits the word 'love' out like poison. I raise an eyebrow at him, he's been the love-seer for almost eighty years and could expect about another one hundred and twenty of them, but he is still utterly determined to hate his sight.
Sighing, I bring my hand up to rub the iron torc around my neck. The closest tribe to our own, the Caratacos tribe, have been warring with us for months over a stretch of fertile land between us; each of us wanting to claim it. But the Caratacos tribe had taken it to far, first they destroyed whatever we planted on the land and now, a few days ago, they attacked a farm on the edge of the tribe. They took important stocks of our crops that we have been saving. Anger coils in my gut at the thought of the other tribe. I will have that land, and I will kill for it if necessary.
I rise from my seat, smoothing my skirts and gesturing for my seers to stand. They stand in unison and I think that under different circumstances their unusual height and lack of human eyes would be intimidating, but while they could see what others may not, I see my closest and most trusted friends.
"I say we use force to secure the land. I'm sure that Varian wouldn't mind a brawl, that is if he wins, which he will not."
"I do declare that our chieftain Iceni is the wisest so far! All this talk of avoiding battle breeds weakness. Only strength can thrive here." Alanna chimes, her voice light and happy.
"I suppose that excludes you then." Gorsedd chuckles for a moment before he's hit Square in the face with a small cut log that was by the fire. Alanna's laughter trails behind her as she leaves the hut, Cadell, the past-seer following vacantly behind and Gorsedd rubbing his nose and muttering obscenities as he leaves.
My battle-seers eagerness for conflict was not lost on me, but as chieftain I prefer to keep things calm, boring really. Boring means safe. But I do need to prove to Varian, chieftain of the Caratacos tribe, that I will not let the land go easily. We need it just as much if not more than them. If another of our crops faulter it will be hard to feed my people; let alone that horrid pooka.
My concerns regarding the creature have only grown over the past few months, with our crops not producing the amount they usually do. The only thing that keeps the pooka from taking people are the offerings of some of our crops that we leave for it on the fields of our farms, but we won't be able to do that soon. Not without starving. We suffered it's latest attack not even a week ago, and it took our offerings along with a generous helping of the tribes livestock. Still, I am grateful that it hasn't taken anyone, not yet. Out tribes history is riddled with the savageness of the beast and I'm determined not to let it happen again.
The Caratacos tribe are plagued with the pooka too, but the difference between us, I think, is that will find a way to stop it. To do what my predecessors couldn't.
I look up to find Cuinn, my nature-seer still standing with me in my hut.
"Chieftain. I have seen." The seer hesitates before he steps closer, the bright orange flowers blooming from his eyes sockets catching the light like fire.
"You have seen what?" I question, the tremors of anxiety already shaking my spine. Cuinn, the seer with the ability to spy the future of my land often saw worrying things, like the failure of our crops. I send a silent prayer up to the stars that this will for once not be bad.
"I see that our land will shake and tremble. And I see that this shaking of our realm will divide us. I advise you to advance carefully Iceni. I do not see much to be joyful about."
Bad. Definitely bad. It's like the stars are laughing at me. I wipe the cold sweat from my forehead and bring my hand back to the torc at my neck. The fear curdling in my gut makes my entire body want to shake. I do not see much to be joyful about. Forcing my limbs into the stillness of stone I let my eyes fall to the seers chest, were just visible through the open neck of his light blue tunic is the emblem of my tribe. The carving is deep and a raw red, the face of the spriggan that lives in the lake at the foot of my tribe etched just underneath his collarbones.
I'm suddenly very aware of the same marking on my own chest, only I was born with mine and it's a deep purple. The mark of a chieftain.
"Do you think it is a result of our tribes warring?" I hope to the stars it's not. If I cannot fight them because of Cuinn's sight, what am I to do? Let them steal from me?
"I am afraid I cannot say chieftain, I cannot see the fate of mortals."
I nod in understanding; I know he can't