I was so caught up in what I would do for the gift I am preparing for my #ffw recipient, that I'd totally forgotten I would be receiving something too! Imagine my confusion when this landed in my inbox.....Kamalia? How the hell did she get my email? What could she wa - oooooooooohhhhhh.
can't thank her enough for this wonderful addition to the storyline
that Akabeko and I have been weaving! I can't speak for Aka (though I am
quietly confident that she feels the same(Aka: YES)), but I am thrilled to have
others contribute their talents, characters, and headcanon to our little
fanfic project. This Winter Veil gift story fills a hole in my timeline
that I just could not find ideas for, and I could not have asked for a
more perfect gift!
Thank you, Kamalia! And a merry Winter Veil to all!
A very merry Winter Veil to you, Dahakha!
I don't know what you have planned for your story, so if this doesn't fit in with your plot, feel free to add a disclaimer about it being "non-canonical" when you post it.
The Pools of Vision
A deep voice roused the shaman from her meditation, and she lifted her eyes, blinking, from the fire to see the dark silhouette of a bull in druid gear looming in the doorway of her tent.
Finishing the traditional Taur'ahe greeting to a respected Farseer, the stranger bowed to her. As her eyes adjusted, she saw the gold-capped tips of the bull's own horns peeping out from a blue leather hood adorned with massive antlers, and the glint of the firelight reflecting off of his eyes. She could not make out much else of his face.
"How may I help you?" she asked, gesturing her visitor to seat himself on another of the rugs around the firepit.
"I have been told that a... friend of mine, whom I consider to be trustworthy, has great regard for your insights and opinions. I have recently returned from a sojourn in Outland, and I find things much changed, in ways that I do not fully understand."
"You seek a vision, then?" the shaman inquired. "What is it you wish to see?"
The druid hesitated, drawing in and letting out several deep breaths before he answered. "There are events, people, that my friends and associates do not seem to remember in the same way I do. I would like to know whether it is their memory that is confounded... or mine."
"That is not an easy vision to request of the spirits," the shaman replied. "Do you have any objects that may serve as a lodestone for their search?"
Nodding, the druid reached into his pack and withdrew a lockbox. "I left this chest in my vault before I departed for Outland. When I returned, it was not in my vault, and I was... disturbed by where I did, at last, find it."
The shaman took the box and examined it carefully. Her eyes widened as she recognized the faint scent clinging to the carved wood as the smoke from funerary herbs. "This will not be an easy vision to request," she repeated. "A place of power will be required, and I must focus my own soul. Meet me at dawn tomorrow morning at the entrance to the Pools of Vision."
The grey light of very early morning was just beginning to turn rosy when the shaman arrived at the mouth of the caverns that riddled the interior of Spirit Rise. As she looked around, the sleek shape of a druid in cat-form materialized out of the shadows, then shifted smoothly into a bull wearing an antlered hood and blue feathers on his shoulders. Wordlessly, they went into the caves. Out of long habit, the shaman cast a baleful glare down the passageway where the Forsaken coven practiced their dark magics.
Seeing the druid's questioning look, she muttered, "I don't understand why the Forsaken weren't cast out of this sacred place after Magatha," -- she practically spat the name -- "who first sponsored their coming here, was exiled."
The druid shrugged sympathetically. "There are many, many things about the administration of the Horde these days that I do not comprehend. Perhaps this vision will help me make sense of some of them."
They made their way to a small chamber as far from the corrupting influence of the Forsaken as possible. Phosphorescent mushrooms lit the cave with a glow that was softened and diffused by the mist hanging over the shimmering surface of the pool that took up most of the floor.
The shaman carefully set up her totems in the corners of the dry space. Taking the lockbox from the druid, she placed it at the very edge of the water.
"Kneel here," she instructed the druid. "Clear your mind of all but your queries, and gaze into the water."
Then she began to chant, invoking each of the elemental spirits in turn, and then the ancestral spirits who watched over Thunder Bluff from the Red Rocks. The surface of the pool quivered, began to bubble, and then wavelets rippled up to lap around the lockbox as the elements responded.
"Now we must watch and listen," the shaman said quietly as she finished chanting.
The mist thickened until the druid could barely see anything beyond the box; he could locate the shaman's totems only by their colored glows.
Suddenly, the mist cleared, the surface of the pool became as smooth as glass, and in its stillness, the druid saw.