So I have been working on a novel called “Narsir“, a fantasy novel and I have posted the first chapter and first short story here, “Circle of Knowledge”, and today I’m here to share another short story. This one is “Auria’s Seer“.
Over the years, Auria was a place of veneration for the Gods. Auria was the highest mountain in the south of Narsir. Stories existed about the time when the Gods visited the great mountain, the time when Gods and living beings of Narsir cohabited together. And Auria was the point of arrival and departure of the Gods, that was why oracles and seers lived in the village of Auria, a village at the base of the mountain, and the only one in the whole area.
Millions of pilgrims would travel all the seasons to the great mountain, seeking answers and help. And, there they were, oracles that would communicate with the Gods conveying their messages, and the seers that would observe the future of a person and give them answers. Two groups working towards the same goal, using their own gifts to help the people of Narsir connect with divine entities and the future.
Over time, the number of oracles began to diminish, with the increasing discrediting in the Ancient Creator Gods, there began to cease to be a need for the messengers of the Gods. The pilgrims began to make their journeys seeking the future and not an answer from the Gods. Consequently, the number of seers increased.
In fact, Auria was a village of seers. Most of the villagers were seers and their families. They were small farmers and merchants, who lived from what the land gave them and from exchanges with traveling traders who passed through the village. However, not all Auria seers had the gift as previous generations possessed, the gift of seeing the energy of the essence of beings in that world.
Many of the seers who now lived in Auria had gone to the village to earn a living. Many learned from charlatans, learned to read the reactions of the person seeking answers, and gave them what they needed, whether it was truth or lies. Other seers learned to interpret cards, bones, and palms, a method that was not completely correct because it resorted to interpretation.
There were, however, a small number of seers who possessed the true gift of the ancient visionaries of Auria. Seers descended from the seers and oracles who created the village, as a center of communication with the divine forces. However, it was not these seers who were most visited by pilgrims. Because they didn’t use cards or colorful clothes. People wanted greatness when they paid to know the answers they sought, which meant that only the poorest pilgrims visited the seers who followed the traditions of the ancient seers.
Rune was a seer in Auria. Daughter of a seer, granddaughter of one of the last oracles to exist in Auria, and unlike most of the seers in Auria, Rune truly had the gift that enabled her to connect with Narsir’s energies and that meant she could understand time. If the humans who visited Auria knew the truth about this seer, they would call her a witch. But Rune was not and would never be a witch, she was just a woman who had a gift. She did not deal with the magical arts as the witches did, she was only more open to Narsir’s energy.
Rune lived at the highest point of the village, in a cabin against the mountain. There were few who ventured up the path to her house, for many were the seers who inhabited the center of the village. Alone she lived, venerating the Ancient Creator Gods and accepting the visions of the future, whether someone sought her for answers or not. Rune had written all her visions ever since she had learned to write.
After twenty-five years had passer, she had a huge collection of books in her cabin, books that contained stories no one would ever know about. Books describing her visions, but not even Rune knew if those had occurred or not, which led her to think of these visions as stories.
On that new day, she had a family of pilgrims at her door when she arrived from the bakery. And with a single nod of her head, she passed the family of seven and entered her house, leaving the door open so they could enter. Rune had anticipated their arrival and had prepared her table with drinks and food. Seeing the eight cushions surrounding the round table, the family became confused, and it was only after the younger member of the family sat down to the right of Rune, as she was cutting the bread, than all the others sat down.
They ate together, Rune smiled as she saw the peace in that family. When they were finally satisfied, and the children fell asleep, the four adults turned to Rune, ready to ask questions and discover the future. She nodded once more, without a word, got up and walked to a room to her right. The adults of that family followed her.
“How can I help you?” She asked at last, after sitting on a corner of a large rug.
“We are here because they told us that you could help. We don’t have much money, we tried other psychics in the past, but nothing helped.” Said one of the men, the younger of the two. He looked at the woman at his side, his wife, and sighed. “Our youngest son has had nightmares that lead him to get out of bed and out onto the street.”
“During his sleep… He continues to sleep when he does this.” Added the younger woman.
Rune grabbed some paper and the pen and ink. Closing her eyes, she let her mind open and absorb the essence of the world by reading and listening to the magic. It was like the Aurora on the first night of winter. Colors, many colors surrounded her. Lights and a wave of visible energy. She saw images. Animals, smells, sounds and movements, like an eagle that went over her head and disappeared into the colorful infinite; snakes that snaked across the floor, curling and unwinding. And there were also people there. Beings that had died.
In the midst of all the activity, Rune felt a following set of colors and sounds, in particular. A set of characteristic features of someone young and innocent. She did not move from her place, but her hand scrawled on the paper as it always did when she used her vision. It was her energy that wandered the cosmos and sought answers for that family. It was her spirit that opened to receive all the information about past, present and future.
A seer was much more than an intermediary between the divine and the mortal, as in times before an oracle was. Rune did not speak to spirits, she did not see the future as something written and immutable. No… Rune saw the energy of the world, saw the possibilities of the future and saw the actions of the past that led a person to be, to do or to think like she or he did in that present. She was a vehicle between the energy of the Cosmos and the carnal world, as all beings were, the difference being that she could see more than many human beings.
Just like that child.
The little boy, no more than five years old, had the same abilities as an oracle. He was not a seer, he did not see past, present, and future. That boy communicated with the Gods and not the Cosmos. His faith was unshakable, and perhaps for this he wandered in his sleep, trying to reach a destination that even the little one did not know. Rune could not see his future, just read his energy and understand that he was important to Narsir’s future. More important than any other seer in Auria. Whether their parents liked the answers or not, they would have to accept their son’s gift.
In more than a hundred years no oracle had been born. With the search for seers and with the decay of faith from all human beings, it seems that children have ceased to be blessed with the gift of being the true messengers of the Gods. Rune had only known her grandfather, the last child to be born with this gift. He hoped someone in his lineage would be messengers, but when Rune was born, he knew it would never happen.
Rune knew her fate the first time she had opened her eyes. Even before she understood words, she understood the energy of the world. She knew she would never understand the Gods, she would never reach the heavenly palace, but she knew her mission since she was a baby, and she knew that it was for such a mission that the Gods gave her such a great strength, blessing her with the understanding of time beyond any space barrier.
“Your son is an oracle.” She said at last. Eyes opened again and examining both the parents and grandparents of that boy. “He will need to be taught. He needs to learn how to have control of his dreams and the magic that reigns in his body. That’s why he wanders during the night. It’s a manifestation of his gift. The Gods want him to look for something. Something that only he and the Gods know.”
“How can this be possible? We have no oracles in the family. We never had” It was the first time the older man had spoken. At his side, his wife looked at both hands with an expression of shame. “Close your eyes and give us answers.”
Although she had almost certainty in the answer, she did what has asked and once again she entered the current of energy, following this time a weak light. She was right. The boy’s grandmother was an oracle too, yet she refused to listen to the voices of the Gods. Rune had never seen anyone do such a thing before. Her grandfather had sworn it was impossible, that an oracle who tried to would go mad if they did not do something to convey the message of the Gods.
Rune tried to deepen her quest, retreating in time and searching for the origin of the mystery. The colored lights swirled as if she was inside a tornado, and while before they were undulating, they now were turning to the left. If it was not for being accustomed to using her gift, she would get sick. The speed of the lights, the hundred sounds and the images that sometimes would stand out… Rune knew she would have a headache when it was over. Even so, she continued, until everything stopped, and an answer appeared in front of her in a sequence of sensations and images.
“A wizard of Scyler…” Rune opened her eyes and looked at the grandmother of the family. “You asked a Scyler’s wizard to cut all the bonds to the essence. That’s how you survived so long without going crazy with the message of the Gods. You’re not listening.”
“Do not look at me like that, little girl.” She answered defensively. Rising from the carpet and approaching the small table in front of the seer. “I did what had to be done and that’s what we’ll do for my grandson!”
“And what did you have to pay in return? Scyler’s wizards don’t receive money. They only use their magic if it brings them great power and reward.” Rune got up, too, which made everyone stand up.
“Mother?! What’s going on? What is she talking about?”
“Darling? Since when…”
The remaining members began to speak, but both Rune and the grandmother kept their attention on each other, ignoring the questions that were being asked. There was a gleam in the old woman’s gaze, something Rune knew was a result of the magic of Scyler’s sorcerer. The spell was constantly interacting against the magic of the oracle, continuing to cut off all the connections that the essence tried to form to bind that woman to the Gods.
“We will pay whatever is needed” She finally said.
Unexpectedly, an image popped into Rune’s mind. A young woman screamed as she pushed. Her face showed pain and fatigue. Abigail… That was the name of that woman. Beside her, the wizard held her hand while the midwife continued to speak to her, telling her to do push yet again. And when the baby was finally born, and his first cry echoed through the house, Abigail looked away, refusing to grab her baby. Her firstborn.
“I know what you paid, Abigail. And I will not let your grandchild pay the same for something inevitable. He has the power to help the world, you cannot stop him from climbing the mountain, Abigail.” After sighing, Rune smiled. “Nevertheless, we were here for more than an hour. He has had time to go up to the temple. There is no turning back now, he is part of the messengers of the Gods.”
The boy’s parents, shocked, frightened and worried, ran to the other room and seconds later the door of the house knocked. The boy’s grandfather also followed and went to the other room, but the grandmother grunted and threw herself at Rune. She squeezed the young woman’s throat, hatred on her aged face. Her thin fingers tightened more and more, but Rune did not move. She didn’t need to, because when she had looked for answers, she saw that woman’s death
Despite the weakness, a result of shortness of breath in her lungs, Rune did not close her eyes. It was almost time and she knew it. A moment or two… Something occurred within Abigail’s mind, for her face fell, the strength in her hands loosened, and the gleam in her gaze blinked, and she fell to the side seconds later. At last the spell had lost against the essence of the Gods, and now, that woman could hear the voices of the Gods more strongly than in the past.
The consequences of using magic to counter a gift were lethal. Rune knew that by all the visions she had seen and by the knowledge passed by her ancestors. No one escaped, whether by the magic that dwelt in all beings, whether by divine action, or by the hand of other mortals. That was the truth, and Rune knew it. All were mortal, sooner or later.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Let me know what you thought and ask me questions about Narsir and future short stories and I will do a post about it and answer your questions.
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