Imprisoned In Stone

By Helen Henderson

Fantasy, Romance

Paperback, eBook

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84
1 mins

 

Colwynn’s mind worked out the next move as if he played a game of castle and siege. He allowed his racing pulse to slow. Calm, deliberate calculations had to dominate his thoughts. Each incantation he called forth built on the one before. His voice grew louder as he fed more of his power into his words.

A glow of sea sprites replaced the last vestige of the setting sun. Hundreds of the tiny winged creatures flew around the room creating long streamers that swirled and danced in the air. Gathering the living ribbons of light, Colwynn wove them into a glittering crown that he slid over Aine’s blonde curls. After a moment’s respite, he started the protection against any future geas. Although he intended his words to ring out with strength, they sounded barely above a whisper.

“Fire of mountains, strength of iron,
Remove the geas from this innocent’s soul.
Crown of sprites, power of life,
Restore the free will that was stole.
Her destiny be hers to decide,
Not obstructed by man, magic, or tide.
So mote it be.”

His spell echoed with the hum of fluttering wings. After a moment’s respite, he cried out, “Sprites of the clouds, assist me.” Summoning power from deep in his being and merging it with that of the eldritch spirits, he created a stronger block than he had believed possible. The glow flowed over the sleeping woman until a golden light encased her entire body. Still, the sprites’ song rose in volume. At the crescendo, a flare from the bed blinded Colwynn.

His vision cleared to show a faint sparkling beneath Aine’s skin. Aine is guarded from the threat of magic, neither her father nor mine will ever force her to act against her wishes. Now to defend her from the threat of man.

Thoughts swirled in Colwynn’s mind as strategies appeared to be speared and dismissed. When the night was over, he would leave. A man of Jarlath’s wealth and seniority could not be accused without proof. Once again, Colwynn dug into his reserves of energy. His hands traced the ancient runes of truth in the air.

“Chains of iron forged in magic,” he hissed. “Show me the stealer of innocence and will.”

Despite the softness of the command, it contained an unyielding force. The mist of the broken control spell formed into a frame. A face appeared in the shimmering surface of the enchanted mirror. As Colwynn expected, Jarlath’s face was in the center. Then Nemor’s and several other men Colwynn knew were acolytes of the Brethren. Bearded or clean-shaved, some bald, others sporting long curls, image after image appeared until the frame bulged.

An unreasoning fury surged forward. All the Brethren participated. They all knew!

“Show me the man behind the plot,” Colwynn yelled. The hovering reflection wavered. When it stopped moving, one final face appeared.




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