Okay, I'm just playing with this, but I had this idea that maybe the medium that Tarn and Lisanna went to is actually a siren in Ethri form, and she's doing a little bit of reconnaisance for them because the Caisharad have found ways to block the sirens from seeing what they're doing. I don't know. Obviously nothing is set in stone - I just wanted to get some writing done for the day, and this was what occurred to me, lol.
Soft hisses, echoing through the distance that separated them. A taste of a gentle wind over sea that made her ache for her home. But no awareness of her call, not yet.
Suddenly their presences were there in her mind, recognizable only by the flavors of their various annoyances at being called away from their own work.
Wwhhaaat issss it, sssister? Their many voices blended into one.
I have news. The Queen’s consort came to see me.
Sibilant laughter verging on dismissive. Wwhhaat did he want?
He brought a girl with him. She came from Tyrra, an escaped slave. He wanted me to channel her voice so he could know her story.
Now there was an undercurrent of fear and anger to their hisses. You did not comply. It was not a question.
She felt her own first stirrings of fear, and hesitated.
There was something melodious about even their screams of rage, though she flinched as their voices banded together once more. EXPLAIN YOURSSSELF.
She took a deep breath and reminded herself that she had had a reason for handling the consort the way she had. A good reason. Her sisters could tear her apart in this frail Ethri shell if they chose, but they would have to have their Queen’s approval to do it.
She just wasn’t sure how forthcoming that approval would be.
I channeled the girl’s voice, but had time to meld a small controlling spell into her trance.
She could feel her sisters’ disapproval all around her, tinged now with a slight flavor of curiosity.
She told the consort her story, but I was able to change a few of the more important details. It is my hope that he, in turn, will bring this story to his queen.
There were soft murmurings, with a few sharp hisses of dissent. The sounds of their discussions swirled around her, and she let herself drift, not interested in trying to focus on one argument or another. She had expected them to disagree on her actions; her sisters were all aggressively opinionated, and she had never seen them all reach the same conclusion on anything at the same time.
Finally, there was silence. She waited, not wanting to be the one to break it. Some decision had been made, and way the quiet stretched on made her tense.
Then one voice reached across the divide and gently touched her mind. She recognized it as belonging to one of her oldest sisters, one who had sung the tides for so long that her voice was now more wind and sand than siren.
We will speak to the Queen.
Elydra bolted upright in bed, gasping for breath and grabbing at the Queen’s Stone. It was like a burning coal in her hand, the surface so hot she was unable to touch it long enough to pull it away from her chest. The light that was coming from within it bathed the bed in a sickly, pulsing red glow. One more heartbeat and Tarn was also sitting up, his arm supporting her as she cried from the pain of the stone against her chest.
She wanted to respond to the panic in his voice, but the pain was beating at both her body and her mind, distracting her while something else tried to suck her down into unconsciousness. So she did the only thing she could do: she ignored him while she tried desperately to remember her name-song and protect her mind.