Chapter 3 : Cedical Basian
Scene 1 : The Night Before the Ceremony
Cedical lay in the field of heather and looked up at the stars with a beatific smile upon her face. She thought to herself how wonderful it would be to visit those far away suns. Her fellow students scoffed at her belief that the stars were just like Grian. They were certain those were pinpricks in the firmament. That beyond the obsidian globe lay the realm of the Gods, the Otherworld. She knew they were wrong, that the Otherworld lay to the west, beyond the shores of Avalon.
She sighed as she roused herself completely and sat up to prepare for the trek home to the small bardic college on the outskirts of the town of Carlisle. She had been fortunate to have her family so close by in the town itself. Many of the other students had been gathered from all across Dal Riata. The college had come to her family when she was only six summers old and it had been a long twelve years since that day, but it had been worth it. Cedical loved music and had been preternaturally good on the fiddle, triple harp, and dulcimer. Despite this, it always saddened and frustrated her that she would never be able to sing along with the other students. She smiled again when she imagined at how proud her family would be when they witnessed the midnight ceremony on the morrow where she would take up the sash of a Bard Initiate.
She was brought back the present when she stepped onto the road into town and noticed the smell of smoke. As she walked, she noticed a light reflecting off the evening mists ahead and her stomach rose in her throat. She broke into a run until she topped a small hill and looked down upon the town. It was ablaze and many kilted figures capered around the flames while others continued to fight the few remaining defenders. The distant sounds of battle reach her and as she ran she noticed the blue tinge on the skin of the raiders…. Picts! She unslung her dulcimer from her back and begin to play a somber tune, breathlessly running onward.
As she played she heard a voice inside her head,”My child let me help youuuu…”
She stopped in her tracks and looked around in a panic for the source of the ghostly whisper..
“There is no need to fear, My child. I am Oghma and I have been observing you since your birthhhh…”
Cedical’s eyes widened with wonder and surprise as she thought to herself,”The patron of all bards? How can that be?”
“Yes, My child, I have need of youuuu…But those foul Picts must not be allowed to harm youuuuu…”
“The Great Oghma needs me? But you are a god. All I wish is that these beasts pay for what they have done!”
“I know, My child, and if I show you the way to keep you from bringing yourself to harm…and in return you must repay My boon as I see fit….Do you agreeee?”
“Yes, Great Oghma! A thousand times yes!”
“I am pleased, My child. Then this is what you must doooo…”
Her thoughts were suddenly filled with a flash of imagery. The God of Knowledge and Bardic Lore bequeathed power upon her. She wept with the understanding of what she must do…what she had become. She froze in her tracks for what to her felt like hours, but was in reality mere moments. Cedical broke from her fugue, straightened and her green eyes became cold as her heart hardened. She strode once more towards Carlisle, now with vengeful purpose…