A Name of Honor (Part 2)
Location: Teardrop Lake, Hidden Meadow, Harkania March, Cymeria
Timeline: Mid-November 3550
Mikhael inclined his head so that he could look into Renestrae's eyes, "Our powers alone are neither good nor bad, Renestrae, it is the intent of the magic-user that makes that difference. Listen well, Little Bard, for just as a warrior must learn the Riddle of Steel, so must a Cymry learn and abide by y RheoL Ddirgel, the Rule Arcane."
The High Lord held the girl's eyes as he quoted from memory.
"Bide the Arcane laws ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust.
Live and let live, fairly take and fairly give.
Cast the Circle thrice about, to keep all evil spirits out.
Soft of eye and light of touch, speak little, listen much.
Heed the North wind's mighty gale, lock the door and drop the sail.
When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss thee on the mouth.
When the wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.
When the West wind blows o'er thee, departed spirits restless be.
Nine woods in the cauldron go, burn them quick and burn them slow.
Elder be the Lady's tree, burn it not or cursed ye'll be.
Heed ye flowers, bush and tree, by the Lady blessed be.
Where the rippling waters go, cast a stone and truth ye'll know.
When ye have need, hearken not to other's greed.
With the fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry meet and merry part, bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Threefold Law ye should, three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow, wear the blue star on thy brow.
True in love ever be, unless thy lover's false to thee.
Eight words the Arcane Rede fulfill, and it harm none, do what ye will."
Mikhael let his voice trail off and smiled, "Let the Rule Arcane guide you as you continue your journey and, hopefully, embrace your heritage."
Her lips had moved as she echoed the words silently. Every word was held and released in her mind. Where it said "bide", she said, "_I bide_." Wherever there was an instruction, she preceded it with "_I shall_."
This was where the stars had brought her. She believed in the power of her own actions and her own will but felt there was also an unseen hand that gently steered her.
When he was at last silent, she laid one hand on her heart, and her left, over his own.
"I, Renestrae Stormdanovich, vow to mind the Threefold Law, and in turn, bind myself to the will of my House. I shall do what is right by you, cousin, and by those who are loyal to you. I will speak truly if I agree not with you, but I shall trust in your judgment also. If you will keep me, cousin, then here I will stay."
Although he had not asked for it, nor would he have, Mikhael was touched by the girl's gentle, yet heartfelt vow of loyalty. His eyes strayed to where Gero was supervising and participating in whatever game Vasily and Aeonar had devised. A family was chosen for people by blood, but sometimes it was also chosen by the heart. He took up his fishing line again, relaxed back against the warm rocks and turned his eyes to Renestrae, "So, tell me of your travels, Renestrae Stormdanovich, while we see if we cannot catch something for our dinner."