Saerwen screamed again, clutching desperately at the mattress as if it could stop the pain. Mereer the wise woman and high priestess watched nervously as the elven woman’s body shook with pain. The midwives were doing all they could but it did not look good.

Another screen tore from the queen’s lips and at the same time a child’s wail. One of the healers rushed over and took the baby. Mereer watched the queen grow pale and sink into the sheets, there was so much blood, too much. The oldest healer presses two fingers to Saerwen’s pulse. Bowing her head, she stood. “She is dead, our queen is dead, and she had a daughter,” she whispered. Mereer bowed her head. “I shall tell the king, he will be saddened deeply, and his wrath will be great.” Turning she left the room, cradling the new-born.

“You are born to do great things little one, to save us from your father’s rule, and to save others too; you shall be a warrior maiden, and so your name shall be Autheil. Life will bless you greatly, my dear, but hush sweet child, you have a destiny to fulfil.”

To be continued….

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