from Scorched Earth


"Within the sacred circle we have come together in celebration of the joining of Y’Roden and Ghetsuhm. Megifte; the joining of two souls, the merging of two lives. Love is precious and rare, and it binds us together in an eternal dance that is a reflection of the dual suns that forever chase one another through the sky, and the moons that eternally dance upon our horizon. Inseparable, a bright light that shines in the darkness. The law of life is love unto all beings. Without it, life is nothing; death has no redemption for love transcends life, creation and the universe. If we learn no more in this life, let it be this.

"Megifte is a bond to be entered into only after careful reflection. As with any aspect of life’s journey, it has its cycles, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, Y’Roden and Ghetsuhm have come here on this day to be joined as one.

"A woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken; I ask simply if she comes of her own will. Ghetsuhm, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?"

Ghet lifted an eyebrow, an ironic comment that suggested B'Rodyn knew as well as anyone how likely it was you could make Ghet do something against her will. There was laughter in her voice when she spoke. "I do."

B’Rodyn’s eyes sparked with undisguised amusement, and it was a moment before he remembered where he was in the process. Which was highly amusing in itself, since it was such a simple line. "Please join hands with your intended, and let your words come from the heart on this, the day of your joining."

Y’Roden turned completely to face Ghet and took both of her hands in his, his mouth curving up on one side in a dimpled smile and the look he gave her said ‘you first.’

Ghet’s lips twisted in an expression that promised retribution to come. She hadn’t prepared, of course: the problem this time was that they’d said everything. Everything he needed to know, he already did. And it was always there, her fear of hurting him: no promises.

“Rodi.” One word and her thick lashes were already heavy with tears. “There is nothing I can tell you that you don’t already know. I gave you my heart with my body centuries ago, and despite everything we’ve put each other through, I have never regretted it for a second. I would go through Hell for you. We know because I’ve done it. We fit each other in a way most people couldn’t even fathom, let alone replicate, and no matter what happened, we both knew there was someone, somewhere, one person who understood.

“Over the years, I’ve given you everything I could, but there was one thing you never had, one thing I could never give you, no matter that I loved you so much it made my soul bleed and burn. This is what I give you now. My faith. My promise that my heart will be yours alone, that yours will be the only hand to grace my flesh, the only kiss to fire my blood. My pain and my pleasure I lay before you, to do with as you will.” Her grip on his hands was sure, and the look in her eyes was clear and true. “I am yours, and proud to be so.”

He hadn’t prepared either, they were spur of the moment creatures after all, and he was completely silent for a moment, utterly speechless as Ghetsuhm’s words sank into his soul. His eyes wavered, caught in hers as Ro drew a slow, steadying breath and just let the words come.

“Ghettie,” he even managed it without a crack in his baritone, “We’ve said so much the past few months, and over the years. You are where I have always found understanding without judgement, honesty no matter the consequences, and love that has surmounted so many obstacles it can’t be anything other than the real thing. I have lived, breathed and died for you, and never regretted a moment.

“I’ve been yours since the first moment you looked into my eyes, and now I give you everything. Heart, mind, body and soul, pleasure and pain, light and dark, yours, and yours alone.” His face lit with a smile, “You are my Lisse Nwalme, and in this land of eternal summer, you are the joy of every one of my mornings.”

“Above you thrum the stars,” B’Rodyn’s voice filled the silence as Y’Roden’s trailed off, “Below you hum the stones, as time passes, remember... Like a stone should your love be firm like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your joining, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will pass quickly. Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear and let not the ways of the unenlightened give you unease, for the Goddess is with you always.

“Y’Roden, I have not the right to bind you to Ghetsuhm, only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your band in her hand.”

The half-elf produced the silvery S’Hean cuff from a pocket portal and set it into Ghet’s small palm. It was set with an emerald to reflect his soul, and a flame red ruby to reflect Ghetsuhm’s, the two ends separate… for the moment. “It is my wish,” he said without hesitation, “without a doubt, to be bound to Ghetsuhm.”

"Ghetsuhm, I have not the right to bind you to Y’Roden, only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your band in his hand."

A single tear had spilled over to roll slowly down Ghet's cheek, and she let it, unashamed. Effortlessly, she produced her armband, a perfect match for the one she already held but for the size. "It is my wish," she said gently, her expression soft as she laid the band in Y'Roden's hand. Simple words, full of truth.

"Ghetsuhm, I accept your band, and the binding of you to me, and I wish the same. I could do nothing else, and would have no other. I willingly bind myself to thee."

Taking Ghet’s smaller cuff, Y’Roden stepped forward and slid it onto her right bicep, the two ends quickening beneath his touch to form the S’Hean eternity symbol, the gems glittering in the centres of the loops. His callused fingers brushed her skin as he recited the rest of the vows.

“I, Y’Roden D’Riel, in the name of the spirit of the Gods that resides within us all, by the Aethyr that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take you, Ghetsuhm Riker, to my hand, my heart and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire you and be desired by you, to possess you and be possessed by you without shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for you. I promise to love you wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change you in any way. I shall respect you, your beliefs, your people and your ways as I respect myself.”

In every ceremony came this point where the actions and words of one party echoed the other. Previously, she'd always found it kind of awkward and uncomfortable. One thing she'd learned a lot about lately though was balance. A lot of the last year had been about shifts in the balance; order and chaos, life and death, one love and another. There was a profound feeling in her heart and beneath her feet of balance being restored, as she slid the larger cuff onto Y'Roden's arm, sealed the ends, spoke the words over it.

And when she completed the vows, they were so true for the two of them, they sounded straight from her heart, not learned or repeated. "I, Ghetsuhm Riker, in the name of the spirit of the Gods that resides within us all, by the Aethyr that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take you, Y'Roden D'Riel, to my hand, my heart and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire you and be desired by you, to possess you and be possessed by you without shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for you. I promise to love you wholly and completely without restraint," she had to master a smirk at that point, she was both totally without restraint and the complete opposite with him, "in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again." In that moment, she believed it utterly, and she could only hope that next time round, it didn't take so long.

It was hypnotic, and Ro was caught up so deeply in Ghet, B’Rodyn had to literally bump his arm with the Chalice. Turning his head, Y’Roden met his cousin’s gaze a little dazedly before realizing he should be taking the goblet of Mai’Tus wine.

“May you drink your fill from the cup of love,” the King intoned, his lip twitching with a suppressed grin as the cup passed from his hands into Y’Roden’s.

The half-elf lowered it slightly, then tilted it for Ghet to drink from. His eyes were lit with the flame of memory, it wasn’t the first time he had served her, nor would it be the last.

Ghet blushed, a dusky rose stain flooding her cheeks. The Mai'Tus... she reminded herself that no-one else had any idea what it meant to them, but the way he was looking at her really wasn't helping. There was a lot more they had to get through yet.

She covered his hands with hers and drank, eyes on his the whole while, then she offered the cup back in return, her grin impossible to repress.

It was a little awkward to grin and drink at the same time, but Ro managed, never breaking eye contact until the cup was taken, and B’Rodyn placed the seed of life, a Mai’Tus seed, into his palm, then covered it with Ghet’s. A small garland of ivy and orchids was wound lightly around their wrists and the King held his hand just above theirs. A soft glow lit up his palm, extending to the garland that shimmered softly, then seemed to seep into their skin until it was gone.

"By the power vested in me by the Gods and the Kingdom of S'Hea, I now pronounce you Ronnan and Vonna. May your love so endure that its flame remains a guiding light unto you."


B’Rodyn looked peaceful, his dark chestnut locks ruffling across his shoulders as a breeze blew in from the lake. There was a quiet acceptance about him, in knowing that the position was rightfully Ro’s. He stood with his back to the water, dressed identically to his cousin and the familial resemblance became all the more clear as the half-elf joined him on the emerald sands.

“On this day,” B’Rodyn’s voice carried well over the grassy meadow, “I renounce my claim to the S’Hean Throne, and pass it on to its rightful heir, Y’Roden D’Riel.” His gem like gaze met its mirror and the elf held out his hand, palm up, to his cousin. “Do you accept this honour? Will you accept the burden of the Web, of the Land, and the people?”

“I do,” Y’Roden’s baritone was rich and there was no hesitation in his tone. His massive hand closed around B’Rodyn’s wrist, and the jolt caused the King’s fingers to reflexively close about Ro’s. There was a slow, soft glow between their wrists, then a sudden explosion of Aethyr lightning that hovered between them for a moment, then enveloped both males in a crackling maelstrom.

The air lit up with writhing tendrils of green energy that snapped away from B’Rodyn’s soul, broken filaments on the air that bucked and swayed, then unfailingly, slammed into Y’Roden as hundreds of souls sought out the Nexus.

The half-elf let out a wild yell, his head snapping back as B’Rodyn’s bowed forward. The only thing keeping either of them on their feet was the other, and they swayed dangerously as the Web reasserted itself, claiming Y’Roden as its patriarch once more.

When it was done, Ro stumbled back and drew in a deep gasp of air, his skin still crackling with the living Gaia of Whispin. B’Rodyn followed, Y’Roden turning to fall in beside of them as the pair made their way out onto the grass. The new King held out his hand, beckoning Ghetsuhm to himself as Gwen came to stand beside B’Ro, and around all of them, a ring of Rangers took up position. Beyond them, the S’Hean people formed great rings of their own, all gathered for the reinstating of their King, and to welcome a new Queen.

Ghet was still laughing as she walked out to join her Ronnan, not humour, but a mix of sheer joy and a deep pride in Y'Roden. Her soul rang from the shift in the nexus, sparking with energy which showed in her eyes as she practically danced across the grass to Ro. She took his hand and kissed him lightly, delighting in the force that cracked between them. "It suits you," she said impishly. She had no doubt at all that this was where her Rodi belonged.

Y’Roden’s deep laughter matched hers and he took a moment to kiss her properly, not bothered at all by the fact that the entire S’Hean nation and then some were watching. Drawing back, he took both of Ghet’s hands in his; standing so he was facing her directly. This was their moment now, “It suits you too,” he told her, because it did.

B’Rodyn stepped forward, his hand in Gwen’s, “Life and Magic are the Land, the King is the life, the King is the Magic; the land's name is Y’Roden D’Riel… so say I.”

Despite his reservations, in this Fadil had no conflicts. Y'Roden was his oldest friend, and the Hojet Foryen firmly believed he was the only king for S'Hea. “Life and Magic are the Land, the King is the life, the King is the Magic; the land's name is Y’Roden D’Riel… so say I.”

“I am life, I am magic, I am the land, so say I,” Y’Roden recited, his eyes still sparkling as they held Ghet’s gaze.

From the circles surrounding them came the resounding chorus, “So Say I,”

Gwen's smiling eyes shifted from Y'Roden, whom she'd been watching with a certain amount of love, sympathy, and pride. Her spring green eyes now fell on the woman who was about to become Queen of S'Hea, the woman who would now fill the role left vacant by Silverthorn... a role of healing, in a time when the Land needed just that. It was time not for a warrior Queen, but for a healer Queen.

“Love and wisdom," Gwen's rich voice carried easily as she spoke, "she is the soul of the King. The Queen is love, the Queen is Wisdom; the Soul’s name is Ghetsuhm D’Riel… so say I.”

Fadil's face was cold, but then he barely ever showed emotion anyway. She was queen, by virtue of her marriage, she made Y'Roden happy for now, and when it came right down to it, there was nothing Fadil could do anyway. To object would be to damage Ro, and fail in his duty. The pause before he spoke wasn't long enough for comment, and while there was no joy in his voice, there was nothing that could cause comment either. “Love and wisdom, she is the soul of the King. The Queen is love, the Queen is Wisdom; the Soul’s name is Ghetsuhm D’Riel… so say I.”

Ghet's smile had not faltered. She was too full of joy to be plagued by insecurities. She could feel the touch of S'Hea on her, a certainty she could always fall back on. "I am love, I am wisdom, I am the Soul." Her eyes on Y'Roden's, she was so full of happiness it bubbled around her, scarcely contained. "So say I."

Again, the gathered host raised their voices, “So Say I.”

To each side of the royal couple appeared a young Elven maid, each bearing a small obsidian bowl filled with clear water.

Y’Roden kept his eyes on Ghet as he reached to the side, dipping his fingers into the bowl, then gently running his thumb over her mouth, a soft brush of skin over her lower lip that left it damp and glimmering in the dual sunlight.

Ghet closed her eyes briefly, soaking up the sensuality of the gesture before she replicated it, her breath catching in her chest as the water beaded on his mouth. Her hand shook as she drew it away.

With their hands joined once gain, Aethyr fire leapt up between them, green and full of S’Hean life. It was a testament to the purity of the union, that Ghet was truly connected to S’Hea, that her flame matched his own. The words were recited as one.

“I stand upon the land, I breathe the air, I taste the sweet water, I burn with the fire, I live through the Aethyr. By all these things and more, I pledge myself to S’Hea, to its people and to you. So say I.”

“Long life to the King!” B’Rodyn’s voice carried over the crowd.

“SO SAY I!” The response was a roar of voices, and with it, the D’Riel Web became visible, every ethereal strand glowing with soft emerald light, leading back to Y’Roden at the nexus. A vast, glimmering spider web of power and connection on two distinct levels; the brighter more intense one linking the D’Riel Clan and all those who were bonded to them by blood, the second, a more subtle filament of webbing that linked the S’Hean people as a whole.

Gwen's voice once again spoke over the crowd, “Long life to the Queen!”


A pulse flowed out across the vast network, the final seal upon the pact between royal couple, the S’Hean people, and S’Hea itself. Tendrils of Aethyr rose up from Her, playing about the ankles of the King and Queen, an answering celebration that welcomed Ro back to the throne, and Ghet… home.