The Seer sat alone in her hovel.
It was filled with assorted knick knacks and baubles from times long before her own.
Terziel was the seer of this keep, the queen of her own castle, the master of her own life.
But… She was still so alone.
The entire village respected her.
She knew when the rain would come, when the harvest would arrive that year, and when a woman would give birth, and she would always be right.
For a blind woman, she had a very good sense of her surroundings.
On this day, the King Erindal and his Queen Fefella would come riding through the villages of Altornya, showing off their fancy clothing, their ruffly capes, their shining horses… Everything about them was over the top and fanciful.
They would come in and King Erindal would give a speech, speak to the Seer to find out when the harvest would arrive in the village, and then leave as soon as he came. He would come with his finest knights and their shrimpy lackeys.
It was always the same.
Terziel took her brush to even her hair, so as to seem semi-presentable to his Highness and his Queen.
Even when blind, one must look decent.
She exited her hovel wearing her teal robe. She wore necklaces with ounces of jade, shards of bone, and other assorted things that have no meaning, but look very spiffy for royalty, she thought. Her robe was an odd thing. It had, embroidered into the very fabric with a bright, shining red, a story. A story of a damsel in distress, a dragon, and the knight who saved her and slew the dragon.
She always had sympathy for the dragon.
The peasant-folks all stood about idly, waiting for their King and his men to arrive.
The jester, Gamzir, wearing his ridiculous outfit of eggplant purple, was leaning against her hovel, his bright white face-paint smeared about, some up his nose, and some missing in spots. "Terziel," He began, but she cut him off as soon as he began.
She hated that man.
"I will not listen to thee to-day. As ye know, his Highness is coming, and I must be in a calm state of mind for his witless banter." She spoke with a gruff tone of voice, clearly not enjoying King Erindal and his manor of speaking.
Gamzir shrugged in a nonchalant way. "Whatever floats thine watercraft."
The King arrived right on schedule.
King Erindal arrived on his gleaming white horse, a flowing purple robe trailing behind him and the horse, a shining crown upon his head with the royal jewels, and a strange streak of purple thread weaved into his hair. "Peasants, where is the Seer? I require her presence!"
This was not to be a normal visit, so it seemed.
Chapter 2: Exit Stage Left
Terziel the Seer makes her decision.
Terziel presented herself before King Erindal with a stout face. "Your majesty, how may I serve thee?" He gazed at her from his high horse, his eyes narrowed and a strand of hair falling out from beneath his crown. "I want your services immediately, Terziel the Seer. Your king demands it!" Queen Fefella gave a drawn out sigh. "Erindal, this is a mockery to our seers. This fool of a woman who stands with a jester is she of whom thee speak with when thee are in peril? You shame me, Erindal. I am going back to the palace." Queen Fefella took a troop of armor clad soldiers who were seated upon the backs of their horses, riding off into the distance.
King Erindal was furious, but he sucked up his shame, unseating himself from his horse. "Ahem. Seer, as was almost stated, I need thee to help me in my conquests. Remove thyself from the home to which you were borne to, and be my Seer, my royal Seer. Ye are truly the best there is, and I am ashamed of my Queen's disapproval of thee. Nevertheless, I demand that thee come to live at the castle!" Erindal took a deep breath to fill his lungs with air once more, worn out from the quick speech.
Terziel was taken quite aback. Live at the castle? She thought, tapping her face. She sensed that King Erindal was telling the truth, and that he really did need help, but it was a bit shocking, nevertheless.
King Erindal was an impatient man, and rather ruthless, so for her to stall for any longer would most likely result in either an immediate beheading or life in exile. "Your highness," Terziel began, bowing a bit, "I would be honored to serve thee in your court. Allow me but a moment's time to gather mine own, and I shall be with thee then." She backed away, turning only to smack into someone.
She smelled foul liquor and herbs upon his breath.
"Gamzir, get thee away from me! I need to enter my home!" Terziel snapped, knowing fully well it was he. Gamzir gave a shrug which Terziel never caught. "Terziel, this is a bad idea. Are ye sure of this? This decision thee have crafted?" She breathed in, then out. "I am quite sure of my decision. Leave me be."
So he moved, and within but a moment's time, she had gathered her herbs, spices, and bones, wrapping them in her linens and exiting the hovel.
Only the children had sad eyes when she left.
Chapter 3: A Warning
Terziel arrives at the castle, and meets the head maid and a mysterious chunk of metal/
Terziel arrived at the castle without a lick of fanfare.
She had ridden in on one of the knight's horse, he running behind the group in full armor, panting and wheezing as he ran.
The maids, servants, and assorted personnel of the castle were all about, going about their regular work. Terziel's ears and nostrils beheld the sounds and smells of the castle.
Terziel had very good ears and a very good nose.
A maid by the name of Aradiane spoke to Terziel.
"Terziel the Seer, come off thine horse. I am to lead thee to thine quarters within the castle."
Aradiane had a monotonous voice that carried, she being a stout woman with a great length of curly, thick black hair that draped around her, but was pulled back by a piece of cloth. She wore simple clothing that was, most assuredly, the grade of clothing a Duchess might wear, each pieceof her clothing embroidered with the color of the cloth, and the fabric-oh, the fabric!- was the finest a maid-a maid, no doubt- could receive.
She was definitely the head maid.
Terziel climbed off, using her better senses to guide her, listening for anything running underfoot, and smelling to see if she was to step in something unpleasant. She got off without a hitch, and so Aradiane scooted around to the other side, taking Terziel by the elbow.
"Your grime is spectacular," Aradiane muttered, her voice reaching Terziel's ears.
"Yes, grime. Thou art grimy from living in a hovel, and there being a shortage of water. You are grimy, and that is that."
Terziel scoffed at this as she was being pushed by Aradiane.
"If I was grimy, as thee say I am, then I would have surely noticed!"
"Not so. If thee were grimy all thine life..." She let her sentence dangle in the air, hoping that Terziel would catch on.
This made Terziel rather mad.
"Just because I am of peasant blood does not mean thee has to be so rude!"
Aradiane laughed heartily, pushing Terziel into a room. "For a blind peasant, you do have a sharp tongue!"
It was Terziel's turn to laugh, and her cackling caused Aradiane to shudder. Nobody liked it when Terziel laughed.
"I do have a sharp tongue. It is from where I derive all of mine wit!"
It then occurred to her that she was alone in the room. She heard the descending footfalls of Aradiane further down the hall, and she realized that this was to be her room.
The floor was made of solid stone. It was rather cold, but it would have to do. She felt her way around the room, finding a bed of wooden posts and a mattress of cloth and feathers within. There was also a washbasin and a low table for her to lay out her herbs and spices, her knick knacks and parcels.
Then it occurred to her that she had forgotten her herbs and spices, knick knacks and parcels.
She spun around to exit the room when she ran face first into a hunk of metal.