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3.12.17 (early morning)
In the night Izilba awoke, in terror, and unable to see, so thick was the cloud of darkness; and Miriam called out, but Izilba was not confounded, and knew the girl was near enough to embrace. They held to one another, as the dread approached, surrounding them. Of true-witches, Izilba had heard, but believed not, being a spell of youth, and yet no other word for the assault came to her mind. That one word, drumming, and driving out all other thoughts, Thuringwethil. Thuringwethil. Thuringwethil. Each syllable a footstep until the witches would come upon the two women, now she saw as if from above, were strangled and bent into familiar spirits to serve. The witches wore rings wrought of human sinew and bone, enriched by evil deeds, until a terror possessed them, of Thuringwethil, bond-maid of Thû, a vampire ancient, wounded in a long ago night by Izilba, she recalled the skirmish, and Zhera’s love as he pulled a burned corpse through a ring of grasping shades, and to her mind came the teachings of Ulmo upon the seas, when hope had faded, and death she sought to drown her grief in.
His words concerning Eru, Iluvatar, by men named Jesus in the long-future, she said these names, and her mind shook, trembling to remember the sounds and syllables, to string one name into another, a spell of past, present, and future as truth undisputed; angering the witches even as they reached for the two women. So Izilba spoke aloud the words of Ulmo, teaching to Miriam in a tongue the girl comprehended not, but the witches well knew, and as it were the dead fire of Gurthang Makmahôd rekindled in her heart, so she stood and lifted Miriam to her feet, still reciting to her all that she knew, supposed, and hoped concerning Eru, and His true-friends of the heart, how they would come into mortal flesh, bearing His mind and a measure of His power, that not only Ulmo should do so in the lands of regions of Miriam’s clan-folk, but others also, and before the vision might unfold the night-whores that had come for the child dedicated to the Dark, trembling in the womb of Miriam, these whores who had by their own will consumed man-flesh to gain a purported power of flight, and of a life sufficient to the day until the end of days; false promises, last of all they offered to Izilba and Miriam, who together drove out the whores of Devils, breaking what remained of their minds, for this tale of Eru they had not considered, though in part some names of which they heard had been by Izilba en-storied, in wrath and humiliation they turned as they fled, one upon another, these whores clawing at the eyes and faces of one another, ripping and tearing their own remnants of flesh, rotten in the day, what remained of their spirit hewn by the truth that two lost women in a forest broke their greatest power, and of them two, one had slain indeed their own mother-whore; while the other would bring to pass the liberation of their bound children, to be raised in light rather than caverns slick by entrails and stained in fumes ancient; and these fears, most astonishing of all, had been pulled from their broken minds, re-pieced together, and were known to both women, whose love keeps them now embraced, standing, as the sun cast out darkness before its rising, a fire of white pale to pink turned to orange and red, then at last, blue-glimmering.
At the feet of Miriam she found a crystal fit to hand, runed with dwarvish signs, itself stunned into silence and stillness of gleam, an implement for evil recalling long ago, it had been designed for protection, wondering, how it could have forgotten its own nature. Brin-sil-Beriand, Izilba named it correctly, though never had she heard these words before.
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