Misfortune of Vision, book #4 in The Druid’s Brooch Series, by Christy Nicholas is on pre-order NOW! Just 99 cents until release date on January 10, 2018. Get your copy now!
~ Prophecy can be dangerous ~
In 12th century Ireland, Orlagh has been Seer to her king for forty years. He doesn’t want to hear her prophecies of war and destruction, and dismisses her efforts to warn him. Therefore, she is determined to fulfill her own quest: to find a worthy heir for her magical brooch.
In the course of events, she must pass judgment on a thief, escape a Norman war camp, and battle wits with a Fae lord. She receives some prophecy of her own and enlists the help of a grizzled old warrior, who happens to be a long–time friend.
January 24, 1177 AD Dún Dá Leathghlas (Downpatrick), Ulster, Ireland
“Clodagh, do pay attention. Someday your woolgathering will get you in trouble. What happens if you forget you’re making a tincture? Some of these herbs will burn and turn to poison if you aren’t careful.”
The girl hung her head. “Yes, mistress.”
“And don’t ‘yes, mistress’ me so meekly! I won’t bite your head off child. But if you’re meek, the world will treat you like a slave. You must be strong to survive. Have you learned nothing from me?”
Orlagh sighed. She despaired of ever making something of this sweet child. Ever since that incident at the market, she’d watched the girl closely, but nothing else happened. Perhaps it had been an isolated incident. With a growl, she measured more celandine into the concoction she was making. A little more hemp nettle? Not too much. It was poisonous in great quantities. Just a little helped soothe the stomach. Speaking of soothing the stomach, she needed another drink. She took a long swig on her meadskin.
“Go on, then. Clean those bowls and then pull down the herbs. Check each one for mildew. You know the signs to look for, yes?”
“Call me mistress again in that tiny voice and you’ll feel my hand, child.”
“That’s better. Now go, do your work. Ask if you have questions.”
With Clodagh appropriately occupied, Orlagh turned to her tincture. The tincture was an excuse. She could make this compound in her sleep if she must. What she needed was quiet time to concentrate. She’d had a troubling dream the night before, and many years of prophecy had taught her not to ignore her dreams. It had been chaotic and confusing. There was fighting, but not with Gaelic soldiers. Could they have been Normans? She had a flash of short hair and odd helmets. Not the Ostmen, then. Their hair and beards were longer and wilder than the Gaels. No, it must be the Normans. Unless there was a yet unknown threat. But the Norman army was only in the southeast of Ireland. They had never ventured north of Dublin, and that was far to the south.
Never say never, she reminded herself. There was always a first time, and for something disastrous, that first time always came when you could deal with it least. Normans, then. Normans coming north for the tuath of Ulaidh.
© 2017 Christy Nicholas