The Taste of the Moon

A Bitter Night

The moon watched over the children of the night, listening to the calls of
worship and longing. Deep within the woods of wolves, was a dark shape,
nestled in the brush, watching the golden moon and the clouds around it. Her
eyes glowed a bright green, greener than the color of cherished emeralds.
    A jet black wolf ran along the paths, the pack, their tails up, their
ears alert, in the passion of the hunt. A low growl came from the shadows,
the green eyes narrowing. The figure moved out into a patch of moon light, a
pure white wolf, with beautiful silky fur and large luminous green eyes.
    She stared at the moon sadly and a bitter howl carried up into the wind.
She wondered wildly who was doing it, then realized she herself had uttered
the cry. She snapped her jaws shut with a sharp click. Howls echoed back at
her, not her own.
    Fear seized her and she let out a defiant snarl, taking off. The cries
grew louder and soon the pack was chasing her. She ran her muscles rippling,
her legs leaping into the air, the freedom of the run that she normally so
dearly loved. Her panic was cutting off the beauty of running for they cut
her off quickly and quickly had her surrounded.
    She snarled viciously, her green eyes intense and narrowed, her teeth
bared. They lifted their lips in silent snarls, but made no move to attack. 
She was the outcast, the one who they would kill willingly, if the prey ever
became scarce. She heard a smooth low growl behind her and whirled around,
hair bristling. The black leader stood tall over her, his raised head looking
down at her. His golden eyes were hard and showed no mercy. He stared her
down and she glared back. She was going to fight for her life, if she needed
    She shook her head bewildered as if he told her something with that
stare. The entire pack, all seven of them, except the leader, jumped at her,
their snarls loud. They bit into her flesh and she cried out, her voice
ringing into a violent snarl and she fought back. She slashed at a belly with
her claws and closed her jaws around a throat. They were on her, wildly and
she took the first opportunity and fled. They didn't chase her. Howls came
after her, banishing her. The loudest was the black male. It echoed in her
mind, long afterwards, haunting her.

Dawn's New Greeting

Dawn signaled Danaan's light across the morning sky. Aslings and mundanes
began to wake up, life stirring, The beggars walked faithfully to their
spots, greeting Aslings humbly with their heads bowed, soft smiles on their
    Two immensely built warriors came down the East Wood lands Meeting Area's
path talking loudly, their armor shining golden with the polished hybrasyl
gleaming in the sun. Their swords and shields were out as they jokingly
sparred upon one another. The dark haired one  suddenly noticed something
lying across the path leading to the Wolf's Wood. A young rouge lay face
down, her golden hair spilled in the dust, her body nude. They knelt beside
her and pulled a rough cloak around her shoulders, stirring her. She sprung
up, frightened, her green eyes wide, her teeth gritted in a human snarl. They
stepped back, holding out their bare hands, slowly.
"It's all right, Mademoiselle. We shan't hurt ye." The dark haired one said,
his light eyes full of smiles for her. The other warrior, who was a bit
thickheaded, but considerate, nodded.
    She relaxed ever so slightly, pulling the cloak around her body, and
nodded. She tried to remember the language, it had been a few dozen moons
since she had talked to anyone. The dark haired one turned to his companion
and said something quietly. The other nodded and they turned towards her.
 "Come with us, please. We shall take ye to the Healer Fae, nearby." The red
haired one said, taking her arm, gently.

"No, it's fine!" She cried, sounding high pitched and in fear.

"Kiesk!" Snapped the hazel eyed one, "Let her go as she wishes." He smiled at
her kindly. "My lady, we did indeed, happen to see the numerous wounds you
have received and we are quite concerned. We see so much death, so often in
the daily life, and to see a young woman go by wounded, goes against our
nature." He told her, his hazel eyes full of amusement and compassion. He
liked her a lot.
    She couldn't help but smile. "...I am not hurt badly." She hesitated

"And with the help of Devlin, you shan't be any further." He said, standing
up, his armor rustling into place.
    They led her down the dirt path of the Crossroads and introduced
themselves on the way.
"My name is Ezekiel. That's Kiesk." Ezekiel told her with a nod at his
brother. "We are both warriors, but are also knights." He turned his light
eyes towards her, a deep interest in her. "What is your name?"
    She paused a moment. It had been so long since she had revealed her name
to anyone, she had almost forgotten what names meant to people. "I am
Cielle." She said, finally.

"That is a quite interesting name. It rings with importance." Kiesk
commented, cheerfully. "What does it mean?"

    Cielle blushed, her blonde hair falling in her face. "Maiden of the

"Aye, a lovely name indeed." Ezekiel put in, dreamily.

The Legend of a Cursed One

    They came to a wooden door, decorated with all sorts of strange symbols.
"Devlin gets real serious about the evil warding rituals." Ezekiel explained.
    She looked at him silently, studying the features of his face. They
knocked quietly.
"Come in, Aislings! Called a cheerful, motherly voice. Kiesk opened the door
and stood aside for Cielle to step in.
    Unusual smells greeted Cielle's keen sense of smell and she wrinkled her
nose in  bewilderment. Human smells. She thought seeing a back hunched over
an table, cluttered with various scrolls, parchments and potions. Bottles of
all sorts were on the table as she came in and her green eyes gazed over
them. Heavy texts and more parchments were messily in order in the oak
  "Mother Devlin." Called the two gigantic warriors, their voices full of
undisguised affection. The woman at the table turned and smiled at them,
holding out her arms. She had soft white curls around her matronly face, but
it was premature. Her white cloaks fluttered quietly as she came to greet the
warriors as Cielle watched, gaping.
  "Mother Devlin took care of us, and raised us when our parents abandoned
us." Ezekiel explained, his eyes bright.
    Devlin looked at Cielle kindly and compassionate, but also very
interested. Cielle stared back. She must of known can't believe I was so
foolish to be allowed into this trap. Cielle thought frantically, thinking of
the door behind her. She lifted her face as a soft hand touched her arm.
Cielle looked at the woman's eyes with a bitterness and sorrow that only
Devlin could see at the time.
  "Fear not, young lass. We are friends here." She murmured to Cielle. She
turned to the two men who watched silently. "Leave us, please, my children."
    They nodded and Ezekiel gave Cielle an encouraging smile as he closed the
  "Sit down, my dear." The Fae said, patting the table, cleared off suddenly.
    Cielle sat down, in disbelief. She could of sworn it was cluttered just a
moment ago. She allowed Devlin to attend to her wounds, still wary, however.
  "Why do you fear humans?" Devlin asked, softly and without warning, as she
calmly dabbed at the bloody wounds with a cloth.
    Cielle jumped in surprise at the sudden question. She said nothing
though, her mistrust in humans, being so strong, and it was the way she had
lived. She bowed her head.
  "Do not worry, tongues do not waggle here at Devlin's." Said the woman,
mildly. "I know what you are."
    Cielle raised her frightened eyes to stare at the Fae's in shock. She
opened her mouth to speak and only uttered a hoarse croak. She shook her head
and watched her, her heart beating fast.
  "I see things. I know that even the beast wolves don't accept you. Nor
Aislings. You are wandering in the middle, lost, torn. The Aislings find out
your identity, they hate you for it. For being something unique. They can't
accept it. You haven't had Aisling or human contact for many a moon, I know.
Ever since you were cursed."
    Tears streamed down Cielle's face and she bowed her head, the golden hair
falling forward. Her voice came low and full of old pain. "My mother and
father were devoted to Ceannlaidir ...they worshipped three times each and
everyday at his temple. When I was born, they took me to his temple with the
faith that he would surely bless me. He indeed bless me, for their faith
...Now it seems a curse. He told my parents that I would be the leader of his
wars, the weapon, with more strength of any creature that walked the lands of
Temuair. The cross. He told them to raise me until I came of age - to
adulthood. Then I was supposed to return to him." Eve bit her lips,
remembering the things, her old grandfather had told her, before he died.
"They were so proud of me ...but I couldn't control my transformations. I
would be running without worry and
 then I would be a wolf. One day, a Aisling saw me change." Eve shuddered, in
the memory. "The word spread through town in a matter of hours. 'Witch',
'beast' 'demon child'. I was, but a small child. I could not control
something that came so naturally to me. Of course with the blindness of
children, I assumed everyone could do what I could. They came to our small
house ...their torches aflame, the reflections of their frightened, cruel
eyes. I could smell their fear and hatred, like ...a foul fruit. I hated it.
They broke down our door, in pursuit of my family. My mother and father stole
me out, deep into the woods. We hid for nights..days...Searches were put out,
with a reward, increasing in value every night. They wanted to kill my
parents ...Because of me ...because of their hatred of me." She shook
violently, her nails digging in the wood.
    Devlin watched, listening intently. Eve's eyes wandered in the tale.
  "They found us, one stormy, lonely night. My mother made me go, run away.
She told me to stay away from the Aislings, they would not understand. I
couldn't go, leave my only sources of comfort, my parents, to fend for
myself. My legs were so weak, I remember my father screamed at me to go, as
the door was bursting, splinters of jagged wood, landing at my feet. His fear
was strong, his voice full of panic.   
  I ran. I cried all night, running for miles, seeing so many nightmares
during that night, I know not if they were all in my head or not. I missed my
mother, her warmth. I howled for her, mournfully. I couldn't stand it, I went
back to the town ...and I found them." She swallowed, her eyes lowering, but
Devlin had seen the fury in those green eyes.   "They were hanging off of
trees ...their necks broken, hanging by a rope. In my grief, I did not see
the crowd that suddenly surrounded me. I charged in my rage, me, a small, but
powerful creature. I know I killed quite a few, but how many, I know not. My
eyes were burning, I couldn't think, just acted. I escaped them. I ran deeper
into the woods. I eventually found a old hermit's house. I called him
grandfather ...He took care of me, despite my difference. He understood, he
was also different, in another way.
  I hear the call of Ceannlaidir, every night. I so fear Aislings ...I don't
trust them ..But I shall not attack unless they attack first. I don't want to
hate. I fear Ceannladir wants me to work with Aislings ...I am hesitant to
go. I want to be accepted as what and who I am." Eve bowed her head.
    Devlin was silent, for a moment. "He shan't reject you. Neither would my
two boys out there, if they were to know. Your tale is sad, yet familiar,
Cielle. Yes, I know you name." Chuckled the Fae, noticing Cielle's raised
eyebrows. "Go to Ceannlaidir. Your fate lies there. It cannot be avoided. He
shall guide you. I can't see what he'll do...but no other god would accept
you. You bear the mark of war. He shall call everyday, even if you refuse.
Consider it a great honor to be what you are. To be a creation of a god. Face
your fears and hold your head up high. The sun shall shine everyday, upon
you. Go in peace, my lass." Devlin said, kissing the top of Cielle's head.
    Cielle found herself heading for the door, fully clothed in a clean,
neatly sewn corsette. Her wounds were gone, like they had never been on her
body. She was confused, feeling Devlin's gentle presence in her and then
fading. She was outside of the door, blinking stupidly in the bright
sunlight. Armor creaked loudly and Ezekiel leaped up, his brother gone.
  "Greetings, once again." He said, with a polite bow. She nodded. "Devlin is
a mother to us all.: he said, happily. She couldn't help, but smile. He
seemed vaguely familiar, his manner and his laugh. "Where are you going?" He
  "To Ceannlaidir's shrine." She answered, looking at him, hard. He didn't
answer or smile, staring at her intently. She felt at ease when he looked at
her. She hadn't ever talked to a young man before. "May I accompany you
there?: Ezekiel asked, his hazel eyes penetrating hers. She suddenly felt
weak and wondered wildly why she was feeling aggressive and the wolf inside
her, leapt to be released, but she kept it down. They went together.

The Recognition
    She stopped, gazing at the great building, feeling all of courage
draining from her. She glanced at Ezekiel and found him smiling at her, his
eyes full of understanding and of something else. It was almost like he knew
what it was like to be in her boots. He stayed outside, however, not giving a
reason why. She didn't ask either.
    She climbed the stairs and entered the shrine, immediately feeling a new
kind of feeling. She saw worshippers in a small gathering, she could smell
what they were feeling. All eyes turned towards her as she came in. The
sermon stopped, the priestess swallowing hard as she caught gaze of Cielle.
Did they know? Cielle thought, her heart pounding.
  "Good day to ye. Ceannlaidir blesses everyone with the strength of the
day." The priestess greeted. Cielle let out a silent sigh of relief and
walked to the front, where Ceannlaidir's great statue loomed. She knelt and
stared at it, her green eyes wide.
    The other worshippers couldn't help but steal glances at her. With her
oblivious knowledge of Aislings, she had no idea, nor was she aware that they
were admiring her beauty. Her hair shone greater than the golden armors, her
eyes brighter than the jade rings on their fingers, her flesh smoother than
the silk of their hats.
    She listened to the sermon, telling tales of Battle sights and victories
lead by the lord himself. Were there others like her? She wondered. She was
on her hands and knees, in deep in worship and not even half aware. She could
feel Ceannlaidir's strength coursing through her veins. She needed it, she
longed for it and reached out her soul, searching for it. The other
worshippers watched in awe at her intense worship and all of them fell on
their knees, astonished, as a bright golden light flashed within the room.
    Ceannlaidir appeared before their very eyes. He was golden with his
majestic aura, his great sword, lay sheathed against his side, his armor
gleamed, his eyes were stern and proud.
    They called out to him, their voices full of longing, admiration and joy.
He gazed upon them.
  "Twice, I have touched a young child, who knew no more than the idiots that
roam the lands outside of Temuair. I made them special, for they bear the
mark of ME." His voiced boomed and they bowed their heads. "I wanted them to
become great war leaders for our people. To lead on the battle, we fight.
  But cursed to be, you and Temuarians alike, ignored my gift." His eyes were
full of flames and fury. "You condemned them, until they were afraid to be
who they are. My creations. I shall not bless another in my anger. These two
are still alive, yes. Do not condemn them, for they shall lead you to be
victorious in the great war that is to follow very soon. The war shall wage
so fiercely, you shall cry out for help. If you break your swords and armor,
what have you fight with? Wit? Don't be ridiculous." He turned his eyes
towards Cielle, who still had her eyes closed, her head bowed. "I am pleased,
young one. You shall be rewarded for your loyalties to me. I am watching."
And with those final words, the great god disappeared in a fiery blast of
light.  Cielle was thinking fiercely, her heart beating fast. He said twice
... Two people! But who could the other be? Was there someone who could
understand her? She could feel Ceannlaidir's strength and bravery flowing
through her.
    She stood up, not seeing all the eyes upon her in amazement. No one could
say anything. She looked towards the entrance, feeling something there. She
saw Ezekiel leaning against the wall, his hazel eyes intently watching her,
she could see them, even from the distance she was standing at. His gaze
burned into her, and she wanted to embrace him, suddenly. He slowly moved his
head away, and walked out. She stared after him for a long time and a slow
smile spread over her face. He was the black wolf.

Blood and Love
    2 Deoches later.
    After much brewing and conflict, with constant fighting between Temuair
and a neighboring land called Serendia, war broke out over a newly discovered
land in the north. All Aislings came together, with traitors and spies from
each side along with the battle fled people who fought for their very lives.
The gods argued with each other, not liking the disruption in the people.
Ceannlaidir, however, was soaring with the Aislings, giving them the courage
they needed. The survival instinct of war arose in their blood and they
constantly saw Ceannlaidir in bodily form. Ezekiel and Cielle were elected as
head generals and the people listened to them, as they spoke to them,
Ceannlaidir speaking through them.
    With Cielle's ability to transform, and her immense strength, she
frightened many a soldier of Serendia. The Aislings were amazed at Ezekiel
and Cielle with their skills and knowledge. These things came so naturally to
them, and they could easily get their people to understand them. After each
battle, their names were cheered out on with the wind. They were not being
pushed away, they were being accepted. The Aislings accepted their bizarre
abilities as the way that they were.
    Cielle in her quiet moments to herself, was often thinking of Ezekiel.
They came across each other, but were often to busy to exchange more than a
hello. She wanted to challenge him, to test their strengths. She felt the
energy of a puppy when she felt like this. She also liked Ezekiel in a very
different way and she could see it in his gaze, when they caught each other's
eyes from across the camps.

The Sweet Moon Worship
    She was walking in the camps, not being able to sleep, the moon calling
out to her. She saw him, standing near the trees, staring at the moon, his
black hair blowing softly in the breeze.
She came up to him as he spoke to her, without glancing at her.
  "The change is coming ... The full moon signals the feeling of fleeting
this skin. We shed it, our wildness emerges and we become the moon, her
children, Ceannlaidir as our father." He said, quietly, his voice soft. His
hazel eyes were growing bigger with the moon.
    Cielle gazed at the moon, her skin rippling, feeling the pull, to bring
forth the sweet change. She tasted the crisp air with the tip of her tongue.
She shivered and it took all of her restraint to keep from running off into
the night to embrace the night. She had a responsibility, to guide the
Temurians at all times.
    Ezekiel turned his hazel eyes that were starting to turn golden to her.
"Don't resist it, Lord Ceannlaidir understands our feelings, our wants, our
needs." He said, in a low voice, barely above a lulling growl. He pulled her
to him and kissed her suddenly, a wild kiss, full of the intoxicating nature
of the Moon. Her mouth opened to his, surprisingly. He stopped and looked at
  "Come with me." He said, his face flickering in shape, with the change.
    She swallowed and glanced back at the camps. She couldn't resist the
exotic enticing. She ran with him under the moon for the sweetness of that
    With the two leaders, chosen by the god of War, filled with the strength
of Ceannlaidir, the cunning luck of Fiosachd, and Gramail's judgment, the
Temurians won the War of Test.
Devlin watched the Serendians retreating through her magic crystal and let
out loud whoops of joy. The march home was one of victory and the Temurians
celebrated for all of the Deoch, with the bards telling the stories of the
two leaders, blessed with unnatural powers.
    They honored Cielle and Ezekiel in their own way, the real Temurian way
of Aislings, they accepted them and made them honorable citizens always to be
praised and admired. Many Aislings worshipped Ceannlaidir after the battle
and shifted their faiths to him.

The Final Mystery

    Cielle and Ezekiel were lovers of the night, and of each other. They ran
together through the Moon's rays with howls and cries of wildness. During one
night, shortly after they arrived home, they lay under the stars, basking
their bodies in the glow of the Moon.
    Cielle was quiet, thinking. She finally spoke. "Why did you banish me
from the wolves. Why were you with them?"
    Ezekiel gazed at her, softly. "We have a taste for blood, as they do.
However, they do not have the magic we have. They cannot experience the joy
of being human, of feeling love, of crying, of affection. We are not wolves.
We are not man. We are our own creatures, we are just as divine. We can exist
in either society, but we shall never be one of them, truly. We belong
together, to give each other strength, love and challenges. We shall not
pretend any longer."
    Cielle listened, feeling his words, giving her strength. She still felt
the bitterness towards Aislings for the violent deaths of her parents.
  "We have an alliance," Ezekiel said, as if reading her thoughts, "That is
what we have with humans." He leaned over and kissed her full of deep love.
    Howls rang under the moon, the joyous cries of life, the beauty, the
intoxicating wilderness of nature that awes the lovers of the Earth. We are
the Divine.

By SkyMaiden