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     The Grand Hall of High Peaks Palace was decked in great array for the guests, council members and their families. Gorgeous tapestries depicting wars, victories, and great functions around the Realm hung from the walls. The great fire pit in the center of the room was blazing with scented pine and hickory wood. The tables, heavily laden with food from every corner of the realm surrounded the fire pit. Minstrels and bards entertained as people sat, ate, laughed and enjoyed themselves.

     Jor'ean was seated at the head table with the three Elder druids to his left, General Hi'sin and two empty chairs were to his right.

      The party had been underway for an hour, after everyone had been properly announced, all waiting to heere the names of the unknown druids to be announced. When they were not forthcoming at the appointed time, many people began to question the actuality of the unknown druids. When wine flowed, tongues began to discredit the possibilty of strange druids in the Realm.

     Jor'ean was silently pondering his actions, wondering, if in desperation to defeat these new enemies, he acted to rashly in building up his people's hope of new and possibly powerful druids.

     The Grand Hall's doors were suddenly thrown open with the herald nervously shuffling through.

     "Presenting," he began, looking back over his shoulder, "his Grace, the Archdruid and high priest of the White Order of the Druid!"

     

      Jor'ean had risen, no sound could be heard in the room.

     A White Druid?

     White Druids had been extinct since the last had died in the Peace War. None had obtained the honor of speaking with the gods since that time, so White Druids had not existed since then. And now, there was an Archdruid and High Priest of the Order walking into the very room.

     Necks craned to catch the first glimpse of the newcomer and were well rewarded.

     Into the room strode a tall man, well over a head taller than even the king himself. Several in the room gasped as they noticed his ears, large and sharply pointed, naming him elven. His red hair was long and braided with white leather strips. A silver and gold circlet rested on his head. Hazel eyes of immense power scanned the room as he began to cross toward the king. He was dressed in white and gold silk tunic and britches, with belt and scabbard inlaid with gold, holding a sword and scythe. The sword and scythe glowed brightly with silverish golden light. His soft leather boots made no sound as he continued his trek across the room.

     As he approached the fire pit, the White Druid waved a hand and stepped into the fire pit. Never breaking his stride, the fire parting before him, the coals hissing with his steps.

     The room remained deathly silent as he crossed the pit and came to stand before the King's table, and gave the king the slightest of bows.

     "I am honored to make your aquaintence," the Druid spoke, "I am Mithial Ringtail."

     Jor'ean returned a hesitent nod, "It is we who are honored, Archdruid."

     Mithial cocked his head with a off centered smile. "My name, is Mithial."

     Jor'ean was taken aback. This was a diffent kind of man, one that was not be trifled with.

     "Off course, Mithial." he said, softly, "we are honored, by your presence."

     Mithial chuckled to himself and then turned to face the still open doors.

     The herald, still standing nervously at the door, continued to look over his shoulder, than back at Mithial. With a slight nod from Mithial, the herald cleared his throat.

     "Ummmm....Presenting," he began with a stutter, "Her Grace, the Archdruidess and High Priestess of the White Order of the Druid!"

 

     The woman who walked into the room, did so three inches above the floor. The gathering of people were no longer silent. Murmurs, whispers, gasps of shock were heard from every corner of the room. Most of the people in the room did not remember or had never met a druidess. The law banning women from gaining entrance to the Orders was over a hundred years old.

     That there had been many female druids before this time was history. That they were wild and capricious in nature, was also, supposedly history.

     The druidess did not walk boldly through the room as her predecessor, but instead, paused at the opening to the Grand Hall and gazed around the room.

     She, herself, was gazed at in return.

     Pure white curls piled gently on her head surrounded by a gold and silver circlet, framing her face. Dark green eyes that peered curiously at the people in the room. Ears, that, though not as starkly pointed as that of Mithial's, still pointed to an elven ancestory. Unlike the women of High Peaks Realm who never bared anything more than their arms or ankles in public, golden brown shoulders with gold and white armbands glowed softly in the firelight.

     Her chest was bound in white and gold silk, her midriff bare. Her skirt reached her ankles, but was cut away on either side to upper thigh, allowing for her legs to move freely. She wore no shoes, only a gold and white band around her left ankle. There was no sword by her side, but she did have a golden glowing scythe, dangling from her waist belt.

     After her moment's pause, she continued to the center of the room. Everyone waited for her to pass through the fire as well, but instead, as soon as she reached the fire pit the air she now stood upon lifted her up every step until she strode across the fire pit in midair, and coming back down to stand next to Mithial.

     "Your Majesty," said Mithial, reaching for the druidess' hand, "May I present, Corleen Silentwing, my mate."

    

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