Chapter 5: Judgement
"Tortall was saved. The constant will continue." Mother Flame announced to the collective gods.
"But what happens to Blaire?" A worried Kyprioth forced himself to ask.
"What happens indeed."
The gods watched the large glass bowl, which was at the centre of the large room. Their collective gazes were focused on the patch of woods that was the side of the Great Road East. Mortals were approaching the three that had died.
Mother Flame pointed at the girl and gold light surrounded her.
In the blink of an eye and a flash of gold, Blaire was removed from the clearing and was now standing amongst them… surprisingly alive.
She looked at her hands in surprise. One held the golden shield she hand been sent to recover. She was even more surprised to look up at all the gods watching her. She noticed Kyprioth first; his grin delighted.
Blaire looked incredibly confused and asked curiously, "I'm sorry, but I thought death was supposed to be fluffy clouds and angels… not ending up in a room and being gawked at by said room full of people."
Kyprioth chuckled and grinned crookedly at Blaire before turning to a woman who was very tall and willowy, with flaming red hair and shockingly orange eyes and said simply, "I like her."
The woman's mouth twitched but she flapped her arm dismissively at the god and said, "I know. I told you you would, which was why I asked you to go get her in the first place. But nooo, you wanted Mithros to do it. So you made up that stupid bet."
"Which you won anyway, yes I know. I just didn't think the Goddess could have changed the conservatives. But you know, she cheated. She took my crow, straight out of the Copper Isles. Hardly fair." Kyprioth's voice was slightly whiney.
A tall muscled man whose hair was an earth brown with grass green eyes ran fingers through his hair, seeming in frustration, "Children, stop now. You forget our company, and I think she needs an explanation." This was Father Universe. Mother Flame raised her eyebrows at him while Kyprioth, surprisingly enough, looked contrite. Even so, both turned back to Blaire.
The Blaire who was looking incredibly bored with the whole situation. "Do I get to stay dead? What's the deal with me being – dare I say it – in the Realm of the Gods? And why do you guys get to click your almighty fingers and bring me back to 'life' when you couldn't even recover this shield?" Her arguments had become infused with her own fury, and when she said 'shield' she swung the object in her hands around wildly. "Oh, and by the way, you can have this back." She then threw the damn shield at the god she guessed was Mithros, who was sitting on a chair, with the Goddess at his right.
This seemed to be some kind of court. Mother Flame and Father Universe were standing in the centre with Blaire and Kyprioth. The other gods had formed a large ring of spectators.
Mithros wasn't at all fussed with discovering his shield flying towards him; in fact he just caught it and rested it on the ground at his feet.
Mother Flame shifted uncomfortably as she looked uncertainly for a moment at Father Universe. He gave her the tiniest of nods, and she turned once again to Blaire. "So be it. You will have your answers. I suppose the first thing I should tell you is that you are my daughter."
Blaire's mouth hung open in disbelief. She started shaking her head, as if to dispel this thought, and started to back away, horrified.
The Mother continued, "Yes, it is true. This makes you a true god, as we are the first gods, parents of all the later." The Father nodded his agreement.
Blaire was in shock, "No, that's stupid. I know I'm an orphan but gods being my parents? Why wouldn't you have just kept me, I'm guessing it wouldn't be that hard for you to do that. I didn't even know that Tortall was real until you got Kyp there to kidnap me."
The Mother sighed in resignation, "We could not. All gods that will join our ranks must first experience life as a mortal – some of our children have never joined us. We had need of you, so you were tested. A test which you passed, by the way… although I would have preferred it if you hadn't died."
"No no no no no." Blaire was whispering under her breath. No. This did not happen. "What if I don't want to be a god?" She asked defiantly.
The Mother looked sad, but she said, "You may pass into the Black God's Realm. But I would ask you not to go. And nothing can change the fact that you are a god. Nothing."
Blaire opened her mouth, obviously to tell them she wanted to go. Before she could say anything, however, a hand touched her shoulder. She turned to see Kyprioth who said, "You have earned the right to take your birth-given place. Do not tell me that you would prefer to die? I would not wish it, especially since you are my favourite sister."
Sister. That word sent something needling into her brain. These gods were her family, if she would believe them. And why not? Weren't they offering her the chance to maybe make a difference in the world? She swallowed her reluctance, and her eyes turned into determination. "I will do this –"
The Mother let out a sigh of relief, "– but there is one thing I want."
"Name it." Father said in a soft but firm voice.
Blaire took a big breath in. If she couldn't have this, she would go to the Peaceful Realms. "I would like to have Flashfire by my side."
The Mother raised her eyebrows, "That stallion? What could you possibly want with a horse?"
"What does the Goddess want with a cat?" Blaire retorted, gesturing to where she sat with a purring black cat on her lap. She saw the Goddess's mouth twitch in a smile, and continued, "If I can't have Fire with me, I don't want to be here. Anyway, without his help, I never would have recovered Mithros' precious shield. Without him, I would have failed and everything would be gone."
The Mother's mouth twitched, "You make a very convincing argument, my daughter."
She waved her hand, and in a flash of gold light, Flashfire, his coat gleaming and dancing with the quality of sunlight was standing at Blaire's side. She let out a sound of delight and threw her hands around his neck.
The moment Blaire touched the stallion; a bright gold light flooded the room, staying for a long time, changing into a streak and flitting around all present. Most watched its progress; the gold glowing brilliantly, but tinged with a colour that matched the stallion's coat.
"And so a God has joined us." Mithros voice broke into the silence created by the power that had radiated from Blaire, that was now gone. That was the signal; her power had finally been released; she was a fully-fledged god. "And now you need a title."
Blaire was petting Fire's nose and watched idly as the gods started to talk amongst themselves, attempting to decide on a title.
Finally, the conversations stopped and the Goddess rose to her feet, "Blaire, what do you think of the Goddess of Courage? You have shown quite clearly that you possess this quality in leaps and bounds."
Blaire considered this. Suddenly, a wry smile developed on her face and she said in a clear voice, "No, Courage isn't right. I'd say Insanity."
Blaire heard Kyprioth snort and then succumb to laughter. She could also see the amused expression on the Goddess's face.
Blaire looked steadfastly at the Goddess, who was searching her face for something. Finally, she said clearly, "So Mote It Be."
The other gods echoed this back, so the court was filled with voices whispering, the harmony of all growing into a dull roar, "So Mote It Be."
No one knows who started it, but mortals began to call on Blaire, Goddess of Insanity, in the hopes of gaining her assistance or favour throughout their particularly daring acts. If the deed is insane enough, the Goddess herself may even contrive to appear, always with a bright stallion at her side, to be amused at the outcome of the event.
A/N: So Mote It Be.