The Epistles in the Bible would have it that “the day of the Lord cometh like a thief in the night” or words to that effect. It was a popular quote among the doomsday ranters with their “End is Nigh” sandwich boards that I mentioned in an earlier entry. They made it sound ominous – repent now, before it is too late, as if that doom was just around the corner. Whereas, if I recall the sermons of Rev. Elverson correctly, it meant that we should hold ourselves in readiness, always live in a godly way, for we could not know when the end would come. No last minute repentance for us. It was a popular subject for he and I to debate after lunch, since I also recalled that other parts of the Bible spoke of signs and portents – great beasts, the rise of the Anti-Christ and such-like, which I figured would be a pretty good clue that the end was nigh. Of course, it was possible that by the time the signs and portents started, it might already be too late for us sinners. As ever, we always agreed to disagree, and it was a pleasant way to pass the time as we passed the port.
I don’t suppose those Biblical authors stopped to consider other worlds, other realms, such as here in Faerie, or other Gods, like Cernunnos. Of course, by their beliefs, I suppose, such things could not or did not exist, or were possibly illusions created by Old Nick himself (whereas I know Cernunnos exists, I just met him). Even so, here in this realm, as our own end-of-days approaches, we have certainly seen a great beast, except we defeated ours. I don’t know about an Anti-Christ, unless the Huntsman counts. It’s possible I suppose – his arrogance and madness, his insistence that everything belongs to him – they all fit. But, it is possible that we could defeat him too. That definitely wouldn’t have fitted the world view of those Epistle writers.
This was the subject of discussion the other night. While Maric was most delighted that we had managed to retrieve Aoibheann, he was still worried that she could be ‘disappeared’ so easily. We spoke of various ways we could possibly ward against the Huntsman. A blood ward would be best, but we did not have any of his blood, only that of the cŵn. Aoibheann was most insistent that it wasn’t necessary – she could deal with the Huntsman, which, reluctantly, I had to agree with, to some extent, as hers seemed to be the only voice he would listen to. She also apologised for disappearing, she had only been to visit Ardan, she claimed. Gwyn drifted in, hovering on wings that were a shiny gold colour for a change, asking where Faermorn had been taken to. She also remarked drily that it was a bad idea trying to ward Aoibheann. She was probably right. It didn’t go down so well last time we tried that.
It then became somewhat of a social evening. Paasheeluu and her companion, Seehuu, came to visit, as did Galyanna and Orie. Galyanna was mostly wishing to check with Maric that her work, and that of her assistants, presumably the work to set up the protective circle, would be able to go ahead unhindered. Maric was agreeable to that, but still wanted a further meeting with Vedis to clarify terms of their agreement. For a start, he wanted to know if it was just the castle or could the village be saved. Galyanna and I spoke briefly about the fragment of tooth that she had presumably managed to remove from her side. I suggested it might make a good trophy, thinking that maybe a portion of it would decorate the pommel of my sword quite nicely. She was thinking of it more in terms of protection and healing, which made me think of the hair of the dog for hangovers.
There was some other discussion, but Gwyn and I tired of them and retired to the sithen for the night. We have not had much time over the last few months, so we had catching up to do. As we left, Maric reminded me mentally that we also needed to negotiate with Valene, so that we had an alternative to Vedis’ proposal. Again, I caught a flash of just how much he cared for and loved Aoibheann. Unlike my love for her, his had distinctly un-sibling-like overtones. I hope he has a lot of patience.