The Forest Witch PDF

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Book 7 of The Narrative of Riven the Heretic
Part 1 of The Arcanian Chronicles

By Toni V. Sweeney

In Young Hawks Flying, Valriven kan Ingan, wounded and left for dead by the margrave’s men, is saved by Tamsin, a Ghermian forest witch.

With Hronhild the wolf-shifter, he becomes her companion. When he believes she and Hronhild die in a battle with a wizard’s minions, he returns to his quest of reuniting his brothers to fight Morling of Francovia.

Tamsin didn’t die, however, nor did Hronhild. Instead, they survived to continue their adventures and achieve whaat each desired most in life.

Here, then, is the complete story of Tamsin, the Forest Witch…


Genre: Fantasy

Sensuality rating: 4

Cover Art by James Robinson

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Author: Toni V. Sweeney
Description

Chapter 1

 

The winds blew gently for that time of year though winter had its grip upon Ghermia and the forests and mountains were already white with an early snow.

In Lis the midwife’s cottage, the hearth fires burned brightly, highlighting the body of the young woman lying upon a cot in its wall-niche, and also Lis herself as she ministered to her patient.

Silently, she murmured prayers to the gods as she pressed fenugreek into a mortar fashioned of rainbow-hued mother-of-pearl, lined with light green emerine, both known for easing childbirth. Taking a pestle constructed of pink tourmaline, she crushed the herb into fine fragments and shook it into a bowl, lighting it with a candle taper.

As the fragrance wafted into the air in a white spiral, she selected shepherd’s purse stems, tied together with a bit of string. Touching the tip of the flame to the herb, she waved it over the cot, the smoking bouquet trailing its scented vapor into the air, mingling with the fenugreek.

“Issha, goddess of women…help bring this child into being…look not on the method of its creation but on what it may do in this world. See into its future and grant it life…”

There was a faint sound from the cot, bitten off in mid-moan by a gasp. Lis was certain what that meant. The birth was nearing.

~ * ~

High in the heavens above Arcanis, holy beings crowded into the Weaver of Lives’ cloud chamber, summoned there by the father of the gods. Unlike the mother-to-be, most members of the pantheon were confused, rather than anxious.

“Why have you gathered us, Allfather?” Issha demanded, her moon goddess’ silvery radiance filling the cavern. “I should think only I, as protector of women, would be present for this event.”

“Yes,” chimed in Xham, the sun god, Issha’s twin. He entered the cavern carefully, lest the fiery beams emanating from his body singe the tapestries upon their looms. “You’ve taken me away from watching over Izhmir, my favored country. Even with their new and benevolent ruler, they still need my guidance.”

“Izhmir can survive a few moments without your shepherding, my son,” Ildred Allfather answered. “Perhaps this is why I’m leader of the gods and not you, my dear.” He smiled benignly even as he knew he spoke words designed to provoke his daughter, his brother Garn’s wife under heavenly Law.

Issha didn’t answer, mouth twisting in a little moue of pique that her husband, the god of war, found so tempting he embraced her then and there, with a great clanking of armor, in front of his divine brother and all his kin.

    In a cloud corner, lounging on a tuffet of cumulus, Love, son of Garn and Issha, stifled a snicker behind a celestial hand. His mother glared at him and he swallowed the rest of the sound, turning his head. Beside him, his companion and brother Joy agreed the blatant affection between the two was ofttimes embarrassing to the onlookers, though he was careful Issha didn’t hear.

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