Chapter Seventeen: The Crystal Ball

     We decided to invoke the powers of Madame from Inferias, for even Raven, with all his knowledge, did not know how to defeat the powers of Lynoria, nay, we had no recourse but to attain a vision by the mystic.
     “Lynoria,” said the seer in her glassy-tinged voice, “is not who she appears . . . for I see many visions of different lives lived by she, and each somehow different . . . she has traveled in time for centuries.  No man has been able to stop such strength.”
     “Do you see anything at all that could pertain to some inner weakness?” I asked.  “And if she was or is so powerful how was is it that her ruthless husband was able to chain her, and take her captive across the seas?        Mysterious eyes peering at me, the mystic nodded.  Now the crystal ball glowed with an opalescent fire, and so she began to speak.
     “She did love him, even in brutality and violence, he nearly was her equal you see; save her arts were far less obvious.  To be sure, Lynoria did not know then . . . she has lived in a veil of darkness for many years.  Her lives, uninterrupted, have passed as in a bottomless sieve . . . her bloodline, her brood, helped her, to remember.  A rite was performed, and thus, she grew stronger, took her claim as the family matriarch.  Her powers grew terrible.”
     And now the mystic looked at me.
     “My dear, she means to divert you.  She desires multiplicity.  Beware.  I see her intentions in a double form. It is you she seeks now.  To have a sister would increase her strength, a unity in thought, action, spirit . . . two wholes, functioning as one . . .”
     “How can we stop this?” asked Raven.  His eyes danced with fire.
     “Destroying her with flame and burying her heart is not quite enough.  You must take the dust of the heart and keep it in a flask.  In this flask add blessed water.  Bury it beneath cathedral stones.  Have a priest incant over it . . . it must never be found nor removed.  Heed this.”
     Raven nodded.
     “We must find the two men you speak of,” he said to me, “then Lynoria; Mystic, do you know where she sleeps?”
     “Ah, she never sleeps.  She travels at will as storm or fog; spray on sea; as bat or snake; she can take form of many an evil and pitiably dreadful thing . . . hangman’s noose, bloody coffin, a dead body . . . but . . . to find her in her weakest moment, always be early light of day, as the others.  She will be most difficult to kill, but it is not hopeless to try.  I would say at this time that Elvira is her greatest diversion, for she seeks her soul, and wishes most intensely to entrap it.  Greed is her weakness.”
     Madame L’Enfer shut her eyes and began to sleep . . .
    “She has done all she can; she sleeps now; too much has been seen . . .let us leave her be . . .” said Raven.
     I looked at him and took his hand in mine.
     “We should pray; you to your God, and I to mine . . . strength in our own unity, against chaos and pain.”
     Raven looked and agreed silently.
     “Yes, and Lynoria is Godless, and fearless; thus, her strength is futile . . . her mistake is her audacity . . . arrogance . . .”
     With that, we both looked outside the window to sea and sky, and looked towards our invisible deity . . . relinquishing our wills for the greater cause . . . knowing this was our fate and our only recourse now.


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