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searose143

A Dedicant's Offerings

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Aedrie Sirame stepped across the sturdy wooden bridge off the coast of Siramenor’s mainland. Her left hand gently carried a dark wooden staff covered in vines and iris flowers, quite similar to those wrapping around her arms and legs, while her right held a rather large woven basket. She turned left on the sand to face the horizon, dotted with ships and pieces of pale green seaweed poking out from the depths. She looked to her right to admire four vibrant wooden statues depicting Mani: Hamatsa, Bolomormaa, Nemglan, and Amaethon.

 

The Dedicant slowly made her way to kneel beside the grand statue of the Thunderbird. She set her staff beside her and reached into the woven basket, producing several items from inside: bunches of protea and gladiolus flowers and several beautiful feathers, seemingly from eagles, falcons, and owls: birds of prey. 

 

”Ordivtilruer Nemglan...” the Mali’ame began to recite a soft prayer to the Princess of Eagles. As she spoke in front of the towering shrine, her head was dipped toward the ground and her eyes, usually wide and calculating, were peacefully shut. Upon finishing her prayer, the Dedicant opened her eyes once again and drew a small circle over her chest. She reached for the offerings she had extracted from her basket and held them in both of her vine-covered hands. Shuffling closer to the flame at the base of the statue, the ‘ame began to offer her items one at a time.

 

First, the flowers. Her cupped hands held bunches of deep pink proteas and light pink gladiolus flowers that seemed to be freshly picked. Dew drops leftover from the cool morning glistened in the sun as she carefully placed the flowers into the fire. She then picked up the various feathers and placed them into the flames one-by-one. Shades of black, grey, brown, and white flashed before reducing to ashes before the statue of the Thunderbird.

 

After a moment of meditation, Aedrie rose to her feet once again and picked up her basket and staff. She quietly stepped away from the shrine and made her way back across the wooden bridge toward the mainland. Turning left at the sandy beach, she approached the Aspectist island and gently pushed aside the vines to make her way toward a blazing flame toward the edge of the island. 

 

The ever-present smile that rested on the Dedicant’s face seemed to brighten as she neared the flame; memories of  her Dedicant’s Vow came rushing back from a time that now seemed so long ago. Aedrie kneeled once again beside the flame and placed the basket in her lap, her staff now behind her. She reached inside the basket to remove the horns of a bison that she had helped hunt from a nearby hunting ground earlier in the day.

 

”Laran Moccus,” she began in a similar fashion to Nemglan’s prayer. Her words were soft yet confident, steady and smooth. The ‘ame lifted the bison horns and offered them into the flames, watching as the fire crackled and welcomed the offering. A soft smile remained on Aedrie’s face as she meditated for a while beside the fire, listening to the gentle waves of the ocean behind her and the sharp crackling of the fire in front of her.

 

Upon opening her eyes, she slowly stood up and picked up her items, peacefully walking off toward the center of the village once again.

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