Misfortune of Vision by Christy Nicholas,
Book #4 in The Druid’s Brooch Series
Historical fantasy set in 12th century Ireland
~ Prophecy can be dangerous ~
In 12th century Ireland, Orlagh has been Seer to her king for forty years. He doesn’t want to hear her prophecies of war and destruction, and dismisses her efforts to warn him. Therefore, she is determined to fulfill her own quest: to find a worthy heir for her magical brooch.
In the course of events, she must pass judgment on a thief, escape a Norman war camp, and battle wits with a Fae lord. She receives some prophecy of her own and enlists the help of a grizzled old warrior, who happens to be a long–time friend.
January 24, 1177 AD
Dún Dá Leathghlas (Downpatrick), Ulster, Ireland
“Clodagh, do pay attention. Someday your woolgathering will get you in trouble. What happens if you forget you’re making a tincture? Some of these herbs will burn and turn to poison if you aren’t careful.”
The girl hung her head. “Yes, mistress.”
“And don’t ‘yes, mistress’ me so meekly! I won’t bite your head off child. But if you’re meek, the world will treat you like a slave. You must be strong to survive. Have you learned nothing from me?”
Orlagh sighed. She despaired of ever making something of this sweet child. Ever since that incident at the market, she’d watched the girl closely, but nothing else happened. Perhaps it had been an isolated incident.
With a growl, she measured more celandine into the concoction she was making. A little more hemp nettle? Not too much. It was poisonous in great quantities. Just a little helped soothe the stomach. Speaking of soothing the stomach, she needed another drink. She took a long swig on her meadskin.
“Go on, then. Clean those bowls and then pull down the herbs. Check each one for mildew. You know the signs to look for, yes?”
“Call me mistress again in that tiny voice and you’ll feel my hand, child.”
“That’s better. Now go, do your work. Ask if you have questions.”
With Clodagh appropriately occupied, Orlagh turned to her tincture.
The tincture was an excuse. She could make this compound in her sleep if she must. What she needed was quiet time to concentrate. She’d had a troubling dream the night before, and many years of prophecy had taught her not to ignore her dreams.
It had been chaotic and confusing. There was fighting, but not with Gaelic soldiers. Could they have been Normans? She had a flash of short hair and odd helmets. Not the Ostmen, then. Their hair and beards were longer and wilder than the Gaels. No, it must be the Normans. Unless there was a yet unknown threat.
But the Norman army was only in the southeast of Ireland. They had never ventured north of Dublin, and that was far to the south. Never say never, she reminded herself. There was always a first time, and for something disastrous, that first time always came when you could deal with it least.
Normans, then. Normans coming north for the tuath of Ulaidh.
Ulaidh had been her home for most of her life. Her Dunn Sléibhe grandfather was born here. Her other grandfather, Maelan, had left his good position to search for her, so many years ago. He’d been a warrior for his chief in Ceann Coradh, far to the southwest. She still missed him. He’d died just a few years after that adventure.
Well, she assumed he’d died. One day, he had simply disappeared. All the Chief’s men had been unable to find him. She even searched herself, both physically and with her Vision, but found no trace of him at all. Ah, foolish youth. But now she’d settled in the north and had grown her roots.
Were those roots to be severed? Her dreams suggested it. There was to be blood and death, and a catastrophic shift in the land. Try as she might, she couldn’t pick more details out of the Vision. Things were too murky, as she was part of the events.
Her head ached. Using her talent always made it hurt. The pounding made further concentration impossible. Suddenly the warm, cozy herbarium felt stifling. She needed to be outside.
Abruptly she left, letting her bowl clatter to the floor. The noise distracted Clodagh, and she dropped the herb rack she had been carefully lowering from the ceiling. This disturbed Bainne the cat, who hissed and attacked the closest cluster of lavender. Orlagh closed her eyes and prayed for patience of fools. Then she exited and breathed in the harsh winter air.
Celtic Fairies, Fables, and Folklore! Bestselling author (top #100 Amazon Canada, #1 in Paranormal Fantasy, Amazon Canada) Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, is an author, artist and accountant. After she failed to become an airline pilot, she quit her ceaseless pursuit of careers that begin with ‘A’, and decided to concentrate on her writing. Since she has Project Completion Disorder, she is one of the few authors with NO unfinished novels.
Christy has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she’s a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were.
She wants to expose the incredible beauty in this world, hidden beneath the everyday grime of familiarity and habit, and share it with others. She uses characters out of time and places infused with magic and myth.