She is no aged crone but the days of her youth are long past. Her hair is pale as last summers straw, her face lined with a thousand fine wrinkles. She is draped in a volume of raw silk, girt with a belt of black pearls. She paces the length of a simple chamber and pauses before the organic flue set in the centre of this hallowed space. Pale green fire dances above the vent. She passes a long-fingered hand through the flame.
‘So, My Prince, you grace me one last time. Do you recall our last meeting, Sir?’
‘Aye, My Lady, I do recall, though many long centuries lay between. I had just committed the Thirty-third Sin of Admittance and being elevated to my formal seat, a Prince of the Realm, I left the Bastion of Power and journeyed here, to seek your wisdom ere I took that final step to Witchdom.’
‘And did I give you false counsel?’
‘No, My Lady, you spoke the truth, devious though your words were. I have gained a certain eminence among my peers, my schemes have drawn wealth and power beneath my hands.’ He strides with pensive grace about the oracle. ’And I have come to bear a certain doubt.’