Temple newcomer Amethysta was thinking over the highlights of the day while she finished unpacking her few possessions. She placed some sheets of parchment next to a couple of books on one of the built-in shelves in her new room in the Temple Dreamscape, and reflected on how grateful she was that she had received such a warm welcome from some of the Priestesses upon her arrival at the Temple of Ares. She had to admit to herself that she was genuinely afraid of the possibility of incurring Ares' wrath, and that she was terrified of his reaction--because of her father's public renouncement of the God of War--when He learned of her presence here. She shuddered, and forcibly pushed those thoughts away.
She was pleased that both Sinn and Jenni, Dragonflyer, had extended to her the invitation to attend the evening's Halloween/Samhain party, at Cupid's Temple. Although she was weary from travel and regretted lack of time to make a costume, Amethysta was looking forward to the chance to socialize with the others. "If all of the Priestesses are as kind as those two, I should easily be able to make some new friends," she mused. She did not recall having seen the path to the other Temple on her arrival, though, so she decided to leave early.
After quickly bathing, she dried off, slipped the clean, sleeveless, ocean-blue tunic over her head, and momentarily became nostalgic, as she recalled how her brother, Nikos, had said the color was the same shade as of her eyes. Amethysta brought her thoughts back to the present to finish tightening the purple sash at her waist, and slipped on her sandals. She brushed her long, auburn hair, and chose to leave it loose. As a finishing touch, she hooked around her neck the necklace (a going-away gift from her mother) made of silver beads, peacock feathers, and purple gemstones which matched her earrings.
She took a quick glance at her image in the mirror, and chose to apply a bit of lip color, then walked down the hallway, back to the Great Hall. She struggled with the five bottles of home-vinted mead which she was bringing to share with the others, and was so intent on avoiding dropping one, that she wandered too far. She was surprised to see the numerous weapons displays, and was startled when one of the few remaining warriors, who had stayed behind, asked her what she was doing in the Warlords Wing. She quickly introduced herself, apologized for the intrusion, and offered the largest bottle as a gift. Upon the fighter's acceptance of this, Amethysta hastily returned to the Great Hall.
She had become frustrated because of a small pebble, which had lodged between the bottom of her foot and the sole of her sandle, so she set the bottles down on a small hearthside table, sat down near the fireplace, and began to undo the laces. She was overcome by exhaustion, and finally lost her fight to stay awake.
She had no idea how long she had napped, when she was startled awake by an arrogant, demanding voice, "Priestess, get up and take this to Ares, NOW!" She leapt to her feet, stammered a quick apology for "sleeping on the job," and then curtsied before the queenly figure before her, taking the item which was proffered.
"Do you wish me to give Lord Ares a message with this, my Lady?," she asked the imposing stranger, realizing she had strikingly beautiful eyes.
"What I have already handed to you will serve as message enough," was her sole reply.
Amethysta quickly slipped on her left sandle, curtsied again, and hastily moved towards the front Temple Entrance. As soon as she was out of the sight of the stranger, she began to run in the direction she had been told she would find the Temple of Cupid. She could see the first rays of dawn streaming through the trees, as she cleared the edge of the forest, and she could hear the sounds of drumming, singing, and laughter. She knew she was almost there!
She ignored the few couples who were quietly wandering outside of the temple, but nodded in acknowledgement and greeting to the lovely brown-haired Priestess ("Destine, isn't it?," she asked herself) who was now walking through the open doors of the Temple, followed by a tall, handsome man. He held the door for Amethysta, who slowed her pace so as to walk into the Temple of Cupid.
She scanned the room, searching for the familiar face of the War God, but did not see Him. Some of the Priestesses were slowly undulating, swaying to the rhythm of the drumbeat, in front of a very appreciative, lustful group of warriors and heroes. Others were playfully feeding grapes and strawberries to their companions. She had just noticed the famous warrior Princess of her homeland, Amphipolis, when she felt a shudder go through her body.
She could sense His presence, just a moment before Ares entered the Great Hall from one of the private suites, with a beautiful Priestess on his arm. He abruptly stopped, cocked his head, and frowning, withdrew his arm to stare at the newcomer, and quietly informed her, "I can feel you, just like you can feel Me."
Amethysta had to fight back her sense of panic, and, after doing her best to try to compose herself, curtsied to Him. His expression was blank as she quickly apologized for her intrusion, and stated, "I bring this as a message to you, my Lord Ares, from a Temple visitor."
He slowly began to smile at her, until He realized that what His newest Priestess held extended was a full peacock feather, and muttered under his breath, "Hera!"
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