The Alpha and the Omega: Act III | Chapter 9
ACT III - HEROINE
The funeral procession was vast, a line of clan ships that stretched for kilometers. It was in a state of deep slumber that Sola Morgana’s heart finally gave out, the woman’s spirit returning to the Void. All of New Cambria- even those who hated her- mourned, for to live as a contemporary of Sola’s was to live in remarkable times. Never had her like been seen in Pegasi, a ruler so possessed of wisdom and piety and power.
It was Arcturus who gave the stirring eulogy, his own manner rough and uncouth compared to Sola’s silky eloquence. She was a woman of infinite energy, he exclaimed, and would thus be entombed in a place much the same. No cold, lonely drifting through the Void would do for her, he said, but a world of fire and dynamism, its location known only to the ruling head of the clan. It would be a secret place. A sacred place. He would carry her remains there himself, his crew being only that of his siblings.
Thus was Sola Morgana granted final rest, on a throne of obsidian, her eternal pose one of dignity and authority. It was with great reverence that Arcturus, Cadfael, and Auron sealed the tomb; within it were tokens of Sola’s life and rule, including the dagger given to her by Cassian and various weapons of her personal guard. The only thing they took from her remains was the single nugget of Quirium she had held as divine; with great solemnity it was lowered into the rivers of lava that surrounded them. The substance was a gift from the gods, after all- it was only proper that it be returned to them.
The empire that was Sola’s legacy was held together by the woman herself as much as ships and warriors. Without their Matriarch the Crone priestesses turned on one another or retired into seclusion. Without Sola’s presence to cow them the other clans slipped once again into revolt. The loss of the Quirium drive was a blow felt by all, and in the mad scramble that followed the cultural finery of court life fell out of favor. Arcturus himself had little inclination for the labyrinthine web of politics in which his mother had so excelled, and the man stuck to what he knew: piracy. A rough masculine energy replaced the elegant feminine touch that Sola had brought. Under Arcturus the more coarse “Morgan” usurped the more refined “Morgana”, and his energies were spent raiding rather than ruling. By the time of Arcturus’s death, the clan didn’t even hold territory on New Cambria itself. Even Dinas Wrach eventually fell to ruin, Crone worship out of vogue in the new, more savage spirit of the times.
The transition was complete. An age of elegance had passed, replaced by one of brutal simplicity. The Morgan clan raided and plundered and killed, its Patriarch spending his twilight years cruelly wielding his power like a club. Arcturus had succumbed fully to the corruption in his soul, long festering since his youth. Throughout Pegasi he and his became an icon of terror.
Clan Morgan had arrived.
Read the complete chapter here!