Historical setting: 588 C.E. Forest Primeval
I ask Colleta what the rumors tell of our encounters with the banshee. She seems to know all kinds of new things about our so-called war against the Pagans but there is no mention of the banshee. Colleta’s rumors are spun stories not facts. Legends are shaped by rumors purposed by ancestors seeking connection with a valued history; or in this war it is a mother who wishes accolades on her children. But when it comes to the banshee she seems to have no idea what I am talking about; and it was the Pagan idea of a banshee that most touched our hearts and thoughts that night.
This terror, this voice of a woman up from the dead keening for lost souls struck the chorus of all of our hearts together through the night. [Footnote] Some of us are missing Eve and others just know a woman’s throat was slashed and a child was stolen. So we went there as a band of swordsmen set on vengeance yearning any destruction we could call justice. We went to have our mountains of hurts smoothed over into some kind of blissful flatness named “even.” That was all this war was about. We rallied for a slashing, a kidnapping and a fire.
Then came the chanting and howling of the Pagan ritual. It was at our campfire where we heard the response to our own hurting grief. The ritual of a keening banshee sharing our woes was the chance to pour our own suffering out in the wailing songs. On that night, every name of our grief was spoken, Pagan names and Christian names, names of murdered children, names of elders dead of plague, the name this father came to hear spoken — that name of my own daughter ‘Eve.’ A mother was screaming her grief for a Pagan name we didn’t know, or maybe she was named “Blessed Mary” weeping for her children. The deep world of earth and heaven wept with us, as God is always a parent grieving for her child.
The feast of victory: There is a separate dining board for the women in the hearth room as is custom. In that room Celeste is the host and Colleta the grand matron. Daniel has a guest at the women’s table, no doubt hearing of his dragon slaying. And Thole’s father, Jesse, also has a woman here.
At both tables are the rumors.
[Footnote] Rosen, Brenda, “The Mythical Creatures Bible: The Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings.” 2008, New York: Sterling p.202.