Sadbh knelt on the hut’s earthen floor to examine the bodies more closely.
Pity engulfed her when she saw how young the boys were, not even old enough to grow warrior’s beards. The mournful keening of the mothers filled her ears. Their jagged solo wails and shrieks cut the autumn air with grief, audible through the clamour of an outraged clan outside. Sadbh heard the mothers’ agony as though they keened for her ears alone. It was overwhelming, the tearing pain of loss as a future was ripped from the woman who’d given it birth. Sadbh blew out a long breath and drew another in an effort to slow her heart’s racing.
The cruel wounds inflicted in a style she knew all too well stirred memories of an old loss to the surface. Her vision blurred and then darkened as a wave of panic crashed over her. Not here, not in the land of Eire, dear goddess, let it not be so.
The Morrigan’s divine presence threatened to come to the fore as it always did in times of great distress. Black wings beat at the edges of her mind, a rage that no mortal could ever hope to bear began its corrosive journey through her veins. Sweat ran down her back as Sadbh exerted every drop of mortal strength she possessed to keep the goddess from taking control. Over the years she’d learned how to stop the Morrigan from using her as she saw fit and sometimes, if Sadbh caught the onslaught in time, she could force the divine presence back into its customary place deep inside her heart.
There must be vengeance!
There will be, my goddess, with you by my side, the guilty cannot hope to avoid it.
After a few moments of intense effort, the tide of the Morrigan’s great strength receded within her and Sadbh set about her duty.