The grove was silent save for the sound of the stream bubbling next to the people currently residing there. Ramora sat with the young priestess, Claudia, her cow lounging between them. Ramora had been trying to come up with a new name for her to avoid confusion. Unfortunately for her, she had an overly opinionated cow.
“Penelope?” Ramora asked breaking the silence causing both companions to look at her. The cow looked at her through her thick lashes, snorting at her. “Alright fine. No to that one too. You know you are no help at all and don’t look at me like that. I know you would roll your eyes at me if you could.”
“Ira?” Claudia suggested.
Their bovine companion looked at her and then back at Ramora grunting and mooing with Ramora adding in the occasional “Uh-huh.” and “Okay.” It looked and sounded like a conversation and rather serious one at that, but Claudia still found herself unable to stop the silent laughter at the incomprehensible conversation.
“She says she likes that one.” Ramora determined after much discussion. “So that should alleviate some of the confusion. Now, about my predicament.”
“I’ve already told you what I know…twice I might add.” Claudia let out an exasperated sigh.
“One more time?” Ramora asked sticking her bottom lip out, pouting pathetically. “I just want to make sure I’ve got this straight.”
“Fine, but this is the last time.” Claudia sighed once again, pushing her hair back from her face letting it cascade down her back. “Soul bonds, like I’ve said, are a serious commitment. The bonds aren’t meant to be broken in life, not that this fact has ever stopped people from pursuing ways to break them like you are. It’s not often though that those looking for a way out truly find one. Yes, they are able to choose to leave. Yes ultimately that bond is broken, but ultimately the price they pay, regardless of the situation, is with a shattered soul.”
“So you’re telling me that you end up soul-less?”
“Well, no. It ends up broken but not destroyed.”
“So what does that mean?”
“It means that the soul ends up in pieces and it’s a choice and time before it can be put back together, from what I understand.” Claudia lifted herself up off of the grass and began pacing in front of them. “But even if you can piece yourself back together, you aren’t the same. That’s just humans though so I don’t know how it would work for a God. Which brings me to the next thing. What was that about my dream? You seemed really worried about that.”
Ramora sat silently for a moment processing the information that had just been handed to her. It was possible for her and Baymore to separate from one another, but at they cost of their deaths or shattered souls. The shattering, though still unappealing, was it’s own unknown yet sounded like a better option. There was no record of a God attempting a separation like this, so the outcome was unpredictable at best. It was this unknown that worried her, but something had stood out about Claudia’s dream that might make her decision for her.
“It’s not written anywhere, so mortals are totally unaware of what I’m about to tell you.” Ramora began watching Claudia’s reactions carefully. “You mortals have myths that surround the end of days.”
“Yes, fire raining from the sky, earthquakes, the destruction of everything.”
“Well that’s not actually how it happens and none of you have a reason for why any of it happens.” Ramora watched Claudia intently looking for signs of panic. Ira had gotten up and wandered over to the altar where she was now chewing her way into a bag of grain that had been left. “Do you know what happens when Gods die?”
“Aren’t Gods immortal?”
“Yes, but there are instances that can challenge that immortality. If the Gods or even a single God is unable to overcome this they could die, but that hasn’t happened in either record of history. Yours or ours.”
“That…didn’t you say that Gods have died breaking an eternal marriage bond?”
“No. It’s all very confusing, I know.” Ramora rose lightning crackling through her hair as she pulled her fingers through it. “Those that broke their bonds were immortal, but not Gods. If a God were to die it could bring the end of this world.”
“So what does that have to do with my dreams?” Claudia looked at Ramora clearly confused by all of this. Absentmindedly she picked at a loose thread in the hem of her sleeve eying the Goddess who had resumed the pensive pacing where Claudia had left off. Ramora picked at her lower lip as she pondered her theory.
“If those who share Nadia’s gift of prophecy, which you do, are dreaming about the death of the grove…” She trailed off as a shiver ran down her spine. She stopped in her tracks looking seriously at the confused priestess. “This is a sign of the imminent death of a God.”
“Which means what exactly?”
“You are handling this much better than I thought you would.” Ramora said a little taken aback by the calmness in the young priestess. “It means that I know what needs to be done and it’s likely not going to be pretty either.”
“So you’re going to go through with it?”
“In a sense.”
“What do you-”
“BAYMORE!” Ramora bellowed ignoring her and cutting her words short. “GET YOUR GODLY BEHIND DOWN HERE!”
“No need to shout. I’m right here.” Baymore replied coming into view from behind the happily grazing heifer.
“I think we have figured this out and the outcome may be less…dramatic. Maybe. I can make no promises.”
“If that is what you want,” he replied slowly, “tell me how.”