Our wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see.
TRANSMIT - initiate the Iele signal - RECEIVE - initiate tempest frequency - CALL NOW TO RECEIVE YOUR FUTURE - initiate the Bulciul Rusaliilor Protocol - WITNESS - Anastasia's Wagon.
Incongruity detected. Examine.
On the opposite side of the lake from the Romany camp is a clearing. In that clearing sits a classic vardo wagon. All around, the forest breathes autumn breaths, and shadows lengthen. Yet the caravan is surrounded by summer and soft music, warmth and blooming flowers - a bright cosiness contrasted against the dark forest.
The forest is ancient. The wagon is older. It is the home of Anastasia the Seer, though it does not belong to her or any mortal. It is the property of the Vântoase - the capricious female spirits of air and travel, known to the Romanians. Time and space shivers open to their caress.
Always, the Vântoase have a seer, always female, always moon-pulled - the maid, the mother, the crone belong to them. The seer is bound to the spirits of summer wind. The relationship is complex. Some might call it cruel. The seer is the medium, the meat tongue, for they whose tongues are a delicious breeze. The seer interprets their ethereal revelations.
The wagon is the clause of the pact. The blessed woman receives her visions there, and it takes her where the Vântoase will.
"Anastasia!" says the south wind and the north wind and the west wind and the east wind. They name her the medium of the dark days. We saw the girl before even the Vântoase coveted her. As a child, she had the gift of clairvoyance. Her grandmother, her Baba, taught her secrets older than the antediluvian trees. At fourteen, she ran away from home in Târnǎveni to avoid marriage, and started a nomadic existence that would last decades.
She had a gift, but she did not ask for it. Her meat tongue spoiled the secrets from outside time. Though you sweetlings grasp her fortunes, you rarely wish to hear them. The future is woven in unsightly truths, and Anastasia's clients did not always take kindly to the nerve-ending secrets she exposed. She learnt to keep her gift tucked away.
Time passes. Miles slither by. Ten years ago, Anastasia was in an ashram in northern India where she met an old woman. They connected, an instant friendship interlocked. The elder woman reassured Anastasia that her gift was a sign that she was chosen for great things.
She caught a vision of Anastasia, in a pool of water and in the smoke of a fire. She saw the wagon and the invisibles who owned it. These spirits chose Anastasia to be the wagon's next caretaker. All this the elder woman told the younger.
Anastasia received her wagon and then the visions. Wisdom hurts, sweetling, and Anastasia's wisdom is intense. Tossed by wind and prophecy, she wandered, feeling the breeze blowing her home. The visions fermented into bitter prophecy: "On the day Owl and Eagle and Dragon soar together, and the Eye brings the Champions forward, the Dark Sovereign shall fall."
Anastasia returned. She met with the Romany and travelled with them to the valley hidden in the Custurii mountains. She knows this is her place. Even now she sits in her wagon, cradled in a bubble of cosy warmth, and she tries not to think too hard on what the wailing winds say is coming.