To Llana the endless dark seemed to have lasted days as they walked with little to no rest.  Though she had not been told Llana was sure they walked the Crossroads themselves.  To her this place had been the stuff of legends, but some how with Odellia as her guide it only made sense.  As her feet become accustom to walking on the path that Odellia cut without the slightest thought Llana began to remember.  The stories she had not heard in years came back to her and in the stony silence that surrounded her kept Llana company.

Her dream-like state wavered in and out as the surroundings changed in subtle shifts.  However, Llana refused to give up on the story rippling through her mind at the moment, as it seemed to be of particular importance, but the sharp clang of metal shattered her revere.  It was at this moment that the subtle changes fully hit her; the ground was different, the dark was different, and even the air seemed altered.  “Where are we.”  The words were out before she had fully thought them through.

“Right where we are supposed to be.”  Odellia turned sharply to face Llana causing her to stumble at the abrupt stop.  She gestured grandly suggesting that Llana should fully take in her new environment which included a dimly light Y in the path they had been following through the dark.  “Which way would you go,” Odellia asked a faint smile upon her lips.

Llana started to answer then bit her tongue.  “What kind of trick it this your supposed to answer questions not ask them.”

“No, I teach, but if you insist.  You asked me about my chains what do you wish to know?”

“Why do you wear them?” Llana immediately locked her eyes on the ground mentally berating herself.

“Because they are mine,” Odellia responded calmly, “but tell me why do you wear yours?”

“I’ve told you I have none.  You are the only person I have ever seen wear chains.” 

The disgust she felt at the idea of being chained leaked out into her words causing Odellia to look up sharply with anger in her eyes.  “Truly?  What of Namari?  Does she no longer bear chains?”

“How absurd would that be, my mother would never lower herself to wear chains like some slave.  She has more grace and dignity in her titles alone than you could ever hope to have,” Llana practically spit at the other woman.

“Tell me what dignity was there in birthing you?”

Llana’s mouth fell open in a silent O of confusion, but Odellia continued without taking notice.  “Yes, you are one of Namari’s chains, and the titles you spoke of does she not have to strap herself into those chains of gold and silk to prove her worthiness, and what of her man?  Does she still not suffer the ring he gave her?”  Here Odellia paused holding Llana captive in her piercing gaze.  “Oh yes, Namari does have grace and dignity, but her chains are only hidden from the unobservant.  She is as much as slave as I.”

The questions whirled around in the girl’s head chasing each other to dead ends.  Yes her mother still wears a coronet and her father’s ring…”but she does not wear chains,” Llana whispered to herself.

“No. Namari does not wear chains such as I, but never think she does not carry them.

That statement echoed through Llana’s very core as she blindly started towards the path to the left needing nothing so much as to escape the place where such bloody truths had been spilled.