I was the Knight-Champion of the Order of St. Jean d’Arc, an exclusively female knighthood (warrior nuns! woot!). We had a good relationship with the Seelie Court, and in recognition of some service, the Queen of Faerie had gifted me with a sword made from feystone. Actually it was 2 kinds of stone, one pale and one dark and shot through with glowy blue cracks or veins, that wrapped around each other.
Something happened, I think a man I was in love with had taken up with an elf lass and she had taken him off to Faerie. In my anger, fear and hubris, I was going to storm Faerie and take him back, although in my mind I’m sure I meant to “rescue” him. I went to one of the sealed gates between the realms, which was a spiral of narrow, pale stone like that in my sword. The spiral only circled once, and then thrust straight upward from the ground about 3 or 4 feet, like a staff or rod, with a small blue stone set in a slightly wider bit at the top.
So there I stood, at the center of the spiral, the sword raised to strike open the gate, when a company of my sister knights arrived, led by the Mother Superior of the order. I heard them arrive and knew I was undone. I stood for a moment, sword still upraised, tears already starting to flow. With a cry I swung at the gate-rod, but in that instant I knew my folly and halted my blow before it struck. Or perhaps it merely resisted my stroke and I only imagined that I stopped myself. I fell to my knees in disgrace.
The Mother Superior strode across the spiral and took the sword from where I had dropped it. In a loud voice, she stripped me of the relic and demoted me to novicehood, right then and there. To my further humiliation, she proceeded to transfer both my office as Knight-Champion, and custodianship of the sword, to one of my sister knights, who happened to be my best friend.
I knelt there in shame before the still-sealed gate, too stunned to even react. Somehow I knew that for them to have arrived at that crucial moment, my friend must have betrayed me, she had tried to talk me out of my rash actions, to no avail. My heart was poisoned against her in that moment. Although in reality, it was the Faerie Queen herself who had seen what I intended and warned the Mother Superior. The Queen was furious, my actions were a breach of the ancient compact between our Order and the Seelie Court, and the Mother Superior enacted her justice right there before the gate, effectively in the presence of the Queen, to avert a rekindling of the war between the realms. The upholding of this compact had been given to our order at the end of the last such conflict, and had become its primary tenet. Few, if any, even remembered the original reason the order had been founded.
I suppose I was fortunate the Queen did not demand my head. Of course I knew nothing of her involvement, and held the bitterness in my heart toward the Mother Superior and my former friend, who must have been colluding against me, jealous of my rapid rise within the order.
I won’t let them get away with it.