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White Witch

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:00 am
by Kilaana
Disclaimer: The following entries are written to commemorate a few dear characters from another time, another place, another PW - The Way Inn. Some inconsistencies in timelines/events must be kindly disregarded in order to collate an understandable tale for the reader's benefit.



"We have but only this life; one life to follow wherever the heart may go." ~ old Gur saying

We have been sailing for many days now. I don't know at which point exactly that I stopped counting. Perhaps it was that evening when we sat on the deck with supper on our laps, with the gods looking down at all of us from above. That was what the captain said.

I told him that those were not the gods, but the souls of those who had gone before.

* * * *

"Pack your bags, darlin'. It'll be on foot from here."

Card ruffles my hair and gives me a quick peck on the cheek before retrieving his satchel near the door. It bangs shut after him. I look at the piece of scarf I had been knitting with some frustration at having to stop so soon after I'd started, then to the woman beside me. "Was that what you two were arguing about the other night?" I ask.

Alaria rolls her eyes, not bothering to lift the laziness from her tone. "Look, Will. I offered to pay passage on the coach for all three of us, but he threatened to leave you behind if I did. So instead, we spent a two tenday in this shitty caravan. Now they won't take us any further just because the weather's turned for the worse. What was I supposed to say, huh?" She begins stuffing some clothing into a waterproof sack. Her words seem flippant, but I have grown accustomed to this and know that it is all part of what I must accept if I am to spend this journey with her.

I sigh a little. "Sometimes I think he's even more eager about this journey than I am. He doesn't have to go, you know. Neither do you."

Alaria says nothing, crouching to tighten the straps on an ox-skin travel chest. I watch her for a moment, admiring the elegant lines of her face, the arrogant tilt of her chin and the athletic way in which she gathers up our belongings in single, swift movements. Nearly a year and then some, yet... she is more a stranger than a friend in so many ways.

"We have such a long way to go, Alaria. I'm so glad you're both with me," I say placidly, and pull a brush through some tangled hair.

She looks at me, a quick smile touching her lips. Then the moment passes, and her face is a mask of unemotion once more. I have lost count of the times wondering what she must think of me. We are, after all, plenty worlds apart. Just like Seren and I. Yes... Seren. Where was she now? She had never been one for long goodbyes.

Outside, Card is shouting for us to get a move on. I gather up the last of the bags and step into the light of a frozen afternoon.

Re: White Witch

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:24 am
by rutulus
The road is...

He crossed a thick line through the words and crinkled his nose. There was little ink left and thus little room for error. He folded the paper and put it away. Meter was largely a mystery to him, but metaphor came easily. Still, the thought remained unfinished in his mind; there it had been since he'd finished the last of the kriek, months ago.

He leaned forward to add another log to the fire, then checked whether there were enough to burn through the night. In the distance atop a hill he saw a few dim lights. He thought to ask the women if the lights could get lonely, but he knew they would only smile or laugh.

Besides, he knew lights don't feel shit.

Re: White Witch

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:00 am
by Kilaana
Dusk is falling.

I try to focus on one thing - the warmth of our campfire, which we left behind several hours ago - and try not to pay attention to the fact that I can no longer feel my feet. The staff feels heavy in my hand, but every time I open my mouth to relay this sensation to my travelling companions, I picture Seren in front of me. Seren, with her frown in that small face, and the manner in which those large brown eyes would look away as though searching for more strength to offer to the newest complaint.

"Watch it, darlin'."

Card's heavy grip rattles me from my thoughts, and I realize what I have just stumbled over in my clumsy tiredness. The words have been blurred over time, leaving only shallow indents on the rough headstone. I felt my heart sink a little, for I did not mean disrespect, and got out of the way as quickly as the knee-deep snow could afford me.

"Come on. I think I hear water," Alaria mutters, pulling her hood lower over her face. She has her rapier out, its slender tip pointed low at the ground in front of her, but not once does she stray from her spot beside me.

As soon as we think we have found the road again, the sensation twists in my stomach, and I know what comes. Unlike others it had no more strength to pull itself into material existence, but I hear its whisper from its grave as clearly as if it had been shouting in my ear. I glance to Card and Alaria quickly, but both are staring at me and waiting for me to get a move on. It's cold, I can read from their expressions. The disembodied voice berates, no more than the croak of an irritable old man who wishes to be left alone to his peace, and so we do.

We circle a frozen pond and come to a low, sprawling building. Frost fills the cracks in the stonework, denoting its age. I cannot make out its architectural significance, but there is a large broken urn near its door.

Card shuts the door behind us, but not before allowing a draft in that scatters pale snowflakes along the dusty terracotta tiles.

Re: White Witch

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:25 pm
by rutulus
His mind turned to the weeks after the abbey, the storm, the cold.


As the compartment's single door closed, he turned to Alaria and opened his mouth, one finger in the air to emphasize the coming question.

"For the last time," she cut him off, "it's called The Forest King, and you will need to stay quiet throughout."

He shut his mouth and lowered his hand, his mood sinking with it. He was grateful that the wealthy townsman and his party had left their theater box, but now he found himself quite bored. Moments before he had stared blankly when the aristocrat had asked for his opinion on this, 'yet another interminable Turmish drama,' but the loss of his drinking companion forced him to seek alternative entertainment.

"See that one, little sister?" he whispered, leaning to Will and pointing at a theater box opposite theirs. "I'll eat my hat if he ain't a rooster. Just look at 'im."

Will covered her mouth to hide her smile but said nothing. She seemed entranced by the pageantry. Never before had either of them observed such a collection of sophisticated finery. Alaria, however, in whose youth this sort of display was surely a weekly occurrence, gave no indication of being impressed.

This production and its associated hubbub had drawn out the best men and women in Ilipur, their latest stop on the long road. Alaria commented that it was a barnyard compared to any contemporary Waterdhavian theater house. He knew that she had not been in Waterdeep in some years, but sure enough she had earlier in the evening been something of a sensation among the magnates of this provincial castle town, with her elegant Sword Coast attire and stately, foreign accent. He guessed this was her practiced nonchalance at work, but he was not certain. They were closer than family, but her habit of obfuscation was so ingrained a defense that she opened up only with great deliberation. He learned to live with uncertainty, and he was comfortable.

The doorman standing a few feet away saw himself out without a word to spare his charges the indignity of laughing in his presence. His presence was superfluous in their company; indeed, the man experienced a personal crisis when Card insisted on pouring his own wine. Alaria noticed this without turning her head.

"You can breathe now, you ape," she stated flatly, though a small smile flashed.

He made a show of gasping for air, trying to elicit a laugh from Will, then rose and paced about the compartment. He crinkled his nose.

"The play will start shortly. If you can't stand still, then find the appropriate salon and drink out of sight with the old men and their mistresses," she said, holding out her glass for him to fill. He did so while peering over the wainscot panel. The set beneath them was of a wooded scene, crowned by a painted blue sky. In the middle of the stage was a regal wooden chair.

"I think you should stay in case one of those gentlemen return and mistake Will and I as receptive to their advances."

He knew that this prospect did not concern her; she could pull the wind from a man's sails with a comment, and the room felt noticeably colder when she was in a foul mood. He knew that she simply did not wish to be interrupted during the performance.

"Besides, you may enjoy the show."

He shot a glance to Will, who still said nothing. She smiled back and her eyes said stay. He knew this was as foreign to her as it was to him. He groaned, then settled down beside her once more. She patted his knee and whispered something, though he lost it in the applause that accompanied the actors taking the stage.

You may enjoy the show, he thought. There had been many new experiences on this journey, and this one was a sort of opportunity, though an odd one. He had once read that freedom is never greater than its owner - is this what it meant?