I am putting this on indefinite hiatus. I have a bad case or writers block with this chapter, so I’m publishing what I’ve got and leaving it for now. I have the plan so may come back to it. Honestly, I feel like the story is complete with Spring ending and the Tea Interlude, but I might complete it another time.
Summer has been ushered in with a splattering of freezing rain. This shouldn’t be allowed, the flowers opened and everything, why is it so cold? Sometimes I wish I specialised in weather magic; all I can do is throw up charms. I’m sure some of these don’t even do anything.
I’m in a poor mood to be honest, it’s been raining so much I’ve not had a chance to do anything. Nobody’s come up to ask for help either, so I’ve been left to think. I’ve started cataloguing my ingredients, reviewing my notes, and rewriting Auria’s notes in my own format. But I’m bored. Especially after the excitement of the festival. I keep grinning when I think about it, it’s silly but…. it’s…. I don’t know. It meant so much.
I’ve apologised to Iris. It was the least I could do. I told her I couldn’t explain everything, not yet, but maybe one day. She just nodded and said she’d be there if I ever wanted to, or if I wanted to talk about anything else, and then she pulled me into a hug. Meg bounced around us shouting about flowers and I felt something I’ve not really got words for. Safe? At home? Welcome? Something. Then Meg made us bend down and she put a little flower behind both our ears and hugged us.
Wait there’s someone at the door.
Is this how families happen? The golem I helped out was at the door. It dropped a bundle of things at the door and plopped itself down tiredly. I was speechless! How did it get here?! We’re so far from the mountains, but it managed it.
I asked what the stuff was for, and it started writing in the dirt, though I didn’t recognise the language. Luckily, Snowdrop did, and could translate enough for me. It wrote that it was thankful for the help and wanted to repay in kind, so it bought me reagents to use. I tried to explain it didn’t have anything to repay and it was just the right thing to do but it shrugged and pushed them forward again. It asked if it could stay here with me because I seemed nice, and it liked my cottage and clearing. Of course, I said yes, it could stay as long as it wanted!
I did ask its name, but it said it doesn’t have one or want one, it doesn’t use names itself… so that answers one question at least. It’s resting in the garden at the moment under a shelter I put up using some planks and posts. I’ll ask at the village later if someone can help erect something more permanent. Now I’m soaked through!
I’m looking through these reagents now and there’s so much, they’re all high quality too! There’s some I’ve seen like ambergris and some antlers, but some of this? There’s even some glowing water in a vial here that I can just feel power pouring out of. It’s going to take a while to organise this. Best get to it, nothing else to do other than dry out, warm up, and while away some hours.
I’m not sure how to start this one but…. I think my reputation is increasing. Also, my abilities are, thankfully.
I was woken up by a feeling at not long after midnight. I couldn’t place it, but I could feel there was something unusual on my land, coming towards the cottage. Snowdrop woke up not long after that, hackles up, and we did what we could to get ready. I was waiting by the window with my wand and brook in case I needed to get away quickly. After too much tension there was a knock at the door, quiet and polite. I called out “who is it?” and someone called back “I come in peace, I swear it witch, I come for help”.
What else could I do? I was scared witless, but if someone needed help? I cracked open the door, ready to push it shut which I immediately did in the face of the vampire that was standing in the moonlight. I didn’t say anything, running back over how I’d stolen some venom earlier and they’d maybe got my scent the second time I went in, and if they couldn’t enter property without permission or if that was ghosts when-
“Miss witch I’m sorry to scare you and sorry to be here, I really do swear on my blood that I mean you no harm and I only come seeking help in good faith. I will stay back if needed, and not cross your thresholds.”
Okay…. nice words but…. a vampire? So, I shouted back asking what they wanted help with, and they said “I am unwell. I have a burn. I wouldn’t normally both you, but it won’t heal and none of my kin can touch it either. I fear it’s a Silver Burn. I would pay you in gold if you would help me.”
I’m not sure what it was but that same feeling of someone being on my land wasn’t telling me the vampire was hostile, and I could feel…. unease? Pain maybe? Certainly, distress coming from them. Not anger or deceit, just hurt. Snowdrop whined, not sure what we should do, but I had to try and help.
I opened the door again, still worried, and saw…. a rather disheveled and nervous vampire. They were heavily cloaked, covered nearly from head to toe in thick black cloth, except for their face. They were so striking too, dark blue eyes, sharp features, a delicate note and lips, those teeth just poking down over their bottom lip. I could easily see people getting enthralled with them. But their face was also marred with a burn, running down their left cheek and onto their neck. It was angry, red against pale skin, and looked so painful. It was also clearly Silver Burn. Silver Burn can be a nasty rash on anyone, but on someone with a morphological difference like vampirism or lycanthropy it’s a hundred times worse. Left untreated it will heal, eventually, except in these cases where it may never heal and leaves a site at high risk of infection.
I couldn’t leave them like this. I promised to help, I would look for ingredients first thing and bring them to the dungeon to help.
They sagged with relief and, although it was unclear in the moonlight, it looked like there were tears in their eyes. They said they would tell everyone to escort me to them if I wanted, but they were happy to come here again. They were so keen to impress that I would be safe, but I made a promise to help people of all backgrounds, so I was just as keen to show I meant it and help them.
Now I’m going back to sleep. I’ll grab a few more hours before heading out tomorrow. I know where I need to go, and I think I know what I need. I’m going to have to go somewhere new according to Auria’s notes; the Blastfire Bog. I’ll need a boat to get there so hopefully I can find one in the village.
But now; sleep! Once the adrenalin wears off.
Okay that was weird to write. I need to head down to the village and buy a boat to get into the Bog, then from there I can look for fairy dust. It should be easier to get it there this time of year. If I also find surgeon sap good, although I’ve got a supply of that here it’s a little low from making those bandages last week.
The rain has slowed to a drizzle, so I’ve spent a little time this morning waterproofing my hat and overcoat with some charms. Don’t let anyone say there’s no benefit to being a witch.
Boat acquired. That was easy. I ran into Leif who was happy to sell me one of her smaller boats. She keeps a few for fishing and the little coracle she sold me for a reasonable 70 silver will do the trick. It’s almost completely round, maybe a little more oval shaped, and made out of thick reeds. It’s just big enough for a well-equipped witch and her familiar to row about in. Off we go to the bog.
The bog is…. something. Blastfire Bog. Auria warned me (in writing at least) that it was a strange and confusing place. I’m glad my boat is so small I can carry it easily because I’ve needed to a lot.
It’s a different kind of confusing to The Strange which is just strange. Here everything makes sense it’s just a tangle of pools, mud, and ruins. I’m not sure who lived here before us, but they’re long gone. Great towers of stone and gleaming copper dot the woody landscape, the only real landmarks I can discern from a distance. One particularly magnificent structure stuck out of the water like a castle, but the only entrance was connected to a sweeping bridge that was broken in the middle. Maybe I’ll come back with a broom and see about it but flying through here would be so treacherous with all the vines.
There’re also the mushrooms. Lots of them. Some are huge, and I mean twice the height of me. They’re everywhere, flourishing in the dank environment of a bog, but they seem to be more pervasive than I’d expect still. They also feel…. This will sound silly, and I feel silly writing it, but they feel attentive. It’s like they’re leaning in and watching me pass.
Anyway, I’ve made a lot of progress. I’ve been alternating between paddling and walking and nearly walked into a fairy circle. I should have been more aware but to be fair it wasn’t what I was used to. Normally a fairy circle is a meter or so across, sometimes two… this was maybe twenty? I’m not sure. It was huge, the mushrooms in the ring up to my waist, the only reason I spotted something was amiss was the perfectly circular pool in the middle of them. I didn’t cross the boundary, but I did see one of the mushrooms had piles of fairy dust under it, likely from them creating it and having a rest. Some quick scooping and back peddling in case they came back, and I was one down.
It was while I was heading back, I saw a patch of bog had colourful lights flashing over and over, so of course not having learned my lesson I headed over. It was beautiful honestly, a patch of water looked like it was coated in some kind of rainbow film that was bubbling. As the bubbles rose up, they popped with a little flare of fire that burnt the gas, but each flame was a different colour! I was slightly mesmerised for a while watching them, probably not a magical effect, but I decided to see if I could take some with me. It seemed like a very particular part of the bog something definitely magical, so I used my want to draw a little memory of it out and into a vial. I’ve still got it and tiny little bubbles keep popping in all those beautiful colours! I’ll make this into a decoration at home later.
Time to get off this stump and look around a bit more.
- Golem reagents gained:
- Basilisk’s Gaze
- Amethyst Antlers
- Moon Moss
- Wyrd Water
- Salamander Urine
- Cynic Ivy
- Giant Spider Venom
- Sea Beast Saliva
- Nimbus Fish
- +1 Old Gold Coin (value 15 silver)
- +1 reputation
- Gained: Coracle (-70sp)
- Locale Unlocked: Blastfire Bog
- Event Update: Fed Mimic second time
- Event Update: Golem now building Spare Room Upgrade
- Event Update: Vampire Friend (-3 to find Vampire Venom)