Hunter Huor (mentioned)
I cannot be sure how long I sat there staring into those crackling flames, lost in some kind of self-induced, mind-numbing trance until all that remain are a mound of glowing embers. The first thing I notice when I am finally aware of my own presence again, is a slight stiffness to the skin of my face where raging tears had dried some time ago by the heat of this pyre. No longer able to cry, no longer able to release my pain in those long lamenting wolf-inspired howls, I’m left feeling brittle and hollow like a statue...or an urn.
((Sorry for sitting on this for so long. Rated for cussing and a couple of translations listed below, though the entire conversation ICly should be considered spoken in their native gypsy. Part I and Part II linked for convenience.))
I lean back ‘gainst one o’the marbled headstones with a heavy sigh while I be considerin’ this new d’velopment. "Kat... Oh, damn, Cācā, I found Katrielle, but… I think something might’a got ta her too." I be gulpin’ hard now, recallin’ her lying there like that in my shop earlier an’ be wonderin’ what be real now that I be dead…err, almost.
"Katrielle? Ya mean ta tell me after all that time she gone missin’ that ya finally found the girl?”
“Aye, got me a brat too, a wee girl.”
“Hot diggity damn, boy, ya be startin’ a family. That be great! Who she be lookin’ more like, ya or Kat?”
I be frownin’ now as I gotta own up ta my shame. “Eh, nai, she ain’t Kat’s. Had her with that Wretched, Aniline mum took fer apprenticin’…but she got my dark hair an’ curly too!” I be quick ta add.
He be givin’ me a stern disappovin’ look now. “Oh, Bala, ya bloody idgit.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Just got hard after the fall…”
“So what! Ya get hard, ya go get ye’self a clean whore, not some fel-addict, ‘specially Aniline!”
The bread for the dead recipe had been followed perfectly yet the dough would hardly rise. ‘What am I doing wrong?’
“Did you add yeast to it?” The Marquis’ grand-daughter asked over the chatter box and she went on to further explain something about the dough needing warmth and moisture to rise though she may as well have been speaking Nerubian. Baking had never been something she was very good at unless she was making cookies and even then, she could only make a specific kind of dough which only varied by her choice of which nuts, chips or berries to add. Her skill with cooking food was also quite deficient. Aside from salads, the only recipes she was able to reproduce in an edible manner could be counted on one hand and consisted of various grilled fish and a hearty vegetable soup.
‘I have spent too many hours trying to perfect this recipe. What a waste of a Sunday.’ Suddenly her eyes brightened. ‘Wait. Today is Sunday. Fancy Cakes is open...I’m saved!’
However, she arrived at the baker’s shop just as the two ladies were leaving. ‘Damn...I’m too late! Now what?’ With Hallow’s Eve drawing to an end, time was running out for her to gather a suitable offering for her dead loved ones. As she dragged her feet back to the inn and had a nice long smoke from the hookah, she wondered what she would do and thought about the previous year’s offerings. ‘I want them to have bread that is soft and supple, not the hardened bricks I usually bring mother and it seems wrong to steal someone else’s bread offerings.’
Trees whispering as waves of salty breezes rustle through their golden canopies across Eversong Woods...So many voices, somewhat irregular, yet singing in harmony. Relaxing. Soothing. Tranquil. Many hours lost breathing deeply in meditation.
“Ari’ella...” The trees are not the only ones whispering.
“Mum...?” My heart leaps to hope.
“You may not always have a healing potion on hand so remember your ABC’s.” Words of wisdom instructed to me, her apprentice.
“Aye, mum, Airway, Breathing and Circulation.” The repetition of my first aid training had begun to bore me and all I wanted was to return to my trees and listen to their songs. “It can save lives...I got it.” I assure her.
Ari had arrived early to Falconwing Square on the day Bishop Aelberyn was to give her sermon on compassion so she took an early dinner. After which, she lied down on one of the chaise in the lounge for a nap under the watchful guard of The General at the tavern. The large mangy black wolf still came and went at his own leisure, but on the days he stayed by her side, she thought she could feel Elros’ presence watching over her, keeping her safe. However, that was the nature of a hunter’s protective companion which she still lacked the skill and meditative power to summon up with any other beast.
When she awoke, she was pleased to find The General lying on the floor along the length of the chaise in a manner that would prevent anyone from stepping close enough to disturb her while she had slept. She rewarded him with a tasty piece of jerky, wishing he would stay with her always to provide her with a more constant source of companionship, but that was not in his wild nature. He would not take to a new master easily and she was not the type of elf to force it upon him, nor did she believe him to ever comply should she try. Perhaps that was why he always came back.
A small crowd had already begun to gather by the time Ari made her way into the Square. During the Bishop’s lecture, The General lingered in the woodlands nearby while Ari had stood by silently taking in the priestess’ words. The herbalist had thought she understood the nature of compassion and was slightly confused by the Bishop’s response to some of the questions asked during the questions and comments segment of the seminar.
“Compassion is not always salvation.” Bishop Aelberyn had said.
The meat cleaver suddenly came to a stop above the hulk of hawk-strider meat on the block. Beneath the blade’s edge and with vicious intent, the Butcher’s eyes pierced the government’s scribe lurking in doorway of his shop.
Silent Fox parted ways with the young mage she had escorted at the city gates. She watched Elishichi enter Shepherd’s Gate safely and then made her own way to Falconwing Square since she wasn’t entirely sure she would be able to enter the city without being recognized by the gate guards. A little ways past Falconwing Square, she found the hidden hole behind the bushes and beneath the tree where a small tunnel went under the wall and into a ruined part of the city bordering the bazaar. There were numerous inconspicuous little ways into the bazaar from this area and this was how she got in and out of the city safely.
“What do you mean my textiles still haven’t arrived?!” A young blond girl was yelling at the Sin’dorei tradeswoman when the ranger in the foxhelm approached the run down village of Tranquillien from the western slope of Sungraze Peak. “I’ve been waiting for four months!”
The Hunter Comes...