Joined: 31 May 2019
Location: Down south
|Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:11 pm Post subject: A Journey Home
|As the sun surrendered to the moon, Nadiyha spied the trail that would lead her home once more. She had been away too long and she was in great need of the comfort that only home could provide. The waters of Archapeolego had proved much harder to withstand this time around, in fact, they had caused her great pain at one point.
Had it been harsher because she has grown more attached to the land?
One of the many questions that plagued her restless mind. So distracted was she that she almost didn't notice the willow wisp leading her astray until it's musical laugh drew her attention. She had almost faltered and wandered too far from the trail. She scolded the willow wisp as she silently cursed herself for not being more careful.
"Stay on the path, pay attention and do not follow the lights!".
How many times had she been given that warning and yet she had just done the opposite.
Safely back on the trail, she resumed her journey. The sound of children's laughter told her that some demi-fey were close by. Their diminutive size masked their dangerous and lethal nature. Many a traveller had been lured into their traps by the use of tricks and glamour. She pitied the poor fool who fell for it this time, the demi-fey were hunting which meant they were hungry.
As she neared home, the wafting smell of delicious cooking told her the brownies and hobgoblins were hard at work. The clanking of pots and pans accompanied by yelling told her one of the servants had angered the head chef and he was halfway to going full boggart again. Better to avoid the kitchen she thought, her stomach grumbled its disapproval of this idea. The sounds drew her down into memories of her time as a servant. Had she ever angered the chef that way? No, she couldn't remember doing that. She shrugged and continued on her way
She loved it here, everything was so much more alive. The trees swayed and creaked in a never-ending dance. They say if you listen hard enough you can hear them talking to each other. She had listened for hours as a child but had never been able to hear them. That hadn't stopped her imagining what they might talk about though. She sighed as the familiar pulse of magic greeted her, even the magic here was more alive. She stopped for a moment to drink it all in and feel the warmth of home seep into her again.
"I have missed you too,” she said with her hand on the floor “and I greet you all as a friend".
With no more time to waste she stood tall and strode quickly up the path, she needed to speak to him before she had to go and meet the wanderers again. She also needed to use the quiet of this place to speak to another. She had a question to ask Hurne and she desperately needed an answer.
As she neared her destination, a host of pixies greeted her. Their iridescent wings flashed in the torch lights as they flitted all around her, dashing in and out of her hair and flowers. They seemed to all speak at once, asking where she had been, what she had been doing, did she bring them anything sweet to eat?
She laughed as she handed them some sweets she had saved just for them. They had always liked her and she had always been fascinated by them. As an adult, she was still fascinated by them, but she also knew they could kill a man with a sword the size of a sewing needle. Foolish was the one who was not specific when making a deal with a pixie, more foolish was the one who underestimated them.
She stopped just outside of the Rowan grove, this place was sacred, this place was s sanctuary for all the Sidhe. Above all, this pllace was a place of solitude and peace. No doors or walls existed to keep you out, no weapon ever passed beyond its gates, no conflict ever shattered its silent calm. All were welcome within, but only those who were welcome could enter.
No sanctuary can exist without its guardians, and the Rowan grove was no different. Three creatures, loyal and bound to the one who dwelt within, guarded its gateway and allowed only the worthy to pass.
The Barghest, a monstrous black dog or a knight garbed from head to toe in black armour with a sword as long as he was tall, the Guardian of Gateway, tested your worth. A proud warrior, an impressive fighter, single-minded in his defence of the grove. You had to prove to him you were not here to hurt those within. Words were a powerful weapon to this creature.
The Cu Sith, a green fairy hound or a ranger garbed in green leather, the Keeper of the Heart, tested your intent, your reason for coming to this place. A skilled tracker that could hunt anything in silence, never losing sight of its quarry and nothing ever escaped its arrows. Honesty is always the best policy when facing a Cu Sith.
The Cait Sith, a black cat the size of a small dog with a shining white star on its chest, or an impeccably dressed manservant, The Chamberlin. Unlike the others, this creature didn't test anything about you, and yet it was the most important of all. It had watched you since you had arrived. It had seen everything you had done and heard everything you had said. It had judged your every move. Its sole purpose was to open the gateway and introduce you to him who dwelt within. Somewhere between an arrogant secretary and a pompous butler, it would choose how to introduce you depending on its own interpretation of you. What you thought was important might not be what it saw as worthy of mention. Many travellers had failed their test at the paws of this cat, many had lost their temper at it and been ejected from the grove into the jaws of the Keeper and the Guardian.
She hung her belt from an old oak that stood at the side of the gateway.
"Hold on to this for me old friend, I'll be back for it when I'm done here".
The oak creaked, she had no idea what it said, but her belt had always been there whenever she had returned. Maybe Tarin or Sharp could tell her what it said if they ever came here.
She breathed deeply as she stepped through the gateway.
"Hello Grandfather, we need to talk."
Some roses have thorns; some have guns, either way, you're getting hurt.