The Witch of Verstecktdell

The Witch of Verstecktdell


  "Who are you, child?" A deep voice asked from the shadows.   The young elven woman wasn't even sure how old she was as she looked around the strange secluded valley that she barely recognized.   "I am Bhalynr, faithful protector of the sacred dragon." She answered as she looked upon a little reptilian creature with deep green eyes staring into her own.   The creature chirped, but she fully understood what it was saying to her. "I think it wants to know who you really are."   She looked around confused as she tried to peer into the shadows that seem to twist and take form around her. She recalled a family tragically lost, but she could barely remember their names.   "I am Serilye." She answered as the small reptile chirped in front of her. She smiled and patted it upon its little head.   "What are you?" The dark voice asked. She still couldn't figure out where the voice was coming from but took comfort in her little companion's calm presence.   Tears began to well in her eyes as she recalled her people throwing stones at her, long ago. "They called me a venefica. They say I am a witch. But I am only this one's servant."   "I think they're all silly peasants." The little creatures chirped at her, as she heard his voice in her mind. "When I grow up, they'll know better than to harass a dragon and his loyal subject."   "Why are you here?" The ominous voice asked. She looked into her little friend's eyes, seeing the reflection of her own jade-colored eyes as well as her long platinum hair.   "I'm here to protect Grahgryn, until he's grown up." She answered. "He led me here where it's safe, where the hunters won't find me."   A chuckle came from behind her, as she turned to see a pale woman clad in a dress as dark as the midnight sky. She appeared to be as sinister as the shadows that surrounded her. "And yet, here you've been found. Alone, confused, forgotten, and lost. I know what you are, what you could possibly become, but are you worth my time?"   The elven woman recoiled and used herself to cover her small companion, who promptly jumped upon her head for a better view.   "She's a very powerful sorceress, try not to offend her or say anything silly." Grahgryn spoke to her elven servant.   "I am not alone!" Serilye shouted as her reptilian friend covered his snout with his little paws.   The shrouded sorceress smirked, "Come now, child. You imagine yourself speaking to your little compsognathus like he's your liege. He's just an egg you found, who happened to hatch and imprint upon you. Be free of it, your hallucinated madness, and I can help show you what you are truly capable of, little sister."   Serilye looked up at her little friend, confused, and not sure what to do. "Who are you?"   The woman revealed her long elven ears hidden beneath her raven hair. "They called me a witch too, a lowly peasant maiden who fell in love with an injured prince, and her patient that she rescued. Who became a servant to his betrothed, stole their first-born child, and murdered the princess. Bards of Sharena say I became cursed by the First of the Fates and gave me the title the Lady of Whispers, the Lady of Temptation."   The young elf shook her head as she stood up, dusting off her ragged dress. "A-And, did you do what they say you did?"   The sorceress shrugged, "Might as well have, for none now live that remember the truth. But you, your story, has yet to be written. You've been in this place for far too long; you barely remember your own past."   The young elf stared into the other's dark hollow eyes, which began to spiral and flare up into a red flame.   "You were born to Iolas and Finnea of house Elarish. Elven tradespeople of Ardfane, who delivered priceless elven arts and crafts; trinkets to sell for a pittance. Father perished in a landslide, and your mother moved on doing the same thing as before. A taxman threatened to evict your mother for the wages you've slaved for, and you butchered him with a dagger. From across the room. Impressive telekinesis, for a child."   It was all starting to come back to Serilye, but it all felt wrong, like a half-truth. There was more. "N-no, that's not right at all."   The sorceress raised an eyebrow, "Your mind is clouded, but that is the truth."   Serilye shook her head as she looked away from the woman. "I found an orb, buried underneath the roots of a tree. It spoke to me. It asked me my name, what I was, and why I am here."   "Delusions. It was the egg you discovered. Nothing more." The sorceress said as the little creature chirped at her.   "It taught me things, like how to mend my family's broken wagon wheels. I could write in glowing runes and brighten objects with a touch. They told me I was gifted, but I had to hide it so that I wouldn't be taken away."   The sorceress listened, not entirely convinced she wasn't recalling a fabricated dream or story.   "Father did die in the landslide. It trapped mother and I underneath the wagon. I cried for help. And it answered."   The Lady of Whisperers raised an eyebrow, "You lifted the wagon with your gift?"   Serilye looked at her, shaking her head. "No. Grahgryn hatched. He wasn't able to dig us free, he's no larger than he is now. He attracted the attention of a traveling merchant who could."   "That was ninety years ago, child. Your mind is playing tricks on you, deceiving you of the truth." The sorceress restated.   Serilye struggled to remember, "N-no... The taxman was a fraud. He knew I had magic, as was extorting money from my mother for his silence. Grahgryn bit him, and the tax collector tried to stab him. I took the knife from his hand and killed him from the hallway. Mother couldn't protect me anymore, as there were witnesses in the shop. They didn't know he was extorting her, they only knew I killed a servant of the city with magic."   The sorceress smiled, "And you can do so much more. You don't know the potential you have within you. Kill this pathetic creature, clear your mind, and free yourself of this seclusion."   Serilye shook her head, "I am not the one gifted. He is. And I am his servant."   The sorceress turned her gaze to the reptile, as its eyes flashed a dark green. Together both Serilye and Grahgryn lifted their hands and tossed the sorceress into a tree. The force of their power suspending her there as she resisted. "What is this trickery!?"   The power that held her faded, and she landed on her feet. She stared in anger and disbelief as the two. "You're a channeler, harnessing the powers of the void that you cannot possibly comprehend! Neither of you are gifted, you are but pawns for whatever dark power has taken hold!"   Serilye, with Grahgryn on her shoulder, channeling a vibrant and electric flow of arcane energy from each other's hands, stood against the sorceress. "I called out for help, and he answered. I am Bhalynr, faithful protector of the sacred dragon. Begone, witch."   The sorceress glared, as she stepped back into the shadows deepening behind her, and vanished. Grahgryn chirped at her friend as she patted it on the head.   "Yes, you are a mighty little dragon, Grahgryn."


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