[ Before the events of 11/18]

She took up his offer to stay in the old hut that sat in the middle of that old swamp. Not because it was a last option, but just how it sat on its own, surrounded by trees and hills and its own defenses. She would admit that the ghosts were an annoyance, but not enough to stay back.

A few checks for spells and wards and she comes up to the steps. Ravens hung low, sitting on the rails and edge of the roof, watching her as she came up to the steps. She still wore the furs she had when visiting Fiel, but now she carried her large bag on her back and the sword, still wrapped in the sheath, was tight in her grip. They saw all of this, and not one made a sound. They knew: This was not the Norn who they usually watched over. This was human, and a strange one at that.

Gal sighed out a chilled breath and began her climb to the wooden door. There’s shuffling on her body as she adjusts the furs and bag to keep from getting trapped against railing, but she makes it up without more hassle. The birds stay watching, flapping often and adjusting to keep their eyes on her. She can’t help but wonder if they watched for a higher person, hell even for Fiel, but its a foolish idea. She’s tired. It took her days to get here, and she just needs a rest.

The door sits tight in its place, letting no light or air to pass through to the room behind it. She can see the etchings deep in the wood, spelling more wards out. He really was a careful soul at heart. Almost too much. It makes her chuckle really, enough so it finally gets a caw from a near Raven.

“Like you know what I’m thinking,” Gal responds to it with a clever tone, shrugging the bag again and continues up those final steps to the door. As she came closer, more came to view and it became obvious he really warded the hell out of his home. Good reasons, she reckons.

The bag gets dropped with a heavy thud and she stares for a moment, her free hand is reaching under the furs and clothes to pull out the key he had given her days earlier. Once she saw it, she noticed just how detailed it was, and how much it matched that doorway.

“Fiel you must calm yourself,” she murmurs, taking it from her neck and going to the door. A smooth pass over and some tracing and she slips the key into the lock and twists. It unlocked with a loud thud and whine, the slighted rusted lock pulling from its home and undoing the door. The key hummed in the hand as it worked, but once finished it came still as before. It returns to Gal’s neck and she goes for her bag then pushes through into the hut.

Its dark. Light barely comes through the curtains and shades, making it feel…off. Not off like nervous and fearing, but off as in how can he even stand in the light if this is how he lived.

The bag drops again and she props the sword against the wall, coming further inside. It takes some wandering, hands running across the walls and furniture, but she manages to get to one window to pull open the curtains to let in some light. And light there was: It covered all the furniture and books scattered about. It made her blink to adjust to it again, but she’s able to move again and get a better look around.

He made it home to the best of abilities: bookshelves, crafting materials, old bottles and ingredients organized neatly on shelves. Furs hung off walls and off the edge of the bed that still held a shallow impression in the mattress where he possibly slept. His desk still had books ready and the floor had more skins and leathers. Dust was over most of it, but not heavy.

It…was enough.

She pulls the items in further, getting them placed near a wardrobe. She’s quick to hang up more of her clothes and hide the sword for now, finally shutting the door. Another window opens up, and now ravens return to sit on its ledges and caw at her, announcing the new guest to their home.

“Aye, easy- Only for a moment,” she mutters, pushing furs out of her way and dusting down the desk. “Course, you don’t know what I’m saying, do you.”

Another caw, and Gal only laughs.

A small bag is pulled from her belt and untied, letting the fabric fall open to show a few radios. One had a small string with it, the other two plain and simple. She takes the one with the string first, placing that on her hip. She then takes her others and places them on the bed. There’s fishing in the bag and she pulls out several blank journals, ribbon, and wax. It takes more, but she does find her inkwell and pens and places them all together on the desk.

“No, not right. To those who read- Dwayna above both will hang me… To my love. No,no,no-” Gal keeps muttering to herself as the ravens watch her wander around, searching for items. It’s quick glances over his ingredients, but she’s quick to find chalk and a reactant. She keeps going as she draws out a small incantation circle on the floor. Small, but enough to have her pout a handful into the central. Some chanting occurs, a thing she picked up from a Norn in the Vigil, and she leaves it be as the pile burned and grew into a bird-like form. Soon, it finishes its formation and there in the circle stands a ghostly hawk, barely there but enough to flap wings and pick at the wood beneath it.

She quickly writes out two letters, still muttering away while she does. She should worry about the ravens hanging around, or the fire in need of being lit, but this…This was important. Yes they would have ink spots over them, even a smudge from her fingers to test their dryness, but they were enough.

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???????? ????????????????????????????,

???? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????????? ????????????????????, ???????????? ???? ???????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????? ‘???????????????????? ????????????????????????’. ???? ????????????’???? ???????? ???????? ???????? ???????????????????????? ???????????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ????????????????????????, ???????????? ???????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????? ????????????????????. ???? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???? ????????????.

???????? ???? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????? ????????????, ???????????????? ???????????????? ???? ???????? ???????????????????????????? ???????? ????????????????’???? ???????????? ????????????????????. ???????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????????? , ???????????? ???????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????????????????????? ????????. ????????????????????????, ???????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????? ????????????????.

???????????????? ????????????????. ???? ???????? ???????????????????? ???????????????? ???????? ????????????????????????, ???????????? ???????????? ???????????????? ????????.

???????????????? ???????????????????????????? ????????????????,

????.????.????.

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The hawk hopped up the furniture and climbed up the wood to rest on the desktop, giving her ghostly chirps as she folded the letters around each radio, tied with ribbon and addresses written on them.

“Nemo Turlough. Koryander Fireborn. As soon as possible,” Gal spoke quiet as each item was passed to hungry talons and hungrier wings. It seemed to understand her, giving a weird bob of its spectral head and starting to flap the wings. Soon it is off the wood and tucks through a nearby window, scaring away a Raven just long enough for it to head upward and disappear in the fog, going off on its mission.

Gal will watch for a moment before she turns back to her things and settles in, readying herself for the temporary situation. She’ll speak with Adilia later, she’s meeting the Guild again. Maybe, just maybe, she won’t be thrown into the waters.

Maybe, this will be okay.

A shiver goes up her spine and she wraps the fur still on her tighter around herself, going to make the fire. Fog rolled, and spectral calls stretched across the water. Somehow, it felt colder.

Somehow, it beckoned from its distance. 

Author MaddAce
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