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Mickey Flash

Twist of Fate {Karmathen}

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After the old woman had given her cackling laugh, and puffed some more on her pipe, she looked into the distance as if something had caught her eye.  For the first time Weben noticed that she'd been followed into the strange tree world... land.... village?  She wasn't sure the size of the place, or if she could actually bust back out of the tree and into the Great Forest again.  She shook her head and realized that her mind had been speeding through thoughts at an alarming rate like always, and she let her mind go back to the first realization.  She had followers.  

The small group of women moved forward slowly, and Weben watched to see what they planned to do.  She remembered the tall one with the bow.  She had seemed threatening, not just because of the weapon but because she was so much taller than Weben too.  Most of the females had seemed intense, like they were looking for a fight.  All except for the delicate white haired elf/fae/unsure of the species at this point female.  She had seemed vulnerable, which alarmed Weben more than the rest.  The reason being that she was in the Great Forest... alone... with no weapons.  Things in the Great Forest can seem sweet and harmless, but actually have the ability to fry your brain.  Take the Willow tree for example.  It looked harmless enough, but it had magnetic music that seared your mind, and you could fall into another world from just leaning on it.  

Two of the women moved forward with written documents and tales of being invited.  Weben didn't have a clue what they were talking about.  Was it just a coincidence that she'd somehow fallen into this new land at the same time that these women were given invitations to meet someone here?  Obviously this someone was important.  If it were a relative, or friend, there would be no need for invitations and wax seals.  This had the smell of political on it, and Weben tried not to get involved in political business if she could help it.  

Before the old lady could comment, the fae came buzzing around the two women.  At first it was just a few, and after a moment or two there were quite a few more.  When they seemed to be getting closer to Weben, she shooed them away.  "Hey!  You don't need to buzz at me.  You've already gotten all my iron."  The fae looked at her for a moment, as if they were contemplating if she were telling the truth, and then they moved closer to the other women.  It seemed the only thing they were interested in was iron.  Weben felt sorry for whoever might have the iron on their person.  

The old lady cackled some more, and turned to go inside her cottage.  She motioned absently with her hand to be followed.  Weben didn't need to be told twice.  She followed close behind the elderly woman.  The pace was slow, and Weben kept hearing the buzzing behind her.  Her only thought was to get inside quickly and be away from the pesky fae, whom she couldn't help relating to a swarm of bumblebees.  

 

Edited by Mickey Flash

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As soon as the tiny fae begin to swarm the other women with iron on their persons, Jorahel quickly strides away from that group, glaring at the few swarming creatures who had dared to come near her. The sight of her clouded grey eyes is enough to send them away, however, and she continues towards the first woman who had come through the tree, carefully picking her way through the flowers lining the path.

Looking around at the new surroundings, Jorahel keeps an attentive ear open to the murmurs behind her, the presentation of certain documents and parchments, the irritating buzzing noises. It seems a few of them have business here already, and she is naught but an individual swept along with the winds of change and fickle fate.

No matter. Jorahel is tethered to nothing but her own self now.

She quietly trails behind the red-haired lady and the gnarled old woman making their way towards the cottage, stopping every so often to bend down and inspect the coral-and-lavender blooms scattered at her feet. “Kíeir roêra,” she mutters to herself, giving them a critical glance before moving on.

One can never be too careful, in the realms of the Fae.

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Idora received no answer, save for the buzzing of quickly fluttering wings and a waved gesture. Where some may feel as though it isn't enough in the face of what they have to do she just moves forward. Forcing one's way in does not always produce the best outcome possible. And for now, the only option left to her is to abide by the simplicity produced in following Weben and the old codger into the cabin in hopes of gaining the information she seeks. First things first, however, she holds up both hands so that the Fae may better inspect her person. Not a single ounce of iron, or any weapon for that matter, adheres to her frame or clothing. Unarmed and still able. Idora finds no need to use anything aside from her hands and/or the elements of the nature surrounding her when absolutely necessary. Neither found the least bit needed for the moment. 

Once the small creatures are done examining her, Idora continues to step more freely into the grassy yard of the elder woman's home. Entering the abode only after she, Weben, Jorahel, and Eirlys do so. In the end, the elven woman beckons for the spry knight to follow after them all. Lest Manah get left behind. A collective of strangers on different journeys brought together by a singular tune. All crowd into the same cabin. Idora makes sure to step to the side and find a space among the others of her own accord in an attempt to make free as much of the space as possible. Only then does she survey the woman's home.

 


 

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Best to follow suit. Manah thought as she looked towards the others. And she didn't want to be left behind. Didn't want to be eaten by fae either. 

A creature she knew little about. 

Her boots crunched the foliage underneath as she followed the woman, Idora, Weben, Eirlys and Jorhel. She wouldn't be left behind. 

She said nothing though. Her thoughts lost to many questions she didn't know how to ask. So she remained silent, her brows furrowing in frustration. 

Manah entered the grassy yard soon after looking at the others. Could they possibly know what was going on? Entering the home, she would sigh as she didn't like small spaces as she was claustrophobic. 

But she kept her composure for now.

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The inside of the cottage clearly showed that it was made for only one person.  The small wood stove in the corner took up a lot of room, as well as the bed on the other side of the abode.  One chair was the limit of the seats available, and Weben didn't feel right taking it when there were so many crowding the room.  There was also the bed, but that was the old woman's personal space.  Weben didn't feel comfortable sitting on that either.  She stood beside the stove, looking out toward the only door that you could leave from.  Everyone shuffled in, the odd motley crew.  She was so interested in finding a place to sit, and getting away from the fae, that she hadn't noticed a major fact of the home she'd just entered.  It smelled of delicious sweetness.  Weben was unsure where the sweet smell was coming from, but it made her mouth water terribly.  

The older lady held the door open for her guests, until the last one entered.  The fae stopped at the door, seeming to respect the woman's territory.  She closed the door, and suddenly the room seemed to be a crowded box that they were all squeezed into.  The old lady then shuffled awkwardly around the women until she reached the tiny stove.  She grabbed a old rag and used it to open the handle of the stove.  The sweet smell that was just a dream before permeated the air now.  She took the rag and reached inside to pull out what looked to be a pie.  She used her foot to close the door to the stove, looking as if she'd done so many times, and then made her way to the window, working her way around the women again.  She placed her pie on the window sill, and put the towel back where she'd gotten it on a shelf.  

"Didn't want the pie to burn," she said in an off-hand manner.  She then turned to the women, and clapped her hands together loudly.  The sound seemed to vibrate off the walls, showing that the slightest noise would sound louder in the tiny cottage.  "Welcome to my home.  I rarely have guests.  As soon as the pie cools, you may have a slice."  She then sat in the only chair in the room, grabbing a bit of needlepoint nearby.  She started to work the thread and needle as she talked.  "I'm not sure where you're from.  I'm sure each of you have many tales to tell.  I need to address the slips of paper that I can't read.  Never learned," she explained as she created a design on the cloth with her deft fingers.  "But the name of Miss Jacklean.... such an important person here.  The fae could help you find her, I'm sure.  She's well known."  She stopped her ministrations for a moment, glancing up at Idora and Manah in particular, "You don't have any plans to harm the lass, now do you?" 

Weben didn't plan to stay long enough for the pie to cool.  She didn't even plan to stay long enough to see what the others had to say about this Jacklean character.  She just wanted to leave unmolested by the flying fae and find her way back to the willow tree where she'd somehow entered this strange land.  She couldn't see a clear shot to the door though, and she could also see fae flying outside of the window around the pie.  They were getting close to it, though not touching it.  "Uh, I think the tiny fae are thinking of eating your pie," she said as a fair warning.  The window also looked like a way of escape if she needed a quick exit.  She just loathed the thought of sliding out the window and ruining that delicious looking pie.  

Whether the females responded to the old woman or not, she then turned to the window and a soft smile shined from her face.  "I usually cut them a small slice.  They are waiting for it to cool."  

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Coming in to the little cottage, Jorahel has to stoop down to even fit through the door, but she manages it, gritting her teeth a bit when the others enter with ease. Really, her height is a hardship, at times. However, as she straightens up, her head bumps against the wall, and so she opts to crouch down near the doorway, where she can at least make a speedy exit in case of trouble.

The smell of pie wafts into her nose, then, and Jorahel takes a moment to enjoy the scent. She watches as the elderly woman takes the pie to the windowsill and assures them of a slice later on.

That, if anything, is worth staying for, even for a short while.

The old woman then addresses the other women who have given her written correspondence, and Jorahel shifts her attention away to look around the cottage with faint curiosity. She is yet unsure of what exactly the circumstances are, feels boredom begin to hang over her head like a noose at the idyllic atmosphere of the room. However, the call to adventure is ringing in her ears, in that hollow space inside her chest, and if she has to wait and see where all of this is going, then she shall do so.

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"Ahh." Is the only sound produced when accepting the elder woman's explanation regarding the pie she was baking before their arrival. The smell thick and heavy, incredibly warm, fills the cottages atmosphere with the sweetness of pastry and the tartness of its compote. Before being able to thank her for the gesture of welcome and the offering of pie slices as a reward in exchange for words, Idora is held in pause. Surprise allows wrinkles to fever the edges of her eyes and the middle of her forehead. Briefly, but telling of a hidden age. "No, I dare not threaten her Highness. We've been sharing correspondence for some time regarding a business venture she has taken great interest in. I merely here to discuss further details regarding it as she stated in this letter that she would like to meet with me in order to make a bargain with me. One of which I am still unaware."

When the door had shut behind the huddled group the hum of wings seemed to have died down. But now that Idora really takes to listening, the reverberations of wings penetrate the open window. The twinkling of darting figures awaiting their tasting of the woman's pie dance across her eyes.

 


 

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The old lady continued to work her needle as she nodded at what the blond woman with pointed ears was saying.  Weben shifted from one foot to the other.  She could feel the walls begin to cave in around her, and she began to sweat.  She wasn't fond of tiny spaces.  "I can't stay for pie," she blurted out of the blue.  The words sounded loud even to her own ears, and she winced at the harsh sound. 

The old lady ignored her, not even slowing down in her embroidery.  "I don't tend to fae business much.  I have only one purpose here.  I'm the gatekeeper."  She continued to sew, as if this was something that was supposed to make sense to anyone in the room.  "I lead a simple life.  If you want to do business with the fae, you have to be invited by the fae."  She continued to painstakingly loop the thread. 

She glanced up at Weben for a moment.  "You don't have to stay here child.  You can leave at any time.  But know this," her voice got low as it took on a whisper-like quality, "everyone who comes to Karmathen are here for a reason.  It could be you heard the music.  It could be that fate brought you here.  It could be that you are lost, and need to find guidance.  There are many reasons for why visitors arrive.  You might find that your search is over."  She nodded as if that made sense too.  

"Uh huh," Weben said, as if the old woman were nuttier than a fruitcake.  She inched her way to the door.  Before she exited she turned back to the old lady, "Maybe I arrived because I tripped over my own two feet and fell in."  

The old lady laughed a big belly laugh, her shoulders shaking with mirth.  "Maybe so," she finally said.  

Weben left the door open to the cottage, unwilling to close the other women in.  If they wanted to be crammed in there she would let them close the door themselves.  She didn't get more than two steps before the fae that had first flew in front of her face when she'd arrived did so again.  She wasn't so awestruck now.  She frowned and shooed at the creature.  "Go away!  Isn't there pie on a sill somewhere for you to eat?"  She was about to keep walking, but the fae wouldn't stop flying around her face.  "Stop!  What do you want?" she asked irritably.  The fae make a come hither gesture, pointing toward a faint trail that led away from the cottage in the opposite direction of where Weben had arrived.  Weben started to get the gist of what was going on.  "You want me to follow you?"  The fae nodded, and at that moment Weben had a decision to make.  She could go back to where she fell, possibly find a gate back to the tree entrance.  Or she could see what this little fae wanted, which could also be in the direction of a way out.  She just didn't know which way to go.  

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Jorahel is immensely confused, and the feeling of befuddlement does not sit well in the pit of her stomach. The conversation has gone round and round in vague, drunken circles she can no longer follow, the wrinkled old woman spouting cryptic words that make entirely no sense to her anymore.

She is staying for the pie, though. It is one small consolation, but a consolation all the same.

The red-haired woman strides out of the cramped cottage, murmuring about not staying for pie and disbelief in the supposed act of fate that had led them through to this land. Jorahel finds that the stranger’s absence allows for more breathing room, and it stirs something in her to finally speak her mind to the others around.

Fiyær lo anêthi. Greetings, old one,” she breathes as she turns her gaze towards the old lady, switching from her native dialect to the common language in order to convey her salutations twice. “It has been a lifetime, it seems, since I’ve returned to faerieland. I do not assume it is fate that has led me here, for I have no ties left that would call me home.” Jorahel watches the elderly fingers twist around the embroidery with apparent skill. “For what reason would Karmathen draw me here?” Perhaps she has wisdom left to spare for a too-tall fae hardened by weeks and months of nothing but road.

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Idora was incredibly grateful to the older woman for her kindness and appreciative of her protective nature toward the Fae. Something she herself hopes to portray as well when making a deal with Jacklean. As a purveyor of life and all that it encompasses, the woman can attest to these wants and needs. She can help procure and provide for those Fae who decide to join her good fortune movement and bring joy and magic to the world in which they all live. For now, it is merely a dream on the cusp of being born and shared. With the Left Bower's assistance, she knows that fruition will come much sooner. Just as she hopes and would like to see.

The words she sifts through, are carefully chosen. But before she can speak the red-headed woman, again, expresses the need to escape. To run from the things she does not adhere to or understand. Idora agrees with the elder woman. Weben is a lost child still hunting for a purpose. Unfortunately only time and experience can express the traits they all need to become who they are. Rather than give chase or follow Weben a second time, Idora chooses her own path. As the woman said, everyone comes to Karmathen for different reasons. And Idora had. There are things she must complete in order to move onward and upward, both literally and figuratively. It is not that she doesn't want to know or understand the woman's incessant need to run, but that she has work to do. And time is of the essence. "Where might I find her Highness? I wish to engage her as she requests, and in the time frame, she indicated. Being late, I fear, would do me more harm than good."


 

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Manah stood there in her silence. She listened to the old woman speak and politely refused the pie. The knight wasn't hungry. She watched the one named Idora, she seemed to be needed someone to accompany, protect. Though probably not, but Manah wanted to seem as if she was doing her job.

“Wait for me, Idora.” Manah called to the elf woman. “You'll need someone to watch your back just incase something happens.”

The knight quickened her pace as she followed after Idora. She hoped that the woman wouldn't mind her following but here she had no clue what she was doing--nor, her purpose. She had come winging it all so far to the land. Manah sighed softly to herself as she tried to keep up.

“I don't mean to bother, but why did you come here? I mean following Weben. I hope I'm not prying.”

Manah shook her head as she continued on following Idora. She had many questions yet she didn't know where to start. But it was an adventure after all, sometimes you just had to wing it right?

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The old lady stopped her sewing, and slowly got up to go to the cupboard.  There were a few plates, and she brought them all out.  She also go a large knife.  She touched the pie, which looked to be still too hot to cut.  She sighed as she began to chop the pie into triangles.  Steam was seeping between the cracks.  "One wants to know why she's drawn here.  Another wants to know how to get to royal fae.  And the last seems to be a guardian." Every time she told of one she placed a slice of pie on a plate.  "I made this pie today.  Not because I was hungry, but because I felt there might be company coming.  I can't explain why.  I just knew.  I was right." 

She passed out the plates to her guests, and gave another piece of pie to the window sill for the fae.  The fae attacked the pie, crumbs flying and gooey gold chunks was stuck in their hair and on their bodies.  The old lady ignored the fae, and turned back to the women in the room.  "The magic of this place has a powerful pull.  It can not be ignored.  Everyone must find their own reason for being here.  I cannot tell you."  She sat back down, and began to sew.  "All I know is that it's not a coincidence that you all came here together, and are all strong women."  Her head snapped up, and she looked toward the door.  "Even the red haired gal has purpose with the group.  Right now she's going where she's needed.  But you all should be together.  You'll catch up with her soon.  Eat quickly ladies.  You'll need your strength."  She looked back to her sewing, quietly humming.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Weben was shaking her head at the fae that was trying to get her to follow her.  "I don't think so.  I've heard stories about people being led down a path to their deaths from fairies.  I'm not in the mood to die today."  The fae blew the hair that was hanging over her tiny forehead in exasperation.  She then began to tug on Weben's sleeve.  "Nope.  No way."  Other fae began to join in.  More were tugging and pulling on Weben's clothes.  "Stop that!" They weren't listening.  Some had stickiness on their bodies that smelled suspiciously of pie.  Weben tried to tug herself in the opposite direction.  "Let me go my own way."  They weren't listening.  Soon Weben found herself farther and farther down the path.  If she turned around, she'd see the the old woman's cottage was getting pretty small.  But she was too busy trying to struggle free.  The fae were relentless.  And soon she was lost in the woods and got turned around.  She didn't know where she'd come from, or how to get back out.  She sat on a log and began to let out frustrated tears.  Some of the fae flew away.  The one who'd bothered her from the start sat on the log beside her.

@Rin @vielle @-Lilium- 

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Curiouser and curiouser, Jorahel thinks, absentmindedly accepting the plate of pie from withered fingers, wordlessly taking a seat on the floor, her long legs crossed and in repose. It is strange and yet familiar, peculiar and yet innately known, the mysterious push and pull of the fates in the land of the fae. The strings twist and turn themselves around every soul, invisible but alluring all the same.

Fate has brought them all this far, as she well knows.

Jorahel takes a small bite of pie as she ponders over her current circumstances, the sweet, tangy taste and warm crust altogether a wonderful symphony on her tongue. Perhaps, she deliberates, it would be best to follow in the footsteps of the red-haired woman back outside, but after polishing off the last of the pie on her plate, however.

No sense in wasting such scrumptious baked goods.

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It does not take long before the plate in her hands is clean and her hunger is sated. Jorahel deliberates for a moment, twiddling her thumbs in the silence, before she finally rises to her feet, bows to everyone in the cottage before she makes her way out into the greenery and the sunshine streaming through the undergrowth outside. Gazing about the clearing, confusion flits through her mind; where did that fiery-headed woman trail off to?

“Toêl de líest,” she murmurs to herself after, once she’s scoured the whole place and has found no evidence of the other woman anywhere. It soon comes to mind: what else is she doing here? The blinding flare of adventure has turned cold, in the light of vague proclamations and aimless wandering.

There is nothing for her here, not anymore. Jorahel breathes in deep, grips her bow tighter as she moves to follow a different path, a diverging path, though not without one last glance over her shoulder back towards the tiny hut and the dark depthless woods beyond, where the Fae commune in arcane fellowship.

She feels only a little bit of guilt that she had not thanked the elderly woman for pie before leaving. It had been rather delicious.

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