The Witches of Silverbark

by Ravyn of Ozryn

Ravyn

Water rushing. Birds calling. Those are the sounds I hear every morning when I wake up. It's 1657, and my name is Ravyn Thornheart. People in the village of Ozryn thought I was strange, the girl who begs for food, and lives in the Athaminster Wood. It is actually a nice place for a 15 year old outsider. It has a river for fish and water. Shelter from harsh winds and rain. And most importantly, a place away from the villagers. They had always thought there was something off about me. Maybe it was my black hair. Or my pale white skin like a ghost's. Or maybe even my pitch black eyes, which seemed like they could go on, and on. Ever since my father died, then my mother mysteriously disappeared, the villager's attitudes had changed...

Elyentora: Entry 1

I am so humiliated! That hag who lives in Athaminster Wood bumped into me today, as I was on my way home from buying myself a very nice necklace. It was FABULOUS! The necklace, not her, obviously. Sometimes I swear she has something seriously wrong with her. I can't believe we used to be friends! We must have looked odd, with her dark looks, and me, with my blond, wavy hair. My lightly tanned skin. But I guess I can't blame myself, I was only 6. The town of Ozryn had yet another win today, the witch Mirajyre was hanged today. She was the one responsible for the pitiful harvest and Nicholaus the Valiant's loss in battle against Grodefroy the Malevolent. Oh, I must go now. It is time for a dinner of roasted herring, fresh bread, steamed chard, and mead.

Mirajyre

It was all a blur, the memories stretching and mixing, like a pit of snakes. The soldiers had walked in. I was declared under arrest. I was taken to the courthouse. A farmer claimed to have seen me appear out of nowhere and shout out a curse that stopped all crops from growing. A knight testified that his friend, and personal hero, Nicholaus the Valiant had slipped in the mud during a battle. He pointed to me in accusation. He said, "I know Nicholaus, he always wins!" I had then blurted out, "Maybe his luck just ran out!" It was like I had cast a spell upon the courtroom that had silenced everyone. Finally the judge composed himself. He asked if I would like to confess to the crime of witchcraft in both it's forms, maleficium and diabolism. I denied it. I was lead to the gallows. Now here I am, wondering what I could have done differently. What could have saved me from this fate? It seems as if the whole town has come to see me die, jeering at me, the witch. The reason some have died from starvation. Someone approaches. I feel the stool pulled away, the thing keeping me alive. Before they do, I take it all in, the smells, the sights, the sounds. My last thought is, "I will never have the chance to prove that I am innocent." Then everything stops.

Ravyn

I am walking into the town. I see a crowd hovering around the courthouse. Someone shouts, and points to me. They turn. I start running. It's instinct. The stranger shouts a blood curdling battle cry that rattles the bones. Someone grabs my arm, and I jerk away. I run towards the woods, but I am too late. A face that has loomed in my dreams shows up. He grabs me, and his grip is too strong to escape. I gasp, and wake up, panting and sweaty. This dream has dogged me for one and a half weeks now. I take a few deep breaths, and leave my cave in the woods. Looking back, I wish I'd stayed in my safe haven in Athaminster Wood.

Frir

Witches. My mortal enemy. I've spent many years going from town to town, helping them rid them of their witch problems. One of the towns weren't grateful. They claimed that my ideas were barbaric. A few days later, that town lit on fire, and burnt all the way down to the ground. When I got the letter from Ozryn, I immediately finished up with Tarrin, and rode my steed straight to Ozryn. When I first got there, I saw a young women. Pitch black hair, pale white skin, and black eyes, deeper than the pits of tartarus. I decided then and there, that she would hang.

Elyentora: Entry 2

A stranger appeared in town today. He said that he was glad to help us with our witch problem. I am ecstatic that our little Orzyn will be pure again, free to be how it is, with no witches interfering. After all, isn't that why we left Malimoor?

Ravyn

I run into town, dodging the branches, and leaping over rocks. I don't know why, but I am excited. As I near the edge of the wood, I compose myself. I smile, and walk with a spring in my step. Then I stop dead in my tracks. It's him. The face from my dreams. The one that catches me. He is talking to the Village Elder. They smile and laugh. I hear little bits of the conversation. "Witches... I will help... 700 gillans... they will hang." His voice is deep and gravely, and has something almost familiar about it. Then something happens that I replay in my mind for years to come. He turns, and it happens as if time has slowed down. The stranger makes eye contact with me. I see something in his eyes. It is not happiness, sadness, or anger. Just pure hatred. I wish I had done something differently. I just stand there. After some time, his mouth curls into a smile, but all I see in it is the hatred.

Elyentora: Entry 3

I was sitting in the dining room today, and our cat, Nix, walked in. She is a strange creature, coming and going at all hours of the night. That witch hunter is really something. Rid the world of many witches. I heard from father that he has caught, and executed, almost 66 witches! I haven't been feeling quite right lately. I wonder what that is about.

Ravyn

I see the gallows. Then my view shifts down to the noose. It just hangs there, perfectly still. I step up and am held in place. Then I do something that surprises myself. I pull the sword from a guard's sheath. Using my careful practice and adept hands, I slice the noose and start to run.

Frir

I will start the way I always do. By interrogating all the people of Orzyn about suspicious behavior, and possible witchcraft. Many say the do not feel quite right, and 3 in particular say they have seen a shadowy form appear in their homes. I then ask, "What is this form that you see?", to which one replied, "It is a giant wolf, covered in scars that lets out a cackle. It then disappears and takes the shape of a young women." and the other 2 are similar. I shall find this "wolf" and I shall kill it.

Ravyn

I had another dream last night. I wonder what I did during the day to inspired this dream. It showed me a noose, and the stranger staring at me with that twisted smile with the hatred of all the viking kings in the world. I dreamt of swords and running. Of hatred and witchcraft. Of blame and betrayal. Of fear.

Flux

I twitch my furry ginger tail as I prance out the door. My delicate paw pads feel the cold soil of the outside world. I glance behind me, and when I reassure myself that no one is following me, I continue towards the forest. I trot along the path I have trod so often. My ears perk up at the slightest sound. I turn, claws out and teeth ready. Never mind. It was just a mouse. Then I come to the cave covered in vines. To the dark haired girl, with the pale skin, and the bottomless eyes. I rub against her leg and purr. She gives me some fish, and I leave. After eating under an old Sinnenoid tree, I go to the Twilminster Glade. There are my companions, Whisper, Nix, Rouge, and X. I focus, and the tingling starts to travel down my spine. I start to get taller, the fur retreats into my body, My long ginger hair unfurls from my skull. I return to my human form. I look over to Whisper, with her long black hair, and her dark brown skin. Then I shift my gaze to Rouge, and his tan skinned, curly brown hair. Next, to Nix, her creamy- skinned complexion, her light brown hair. And finally, X, the youngest of us all. She is different. Skinny, light skinned, freckled, with short, dirty blond hair, just a shade darker than her skin. Whisper looks around, with eyes that stare into your soul, and speaks, "Did you do it?" then X with her quiet, squeaky voice replies, "it is done."

Elyentora: Entry 4

The witch hunter came today. He asked me about witches and magic. I told him how I wasn't feeling my best. I told him how I saw a shadow following me through the forest, when I was sent to deliver a package to Y'alion, the Elven town. Their hospitality was exquisite. They treated me to a snack of Yashafruit Bombe and Coconut Fog. Anyway, I am straying off topic. It took the form of a girl, then a wolf, then a back to a girl again. As I went up to get a closer look, it bolted away, faster than it was possible for any human. I told the witch hunter, who's name is Frir, that it was definitely was a person who made a deal with the devil. The shape looked almost familiar, like a painting with half of it torn away.

Ravyn

My first dream is starting to come true. There are people looking at me with accusation in their eyes. They whisper when they see me, but as I near them, they suddenly quiet, and back away. I have started training with both a longsword, which I have named Valkyrie, Sword of Deception, and a Bow and Arrow called Death's Kiss. I've become quite skilled with both. More and more soldiers have been watching me, and my only companion is a ginger cat, who I call Flux. The name just seemed to click. Everything was fine until I walked into Ozryn one day. I needed food. My dream was coming true.

Frir

I completed my task. 17 women and 5 men. Those were the numbers. Out of them, 14 were hung, and through a fair trial was it determined that the other 8 deserved to drown. That dark haired women, who I've learned a bit about, has been hiding out. She seems to have caught on to me. But she couldn't hide forever. She came out to get food. I was warning the people of Ozryn to her crimes, as she walked into town. The good Reverend Farrimund turned, and cried out a warning, "The witch, the witch!" and pointed. I realize that it is time to take charge. I shout my battle cry, "The God of Death demands it's pay!" and the crowd surges forward. The filthy witch bolts, and she is faster than any I have seen. Sir Azorious the Defender grabs her by the wrist. She jerks free. That knight must be punished, but I will deal with him later. Now, I rush to the Wood's edge. I glance around for her. I see the filthy sorceress running to Athaminster Wood. She is soon to enter the Wood, but I am there first. I have her, and though she tries, she cannot escape me. I tie her hands, and bring her to the jail to await the ruling.

Ravyn

I sit in the dark, wet, empty room of the Twisted Grotto. A guard in the uniform of blood red, and such a dark blue, it is almost black. They remove a piece of paper from the waist pocket. They have come to tell me my fate. Their voice is strange and gurgly. "You, Ravyn Thornheart, have committed crimes against humanity, by performing witchcraft." on the word, witchcraft, the pot bellied guard shudders. He composes himself, then continues, "You shall be hung at dawn." then with a dramatic flick of the paper, he turns and leaves the room. Then, I wait there, for sleep to come. And come it does, but with it, comes something a little less welcome.

Elyentora: Entry 5

Ozryn's last witch was caught today. I can't believe I used to be friends with a witch! She is to be executed at dawn. I know because I was listening at the keyhole when Frir was informing father of her fate. I may have felt bad at first, but this is what people get for signing the Devil's book!

Ravyn

Images twisting in and out of focus. My father, my mother quickly morph into Frir's sneering face. Then to a noose. That untwists into a furry, ginger tail, which expands into a tree, branching out, and twisting. Then a circle of cats morphing into people.

Flux

Whisper informs me that Frir is almost done with his first phase. She also says that Nix has seen someone will join us, and one will leave forever. I decide to check out the town, how they're doing. He is even further than I thought. I think of Dragonspire Fortress. My fur sticks at all ends at the thought of it.

Azorius the Defender

I wish I hadn't grabbed her. I just slowed her down. Now she will not even have the chance to live her life. All I saw on her face was fear, and panic. Not intent on evil like Frir had said. I looked her in the eye and thought, "Why am I doing this? Because some stranger came to Ozryn and pronounced her an enchantress?" so I let go. Now I'm in a solitary cell because he is claiming I am possessed.

Ravyn

The dreams have gotten worse. I jolt awake, tensed to run, then realize I am chained to the wall. As I wake up, I flinch when I see Frir, with his twisted sneer. I wonder how long he has been watching me? Then in his gravelly voice, he says, "Well, it's almost dawn. We better head out. Don't want to disappoint the audience." the last part he has drawn out, as if to insult me somehow. I stare back at him, working to put only hatred and loathing on my face. I hope I'm not projecting fear, or panic. Then I am guided to the gallows. I see a guard with my confiscated sword, Valkyrie, and I seize my chance. I run to the woods, with the noose hanging around my neck, but I don't stop running. I can't stop. Then once I am in the center of the forest, I stop to untie it. All of a sudden, 2 knights burst from the forest in front of me. Then 2 come up behind me and grab my sword! I'm surrounded by 4 knights, all with drawn swords. What happens next, I will replay in my mind, many times. I raise my hands as if to say that I surrender. Then 2 deep, black lines, with gold specks, shoot from each hand. One streak hits each knight, and they fall unconscious, to the forest floor. I hold up my hands, and look at them with shock, and horror. Then I see Flux slinking through the trees. Then, in her place is a girl, about my age, that looks exactly like Flux. She was wearing a sheepskin cloak. On her tunic was a sideways crescent moon, with an 8 pointed star above it. She holds out her hand and says, "Hi. I'm Flux. Welcome to the Witches of Silverbark."

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