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The Power Of Words: Morella Trinder (A prelude and Ravenloft Fanfiction)

Author: 
NearEthereal

Debate 

 

 


July 753
"Is it always so ugly here?"
"It's the moor. Miles and mile of wild land that nothing grows on but heather and gorse and broom, and nothing lives on but wild ponies and sheep."





“My point is that you should not be encouraging him!”

Her mother’s shrill voice had always sent a shiver down the girl’s spine, and so Morella drew away from the door as if by instinct. If they had found her listening, she was like to be locked in the closet without evening meals and have no reprise from her lessons for a week at least. None the less, the girl’s concern for the conversation at hand washed away any fear of punishment. She pressed her ear to the door, and continued to listen.

“You see the way Morella hangs from everything he says!  No good will come if it, mark my words.”

A pout was brought to the young girl’s lips. She was not yet old enough to understand the implication of her mother’s words, but she gleaned their meaning.  Her uncle, Simon, was unconventional to say the least, but he did always tell the greatest stories, and did always bring the greatest of gifts to her naming day parties. Why just last year he had brought a small but bright blue stone that seemed to draw from itself its very own light. Her mother, of course, deemed it wholly inappropriate, and it was confiscated no sooner than she could lay her hands on the thing. Still, though. . .

“Ah, Johanna, she knows they are only stories! He’s your brother, he’d never mean to harm her!”

“And what of when she’s older Rodge” Her mother only used her papa’s ‘pet’ name when she was seriously trying to convey a point. No good could come of this. “What of when she starts to figure they aren’t?”

Morella’s ear began to redden and grow sore from the force she had applied against the door and, until now, had gone without notice.  Her father’s words had always come quiet, in contrast to her mother’s cries. She had preferred the somberness to his tones, even then. 

“She won’t dearest; If you should like, I will see to it he visits while she is at her lessons, or we keep our business to the shop…”

“I would like if you would keep it not at all! It is Wraith’s work, Rodger. You shouldn't be encouraging him!” 

Morella had rarely heard so desperate a tone in her mother’s voice. She wished for even the slightest glimpse into the room, for she had only the vaguest idea of what they spoke.  Simon had arrived, uncalled and unannounced into their house after dark, raising a fuss about something found among the moors.  She had thought her mother would faint, what with the baby soon in coming.  And now this.

“You can’t keep it here, Rodge, tell Simon to bring them back to wherever he found them. We can’t have them here.”

“…Under lock and key, Johanna”

And at that, Morella withdrew, for the footsteps paced ever closer to the door, and without the barrier between them there would only be trouble. The young girl hurried in a frantic pitter patter of steps, up the stairway of their respectably sized house, and into her room, throwing her blankets over her head. There would be little by way of sleep this night, which would, she logically surmised, make her lessons come First Day’s morning rather dismal indeed.

Still, the implications of what she had overheard were, in her mind, quite astonishing. She had, until this very point in her short life, always taken it for granted that the elaborate tales Simon had divulged upon her whilst sure her mother was busy with the family’s expenses , or with constructing a new week’s lessons were just that; tales.

She had never stopped for a moment to consider the converse to even be plausible. He spoke of frights, ghasts and ghouls; of sights and sounds upon the moors and beyond that no respectable individual would dare mention. Stories, she admitted, hardly appropriate for a child of six. But she had always been rather mature for her age, at least, that is what she had come to believe. 

She had known that her lessons would continue with her father one day, when she was versed in the nuances of arithmetic, language, and reading. She would study geography, theology, philosophy, and then, perhaps, she could be sent to fair Dementlieu for study; one of the places she heard her uncle speak so fondly of and her mother whisper about in quiet disdain.  That was to be her path; more so, if the child her mother bore was a boy, as she had desperately hoped. Then, she would not be so pivotal, and while she was certain her mind may one day change, marriage seemed like a sorry prospect, when there was so much to learn and see.

But then, perhaps, that was her uncle’s influence upon her already, and her mother was right.

Were his stories true?

And if so, what did he do, what part did her father play, and how was it “Wraith’s Work”. She had vowed, right then, as her mother and father checked what they were sure to be her sleeping form that she would one day know.

 

 

 

Sibling
 

 


August 753

“I heard someone crying, who though could it be? 
Maybe it was mother, calling out come see.”




   The screams filled the old house in a panic; and if her mother’s voice on a typical day had given the young girl a start, it was nothing compared to the abject terror that filled her heart this brisk and dreary late summer morning. Morella took to as swift a pace as her rigid buckled shoes would allow, balancing a small basin of heated water in both of her outstretched hands. Hesitating upon reaching the end of the hall, Morella set the basin down before knocking twice upon the tall wooden door.

A slight respite from the curdling screams, and the door opened with a soft creak. A tall figure appeared in the given space; her hair could not be seen, due to the white habit upon her head, but her face was not imposing. Morella drew the water basin up into both hands once more, offering it upwards, her eyes firmly planted upon the silver buckles of her shoes. She said nothing.

The midwife wore a kindly, if not frantic expression, and took the basin into her hands, before a great groaning cry spilled in from the room. The young girl stood on her toes and swayed her willowy form to the side, attempting to glance past the large form of the midwife, but she was greeted not by the face of her mother, but by the wooden door itself, and the click of a lock.  

Small feet began to pace the expanse of corridor towards the end of the hall. She realized that today would be the day of birth; for the house was full of immediate relatives and even Grandmother Annabelle had made the journey across the moors to celebrate. Why then, the young girl vaguely wondered, did her mother scream as if she had placed her hand upon a hot poker and refused to let go?  A woman nurse was understandable, but why then, did they also call for a priest? Morella had found this all very confusing indeed. If anything was Wraith’s Work, it would seem birthing a child would be it.

Morella found herself at the edge of the stairs leading downward into a large parlor. Sitting upon the top stair, lanky knees drawn up slightly, and head resting against the rail, was her Uncle Simon. He wore the stubble of a young man who had not seen the barber in weeks, but was never the less unable to grow a full beard. He looked up, eyes bleary and bloodshot, at the sound of Morella’s mumbled greeting.

“Aye up, Child” She smiled at the man’s informal greeting, tilting her head down so that her neatly trimmed bangs just brushed against the tops of her lashes. She blew a puff of air upwards in annoyance. 

“Sims, why is Mother making such awful noise?”

This caused the man to give fright, small, darkened grey eyes narrowing to mere slits a moment, as if he had to confirm that he indeed heard the question that the young girl spoke. He mused a moment, his fingertips rasping in gentle patterns against his lap before choosing his words with a careful nature of a man walking on eggshells.

“Well, your brother or sister. They…” He paused, running his outstretched fingers through fallen strands of auburn hair; having long since drooped from their usual slick positioning. “Childbirth is not a simple thing.”

“Oh?” Morella turned her head back towards the door, her long hair swooping over her shoulder before she pushed it back. “Why ever so? Is it Wraith’s Work?”  She clasped her hands over her mouth and silently chastised herself for speaking at all. Just then, a cry, greater than any other gave cause for her Uncle to stand, and together, they approached the door, waiting. Her Uncle stared down at her, a dour expression tugging his lips thinner than usual, before the door slowly opened.

The midwife beckoned the two inside, where her Father and Grandmother already stood over each side of the bed. Without a word, the priest had left, grim-faced as the young girl always remembered at each Fifth Day service. She approached her Father.

“Is all well?” She asked, with the practiced articulation of each of her lessons.

“Mother’s sleeping.” He mumbled, quiet tones barely filling the room; his tones were no less subdued than the Ezrite’s face. “You can see him if you’d like, Nicolas, your brother.”

With an excitement she could not quite suppress, for it shined brightly in her eyes, diminishing even their usual misty grey overtones, she and Simon both approached the sleeping mother, to gaze upon the babe that lay upon her blanketed breast. The child was a beautiful thing, sleeping, as well, it would seem. Pale as her mother, and as the rest of them, chubby and round, with a full head of dark hair already. Strangest of all, though were his legs and spine, which jutted at odd angles. The girl stared on in adoration, even as father and uncle whispered tersely in tones she could not, or did not care to hear. This was her kin. Sibling. She would shower him with affection. They would be the best of friends.

 

 

 

Discovery
 

 




November 759
Come spirit, come charm,
Come days that are warm,
Come magical spell,
Come help him get well.



The wind howled, as it was known to do, in the early autumn afternoon. The narrow wheels of metal and wiring squeaked as they rolled across the cobbles, propelling the strange little chair along. Morella pushed the chair across the crowded street, careful to stay close to her Father and Mother. She looked down at her brother in a doting, yet worried fashion as she corrected his hat to more directly cover his reddened ears. He was a frail thing in comparison to the girl, who always took pleasure in the cold, wearing only as much as necessary and proper. Her parents hurried her along, flanking the chair on either side and moving at a brisk step that the young girl was forced to keep up with. Her Father opened the door to the shop, and motioned for Morella and the chair to follow, her Mother following close behind. 

Morella pulled Nicholas’ hat upward, and straightened back his hair as her Mother hung her small woolen shawl upon a hanger by the door. They said their simple greetings to the hired shop keep, before the young girl was grabbed into the air and spun about, feet kicking all the while.

“Sims! Put me down Sims! Put. Me. Down!” 

Her mother placed her hand upon her younger brother’s shoulder, and only then did Simon set Morella gently upon the floor. “Aye up, child?” He asked fondly, leaning over to, almost roughly run a hand through Nicolas’ hair, ruining Morella’s careful work. The young boy smiled up, a bit of spittle forming upon the left corner of his lips to which Morella gently wiped away with a handkerchief.

Straightening out the folds of her dress, and reaffixing her collar, Morella began to speak with her practiced, gentle tones, a mere murmur, much like her father’s. “We are here on official business” she stated, with an air of self-importance.

“Is that so, well it just so happens that…”

Her father shook his head, and along with her mother, took Simon roughly by the shoulders and headed off into a side room reserved for calling upon guests and tea. Normally, business in relation to the sea trade would be discussed in their house. Why then, Morella was left to wonder, were they here. Unless it was Simon that they needed to see. She clasped her hands together, looked down to her brother, and began to formulate a plan.

“Nick, do you want to have an adventure?”

Her brother did not immediately respond, but instead shuffled uncomfortably in his chair. Even from this angle, Morella could spot the odd bulbous affliction at the base of his spine, how his back did not quite meet up with his hips correctly. She could see the vacant expression upon her brother’s face and warranted a small frown. “Let’s play Nick.”

This, her brother understood. His smile brightened. She did feel a pang of sadness, but she had made a pact to herself, and still, her brother knew this game as well as she. He even enjoyed it. “We’ll play Topple-Shout! You always win!”

Her brother smiled in what could only be described as triumph and nodded his head. The words he spoke sounded vaguely in the affirmative, and she took them to mean as much. Hastily, Morella took hold of his chair wheeled him to the base of the stairs leading up into Simon’s apartment. Even though the business technically belonged to her Father, Simon was allotted the small room above the shop for his living and other needs. She eyed the top of the stairs, and began to slowly climb them. Standing at the top, she held onto each wooden rail and stared down at her brother.

“Are you ready Nick?”

Another exclamation without words, and Nicholas took a hold of his own wheels and began to teeter and sway, left then right, then left, then right again. Morella began to stomp, as loudly as her dainty feet would allow, and quickly, down each stair; and as she once again reached her base, her brother’s chair had toppled to the floor, and him out of it. He began a terrible wail, face growing red, eyes filling with tears. Morella leaned down and kissed her brother’s head lightly, a frown once again overtaking her features.

“I love you Nick.”
“love too, sissy” he took the time to whisper, between great wails.

Already she could hear the clambering of furniture and the opening of doors. Morella lifted her dress and made her way around the oncoming shouts, and into an old dusty room that used to be used for stock. She had already known what she sought, Simon had seen to that without knowing months ago, and she was never one to forget, especially when it came to her vow.

Wraiths Work.

She had only to look but a moment, the room wasn’t large, and her father was not a particularly creative man. In the back of the room sat a desk upon an old carpet, both clean from the dust that sought to fill the rest of the room in a dank musk. Morella twisted her face into one of concentration and lifted the corner of the rug with both gloved hands, taking a small key as her treasure. She eyed the desk, found the lowest drawer, and inserted the key.

And jumped. She eyed the corner of the room suddenly; for a rustling sound had come forth. She stared, squinting into the pile of boxes and crates, but could see nothing. Passing it off as some rodent, she returned her attention to the drawer and huffed.

Within laid nothing but a small set of cards. They were old and torn in places, patterns of blue and yellow painted onto their backs quite beautifully, though brown stains overtook them where colors were once present. She flipped a card over at random.

~The Star~

Depicted was a beautiful woman, silver haired and nude, the lower portion of her body seemingly made of starlight itself.


Was this really what Mother and Father were so concerned of? What were they, and what trouble could a pack of cards possibly cause? Morella stuffed the deck into her small clutch, and hurried out of the room, replacing the key where she found it. As she opened the door, she felt her form come into contact with another.

She looked up into the arched brow of her Uncle’s patronizing stare. The corners of his lips tugged up into a private smirk. “Interesting game you’ve there, Child.”

Morella tugged upon her dress, she could feel her face and ears going red. She tried to draw attention away from the clutch, but her Uncle’s attention was turned about, around his shoulder. Morella felt tears begin to come to her eyes. 

“Best come with me then, your mother and father won’t be happy”

“Sim—“

“When they find out you’ve been trying to sneak biscuits before dinner, worse than the dogs, I’d say.…”


Hand in hand, Morella and her uncle headed back to the rest of their family, in her left hand, she clutched her new discovery.

 

 

Gone

 

 


June

What will put their souls to rest
And stop their ceaseless sighing
Why do they call out children's names
And speak of one who's crying





Under the protection of a heavy quilt of patchwork, Morella continued the night’s work. The day was a particularly grueling one. At thirteen years, she was expected to give assistance with the shop, keeping records of stock where needed, so she may begin to know the intricacies of running the shipments. In addition, with the day’s lesson in Ezrite custom, etiquette (still taken with her mother), and geography, there was little time to focus on what was truly important.

After her work was complete, candle burning late into the night, past the evening meal, she was free to pursue her hobbies. Morella removed the strange pack of cards and battered leather bound book from a lockbox deep within her wardrobe. Here, she chronicled the nature of what she saw. In a way, the pictures spoke to her, and held meaning. She drew one from the top of the deck and wrote.

The Tower – Seems a lonely thing, solitary and placed nowhere. A prison.  Lightning strikes and fire burns; sudden catastrophes. A man and a woman fall from the windows of the tower in the clouds. Ruin, or release? If you turn the picture upside down, it is like spirits rising from their prisons.


Before she could turn over another card, she heard a terrible moan, and the stomping of feet through the hall. She threw her blanket over her head. That would be the bird man again, and a terrible thing of nightmare he was; a healer with a strange mask to protect from any airborne affliction. Her brother had become afflicted, of late, with some sort of sudden fever, and slept much of the time. There were times when his eyes rolled back and he shook in his chair or in his bed.  She was kept isolated from him, lest it spread, and the spirits of sickness bring imbalance to the humors that worked to keep her sane and whole. Morella whispered a tiny prayer to Ezra for her brother’s health and continued to write.

The Six of Blades - Two men on a boat, rowing, carrying six blades down a river. A journey, the boat is slow, and weighed down. Slow movement away from a place.

The Four of Chalices – A man sits under a tree with his arms crossed. There are three cups in front of him, and a fourth sitting on a cloud, offered to him. He refuses them all, brooding. Dissatisfaction, dwelling nature. Boredom.


Another groan, words that she did not understand, her room was far down the hall from her Brother’s which was close to that of her parents. She replaced the book and deck of cards, and buried her face into the pillow. Morella would have to make some effort to sleep, though she did not know how. She was never a particularly heavy sleeper.


 

***



In the early hours of the morning, the house found uproar, and Morella was awoken from her sleep not by the sounds of her mother, who had shuffled silently into her room; hair matted, head down, but by the yelling through the house. The young girl sat up slowly, rubbing at one reddened eye, trying to return the feeling to her left hand, which she had surely slept upon, by flexing the digits to her palm.

“Mother, what..?”

Her mother said nothing, but opened a chest at the foot of Morella’s bed, to withdraw a deep black sheet.

“Mother?”

Joanna’s feet dragged against the floor, and shoulders slouched, she drew the sheet over the large standing mirror in the corner of the room and made to depart.

“Mommy?”

The woman turned her head; her eyes ran with the faint makeup she allowed herself, reddened and bloodshot. Her face was dirty, stained with the salt of tears, her bottom lip chapped and cracking. She opened her mouth to speak but only managed another dry sob. Catching a quivering breath, she departed the room, bothering not even to close the door as she shambled down the hall. 
 

***



Two knocks came at the door before dawn the following morning. The family had been awake. Morella, still clothed in her night attire, clung to her chest a small blue stuffed rabbit that had been her brother’s. It must have been rounding on five, but none of the clocks chimed; they were all set perpetually to one thirty four. The time of her brother’s death.

Simon forced his way inside, leaving the door slightly cracked, but not enough to allow any of the dogs entry. He ran his hand almost bashfully through his hair, looking from mother, to father, to daughter. Morella broke into tears, running to him, and wrapping her arms around the taller man’s midsection. The man rest a palm on her head, and did not speak until her father dislodged the girl from her uncle.

The rest of the morning was filled with visits from family and friends, they spoke words, but Morella did not hear them. There were hugs, and clasps upon her shoulder, but Morella did not feel them. At some point, someone had taken the rabbit from her hands, causing much dismay from the young girl. It was explained that Nicolas would have wanted to take it with him, as he traveled beyond. It was told that if she did not give it up, his spirit would return to retrieve it. When Morella told them that this was well and good, all but Simon gasped and whispered words she did not understand. Why wouldn’t she want Nicholas to return to her? Why shouldn’t she?
 

***



In the coming days, the small body was buried, the clocks were restarted, the mirrors were uncovered and the doors and windows locked and greased, so as to keep the spirit away. The tiny child’s chair, affixed with wheels of metal and wiring was taken from the house, where the girl did not know. Her uncle had spent more time with the family than was usual these days, talking. The rest spoke fond memories of the boy that was her brother, or offered their apologies. Her father busied himself with work. Her mother did not speak at all; hardly left her bed, except to attend church services every day. With that, she was left to take lessons with her father, and spend her free time with Simon, who still told the grandest stories…

 

 

 

Lesson

 


August 762
“Knowledge would be fatal. It is the uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.” 


A toppling of porcelain, and an exclamation, muffled to hide her aggravation, were all that could be heard in the small store room of the shop. Sighing, Morella stood on her toes to replace the tea leaves upon the highest shelf, marking something off in her ledger. That made six containers full. All was accounted for. She moved on to the strange array of cloth, no doubt imported from some middle man and soon to be shipped north to the Port a Lucine. Just look at those tactless colors. It was just something that—

the sound of feet came clomping quickly, one after another down the stairs. Simon was not a quiet man in any regard. “Aye up, Morella?” 

It was the first time she took notice, but at some point through the years, her uncle had stopped referring to her as a child. She heaved a bit of a sigh for years long past, and quickly ran a finger over the bolted cloths, counting the number of folds and checking them off in her book.

“Running stock, Sims. What time is it?” She enjoyed the stock room and shop more than the stifling halls and reading rooms of her own house. There was very little need for such pretenses here. And, as long as she minded to the business, she could speak as she pleased, or not at all. 

“Half past eight, worker bee!” Simon responded cheerfully, pulling the girl’s lace headband down and over her eyes. Morella scoffed, affixing the thing upon her head, the small silver bells she had personally tied into the ribbons giving off a small chime that caused her uncles brow to raise.

“Just don’t let your mum see those, may right up and die of shock.”  Morella turned to glare at her uncle, and was momentarily taken aback by his garb. Simon had allowed his normally short slicked back hair to grow out. He wore an elaborate handkerchief in his right pocket, and his coat was of a blue only just too light to be considered tasteful. Strangest of all, he was clean shaven.

“Finally find a girl willing to pay you some mind then?” Morella spoke, barely above her usual whispers, as she turned her attention next to a set of stuffed toys. Her father catalogued the oddest of items at times. Two stuffed bears and one…She lowered her hand to the side.

“Not as such, can’t a gent..” Simon looked over the girl’s shoulder and ceased his words. Sitting upon the shelf, new and unassuming was a stuffed blue rabbit, awaiting shipment. He looked between the ledger, shelf, and girl, and led Morella by the hand.

“Come on then, it’s time for your lesson” 

Morella started, feet dragging to follow along with her uncle’s strides as he directed her up the stairs into his apartment. She had never been in his portion of the shop before, and hesitated before reaching the door. “Mother is supposed to be giving me my lesson today. I shouldn’t be shirking my responsibilities.”
Simon threw the door open with a twinkle in his eye. “Why not? She did.”

Morella peered past her uncle as he held the door ajar for her to enter, taking a few hesitant steps into the single room. Unlike her family parlor, Simon’s living room was a disarray of mismatched furniture, odd décor, and long bottles filled with strange liquids. In the center of his table say not a pot for tea, but a long, elaborately painted bright device with a tube jutting out of its middle. Her uncle quickly threw some stray clothing into a heap in the corner of the room, and set the odd item upon the floor with a careful hand.

“Sit, sit.” He gestured to the couch, taking his own seat in a tall chair adorned with golden threads. “And take the cards and the book you’ve got there out of your bag. Put them on the table.”

Morella did as she was told. She had long since assumed that Simon knew of her secret endeavors. There were times in the depth of night where she heard the man peer into her room, though she often pretended to sleep, there were times she continued with her studies, sure that Simon meant her work no harm. She took the cards lightly from her clutch, and set them face down, the book within her lap. Simon looked to her expectantly, to which she could only stare.

“What?”

“Don’t you want to read me?” Simons brows lofted, and he gestured with a wave of his hand for her book, which she passed over. 

“I’m sorry” Morella whispered, watching him peruse her little book of descriptions. The corners of her uncle’s lips tugged into a smile, and he sat the book down upon the table.

“You’ve got a knack, girl, I’ll give you that. Had a gal read me once, a few years back. Cards were a bit different though. This one here, you’ve got some she didn’t, and she’s got some you don’t. Think the idea’s the same though.  So here’s the workings, far as I could get her to tell me. Secretive lot, gypsies. You put the cards in some sort of pattern, facing down on the table, only I godda touch them first, then you. The cards tell you something different, sort of like what you’ve got written down already”

“So here..” Simon made a grab for the deck of cards, pressing his palm against the top most one. He reached out, taking Morella’s hand into his own and placing them atop the cards before setting him down once more. “Take three, and put them down in front of me, No no, face down. Right. Like that.”

Morella took the top most cards from the deck, placing them down, one after another before her uncle. Her eyes took to a widened state; the blue almost overwhelming the inherent greys. Her uncle jabbed each card in succession.

“Past, present, future. Say it.”

“Past, present future” Morella repeated, her whispers filled with awe.

“Tell me what you see then.” 

Morella turned the first card over, her eyes traveling across its small expanse. Upon the card was an ink drawing of a man in regalia, upon a horse. In his hand he held a single cup, his nose upturned at its contents. He eyed the expanses of the horizon, but his eyes carried no life. Once again, the bright blue of Simon’s eyes fell to her’s.

“The Knight of Chalices.” Morella gestured for her book, but when it was not forthcoming, she continued. “He’s a bored man, one who has seen everything over the horizon, but not enough of it. His cup holds his ideas, but the world is too small for him, and nothing can fill up his cup. Or he’ll never see it as filled.” The girl paused.

“Is that right?”

Her uncle took her hands again, shaking them to and fro; his smile cracked into a grin and he laughed. “The worker bee’s got a knack, I say!”

Bubbling with her uncle’s shared enthusiasm, Morella flipped the second card with a greater haste than the first, and frowned, gnawing upon her lower lip in thought. 

“Well, it’s a cloud holding a wand. The ‘Ace’ of Wands, it says here…A wand is a tool to focus, if I remember your stories, and clouds carry new things to distant places. Something new, creativity, focus. Something to create a spark!”

Simon picked up the card, flipping it over in his hands before setting it down again; his expression had turned thoughtful as he considered Morella’s words and nodded. She went to flip the third card upon its face, but was rebuked with Simon’s hand.

“The fun’s in not knowing.” He took the three cards, shuffled them back into the deck and handed her book and cards both. 

“Mum’ll wonder if you stick around much longer.” The words came with an overly casual air that she rarely heard in her uncle’s voice before. Usually the thought of her mother’s voice sent as much of a chill to him as it did her. She stood, hurrying to the door.

“Eyes open, Morella” He said, as she slid through the small opening she devised for herself. She wasn’t sure quite what he meant.

 

 

 

Wraith's Work

 




October 764
“Can they feel, I wonder, those white silent people we call the dead?” 

“Pass another up!”  Rodger spoke, his voice barely carrying above the winds. Morella handed her father another nail. Her face twisted in a grimace to mirror the particularly ghastly tin lantern she and her father hung from the high windowsill. The sun was rapidly setting, night would soon be upon them and already the blistering winds of mid-autumn howled in the trees, causing leaves to scatter along the path. Morella drew her shawl ever closer, and tucked her head down and her shoulders up. This would be one of the coldest winters her seventeen years would remember, if the weather progressed in such fashion.  

Another Nocturne night, soon to come, and soon to go. Another missed opportunity. For the last four years, the arguments between mother and daughter had been the same. Each year, the girl had asked for naught but to leave behind the lanterns, to leave a candle burning so her brother may find his way home; so that she may say the good byes that were taken from her those years ago. Each year the answer had been the same. Her mother would fly into a panic and rage, throwing the blessed water of Ezra over each threshold, and ordering her to help her father hang the lanterns. And so Morella did as she was told.

“Is it hung yet, Father?” the girl asked politely. Her father, at least, would not raise her voice so against his daughter’s wishes. Though, she did not feel that he had much stake in her desires. So long as she kept to her books and her lessons. Soon the day would come where she, as the only living heir, would be expected to take up the business in full. Childish dreaming would bank no coins, and only lived to deter a hard day’s work.

“I can manage from here, Morella. Go ahead inside, have some tea.” Morella did little to hold back the roll of her eyes; something that came more and more naturally these passing days. Tea was her father’s remedy for all of life’s ailments. She wondered vaguely what went into his tea to make it so. 

Morella quietly excused herself, walking around the house in a clockwise circle (to do otherwise would surely invoke unwanted spirits this night) and was met with a familiar face as she turned the corner.

“Aye up, my soothsayer!”  Simon grinned down the small ways at his niece, his eyes wide and reddened. Morella had already come to terms that this "Wraith's Work" so often referred to was, at least in part, some sort of illicit substance that her uncle partook and her Father so willingly commuted across the seas. That, in addition to whatever other curiosities Simon found upon the moors or Ezra only knew where else.  None the less, at her Uncle's words, she tilted her head left, then right , in rapid succession

“Calm, no one’s abound” He winced as the girl grabbed hold of her arm.

“Oh how I do wish you would stop calling me that.” Simon had been teaching Morella of the cards and other such curiosities since her first lesson. Occasionally, he would invite over some strange individual, and they would speak of foreign affairs and puff smoke from the odd pipe that sat on his table she learned to call a Hookah. She soon learned how thick of sweet smelling smoke it made the air, and often times had to wash both hair and clothes to get the smell of her uncle’s apartment from her. 

“I have a surprise for you” her uncle offered in response, and led her along the familiar path, away from her estate, and down the familiar roads of Mordentshire proper, until they reached his apartment above the shop. By then, the sun had set fully amongst the crowds. Shops had already closed for the day, and houses hung their macabre lights to ward against the spirits that traversed the streets on this, the night where the veil was thinnest.

“I’m expected at home!” The girl had protested, but her concerns were rebuked with a chortle. Surely they were kin, and her mother would not mind the outing. She had taken to the stairs, and entered the apartment, when Simon ducked into his private quarters, returning some time later with an elaborate black and white frilled dress that he held to her. Unlike her usual garb, this was cut low, and lavish with lace and ties, meant to constrict at the waist and push up the bust. Surely, the latest fashion from the Port City made somber to match the moors.

“Try it on.” 

The girl’s lips thinned profusely. She eyed the dress with scrutiny, and then her uncle in kind. “What for?”

“We’ve business to attend, you’ll see. Go on then.” Her uncle retreated again to his room, leaving her to the privacy of the living quarters, where in the corner hung a small mirror for her to try on the dress, and do up her hair.

Morella shuffled and shimmied into the dress, tying ties, clasping buttons and pulling upon strings until they were tight. It was not a simple process. The dress was a lavish thing, really, not meant for one such as she, but tailored to her specifications. This she questioned in her mind, before calling out to her uncle.

When he re-entered the room, she gave a little fright, gasping her shock. The man stood in an elaborate waist coat, black with a shirt of white to match her own. The buttons and threading were done in a bright silver, though this was not what surprised the girl most. Affixed upon the man’s face was a garish mask designed to resemble the ferocity of a wolf, but imbued with horns on either side; a grotesque figure to say the least.

She could not see his expression through the mask, but his eyes did not leave her for quite some time. Simon closed the distance between them to affix something to the girl’s face. He took hold of her shoulders, turning her to face the mirror once more. Upon her cheeks, she wore the face of a rabbit; the mask was black, embroidered in silver, with ears to match on either side. She turned to voice her confusion, but was only led forward, into a carriage to be whisked away to the other side of the town.

It was not an overly long ride, even Mordenshire was simple enough to traverse, though they had arrived at one of the larger houses belonging to a family she could not recall. There were no lanterns upon the doors or windows, and candles lit the pathway into the house. As they entered, Simon provided their names to a simply garbed man at the door, and he nodded in kind, allowing them entry.

***



Inside, there was music, like none she had ever heard. What must have been a separate room meant just for dancing, was filled with twirling couples. A grand piano issued forth a waltzing melody. Simon had left her side momentarily, to mosey with the other attendees, giving her time to glance about. She could not place a face, and this was unsurprising. Each wore the mask of some animal, or fright. Some had gone so far to dress as ghosts and spirits known only from child tales passed from parent to child; Here she spotted Old Jack, there Mad Marcy, and even Death himself had come to call in the guise of a short man robed all in black. 

It was all rather much, but before her eyes could bulge to the point of departing her entirely, Simon had returned, clasping her arm in his. His mask tugged in such a way that Morella could tell he was all mirth-eyes and grins. They shared a dance, twirling amongst the couples, her uncle leading her along with ease, before retreating to the far wall. 

“What do you think?” He asked, whispering down at Morella’s ear. To her own shock and surprise, her voice carried the same shrill nature as her mother, as she replied.

“Are these people quite mad. This is a night of remembrance. To do this Calls them here Simon. It’s prodding at the Goat's horns, is what it is!”

Her uncle’s retort was to lead her by the hand yet again, into a room to the far side of the hall. The piano’s tune died down as they traversed, leaving behind only the sound of her shoes as they touched against the floor. They entered a room light by a single candle, too small to carry its light across its expanse.
In the room stood a table, and around that table, a circle of masked men and women, eyes closed, heads down. The woman at the head of the circle was done up in robes and sashes, bangles and beads, but carried none of the features rumored to exist amongst the gypsy people. No, this was sure to be another girl in costume, for she carried the same pale skin and misty eyes as the rest of them. Morella eyed Simon, her eyes close to mere slits.

“They call it séance.” Simon explained, whispering into the younger girl’s ear once more. “The medium, that girl there will call upon the spirits of the dead.”

The ‘gypsy’ girl’s eyes rolled into her head, and her head shot back. Still clasping the hands of those around her, she began to babble loudly; nonsense syllables. Morella watched in awe and shock, her nose crinkling in disgust, and she saw the façade for what it was. There were no spirits here, no séance, no medium. These were naught more than a bunch of foolish young nobles, sure to draw the real power of the dead with their callous insult.

Morella yanked her arm out from under her uncle’s, ripped the mask from her face and retreated from the house and revelry. She passed a room of nobles sitting in a circle, smoking from another pipe, mouths agape in laughter, heads rolling. She passed another where dancers poured green liquid over sugar cubes on silver spoons and twirled in circles with themselves. There was a third where such vile debauchery occurred that she could not even force herself to think it.  It was all too much for her.

 There was a large garden with tall willows weeping to one side of the house, and she found one such tree, parting its vines and retreating within. Simon was not far behind, his mask as well abandoned, the ribbon holding his hair in a neat braid lost; strands tussling over either shoulder. 
“This is foolishness” Morella spat the words, disappointed at her uncle for bringing her to a house of children that were older than she.

“I counted on you to see that, worker bee.” He ran a hand through his hair, and suddenly her uncle of a decade past was back; a boredom in his eyes rivaling the knight of chalices that sat upon a horse in her deck of cards.

“There is nothing real here, Sims”

“Only one.” Her uncle crooked two fingers under the girls chin, and tilted her head upward, pressing his lips quite firmly to her’s. Morella’s eyes went wide, bright blue, devoid of grey, and in shock. Simon pinned her back against the willow tree, and in a show of strength, she pounded and pushed at his chest in protest, yelling wordlessly against his lips until the man pulled back, the horror in his own eyes mirroring her’s.

He began to stammer a response over Morella’s yelling. So loud, so shrill. So much like her mother he noticed now. The thought was enough to make him ill. The young girl turned, seemingly sharing his sentiments, and when she had finally composed herself, her uncle had gone. Fled. 

She looked through the house halfheartedly, but he was nowhere to be found. She could not say how many hours she wandered the streets that night, in a half daze, until she had found her way home. She hardly listened to the her mother’s yelling, her father’s persistent questioning. She only ascended the stairs to her room, and locked herself within.

Upon her bed sat a pair; the first, a book, open to its first page, and sporting a hand written letter addressed to her. The second, a fat cat with shocks of hair sticking out of either ear, and a fluffy tail. His fur was the color of baked cinnamon bread, and he gave a great yawn, before curling in a ball and finding sleep. His paw rested on the words of the page, as if to provide emphasis

And Morella began to read.
 

 

Binding

 

 

Quote

My dearest Morella,

To profess to you, my soothsayer, the most profound of apologies would be an understatement on my part. That you are reading this is indication that I am dead, or otherwise unreachable. It was never my intent to leave you alone; a rabbit to a world of wolves that do not suit your grace and intellect.

I must confess to you now, my sweet niece, that my intentions were never entirely pure. I am not a righteous man.  But know this; when I told your mother and father all those years ago, that I meant you no harm there were no falsehoods in those words.

It had been my intention then to take you as my charge. They would not see to my wishes.  They could see too easily in me. When I gaze upon you that I see not the child I watched grow, but the woman that you’ve become. Your eyes to mine, the touch of your hand. Like fire, arisen in me that I cannot quell.

Could we blame them, my dearest Morella? No priest would bless such a union. Why not then flee this place, start a new , we could make our way North into Dementlieu; different names, different faces. A new life, where we would be free to pursue our interests in the unknown, and in one another without judgment. Without stigma. 

Your card spoke true that day, my dearest soothsayer; plain to all but their reader. That which I feel towards you is sin, and for it I should be cast into the lowest pit, to endure whatever tortures the Mists of Death would set upon me, and yet you are rarely far from my mind. I find that when it strays, more and more, it is to you. Overpowering, consuming.

And if I could, I would curse you for stirring such in me, my dear Morella. Instead, I leave you with this book. You have always been the wiser, the more cautious, articulate, calculated and studied between us. Where I intuit, you theorize. Where I practice, you study. Where I face outburst that I must suppress, lest I be scrutinized for my gifts, you are able to hide without any such pain. May what is written in these pages bring you more control, more understanding, and more protection than they could ever bring me.

You have my love always,
Simon



Morella had read the letter many times over in the last few days, and never once did it hold the same meaning. Disgust and fear had faded to sympathy and even a kindred understanding for her doomed uncle. More and more, she began to wonder to his fate. Was he dead, or had he simply run and hid in some far reach of the world, trapped in his vices, to show up bleary eyed, penniless and downtrodden, as he so often had.

She had become reclusive, from her friends, and from her parents. It had taken her Father’s sullen urgings to coax her from her room, and again to have her retain her studies. She had feigned sickness, and her mother had feared for the worst. Their family name could not be tarnished by something as scandalous as a forced pregnancy. Morella learned that day that there was no concern there for her wellbeing, only for their appearances, and cursed her mother as she did any of the useless noble sods. She was no better than the fops of Dementlieu that she so callously spoke ill of. 

As for Basille, for Morella had named the cat that had found her way into their house as such, he was never far from his new care taker. Morella had set food for the great cat in her room, and it took so often to spending most of the day curled up in a ball around her leg that she vaguely wondered if her own lethargy was brought on by a spirit that conjointly possessed them both. Perhaps it was her Uncle, dead and come to spend the nights with her in the guise of the feline. But that thought brought the sickness once again, and with that her mother’s raging.

It was only during the second week of her disillusioned inertia, after she had already returned to her days work, that Morella saw fit to pursue the book she was gifted by night, and only by Basille’s curious prodding. As she began to read the Darkonese words she, thankfully was well versed in, it became obvious that this book was truly the Wraiths Work of which her mother spoke. It contained within all sorts of foreboding knowledge. The true nature of many things made clear. In the coming days, the girl had taken to carrying vials of salt with her at all times; for now she knew that casting a protective circle of salt would keep her safe from most ill inclined spirits.

These spirits were everywhere, had one only the tools necessary to see them, to look. The more she read, the more it became clear that those who would perform the rite of séance, those pretenders, were naught more than street performers, so engrossed in their own ‘powers’ that they did not stop to truly comprehend the dangers they brought to them. No, this book would teach her the ways of binding, of protection, and of hindering those who meant harm. For the veil was not only thin on the Nocturne, the veil always threatened to break. Could break at any time, and for that, one must arm themselves, and what better weapon then knowledge?

Though one such binding did catch the girl’s attention, and she found it could not have possibly been a coincidence. The letter, the book, the arrival of her newest, and only friend. Had this been her Uncle’s intent? Had he sought to show her these falsehoods, only to make the truth more profound? Perhaps he did have her best interests in mind.

The spell was called Simul Aeternum The Eternal Binding, and would make the cat, as Morella understood, into some sort of companion. Their souls would be ever linked. Apt and fitting. What’s more, she had ready access to most of the ingredients she required for its casting, and needed only alter the books slightly to take what was necessary to perform the Rite. 
 

***



It was Early on the Fifth day, and her mother and father prepared to attend services, an all-day affair. Much to the chagrin of her mother, Morella outright refused to attend. She no longer saw purpose in entering that dread-chapel. The church of Ezra had done nothing to save her brother, nothing to protect her from her Uncle, or her Uncle from his own cruel desires, and nothing to help her family save to provide an unnecessary pretense for her mother’s own self-righteousness. She would no longer provide any sort of lip service. The very idea made her skin crawl.

And so, as she heard the door clasp shut, her mother’s fervent yelling retreating down the cobble road, Morella began her work. She set a brass brazier in the center of her room, and began to draw the circle of salt. No malicious spirits would interfere with her work this day.  Within the circle she drew with white chalk upon her wooden floor, a square, each point touching an edge of the circle.

Within the brazier burned quite a bit of incense, usually reserved for delivery to the church. Morella began to cough, the sweet smell of the burning charcoal and oils reminding her of the smokes that filled Simon’s apartment. Her hands went to smear at her eyes. She placed Basille in the center of the square, where he promptly lay down began to lick at one outstretched leg. 

Into the burning brazier, Morella poured the contents of a tiny canvas bag; a careful mixture of basil and tea leaves, as well as sage. Lastly, she threw in a strip of raw animal fat, which began to sizzle and mix its heady aroma with the incense. Morella began to chant the words, precisely as the mixture burned.

Semel nascitur seorsum
Et tamen simul in unum cor,


The girl walked the circle of salt , counter clockwise, and Basille looked up a moment from his cleaning, his amber eyes carrying a hint of curiosity. 

Isti quidem arcana , et lux sapiens
Conexum per saeculum nostrum


The edges of the deep blinds, drawn shut to prevent onlookers from nearby homes began to flutter in a nonexistent wind. Morella stuttered upon her words, though continued her walk, clockwise now, to bind the circle. The words began to burn the top of her tongue, tasting of a metallic essence as she spat them into the circle.

Isti quidem carnis et sal ignis
Aeternae vitae mereamur esse consortes , qui ejusdem voluntatis



Her lips began to burn, the corner of her dress catching some of the salt, the wind circling through the wind wifting through the circle, causing smoke to seep under the door. The trinkets upon her vanity began to shake in their places, causing distant chimes as the wind rattled through them. 

Signatum est populus, et I.
Dum vivit, alter moreretur.



Morella drew forth the last of the words in a low growl,tonging at the seared roof of her mouth as she finished her incantation. Her throat felt as if it had burst into flames. She attempted to speak, but managed only a faint croak, her voice stopped. Breathing heavily, dark dress covered in salt and ash, she looked down at the cat in the center of her spell, who continued to meticulously clean his large, long tail. For a moment, she assumed all had failed, until, quite easily, the cat’s golden eyes met her’s.

“Ah. Morning, Workerbee.”

 

Stupor

 




November 764


   Basille licked at an outstretched paw, before hooking it behind his ear for cleaning. His bright, amber eyes glared to the woman clearly, and Morella could almost see the imaginary upturned brow. She parted her lips to speak several times, but no sound came. Her head swooped left and right , checking the sanctity of her salt circle, and the cat within, half expecting to see the tell-tale signs of spirits escaped from the veil, out for her blood or worse. Her eyes only bugged out further as the feline spoke again in a drawled purr. His voice sounded nothing like anything she had ever heard, and the cat’s lips did not move in any way indicative of speech. 

   “No? Something else then. Would Sissy Do?” Basille padded out from the protective binding, caring little for the make shift sanctuary, to rub his cheek against the girl’s dress. The action caused his cheeks to pull back, resembling something akin to a grin. “Or would you prefer to be called by name, Morella Annabelle Trinder?”

“H---H” Morella coughed out the single letter; her throat captured the sound and locked it away once more. She caught one lacy sleeve between her fingers, wringing them through. Her eyes darted from the cat to every little sound and crack of the old house; every shout and step upon the cobbles outside. What had she done?

“H-h-How, yes” The cat rattled on, impatiently. It snickered, a sound that rolled in its belly much too much like a purr. “Intuit, Soothsayer, You called, I answered.” Basille hopped upon Morella’s bed with ease, pawing at the still open page to the Rite of Binding. “What did you ex—“

The cat’s words were cut off by the opening and closing of a door, and the shrill cry of 
“Morella?!” It was her mother’s custom to scream her name if she had so much as heard the girl change rooms, or prepare a bath, and it was almost inescapable that she would do so upon returning home, as If expecting the girl to have run off. Morella attempted to respond, but the words would not come.

   “Oh dear” The cat spoke louder now. “Shall I answer her for you?”


The girl gasped, a single sound permitted its escape into the world, and shook her head, eyes pleading with the cat that seemed to be mocking her with its calm demeanor. Her mother’s screams entered the air again, and as far as the girl could tell she must have ascended the stairs at least half way. Morella’s feet tripped over themselves as she worked to brush the salt into the corners of her room, the brazier, having long since gone out, was stored within her wardrobe, spilling soot left and right. The large grimoire was swept off the bed and onto the floor where it was kicked under the bed. Morella sat herself at her writing desk, going over a passage of new trade route taxations that required her attention
Unannounced, and unprovoked, Johanna cracked open the door, speaking quietly.

“Morella? Are you decent?” Morella did not acknowledge her mother, merely continuing to go over the documentation with the upmost care. Scowling, her mother parted the threshold and entered the room, scoffing at its disheveled nature. 

“This room is so lived in, Morella. Perhaps if you left it more often it would give chance to get it clean…” She stated, helplessly. The only response was the sound of the girl’s quill scrambling against parchment.

“Are you sure I should not answer her, Sissy? Mamma seems rather irate today.” The slur of her brothers’ childhood name, and the cat’s own astute conversational ‘tone’ drove Morella over the edge, and she removed her buckled shoe, throwing it at the cat, who gave a hiss and dove under the bed; giving rise to her mother’s continued shouts. Morella sighed, and returned to her work.
 

***


July 766

   “Morella, you will not drag that thing with us.” Johanna grimaced as she shooed the cat that had clambered into the carriage and upon Morella’s lap. Basille hissed his discontent, digging his nails into Morella’s thighs. The girl did not seem to notice, and only stared at some place just past her mother’s left ear. She had long since retained her voice from whatever geist had momentarily snatched it, but had found that after a month or so of not having it, she did not really require its consistent use. Factually told, she would only speak when practicing from Simon’s book, or else when conversing with Basille, who had become her solitary friend, at the dismay of her parents. 

“No wonder he pined for you.” the cat said, with a great yawn, kneading his paws against the girl. “You are soft, and warm.” Morella smiled kindly, and pat the cat on the head. 

Her relationship with her parents had deteriorated into shambles. Deep into the night, Morella would study from her Uncle’s book, excited conversations with the man that ran from her , left her alone to this ‘world of wolves’ carried and crossed into the halls of the old house. Her mother, more than once, had burst into her room upon hearing particularly salacious conversation, and the one sided lectures would last much the night. Morella’s other studies were halted, she hardly worked in the store, and , while she carried out her daily chores without complaint, she had no inclination to go into town.

Johanna had attempted to invite several young man to call upon the young woman in her growing years; each of them respectable young men, and longtime friends of family. Much to Morella’s dismay, she was forced to meet each over tea in the small parlor allotted to them while her mother watched on with pursed lips and narrowed eyes. At first, Morella took a special joy in sharing private conversations with her cat, laughing at the short comings of each potential suitor. Next came a game of sharing, where Morella would tell nothing of herself, and only speak of each boy’s deepest set insecurities, gleaned from what she knew of their families, and what she could obtain by their body movements, tone of voice, and the facts they so boastfully spilled about themselves in their short gatherings with the girl. Most young men would leave tight lipped and appalled, others still would voice their outrage in words that only caused the young girl to laugh her distain. One burst into tears. 

After this had grown dull, Morella had simply taken to overall silence, and refused company wherever possible. The arcana that she studied had led to other eccentric behavior. When her mother found and summarily destroyed her vials of salt, mercury, powdered silver, and sand, it sent the girl into a fit of rage so incomprehensible that she had torn her clothes, her skin, and ran her nails across the paper of her walls, mixing it with ink to create grotesque patterns to mirror the lanterns of Nocturne’s Night.  

It was for that reason that mother, father, daughter, and cat had found themselves within a carriage ambling forward towards the Temple of the Pure Hearts. Johanna had been so convinced that her daughter held within her the spirit of some malicious relative that they sped along their way to the Ezrite chapel to have it removed with haste. The daughter said nothing, and could barely contain her laughter as she continued her whispered, Darkonese conversation with the cat at her side. If her father understood her words, he gave no indication. For where her mother showed anger, her father only gave to fear and disappointment. He no longer interacted with his daughter, considering her as lost to him as their late son.



The three clambered out of the carriage, and the cat at least seemed content to wait within, on the plush cushions, once again curling up to sleep. They each wore their Fifth Day best, Morella herself garbed in a dress of deep navy, the collar of which adorned with lace and reaching the tip of her chin. Her mother reached up to place the bonnet carefully on loose and wild hair; for try as she may, she could not convince the girl to run a comb through it. It flowed in auburn waves. Mother, Father and daughter hastened their way to the back of the church, a small office like area reserved for the acting priest of the Second Sect. Morella recognized him briefly as the same priest prepared to read the last rights onto her Mother the day of Nicolas’ birth. The years had not been as kind to him as they were to she.

Morella and her mother took the two seats upon one side of the desk, leaving her Father to stand behind them. The priest sat upon the other side, going over a mountain of papers that sat upon his desk. His face was kindly, but carried the same pointed edge that Morella remembered. He finally opened his mouth, speaking a greeting to both, which was mumbled back in kind. Morella said nothing.

Where are your manners!?” Morella stared ahead, despite her mother’s protests, and remained silent.  After a short time, where Mother and Father discussed her educational and religious background, her lost brother, and the supposed death of her Dear Uncle, the two were asked to depart. 

“I don’t think that’s wholly necessary, Father” Her mother protested, with an air of dignity, to which even Morella turned a glare.

“It will take but a moment” The priest assured, and waited for Rodger to usher his wife from the room. Morella and the priest shared a glance.

“Morella?” The priest questioned firmly, his voice shared none of the kindness reserved for her parents. She stared at the window behind him, barely containing her surprise at the large cat that had found its way upon the sill, its large, furry face pressed against the glass.  Her face retained its dull expression.

“I am going to ask you this once. Have you now, or at any point, made contract with an entity from beyond the veil.” Morella stared past the man, to the cat, who gestured with his paw to the desk. Sitting upon it was an array of papers, ledgers, all topped by a weight that seemed to be solid silver. Morella’s eyes traversed the room once more quickly. Golden picture frames, works of art, and upon the priest’s arms, bangles of gold and jewels, covered by large, billowing sleeves.

Quickly, her mind went back to a conversation she had overheard while seated at dinner, quietly pursuing her meal. “The Church is in disarray Rodge; most of the hymn books are neigh unreadable, and I don’t think the windows have been washed in months. It’s a disgrace to Ezra’s name.”

“You have” She answered slowly, her voice coming at a low drawl, hoarse, though only from its lack of use. “You’ve been in contract with the spirits of Gold and Silver. Great, whirling things, the spirits that speak to you. Her name is Avarice and such sacrifice you made to her. I wonder if Ezra chooses green for her Envy.”

Morella brimmed in joy as the priest’s face reddened; he called abruptly for her parents, who rushed inside, and saw only Morella’s lackluster expression, and the priest’s bristling countenance. “There is nothing I can do for her. She does not conspire with spirits, and shows every sign of Melancholia dementia. No. There is nothing that can be done for her , I’m afraid. I recommend the Sanitarium for Mental Health. They may be able to help where we cannot. I have done all I can.”

 

Recovery






An Asylum is no place for a young girl. . .

 

Goodbye



. . .And so her family did not send her. Her mother could either not bare the idea of sending her only child to live among the truly insane, else she did not want the further stigma such would bring. At first, many attempts at curing her maladies were made within the comforts of her own home. A balance of the humors, dousing in ice baths, sprayed water with the force of gales. None held.  Instead, Morella was left to her own solitude. One of her many cousins was trained to follow in her Father's business while Morella dutifully attended to matters of the house and home. For the girl could always be trusted to keep records of the expenses, of what was sent and what was received, and she proved useful in that small way, if nothing else.

Her parents had all but given up on trying to understand the eccentricities that happened within her room, and, after much pleading, she had been allowed to move into the same apartment above the shop that had once belonged to her Uncle. There, she could practice her art in peace. There, she had learned to identify one type of spirit from the next, how to repel the both the evil and the benign, and how to set a protective shield around herself to protect from rudimentary attacks. She had learned much else, as well, but there was only so much she could learn from one relatively small book.

She required more knowledge. Her Uncle was right, he was always right. She did not belong, a rabbit among wolves.  Only, she did not wish to be a rabbit any longer.

 

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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henesua

Wow. Thats a big first entry. Good work. Thumbs up from me. So you are one vote in!

You should put all this energy into making a module. I'd like to see it!

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NearEthereal

I'm only a neophyte scripter, but I am working on a Ravenloft PW with a few friends. It's still pretty early on in development, but we're hashing out a lot of lore (big suprise there, we're all writers).

 

Thanks so much for the vote :)

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henesua

Cool. I look forward to seeing that. If you need advice, just PM me. I'm an old hand at PWs by now.

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