Fortress of the Mind - Part 09

For the life of her, Ursa could not recall why in the entire time she had been trapped in this hell that she had never once tried to explore or even leave the Banquet Hall. It wasn't for a lack of doorways and passages given there were in fact several leading from the hall to other parts of the Fortress used often enough by the other Undead.

" I remember when we originally came here that we had explored part of the Upstairs before finally reaching the Hall. Mostly empty bedrooms and scattered ruins of furniture but I remember that the hall of Ladies was on the left at the top of the stairs."
Dragging Orla after her Ursa took the balcony stairs upwards two and three at a time.

" And one thing that High born Ladies are never without are mirrors." Ursa laughed sharply motioning to the aged stone plaque mounted above the door that clearly stated 'Hall of Ladies'

Pushing past a pair of guards who did little more stand on either side of the entrance Ursa led Orla down the corridor.

Unlike the Banquet Hall the 'Hall of Ladies' was kept neat and in good order. A pair of skeletal maids walking the length of the corridor dusting or cleaning every exposed surface while a grand harp could be heard clearly from one of the many rooms.

" Honestly, If I'd known it was this nice up here … " Ursa remarked pushing one door open and than seeing it occupied moved to the next.

Orla allowed herself to be led up the balcony stairs, not knowing what had sparked this sudden urge in Ursa to find a mirror. What good was one here? She gave the other woman a bewildered look but held her questions as they passed through sentries that made no move to stop them. She was a little unnerved by the way they were both being given such free run of the fortress, and treated as though they belonged. The Hall of Ladies was at least a pleasant place compared to the repulsive feasting room below.

"Yes, this is a definite improvement," Orla agreed, smiling faintly. She looked around with interest and curiously listened to the strums of the harp somewhere ringing its notes. She would not have suspected any of the undead entities in this place capable of appreciating music.

Orla clutched onto the other girl's hand whilst she checked each room along the hall until finally coming upon an empty boudoir. Entering the room, they found it well-furnished with a plush four poster bed, a chest of drawers, and every other elegance, including a carved dresser on which was a long gilt-framed mirror.

" This will do. " Ursa announced pulling free the heavy belt she wore tossing it and her sheathed short sword and combat knives onto the bed. Than moving her hands to her corset and pulling the straps and buckles free one by one.
Noticing the odd look Orla gave as Ursa was undressing.

" Right … " Ursa announced. " So you see during my time in the Order my Master had me mentored by a Wizard name Rel Jurran who was a bit of a lush and had a fondness for sweet talking young ladies out of their clothes."

Once free of the corset Ursa abandoned it on the bed with her other belongings.

" Any way we made a game of it where I'd entertain him while he furthered my education in the arts." She continued pulling off the black silk tunic she wore.
Nude from the waste up it was clear that Ursa had seen and survived a number of battles in her time. A good number scars collected from past battles marking otherwise deathly pale skin even one of her breasts was marked by what could only be described as the teeth marks of some great beast far far larger than any mere wolf or bear.

It was what was recorded on her back however that quickly drew one's attention as almost the entirety was covered in what could only be described as archaic script and ancient symbols. Large portions of which glowed much like the writing and designs on her hands and lower arms.

" As payment for my amusements he recorded the entirety of his travelers spellbook on my back which contained dozens of useful workings." Ursa scanned over the script that covered her exposed back in the mirror until she found what she was looking for pointing it out to Orla..

" And here is the rites and rituals of a spell he called 'To Purge All Magic' and just below that 'To Remove the Curse'. One of these has got to be the spell we need to grant both you and me freedom from this hellish place."

Ursa frowned her annoyance.

" The problem we face here is that these are both magics that are not within my ability to give shape to yet."

...

Joint Post by D2wintr, Rosmary, and Thean83

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