An Early Winter - Prt 02

My mentor once told me that “ Everything, every mountain, river, plant, rock, and tree shall be your teacher.”

Ursa Blacksong - 92nd of Autumn YSTR 112

The Four Corners

The ruins known today as the Four Corners were once a manor of great size that had no doubt once belonged to a family of some great power and influence in its day. Sadly that day had long passed and none that lived today could recall who that family may have once been nor why the household had been abandoned and the once great manor left to fall into ruin.

What remained of the manor this day was little more than overgrown piles of rock and rubble and at its center four pillars that Ursa could only imagine once served as the central support pillars of the once great house.

Clearing the broken front steps Ursa paused long enough to take a deep breath of the cold air and adjust her cloak in a vain effort to hold the cold at bay. Her eyes again drifted skyward taking note of dark clouds gathering on the horizon signaling that winter snows might arrive even earlier than even she had first suspected.

Not surprisingly Catmint and Lavander proved to be in great abundance amongst the broken rock walls and dry earth of the Four Corners with patches of Black Samson to be found here and there if one knew where to look. Beyond that, however, there were not but weeds and the sharp barbs of dried blackberry vines that were no friend of anyone this late in the season.

Ursa had only just finished collecting a fair amount of the desired herbs into the basket she carried when a sudden silence drew her attention to that moment in time. The chill that passed through her was not the kind that was brought about by the cold but something more far-far more sinister.

It was then that she caught the lingering scent of death that hung heavy in the air. Not simply the stink of recent death but something older and more dangerous. Not the ancient dead like the desiccated smell of a Lich thank the goddess but something far more foul, that had been long interred and yet more recently unearthed.

Ursa set aside the basket as her hand drifted to the handle of the sword hidden in the folds of her skirt as she moved towards a gap in the broken walls of the ruins hopeful that she might catch a glimpse of this unknown threat.

There were four of them on horseback riding in pairs as they moved slowly along the forest road heading north towards Highmarch along the very path she had taken earlier. Unnaturally tall and lanky individuals covered head to foot in long dark hooded robes their exposed hands and feet covered in thick black leather with hints of mail armor here and there while no sound was heard that would suggest it was there.

Ursa's gaze drifted from the riders to the mounts themselves recognizing them at once.


And with that one realization came another as the threat she now faced was now obvious to her.


It had been sometime before she had faced a wraith of any kind and while she was certain that if she had prepared in advance that she’d prove a match for one or perhaps two of them at best a troop of four was a threat she’d had no want to face alone.

Then there was the question of why they were here in the first place?

Wraiths were beings of purpose after all and existed to serve a purpose of one sort or another and did not simply wander the living world without reason or cause.

The loud snort and the sound of a hoove digging into the earth of a Nightmare from behind her almost scared Ursa out of her skin. Her hand drawing her blade as she quickly turned to face the mounted Wraith ready for an attack that never came.

“ It calls us … “ A whispering voice hissed from the darkness of the hood. “ It calls us North little sister. “

“ What calls us? ” Ursa couldn’t help but asked uncertain of what she should do next.

“ It calls us … “ The wraith repeated.

“ What calls us Brother? ” She said simply trying to speak in a civil voice.

“ It calls us home Little Sister.” The wraith answered as he took up the reigns of his mount and led the beast past her following after the others where it was joined by another as they moved slowly along the road North.

It was then that Ursa felt the first flake of snow touch her cheek, The snows of winter it seems having come at last.


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