An Early Winter - Prt 03

Ursa Blacksong - 93rd of Autumn YSTR 112

If there is one great truth in this world it is that we were all young once. An old widowed mother might have once been a great beauty of the realm and an ancient Wizard might once have been a young suitor who once courted her once upon a time.

Six inches of newly fallen snow had covered the earth by the time Ursa had returned to the township. Quickly recounting the tale of her encounter to her adopted mother as she served them both warm tea.

After the tale was finally told Sarah could only offer a sigh and a passive shrug as she carefully picked the violet petals from the catmint her daughter had returned with.

"Truthfully dear I have never chanced to hear of any local legends or tales that match those details as you have described. A single wraith is rare enough a thing in these lands but six traveling in a group is unheard of."

Ursa nodded her understanding as she continued to pick the petals from the flowering plant she held. "Could they perhaps have come from the ruins of Grey Haven for some dark purpose?" she could not help but wonder aloud.

Sarah gave an understanding nod before giving the statement some thought and finally shaking her head.

" Its a possibility but to be honest I'd venture most unlikely given that the ruins of Grey Haven are nearly two hundred leagues from here and the evil of those ancient stones serves more to collect evil energies and draw wandering undead to it rather than letting them loose to wander the lands like some knights on some fools quest."

Ursa reflected on the statement for a moment before nodding her understanding and offering a deep sigh before she spoke.

” Having dealt with the undead as often as I have over the years I am perhaps insensitive to the natural ebb and flow of the natural world and the magics that move it. There is wisdom to your words.”

Sarah offered a knowing smile.

“ Still your knowledge is equal to my own and far far greater in some regards so there is no harm in letting your own knowledge and experience guide your thinking.”

Ursa nodded continuing her work.

Sarah paused then as it seems that the spark of an idea struck her.

“ Perhaps, just perhaps the knowledge we seek is more ancient than that of the memory of the bards or the tales recounted by storytellers. Perhaps what we are seeking can only be found recorded upon the written pages of history.”

“ A history book?” Ursa inquired thoughtfully before a frown touched her lips. “ I imagine that such books could be found in the Temple archives but I seriously doubt the High Priest would be even remotely inclined to allow me access to those books.”

Sarah again nodded her understanding.

“ No, the temple of the High Church has only recently been built and I doubt that they have had time enough to collect such books from the estates of the town elders. I also doubt that the books they do have would be of any real use anyways.” Sarah offered thoughtfully. “ This said the Wizard Mathus on the other hand has resided in Highmarch as a retainer of the Lord of Highmarch for nearly four generations and has no doubt amassed a most impressive library over the years as I recall.”

Ursa couldn’t help but smile.

“ Forgive me mother but as I recall a Wizard's Library is jealously guarded by its owner and far more carefully than a Cleric of the temple would. I would wager that accessing a Wizards library might prove to be the more difficult of the two options.”

Sarah smiled knowingly. “ Very true my dear but while I have no influence over a High Priest of the temple beyond charming words and flattery I do happen to have some influence when it comes to the Wizard Mathus.”

"Indeed?" Ursa couldn't help but wonder at the statement.


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