Black Rose Chronicles

Discussion in 'The Library' started by Belladonna Rose, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Belladonna Rose

    Belladonna Rose Bug Hunter

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    Looking about the cabin there was a faint mist wafting through the air. Not a smoke but a mist. This is not right. She could hear Aletta humming from the other room.
    "Ah cousin. What have you been up to and where have you been. We have not heard from you in ages. I pray you have been well."
    "Good day my sweet cousin. I have been well. Although i do not think you would believe the tales i could tell you. It has been a long long journey."
    Laughing at Bella Aletta entered the room with a tray. Pot of hot tea steaming and many fine cakes and cookies that Bella missed so much. She knew this had to be a dream.
    As the two sat at the table Bella told her cousin of her adventure and what she had been doing. Aletta smiled and nodded often at the stories. At times she closed her eyes and sighed.
    She knew that her cousin would be keeping note of the stories as she always did. Of to the other side of the room a book flew open. The quill left from its cradle and began to write things
    down as Bella told them.
    Often more than she liked to remember Bella knew that Aletta's powers out ranked all of them. Although she did not use them as the others and herself did she knew that when it came down to it her tiny cousin was a force to reckon with.
    She continued her stories until the wee hours of the night. Just before dawn Bella relaxed against the confortable chair and drifted off to sleep. Stomach full of good food and very good tea. The further she drifted into the sleep the further her mind slipped away from the cozy cottage. Away from the world she knew so well and that she missed deeply.
     
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  2. Belladonna Rose

    Belladonna Rose Bug Hunter

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    Sitting here at my desk I started thinking about things. Not a good way to start the day. Through all my travels I have seen and done many things. Some good, some bad and alot that some would consider evil. Yet here I sit in this new world pondering the past, exhausted by the present and wary of the future.
    As Uncle Jacob used to say. "Dont be fretting on thing that have yet to pass. Worry about the now." He was such a wise old man. I say was as I have no idea what has become of him since I disappeared. Surely the girls are taking care of him as much as he would let them.
    So pretty much I do what can be done. Hope that the demons will leave me alone to sleep. Pray the day will come with no concerns and just keep busy. After finishing my tour of the lands and all that blasted fishing a realization that there was nothing new to do. Six long years of battles and learning to adapt to this world was enough to cause one to sit and take stock in their future.
    Looking at the stack of journals from my fishing expedition made me laugh. Crazy. For one to go out and do such a thing. But word got out of my journey and that word spanned the lands. Every town someone seemed to hear about my expedition. Smiling softly i patted the stack of books and pushed them to the edge of the desk.
    While I was gone on this tour of the lands I commissioned some folks to build me a great hall. And wouldn't ya know those men were of Norgardian decent. They build me a great Viking hall. Ground floor set up for entertaining and feasting. My desk and bookcases along the wall. Someone took my maps and framed them lining the wall above the bookcases. It was grand. Even an ornate piano stood in one area. Crates of things i had collected were unpacked and hung on the walls. The second floor was sort of a trophy area with two huge bedrooms. Gallery of paintings hung on the walls as well.
    The veranda on the third floor gave way to the crafting area. All the space in the world to work with that outdoor feel to it. And they even built an exterior staircase to reach the space. Easier to get things from the ground to the crafting area. Amazing what they did for sure. I was pleased.
    Walking up the staircase I looked about the alchemy table and decided that it would be a good idea to take up the craft again. Magic is nothing new but when not used enough it takes a bit of practice to get back in tune with the elements. So this will be my next adventure. May the forces favor the foolish.
    One morning as I sat in the dining hall having some tea and a light breakfast a familiar face walked through my front door. Kicking his boots off in the foyer and hanging his gear on the hooks he walked in grabbed the kettle and put on some fresh hot water. Astor loved his tea piping hot for sure. And it had to be freshly brewed.
    As the water started to boil he grabbed a plate and filled it with bread, cheese and some carved me from the icebox. Pulling a chair out he sat with a sound plop. The look on his face and in his eyes he was weary and worn.
    "And what brings you to my door M'lord? You grace me with your presence this fine early morning."
    Frowning slightly he then gave me a wide grin. "Don't give me that M'lord nonsence. We are far past that. Friends we have been these past years and you best be remembering it."
    Laughing softly I raised my teacup in salute. "Aye aye. I know. But for you to trudge up the hill to my house this early something must be afoot."
    "Nay. I came through the high gate to town and your house was the closet to the rode. I could not make it down and to the other side of town so early in the morning. I am weary my dear Rose."
    Giving him a side eye glance I smiled. Him calling me Rose was always funny. Not that many others called me that but sometimes it slipped. I was worried. He had that look about him. He had been gone a long time and deep down in my soul I knew he was not here for a long time.
    "So you darken my doorstep to eat my food and drink my tea and rest your weary bones in my chair cause you are too lazy to make the trip to your own door. Hmmm."
    Standing up weakly he walked to the stove for the kettle. Poured the water into the teapot and brought it with him. Sitting slowly it was obvious he was in pain. This last journey of his must of been rough on him. He was not much older than me but his past I fear was finally catching up with him.
    "This last journey was a bit rougher than past ones I see. You are moving a might bit slower than usual. Are you injured or just worn out?"
    Leaning back against the chair he sighed. "Aye. I am worn out. The horse and fight is just getting to be a bit more taxing on the old bones. So I came to the warmest and most comfortable place I could get to. HERE."
    Smiling I stood. Walked over and patted his shoulder. "You sit there and enjoy your tea and breakfast. I will be right back."
    Going up the stairs to the veranda I went straight to the alchemy table. The shelf above had a few potions there. So i took a couple flasks down and slowly mixed a draft for my friend. A nice healing and restoration might do him some good. Precisely mixing the two together I watched and waited for that perfect color. Yes. There it was. Pouring into a clean flask I gently swirled it about. Waved a hand over the top and put in the stopper. This should do the trick.
    Now I will admit that my alchemy skills are not on par with those of my cousin but they have kept me alive so far. But I need to learn some more. I was still not familiar with some of the herbs here.
    Descending the stairs I made way back to the dining hall. There he sat leaned back with his head against the back of the chair. I thought at first he was asleep but he smiled as I approached.
    "Thought I was dead did you? Nay my Rose. Not quite yet."
    "No you fool. I thought how was I to drag you to the second floor and throw your carcass into the bed in the spare room. You are a bit on the heftly side of late it seems."
    Laughing out loud it was the best sound I had heard in a long while. His laugh was a balm to my chaotic life. Walking closer I set the flask on the table infront of him. He eyed it and looked up.
    " Now dont drink it all at once. That should be a good three doses to put you to right. If there is such a thing. But I will relieve those aches and pains for a while."
    "Ahhh yes. Just what i needed. Mind you might be making a few more of those incase I need them later."
    "Later. You mean to be leaving again. You just got here." Worry etched my face I suppose cause he looked at me mournfully.
    " Yes.I came only to retrieve some thing. Load up the wagon so to speak. The completion of Sentinel Stand has come. My grand island is done. It is there i will hang my hat and sword and retire finally."
    "Ha! You retire. I think not. Just slow down a bit. Yes. But never will you retire. And this sister town to Knight's Watch..will you have room for me if I chose to visit?"
    "Always my Rose. If it werent for you Sentinel would never of come to be. Your love of the sea is what made me secure that island and make it blossom."
    Smiling i filled his cup again and poured myself one as well. Pulled a jug from under the table and added a splash to the tea. We both raised our cups in salute and drank. He grabbed the jug and filled the cups of straight whiskey and we saluted again. After some time he started to relax and I helped him up the stairs. Putting him to bed I softly closed the door. He would be there for a good long time.
     
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  3. Belladonna Rose

    Belladonna Rose Bug Hunter

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    The night went quietly. Except for the faint snoring from the spare room.
    At least I knew the man in there was alive. So I took my chance at a peaceful
    night's sleep and it was.
    When I rose that morning I washed and got dressed and made my way to the
    kitchen to make a hearty breakfast for my guest. But when I got there he was
    already there standing at the stove cooking. The smell of bacon and eggs was
    so inviting. And the steaming pot of tea on the table drew me closer.
    "Mornin sleepy head. Hope you dont mind me cooking up some of your bacon
    and fresh eggs. I woke with a terrible hunger. I guess your potion was indeed
    what i needed. I feel like a new man." He chuckled as he kept on with his
    cooking.
    " Aye. For the first time in a while I slept undisturbed. No dreams bothered
    me."
    "Ahh. Still having those I see. Yes well good thing for me then. Or I might
    of met with the wrong end of that daggar you keep on your bedstand."
    " Ha. I have never been that startled from my dreams."
    "There is alway a first time." Smiling and laughing he brought a wooden bowl
    full of fried potatoes, eggs and bacon and plopped it down on the table. Reaching
    the nearby shelf he grabbed plates and silverware and we began to eat. It was the
    most glorious breakfast I had had in a long time.
    Settling back in his chair as he sipped his tea he looked warily at me. He knew
    something was on my mind. Clearing his throat he spoke softly.
    "What is going on with you Rose? You seem precccupied with deep thought."

    After a minute or two I explained that I was thinking of taking up the magic again.
    Nodding he let me continue to relay my thoughts to him.
    "Alchemy and magic is deep in my soul. As with all of us girls in my family. But since
    I arrived here I have put most of it aside. Only using it whenI really needed. I thought
    about taking it up again. Mainly the alchemy part."
    He looked at me over his cup and nodded again.
    "What is stopping you? If you have the skill it should just be a matter of practice.
    And mind you I know your healing magical or potion works fine. Just look at me right now."
    Smiling he gestured to himself with a flourish. As if him sitting there spry and near
    perfect was proof of my skill.
    "Yes. I can do some but not to the degree that my cousin can do. I need to learn things
    from this world. Mainly now I happen upon things that seem familiar but arent if that makes
    sense."
    Setting down his cup he leaned forward resting his elbows on the table.
    "Then what you need to do is find someone to teach you. I suggest going about Hidden Vale
    and search out the alchemists and see if one will help you. If none are here then you can go
    to Novia. The bigger cities I would steer clear of though. Those arrogant snobs will only half
    teach you so you dont steal their business."
    Laughing out loud I looked at his face. He was dead serious. And he was right.
    I remembered when I went to Owl's Head to talk about the undead and when I reached the guard
    house on the hill Delbert Enmar was in charge. He went on and on about the bandits and undead.
    His best man Winslow was gravely ill yet there was no one in town that could help him. He bade
    me to go to Kingsport to find a healer. I agreed. Before I left i checked on Winslow. He was in
    bad shape. His injury was more from a head wound. He was in so much pain. With my back to the
    other guards in the room I ran my hands above and over his body and head. Spoke softly a spell.
    His labored breathing slowed and a sense of comfort took over his face. Placing a cool cloth to
    his head I stood and walked out. My healing was not that good. But it was enough to give him
    some peace til I could find the medicine he needed.
    I told Astor about that and he nodded his understanding.

    "Yes. Enmar is an idiot for certain. And that lot that lives up in Owl's Head are too
    worried about themselves than to worry about anyone else. Hence the high wall around the city
    and that blasted Moon tower that keeps the undead away from them."
    I laughed at him. When Astor Cerebus had an opinion on someone or something he cut to the bone
    with his comments.
    I told him the story of how I thought to ride to Solace Bridge to the alchemist there. Since
    I knew his potions were good. But that was too far and Winslow needed help sooner. It would take
    me too long to get to Solace Bridge Outskirts. So Kingsport it was. When i rode into town the
    guards nodded to me. They had seen me several times before so they knew I was from close by.
    I went to the alchemist shop near the docks but that woman was more worried about her errant
    husband and where he was. I came from the shop and a begger quickly gave me the name of another
    woman in town. For a coin that is. Giving him the coin he told me where to find her.
    It was getting dark so I made my way to the market area and tethered my horse to the hitching
    Post. Slid the saddle off and went into the tavern. Setting down the saddle near the door I walked
    to an empty table. The bard was in full vocal attunment. Singing some bawdy ballad about a seafaring
    adventure. Chuckling to myself I knew that tune but the words were a might different.
    A young girl came to the table and took my order. A pint of horrible ale and trencher of meat, cheese
    and day old bread soon appeared. Soon a lovely looking lady entered through the back door. She looked about
    the room and saw me. Approaching she touched the chair across from me. With my approval she sat. Ordered
    a wine and trencher for herself. After a minute or two she introduced herself as Julia. An alchemist.
    Now if that didnt beat all. Just the person I was looking for. And now she sat at my table. It was
    almost too coincedental. I heard Uncle Jacob's voice in my head. "Fortune favor the Foolish".
    After a short bit of small talk I told her of my task and she immediately to me to meet her in the
    morning at her wagon just across from the tailoring tent. She would fix up the medicine needed for
    Winslow. Nodding in agreement she stood, left some coins on the table and went back out the same door
    she came in.
    The girl who was cleaning up told me of an empty bed upstairs I could use. Giggling softly she he joked
    that most in the tavern would end up sleeping where they dropped. I couldnt help but laugh along with her.
    Drinking the last of the horrible ale I grabbed my saddle and bags and made my way up the staris. Two rooms.
    One marked Ladies. One marked Gents. Inside there were four poorly crafted beds but I had slept on worse.
    Pulling off my boots I tucked them under the bed. Stretched out and sleep came over me. At some point in the
    night a blanket had made its way over me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2023
  4. Belladonna Rose

    Belladonna Rose Bug Hunter

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    Morning came too soon for me. But it was a peaceful sleep. For once. As I tugged on my boots and grabbed my gear I made my way down the stairs. All was quiet inside except for the snorting and snoring of the passed out patrons. Even the bard was snoring in a chair in the corner.
    The Innkeeper was no where is sight but there were rolls on the counter. So I grabbed one and tossed a coin next to the platter.
    The young girl I met the night before was standing near the tailoring tent talking to a man there. I assume it was his tent. She smilled as I walked closer . All the stalls were starting to open. The usual you see in a small town. Vegetables, fish and the tailor. There in the corner was a wagon. And there stood Julia waving at me to come closer.
    Setting my gear down at my feet she smiled and handed me a small cloth bag. Rattling inside with tins and thick glass bottles. I looked inside and smiled. She had shief of paper with instructions written on it.
    "Here now this should do Old Winslow a world of good. And you tell that Captain Dreyfuss that Winslow is to get plenty fresh, clean water to drink."
    Smiling I put the bag in my saddlebag.
    "There are some fresh, clean bandages in that bag as well, I know that good for nothing Timothy won't part with his fresh and clean cloth for bandages. I am surprised any of those folks up there in Owl's Head are still with the living."
    Laughing softly at her commenting on the folks in Owl's Head when it seemed those in Kingsport weren't in any better shape.
    " And be sure Dreyfuss reads them instructions. Cant trust that man to give the proper doses needed. "
    "Yes, madame I will for sure. "
    She patted me softly on the shoulder and smiled.
    Working my way back to my horse i noticed he had been fed and freshly brushed out. Looking about a small boy come from behind a building. He walked straight up to me hand outstretched.
    "Old Joseph in the tavern said you be payin me fer takin care of yer horse. I am here to settle up."
    Laughing at his casual stance I slipped a coin from my pocket and handed it to him.
    Patting him on the head he smiled.
    " Thank ye kindly mame."
    "No. Thank you. Right nice job you did for my companion."
    "That aint no compan..whatever you called him. That is just a horse."
    "Nay young fella. He is my friend."
    The young boy laughed and walked away mumbling to himself. "Friend. Who ever thunk of a horse as a friend."

    With a sharp whistle the boy turned. I tossed him another coin and he eagerly caught it.
    "You be sure to not spend that all in one place. "
    "No madame. I be taking this straight home to my mother. Thank you kindly."
    And then he was off a running between the buildings.
    As i made my way back through the market area i stopped at the tailor tent.
    Handed the man some coins and gave him instructions to send some clean clothes to the girl in the tavern. She looked like she needed a new dress for sure.
    "Might i know your name Miss. None the likes of you come through here for a long while."
    "Belladonna Rose is my name. I live in the town of Knight's Watch not far from here."
    Leaning back he smiled and slapped his leg. Not sure what that all meant but i am guessing its a good thing.
    I bade him a good day and made my way towards the bridge. It would be a good afternoon's ride up to Owl's Head.

    Just before nightfall i made my way to the gates and up the road to the guard house on the hill. This time i went through the back gate. Better than cutting through the town below.
    Entering the building the guards all sat around chatting and drinking. One would think they would be out on patrol or some such.
    I approached the Captain and gave him the bag from Julia and her instructions. He smiled and immediately started unloading the bag. I went to check on Winslow. He was alert and seemed to be feeling a bit better. But I could see he was still in pain. The Captain came with fresh water and a small vial and spoon. Gave the old man a dose of medicine and some water. I ordered one of the guards to get some cheese and bread and milk if he could find it. Instructions on a small meal for Winslow and then i bade them all goodbye.

    Astor laughed and slapped the table.
    "You sure do know how to make impressions on folks my girl. I bet them folk in Owl's Head rue the day whenever you ride into town."
    Laughing at him i nodded. They werent too happy with me up there that is for sure.
    "I guess I will make my way into Kingsport and talk to Julia. See what she thinks about my wanting to learn more."
    "Seems to be a good idea to me. And i [c][000000]wish you all the luck in the world. But this old man has other things to tend to. By the time you get back to town i will be on a ship to Sentinel Stand. Might be i see you in Kingsport before i leave."J
    "Aye you will you scamp. I will help you pack and haul your goods to the docks and see you off right and proper. "
    We both laughed and got busy building crates to get him started.

    After a week we finally had his belongings packed and loaded and made our way to Kingsport docks. There as he paid handsomely for the dock workers to load his belongings on a grand ship moored at the end of the docl. He had paid for a new ship and crew to make the journey.
    I stood on the wharf and watched as he made his way up to the ship's wheel and waved to me as they set sail. He had handed me a scroll. And when i opened it I saw it was a seachart. Giving me directions to the new lands of Mistrender. And marking the road to Sentinel. Scribbled on the bottom of the map he wrote.

    "Do not fear for me as I am going home.
    A home that is here for you if you need a rest or change. You are always welcome here as i know i am always welcome in Knight's Watch. Take care of our town my Black Rose. I know you will.
    Yours truly ,
    Astor Cerebus
    Friend and commrade
    Forever.
     
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  5. Belladonna Rose

    Belladonna Rose Bug Hunter

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    Riding through the back entrance to town i rode slow up the road towards my home. Jumping down and walking the horse we reached the fence line. Thorn shook his head to let me know he wanted freed.
    "Hold on boy. Let us get to the house and i will let you go."
    He knickered and snorted and tossed his head about. There was nothing for it.
    "Okay, okay." I pulled the saddle and bridle from him and he was off in a flash. Jumping the fence across the front lawn to the next fence and over he went. He was gone.
    "Crazy horse."
    Tossing my gear on the porch i sat down on the top step. Looking out over the town from high on top the hill was always the best view to me. I could see all the way out to the open seas and all about the town itself. I could see the houses across the way on the other hill too. It was nice to see the town flourishing as it was. With all my travels and adventures I had gathered quite a small fortune and had built it up right nice.
    Hence this big house on the hill. Huge viking styled monstrosity with verandas and balconies all about. It was a task to decorate and furnish but it kept me busy for sure.
    But the best of all is looking out at the bay and seeing her moored there at the docks. My pride and joy. The Black Rose.

    The front door flew open and a young girl bounded outside and plopped down next to me. Very unlady like behavior but it was fine with me. I had been teaching her many things of late.
    She was quite good at reading and writing but her manners were often times worse than mine. She leaned in and rested her head on my shoulder.
    "Bout time you come home. You been gone a right long while. I was afraid something happened to you. And then there i would be back in Kingsport working the tavern again."
    Wrapping an arm around her shoulders I hugged her closely. I took in the scent of her hair and noticed a smudge of flour on her face. She smelled of fresh baked bread and cinnamon.
    "You been baking again. I hope you cleaned up your mess this time."
    "Now you know damn....i mean darn well I clean up my messes."
    Nudging me softly she sighed. "Auntie. I am very happy you are home."
    After a short spat of silence she jumped up and pulled me to my feet. Then she kicked my gear throught the door into the entryway and pulled me through the doorways.
    "Now you go get cleaned up and dressed fresh and pretty. We have company coming for dinner this evening."
    "What!! I don't want company or guests tonight Kitten. I just got home."
    Pushing towards the staircase she prattled on about not being a bad host and such.
    "Well we got a guest whether you want one or not. So get going."
    Smiling I gave her a salute. "Aye aye Captain." She giggled and ran off towards the kitchen.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2024 at 2:04 PM
  6. Belladonna Rose

    Belladonna Rose Bug Hunter

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    Reaching the second floor took alot of energy. I was exhausted. Tossing my dirty clothing in the basket I looked in the mirror over the sink. Good Gracious i was a fright. I had only been gone a few days but it was a rough trip to be sure. Ragged and worn is the best description. I had long since cut my hair short just for necessity but I still looked horrible. Turning to the bath small tendrils of steam wafted up. Hot water, roaring fire in the fireplace and a content lion cub curled up on my bed. Katrina must of heard me coming through the gate. I was too tired to think about it now. Shaking my head i slipped into the steaming water and it felt like Heaven. Sliding under the water for a few seconds then bobbed back up. A fresh bowl of ground rose petals sat next to the tub on a stool. Tossing some into the water the perfume filled the air. It was wonderful. Leaning my head back against the tub I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.
    By the time i woke the water had cooled down. Fresh towels were now on the stool and clean clothing on the bed. The cub was no where in sight. Standing up and wrapping in a warm oversized towel felt wonderful on my weathered skin. I sat on the edge of the bed drying my hair and looking at the clothes laid out for me. Who in the world woud be coming to dine with me. Astor was well on his way to Sentinel and the others in town were busy doing their own things. No one of importance would be coming to see me. But Kat thought better I supposed. Brushing out my hair and pulling on my clothes I felt uncomfortable. This outfit was not me. But I would do as the Little Captain said for now. She obviously had worked hard today for this visitor.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2024 at 2:09 PM