Eagerly I hurried to the hall, tonight Harriet the Hag was going to share her story. Outside the hall, I could hear excited voices...inside the noise deafening. We didn't have to wait long. My parchment and pen ready, I listened as she began her tale.
"And while I won't say my age out loud, I will say that I was here long before we realized that this was a place. I am not trying to be mysterious. It's just that when I was a girl... this was not here. She waved her hand around.
"I would like to say who my parents were but I cannot. Not because of secrecy, I simply do not know. We all could be related. Who knows the truth."
"Oh my." Cathy Earnshaw exclaimed.
"They tell me it appeared at the same time I did. I was a wee babe at the time. Frankly, I was raised mostly by those pixies."
I looked up in surprise. That explained much.
"Which is why I have such a rapport with them. "They were kind...fed me the mushrooms that kept me alive...much pure water from the oceans of Ilshenar." she paused. "Let me take you somewhere. Please follow me, I will make a gate.
We followed her to an ancient ruin. Looking around I could see that at one time it was a house.
Harriet picked up a book. "I spent a lot of time here reading books...every slip of parchment...every spell."
"The only thing I could do was read and learn. I craved more books. I wanted to learn so much. I wanted to know everything there was to know...perhaps because I was an orphan.
I'm still interested in learning. Though I haven't really let myself use what I have learned in a long time. There is a reason."
Stopping she walked up stairs and looked around sadly . "This vanity wasn't always broken. The clock on the wall...wasn't broken when I lived here. She looked up at the sky. "The walls were true."
"Hum, that was a little while ago then. " I noted.
"Aye," Cathy Earnshaw agreed.
Harriet motioned for us to follow her outside. "I lived here for quite some time. When I became old enough I moved. Come let's go this way."
She lead us to the Twin Oaks Tavern. "Oh dear it's overrun! Please clear it out."
Indeed the area filled with brigands. They were not happy to see us.
While others finished off the few brigands left, I followed Harriet inside.
"I worked here at Twin Oaks Tavern as a young lady. They let me sleep in the basement." she walked down the stairs. "Oh my, will you look at this. I have found an old robe of mine down here. Be careful there are some Brigands here." she warned me as I followed her. "They seem to know me.
Ronan paused on the stairs. "Brigands?"
"Do you need help, Harriet?" Shrew called down.
"There are brigands around the building but they seem to ignore me." Harriet the Hag chuckled.
"They ain't ignoring us. "Ronan replied as one attacked him.
Harriet continued to look around the room. "This old bed has gone to rot."
"I wonder who this painting was of?" Harriet gazed at a age stained painting."Your family perhaps?" I suggested.
Raven studied it. "A lovely woman."
"Lets retreat upstairs." Harriet suggested as more brigands rushed in.
Upstairs didn't prove to be safer. Already it was full of brigands and death.
The room cleared, Harriet called us over. "Let me speak to you all please. There is something I need to share."
"Something terrible happened. "Harriet hung her head sadly.
"What did you do?" I asked.
"I wasn't casting spells like others. My...My summons were borne evil. I tried Summon Creature and the creatures were summoned. But not..." She paused, "The pixies were angry. Most sent me away at the time. I am so ashamed. I thought my heart was pure."
"You were young and didn't mean to" I patted her shoulder trying to confort her.
"Seems like there 's something you are not telling us. " Demoss frowned.
"I grew up around such pure creatures...unicorns, kir-ins, pixies, my whole life. I have even met Lord Oaks himself a few times. " Harriet sobbed,
"I went away. I went as far away as I could. " Harriet explained. "It has devastated me for years...centuries. My punishment for some unknown crime. Since you are well armed, I would like to show you."
"Lead on. " Shrew and Cathy Earnshaw encouraged.
"Perhaps you can tell me? Harriet looked at us hopefully.
"We can try." I assured her.
"I went frequently because I knew the evil. Because I knew sometime I became broken? Come, I will gate away. " Harriet beckoned us to follow her.
On the other side, we found the ruins of a garden. "It is pretty here." I commented looking around.
Shew nodded. "Very pretty."
"Very bare." Cathy Earnshaw observed.
Harriet climbed to the top of a wall. "Stand back my friends, can you all hear me up here?"
"Yes." voices shouted.
"Good, I will begin my first summons." Harriet the Hag began to meditate. 'Horrible, horrible creatures. " she pointed at the spiders she had summoned.
I had to agree and quickly joined the others to rid the land of these spiders.
As the last were defeated, Harriet casted another summons... bright pink creatures like EVs but not exactly.
Before we could stop her, Harriet cast the spell again. Once again the spell failed to produce a normal creature...giant lizards appeared instead.
Harriet joined me on the path to watch the battle. I was relieved that she wasn't trying to help heal. Who knows what the spell would have done.
Suddenly she turned to me, "Who is scouting here?"
Puzzled I looked around to see she was pointing at a drone. "Good question."
It was quickly dispatched. I studied it to see where it had come from. It wasn't like those I had seen before.
"Its another drone! Who could be spying on us with drones?" Harriet shouted. "Please friends, destroy the drones! These drones are spying on us!"
After the battle Harriet returned to the top of the ruin. "Hmmm, now what?" Skeptamystic asked.
"I am going to show what happens when I summon a Daemon." Harriet replied. "Be ready friends."
"You don't have to." I muttered and quickly hid.
"I am starting to feel cleansed!" Harriet called and sat down on the soft grass to mediate. I barely saw the poorly cast summons before they were surrounded. Just glimpses of bright pink.
"This is scary, but I am feeling cleansed. There is a clarity I have never had before." Once more on top of the ruin, Harriet the Hag casted the Incognito spell. She began to shake. "It feels like an earthquake. What is happening to me feel myself changing."
"Am I becoming this creature? No Please!" Harriet pleaded. "I think...I think the evil is being purged.
"Harriet, I think you should stop casting." I urged. She ignored me.
"THE EVIL IS BEING PURGED FROM ME!" she shuddered. "I feel the evil leaving my body. It is so painful yet so beautiful. I feel a great evil. It is coming. It is separating from me.
We watched as Harriet seemed to split into two creatures. The one full of evil summoned creatures....efreets, phoenixes fire steeds, and lava elementals, and others.
Wave after wave attacked until the ground was covered with bodies...theirs and ours. Stopping only when the creature, trapped, was defeated.
Having died, I searched the bodies for mine. The notes of Harriet's tale to valuable to leave behind. Only with other's help I found it. My notes safe again, I returned to my home.
To tired to begin work on rewriting it. I fell asleep to dream of pixies and strange creatures.
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Harriet The Hag's Tale
Curious about Harriet the Hag's past, I hurried to meet with her. Hers was a strange tale, fill with sadness, surprises, and death...lots and...