Game Session: 6/3/2012
Willow Pond, The New Forest, Hampshire, England.
The travel to Willow Pond was wet and sluggish. Thick knightwood oaks rolled through the hills of The New Forest alongside gentle beech trees and hollies. As they meandered further down, the woods began to thin and the ground made way to a black sludge, thick with decomposing leaves and algae. Soon, the mud was nearly to the tops of their boots and every step was like fighting the earth as it attempted to hold them in its murky grasp. By the time they reached Willow Pond it was nearly dusk and a ghostly fog had crept into the sullen valley, floating just above the long and slender reeds that jutted out of the snowy banks. They slogged through the bogs to the shore of the pond; the water was speckled with brown and yellow lily pads, green algae and branches from dead willow trees. Not a sound could be heard but the snow falling softly and the cry of a wolf far in the distance, resonating between the trees.
Aisleen spoke quietly, “We shall now summon the goddess Caer Ibormeith (Kire Ih-Vur-Mayth) together. Kyrs will need all the assistance we can give, so I recommended that we all take part in the ritual. Do you agree?”
“Good, that will please the goddess Caer and Brigit alike,” Aisleen said as she smiled and drew open the laces of an olive moleskin pouch. “Now, each of you take a white moonstone and hold it in your left hand.” She prepared a bed of straw and branches, then sprinkled rosemary, thyme and dried Tipton’s weed on and around it. “We shall all join hands and form a circle about the resting place. Ensure your moonstone remains in your left hand.”
Aisleen began to speak in a language that they could not understand, their hands began to warm. She raised her arms up in the air, while not letting go of those she held. Suddenly, she arched her head back and looked to the gray skies – from them, a single white feather of a swan floated down, fluttering back and forth until it finally landed in the center of the formed circle, on the bed. Bringing her arms back down, Aisleen said, “She is here with us now and she is ready. We must now form a circle around Kyrs and allow him to sleep…"
Kyrs interrupted Aisleen, “Wait now, do you want me to take off this amulet?”
“If it will help you to sleep then, yes,” Aisleen said in her smooth ethereal voice.
“Because I cannot sleep with it on, it keeps me awake.” Kyrs began to reach for the chain of his amulet, eager to defeat the Witch of Windcrag and remove the death curse.
Aisleen urged, "Before you do , please listen…Kyrs – take the feather of the swan of Caer Ibormeith and put it in your right pocket. When you meet the Witch of Windcrag in her existence, you must pull her back to ours. To do so, pluck a feather from her wings while making sure she gets the swan’s.”
Kyrs nodded, then removed his amulet…