Excerpt: Welcome Respite (Re-blogged)

I had a lot of fun writing the TESO fan-fiction for the 2016 NaNoWriMo and posted some of the excerpts on the official gaming forums.

This is one of my personal favourites.

😎

Eyrie Of An Aries

*** Author’s Note: This is the first of some new excerpts of my fan-fiction, which was written during the NaNoWriMo challenge for 2016. I’m still debating on whether or not to participate in this year’s challenge, but I’ll be certain to let you know if I do!

© GDH 2016

Thunder rumbles overhead. This third storm in a fortnight heralds the changing of the seasons here in the tropical southwest of the continent. Steady rain falls and patters on the canvas tops of the merchant wagons at the trading post, the roofs of the various businesses and residences surrounding the merchant’s circle, and the carved stone top of the local transitus shrine.

Water runs down the curved stone pathway near the gated wall separating this province from the adjoining one; the extra security has been a necessity since the onset of the war. This pathway leads up the hill to…

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My Top 5 Posts – Personal Faves (Re-blogged)

Eyrie Of An Aries

I wanted to spotlight my own personal favourites when it comes to posts of mine that I’ve published to date. I seem to have been wasting my time when it came to re-blogging others, so it’s time to re-focus on myself and my writings, and get back to that shameless self-promotion!

First off, one of my side-hobbies is gaming. I enjoy one online game in particular; those who have been reading me from the beginning, or who know me personally, are aware that it is the phenomenon known as The Elder Scrolls Online. Some people, who have never played a video game of any sort, might think that I am an obsessive gamer. Those who actually play, however, consider me a ‘noob’ because I don’t spend every free second that I have on the game. It’s all about perspective, which many people appear to lack! At any rate, TESO…

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Excerpt: Seclusion (Re-blogged)

I’m putting the finishing touches on a few posts that will be published on a schedule over the weekend, since gaming will be of primary importance. Enjoy this re-blog of an excerpt from my 2016 NaNoWriMo fan fiction!

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Eyrie Of An Aries

She jolts awake. The nightmare, again. It haunts her, as it has every night for…how long has it been? Time has gotten away from her.

She rolls over on her back, staring at the root-canopy that forms this sizeable, yet well-concealed, den. It had been inhabited by a troll until recently; she had seen to its unceremonious eviction. Its pelt makes up the rough bed in which she was sleeping, while its decaying head rests on a boulder about five feet from the front entryway to the den. The presence and stench of it keeps away all intruders, including the nearby band of giants. They are only eight in number, so tending to their small herd of mammoths is of more importance than a dead troll. It is one less troll that will attempt to prey on the calves, and the smoke from their massive communal fire eliminates the stink…

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Excerpt: Welcome Respite

*** Author’s Note: This is the first of some new excerpts of my fan-fiction, which was written during the NaNoWriMo challenge for 2016. I’m still debating on whether or not to participate in this year’s challenge, but I’ll be certain to let you know if I do!

© GDH 2016

Thunder rumbles overhead. This third storm in a fortnight heralds the changing of the seasons here in the tropical southwest of the continent. Steady rain falls and patters on the canvas tops of the merchant wagons at the trading post, the roofs of the various businesses and residences surrounding the merchant’s circle, and the carved stone top of the local transitus shrine.

Water runs down the curved stone pathway near the gated wall separating this province from the adjoining one; the extra security has been a necessity since the onset of the war. This pathway leads up the hill to a cozy cottage, which is nestled behind a stout wall comprised of well-laid stone and intricate steel latticework. Inside this cottage, coals burn low in the fireplace. A crystal glows with a soft, blue light in the corner closest to the door. This light is muted for the person slumbering in the canopied bed in the far corner, as it has been placed just behind a grand vase bristling with a large, healthy aloe-type plant.

A black cat stirs itself from under the bed, yawning and stretching as he emerges from the shadows. He looks up at the sleeping figure, then prowls to the door and exits through an opening which has been fashioned solely for his entry and egress. The figure in the bed shifts slightly, turning from her side onto her back, left arm behind her head and right arm resting across her chest.

A louder peal of thunder sounds. Sepultur’a’s eyes open to mere slits; she blinks a couple of times, smacks her lips, and stretches. The fine-woven cotton sheets are smooth on her freshly-scrubbed skin, both a courtesy of the laundry and spa in the distant city of the Orcs, far to the north. Her hair is bound in a silken snood, a small luxury item she allowed herself after weeks of wearing roughly-sewn jute under her heavy helm.

She remains in bed for a few moments, listening to the sound of the thunder, enjoying the soft noise of rain tapping on the peaked roof. The privacy and quiet is welcomed, and she smiles as she thinks again at what a wonderful gift this house is. She has heard that Canthiorn’s business is booming and thinks that paying him a visit is in order, as a hall for her own growing guild will be needed soon.

She pulls back the covers and sits up, stretching again. Standing, she moves to the fireplace and squats to adjust the flue, adding fresh kindling to the smoldering coals. As the fire takes hold, she prepares a kettle for tea and then tends to the meats which have been hanging and slow-cooking overnight. She bastes the hunks with the drippings captured, then turns them in a clockwise direction so that they will spin gently and roast to juicy perfection. Slicing off a strip of flesh, she nibbles it as she kneels near the cedar trunk at the foot of the bed. The cat slinks back inside, shaking water from his paws in an almost prissy manner, then saunters over to his mistress with a purr and curls around her ankles, clutching them with soft paws. “Good morning to you,” Sepultur’a says, rubbing one of his ears and sharing some of the meat.

After wiping the grease from her fingers, she opens the trunk and pulls out a tunic and a pair of soft, loose-fitting trousers. Her underclothes are draped over the back of the chair at her desk; she pulls them on, dons her outer garments, and pours a cup of tea. She moves to the door, opens it, and steps out onto the covered front porch, leaving the door ajar so the fresh air can circulate throughout the cottage.

A bright flash of lightning lights up the courtyard, the reflection caught in the windows of the guard-towers above. Sepultur’a begins to count, barely getting to the number five before a deafening clap of thunder sounds. The storm is nearly overhead. She sits on the steps, just out of reach of the rain, holding her mug of tea in both hands. The mug is warm as she inhales the delicate scent of the tea. She blows over the top of it and sips at it lightly, enjoying the minty taste.

The courtyard has flourished with life since she took ownership of the house, with unique blooms cropping up in various corners. The dark plant with glowing fronds of deep purple still has its place just inside of the courtyard gate. The glow is now captured and refracted by bits of crystal which have mysteriously appeared, seemingly of their own accord. Another odd plant has begun to grow near the well. She has seen many like it in the lands of the Dark Elves; tentacle-frond plants which seem to possess a rudimentary sentience. This one waves its tentacles at Sepultur’a whenever she draws water from the well, as if saying “hello” to her. On one occasion she had extended a hand towards it to see if it would respond, and the tentacles had clasped her fingers with a gentle caress.

A winged toad creeps out from a crevice in the wall of the cliff, regards Sepultur’a for a moment and then hops to the well. With a clumsy flapping of its stubby wings, it perches on the edge and sits, blinking in a slow, sleepy manner. It puffs out a bit of flame to toast a large dragonfly which buzzed within its range, then flicks out its tongue to catch the smoldering husk as it falls.

Sepultur’a leans her head back against the wooden railing of the porch, holding her mug of tea and closing her eyes, listening to the thunder and the soft sound of the falling rain. It is good to be home.

My Top 5 Posts – Personal Faves!

I wanted to spotlight my own personal favourites when it comes to posts of mine that I’ve published to date. I seem to have been wasting my time when it came to re-blogging others, so it’s time to re-focus on myself and my writings, and get back to that shameless self-promotion!

First off, one of my side-hobbies is gaming. I enjoy one online game in particular; those who have been reading me from the beginning, or who know me personally, are aware that it is the phenomenon known as The Elder Scrolls Online. Some people, who have never played a video game of any sort, might think that I am an obsessive gamer. Those who actually play, however, consider me a ‘noob’ because I don’t spend every free second that I have on the game. It’s all about perspective, which many people appear to lack! At any rate, TESO has evolved considerably since it debuted in April of 2014. This post of mine from 31 January pays homage to this fantastic virtual world!

Socializing and enjoying the night-life was a ton of fun when I was in my early 20s; marriage and motherhood put a hold on it for a time, but it didn’t end altogether! When I first moved to Seattle after leaving Alaska, Club Vogue was the place to see and be seen – this post of mine from 10 March pays tribute to this awesome, bygone nightspot.

I’m fairly easy-going and relaxed, and am never really interested in fighting or arguing. That being said, I don’t like it when people play head-games, lie, or treat you like shit when you have done nothing but be kind to them. I find it interesting and amusing that a goodly number of people, who have complimented me on my “gentle nature” and what a “kind soul” I am, have vanished into the ether! I’m still the same person I was when they gave me those compliments, so go figure that out. Perhaps they got tangled up in some interwebs of deceit and can’t face the music?

One of those bullshitters pretended to give me a blogger-to-blogger interview back on 23 January, and I just can’t help re-posting my review of said shenanigans! The entire “interview” is in the comments section of the original post, as well as in my ‘Open Thread’ section to prove my point. Unfortunately, there are many out there who will continue to lie about their own crap, even when evidence exists of said crap! I’d say that it sucks to be them, but they are perfectly fine with being lying scumbags – good on them, eh?

I have an eye for beautiful places, people, and things, and dabble in photography from time to time. This post from 24 October, 2015, shows some of the objects which are most likely to catch my eye!

Last, but certainly not least: I write! My autobiography is completed and I’m working on getting it published. I also participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge last year, met it, and might do it again this year. My NaNoWriMo project was game-related fiction based on my primary in-game character, and I have posted a few excerpts from it here on my humble blog. This last link is one of my favourite excerpts, published on 22 March – it’s entitled “Comeuppance.”

I hope that you enjoyed these selections! I think that, if you don’t enjoy your own writings and creative offerings, who else will? Self-confidence and self-promotion begin with ‘self,’ after all!

😎

Excerpt: Emergence – Part II

*** Author’s Note: The story that this excerpt is from is completed. Now comes the fun of submissions, endless calls and emails to editors, agents, and others in the publishing industry; and the all-too-common rejection that all new writers face! It don’t come easy…

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The bloated behemoth shambles towards her, gnashing rotted, crooked stumps in a lipless, triangular mouth set in a scarred, twisted face. Three cloned miniatures weave dazedly at its feet as they crash to the ground, then stand and lurch forward in unison. Sepultur’a darts to the side of the titan, clutching at the air again and bringing forth the dragon-talons. The smaller golems are immobilized by her grasp and she somersaults through them, knocking them flat. One vanishes in a shriek of blue flame, which blazes off towards a black diamond hovering in the air in the northern quadrant of the dolmen. The blue sphere explodes in the diamond, which shatters into a purple ball of lightning. She feels stored energy and life radiating from the sparking globe – it could be of use to her. Three other diamonds hover at the other compass-points in the other quadrants of the anchor-base, waiting to be filled and unlocked.

The two other flesh golems have regained their footing and are lunging at her again. Their mighty cousin sweeps his spiked arm around and down, attempting to smash her into a broken, bloody mess on the ground. She rolls to the side, just barely avoiding the blow. The spiked arm slams straight down, and the massive body heaves as the arm pulses, driving noxious poison into the earth below. Sepultur’a is able to sense the direction the toxins are being driven and runs around the center anchor towards the gigantic golem from behind, grabbing a discarded staff that had been dropped by one of the doomed cultists. It tingles in her hands with healing properties, a soft golden aura glowing at its tip. She waves it and golden motes shower down like dandelion fluff, healing her small wounds and cauterizing the large ones. Residual toxins in her lungs are removed and she takes a deep breath, siphoning the remaining life-energy of the weakened midgets. Her explosive exhale finishes them off; two of the diamonds shatter into purple spheres of lightning. Three now hover at the northern, western, and southern quadrants. The power and energy they contain is palpable.

The massive, twisted mutant has freed its appendage from the ground and turns, emitting a low groan of rage as it focuses its malevolent gaze on its target. Sepultur’a bares her teeth in response, hurling another obsidian ball at it. The projectile shatters on its patchwork hide; she quickly gathers the fragments, again shrouding herself in stone. Turning, she grasps the sphere of lightning that is now behind her and absorbs the latent power, gasping at the intensity of the energizing, healing shock. She screams an ancient battle-cry and stamps the ground, drawing upon the foundations of the bedrock to become an immobile pillar of iron will. The massive arm swings down at her again – and rebounds, rocking the giant mass of flesh back on its thick, stumpy legs. She points the staff at her foe, drawing upon the life-energy imbued in the wood. A beam shoots forth, hitting the golem and siphoning power from it, restoring her nearly-depleted resources. Rejuvenated, she rolls between its legs and behind it, feeling her new powers surging. She gives in to the battle-roar surging inside and transforms, the now-familiar sensation of twisting bone and knotting muscle wracking her slender frame. What was painful on the first try is now exquisite pleasure and she bays to the sky, howling a command. The titan staggers, turns halfway, and rams its arm into the ground for another subterranean attack.

From the darkness, two wolves rush into the fray, harassing and worrying the golem, tearing at the barrel-like legs as they dart between them, drawing the attention of the enemy. Sepultur’a rushes around the anchor’s base and attacks the golem from behind, leaping to the shoulders and slashing at the neck and throat. The golem waves its arms helplessly, unable to reach the fury on its back and losing focus on the wolves at its feet. With a mournful moan, the titanic golem falls face-first to the ground, vanishing with a horrendous scream of pain and rage. The residual energy pours into the final diamond, shattering it with a deafening crack and roar. Sepultur’a, still in beast-form, lopes to the remaining spheres and absorbs the power within them. New health pours into her and her lupine companions, even as a taunting voice rumbles from the whirling blue-white light above.

“Filth! You dare defy me? Let’s see how you fare against one of my generals. Face the Ever-Open Eye, my greatest spy!” The ground rocks with impact. A shape explodes and slowly coalesces into an ancient, yet familiar, form. Sepultur’a has seen creatures like this in the books in the family library, as well as dusty tomes in the various academies dotting the land. Her people refer to them as ‘Beholders;’ others call them ‘Watchers,’ and archaic etchings named them ‘Gazers.’ Whatever the name, the shape and powers remain the same: a spherical being with a great, glaring eye in the center of its round, tentacle body. The appendages could be short and squirming, or long, thick vines with spatulate, suckered ends for grabbing its victims. The eye would intermittently blast out hypnotizing rays which would stun one into immobility if struck. Another attack favored was the wrapping itself with its own tentacles, then whirling like a cyclone, whipping the appendages out with violent force, blasting a spell of stunning which depleted the stamina of those caught in the radius of the arcane aura. This monster will most likely have abilities greater than its lesser, distant cousins of the desert, and she is on guard. Her wolf allies launch themselves at the hovering entity, howling to their pack to join the fray. The battle is on…

Excerpt: Emergence – Part I (Re-blogged)

I’m just putting the finishing touches on the next installment of this short story. Here’s Part I, in case you missed it the first time around!

😎

Eyrie Of An Aries

*** Author’s Note: This would have been published yesterday, but the weather has been too nice to be stuck indoors! Now that the weather is shifting again, some intense gaming will be done over the next few days, along with a lot of live-streaming – tune in for the fun, anytime!

😎

The portal vanishes behind her with a soft whoomph sound. She stands in the secluded glade, the moss-covered statue of the Forest Lord standing tall before her. The night is darker than it was when she’d first entered the portal, as clouds now blot the sky and a soft rain falls. She isn’t sure how long she’d been in the realm between the worlds – a day? A week? Two? A whole month? Time had slipped away from her.

She looks down at her armour. The reinforced leather pieces are badly rent and ragged, scorched in some places…

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Excerpt: The Wild Hunt (Re-blogged)

Editing my next excerpt took longer than anticipated, so I’m re-blogging this one from a few months ago. My gaming session begins at 2100 PDT in case you’re interested; tonight’s adventures will involve much dungeon-crawling and dolmen-bashing!

😎

Eyrie Of An Aries

*** Author’s Note: This is one of many chapters which has been considerably condensed, for the purpose of posting this excerpt. For the full story, you will have to read the book! ***

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They walk in silence to the secluded grove. He has been here many times; for her, it will be her first visit…but not her last. Her thoughts drift back as she follows him through the dense forest, recalling the events that led her here…

She is brought quickly back to the present as they emerge in the small clearing. The statue of the Forest Lord stands tall before them, brandishing a spear. His antlered aspect is fierce; his human torso well-formed and muscular. His two wolf companions snarl in stone effigy at his feet, worrying a boar.

The tall, broad-shouldered, wild-haired man turns to face her, his ice-blue eyes blazing in the moonlight that filters through…

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Excerpt: Emergence – Part I

*** Author’s Note: This would have been published yesterday, but the weather has been too nice to be stuck indoors! Now that the weather is shifting again, some intense gaming will be done over the next few days, along with a lot of live-streaming – tune in for the fun, anytime!

😎

The portal vanishes behind her with a soft whoomph sound. She stands in the secluded glade, the moss-covered statue of the Forest Lord standing tall before her. The night is darker than it was when she’d first entered the portal, as clouds now blot the sky and a soft rain falls. She isn’t sure how long she’d been in the realm between the worlds – a day? A week? Two? A whole month? Time had slipped away from her.

She looks down at her armour. The reinforced leather pieces are badly rent and ragged, scorched in some places. She undoes the bindings and lets the worn bits fall. Clad only in breast-halter and loin-cloth, she closes her eyes and lets her senses reach out to the world around her. Everything is so alive! Her mind is clear for the first time in what seems like aeons. Her departure from home seems a lifetime ago; what she endured with the Withered Hand seems to have lasted for an eternity. She feels newly born and has the ability to truly appreciate the sensation. It washes over her again, as it did many times during her plane-walk.

She breathes deeply of the fresh air. Recent rainfall lends a dampness and clarity to the scents around her. The breeze shifts slightly, bringing her the pungent musk of the nearby giant troop and their herd of mammoths. She breathes deeply, scenting the heavy mammoth cheeses fermenting in their containers of hide. The guttural grunts and grumbling of the giants reaches her ears and she realizes that she can understand their crude, primitive language: Wolves loud. Wolves close. I scout. You watch herd.

She sidles backwards down a short slope, away from the noise of the giants; when she feels that she is at a safe distance, she stands and moves off in a westward direction, keeping close to the cliffs. She isn’t interested in fighting the giants or startling the mammoths; not out of any sense of fear, but out of respect for the ancient, prehistoric race. Meeting other travelers is also of low priority at the moment, and there are few others out here in the wilds.

Sudden thunder cracks loudly overhead, as if an unseen pair of titanic hands clapped together. No lightning…there must be a dolmen nearby. Sepultur’a grins in the dark, orienting herself in the direction of the thunder. This will be as good a test as any of her freshly-acquired, newly-tapped skills. She breaks into an easy jog and soon spies the glowing runes marking the sides of the central, circular sacrificial structure. Already, a ragged figure hangs helplessly in the air above it while robed forms dance and caper madly, chanting words of evil. She hears their ugly speech: “Bring forth the blood-sacrifice! We use the blood of this innocent to do thy bidding and chain this world to yours, oh great dread lord!” The clouds roil and coalesce, then spin madly and separate, whirling as a blinding white beam of light spears down, obliterating the doomed captive. Poor soul, she thinks, angered that she is never in time to save them. The necromancers always hasten their ritual whenever a potential rescuer appears; even whole parties of 25 or more are never swift enough to save even one individual.

The beam of light vanishes as three massive hooks fall from an unseen height, attached to long chains of unbelievable proportions. The ground shakes as the hooks fall to the center of the dolmen, then rocks violently as the chains pull taut. The necromancers shriek giddy, mad laughter as they bow in supplication. Sepultur’a closes her eyes, attuning herself to the earth under her feet and the pain radiating from the dolmen. Power gathers around her as she calmly walks forward, allowing the light from the now-blazing runes to wash over her, announcing her presence to the mages. There are seven of them, and they turn as one to face her, readying foul magicks to wield against her. She crosses her arms in front of her in an X, and great wings beat a powerful gust, knocking two of the mages off-balance. Three of them unleash black spells from their staves. Sepultur’a braces herself against the impact. The spells surround her momentarily – then are reflected back against their respective casters. Two drop to their knees, stunned by their own spells of paralysis, while the third screams in terror and flees into the night, helpless against her own spell of fear.

As this happens, Sepultur’a grips the air with both hands and pulls upward. The very stone of the earth rips from the dolmen, forming into a solid sphere of rock. She hurls this at a blade-dancer who is sharpening his daggers for a surprise attack. The projectile knocks him flat on his back, leaving him helpless as Sepultur’a falls on him with noxious fire erupting from her mouth. The skin on his face blisters and melts away as he vanishes with a shriek. The others have recovered and surround her, blasting her with spells and slashing with swords. A spell of fear temporarily touches her mind and she screams, running from the horrid memory that the spell evoked. Recovering quickly with a battle-cry, she turns and makes a grasping motion with her right hand. Five of the mages are suddenly frozen, gripped by massive talons clutching their feet. Flames lick at their boots; as they struggle, Sepultur’a inhales deeply, sucking in all air in a 5-meter radius. The mages in her grasp clutch at their throats as the wind is depleted from their lungs. They suffocate and burn like paper as she expels the oxygen in a massive blast of fire.

The last necromancer raises one of the dead bodies in an attempt to distract her as he tries to flee. Sepultur’a chuckles to herself as she flicks her left hand in his direction. A chain of fire seems to extend from her index finger, latching to the back of his robes and hooking tightly. He is instantly face to face with this woman whose eyes blaze like the sacked city he was rescued from when he was a boy. How did I get here? is his final thought as the woman’s lips purse as if to kiss him. Bright flames surround him. He feels heat, then brief pain…then nothingness.

She stands, clad in stone, eyes blazing. Thunder erupts around her as creatures begin to fall from the swirling bright light above her. I have to break the chains, she thinks, even as a hideous, lumpy form towers above her, swiping at her with a massive arm which ends in a steel, spiked maul. Poison drips from spike-tips, and she feels a bit of trepidation as the words of her benefactor echo in her mind: You will also be more susceptible to poisons, but immune to any and all diseases – including that of the blood-fever. You will be able to sense infections in others, even the unseen ills of the mind, and cure some of them – but, be mindful that you don’t deplete yourself in doing so. It is almost as if the creator of these sky-chains can sense the weaknesses of those who dare attempt to break the anchors and thwart their unseen machinations. She smiles again, fiercely, and turns to face the ugly creature. Nothing worth having comes easily, she thinks as she hurls herself at the bloated, lumpen torso. She needs a real challenge to put herself to the test. It has now presented itself, and she welcomes it wholeheartedly…

Excerpt: A Good Deed – Conclusion

*** Author’s Note: This excerpt wraps up the ‘Good Deed’ portion of my little tale. The next trio will be posted soon, beginning this coming Sunday. I hope that you’re enjoying these little bits of my creative output!

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A small, tidy courtyard of neatly-laid cobblestones and flagstones can be seen from her vantage-point. The path angles sharply from where the gate-door is located, stopping at the wooden steps of a wide porch. Gently curving stones lead to a flat, bare area which invites crafting or training décor. Lush, local foliage of multiple types and species grow here and there along the wall: ferns, deciduous trees, and even an exotic plant with dark leaves glowing with a soft purplish light. The porch is roomy and sturdy, offering space for crates, barrels, and other storage items. The door of the house is sheltered by a high, peaked roof, and the structure looks as if it was carved out of the stone and boulders surrounding it. The thick roots of a tall tree add to the wild, rustic appearance. Thunder peals in the distance, announcing an approaching storm.

Sepultur’a bows her head in gratitude, leaning her forehead against the lattice-work and closing her eyes which are stinging with sudden, unexpected tears of joy. A place of her own, at last. A home to rest and recuperate in while reclaiming her good name and establishing herself in the world. Fumbling through her cloak for the key which surely opens the door, she moves back to it and inserts the key in the door’s keyhole. It fits snugly; when she turns it, she hears the tumblers disengage with a solid thunk. She pushes the door open and steps through, stopping only to close and lock the door behind her. She wants no interruptions or distractions as she takes in the magnitude of the gift.

The courtyard is more spacious than it had appeared from the outside, and she is overjoyed to see the covered structure of a well nestled next to the house. She goes to it and draws up a bucketful of cold, fresh water from the underground aquifer which feeds the outpost. The water smells pure and clean, and she takes out her hip-flask and fills it, drinks deeply and refills it again, then caps it and stows it away for the errands she will have to run later on. Her panther prowls about, sniffing here and there as he examines the corners, nooks and crannies of the courtyard before stretching out on the cobblestones and relaxing.

Sepultur’a mounts the steps and opens the door of the house. The interior is quite uniform on the inside, with a bit more room than the outside suggested. A nicely-sized hearth is centered on the left-side wall of the sole room, . Two cunningly-styled windows provide a bit of natural light during the day. She looks around the cozy quarters, beaming happily. It may not be the luxurious manor in which she grew up, but it is perfect. She walks around, taking notes in her journal, making of list of basic home items that she will need immediately. Other furnishings can be acquired later on. Privacy and security at last! She can rest easy for a good amount of time, now. She has a fair amount of letters home to catch up on…

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