Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Return to Sender

As she had constantly said up to this point, the entire situation was unfair. Not that things were ever fair for her. But this time things were exceptionally more unfair than they had ever been before.

Because it was simply not fair that everyone else in the city had gotten to go home, which meant that they had went home to their families, and she didn't. Of course she didn't have any of that to go back to, save for a home town she really didn't like one bit. So after much pouting, the only decent answer for her origin the mages of Dalaran had managed toe xtract was that she was from Duskwood. Specifically Darkshire.

Despite her complaints, she obviously had no love of the place, there was just no way the majority of them felt safe keeping her in the city as it moved across the world. Regardless of how proficient she was in tossing around a fireball or two, which to be fair she was surprisingly decent at, she couldn't be constantly watched well enough to keep her in check. So it was back to Duskwood for her, for her safety and theirs, regardless of how dark and dreary a place it was.

Of course, given their very narrow view of the subject, they hadn't accounted for the strain it might put on the simple townsfolk they were tossing her to. They had assumed she would simply click back into place, go back to the farm or whatever the heck it was that people in the middle of an eerie forest did. They weren't aware of how long the people of Darkshire had dealt with her as a problem already.

When she was a child, they had been used to letting her cycle about town. It made them feel a bit better, knowing that she wasn't at home, and still had a roof over her head. Such feelings were good to have when one's home was a short distance from a forest full of murderous animals and undead monstrosities that all wanted to murder you.

But there had come a point where housing a grown woman, polite company as she may have been, as well as her aging mutt, had simply become nonsensical. What followed was a period of encouragement and attempts at engagement, tosee if they couldn't have her be a bit more than a simple layabout.

And to be completely fair to the girl, she had tried. It just so happened that 'trying' resulted in a series of gaffes and goofs, a few of which still got brought up to lighten the mood or to befuddle wandering travelers.

Eventually the girl had grown frustrated enough to leave town, stomping off in a fit to some dark corner of the woods. Despite some searching, they honestly hadn't heard much of her since. The only memorable time the topic had been breached again, at least until now, had been one some odd group of deaders had inquired as to her history, and swiftly departed without much information given as to why exactly they were prying into such matters.

But now the girl was back, and being passed about between houses again. For the most part she was the same, a bit older and perhaps a bit odder. That, and for some reason her dog seemed to reek of death and looked as though it had more than just a passing illness.

And Almaria positively did not like it at all. She wanted to go back to sleepding in a bed that was meant for her. Not one that no one had cared about for a long time. It didn't help that it just didn't feel right. She could toss this way or that way, but sleep just wouldn't come visit.

It only took an hour or two of trying for her to give up on the notion completely. She idly tossed an arm in the direction of the one candle that shared the room with her, and looked down at the rotting dog nearby, arms crossing as she pondered.

After a few short thoughts, she stood up, causing the mutt to stir a bit. Its head lazily tracked her about the room. First she found her way back into her day clothes, which mostly consisted of an old red robe. Soon after she found her shoes and her bag, and not long after she called the mutt after her, quietly of course, as she slipped out into the dark night.

Even in rather low light it wasn't hard for her to navigate the road. She had wandered through Duskwood enough times to know it like the back of her hand. And while she had often been told scary stories of wolves and other creepy creatures stalking about, they apparently decided to leave her well enough alone.

For the longest time she just assumed she would hit the bridge that lead on to Westfall, turn back around and try sleeping again. That distance alone would probably be enough to tucker her out. But right before she could step along the stone and over the water to start doubling back, something caught her eye along the shore. Flickering beneath the cobwebbed trees was a small fire. A niggling voice at the back of her head urged her to continue back, but the rest of her simply suggested 'What's the worst that could happen?'.

Three individuals stood were crouched around the fire, sitting on what had to have been recently moved logs. Their packs had been tossed around their makeshift camp, and bare-bones tents had been placed nearby. The people themselves wore dark robes and hoods, under which she could easily see that their skin appeared to follow suit, looking light and grey, as though they barely saw the sun.

One of them noticed her in moments. A large, brutish man with broad shoulders who quickly stood, hand racing toward his belt. The other two quickly turned to take note of the woman approaching their rest stop rising as well.

The figure closest to her was a woman, or so she guessed based on their slimmer figure and sharper eyes. Their soft, sultry voice backed that up, "Calm yourself Mortimer." Her head drifted in the direction of the large man, who complied with a grunt, letting his hand drop. Appearing satisfied with the motion, the woman turned back towards Almaria, eyes narrowing as she likely smirked behind the cloth that hid the rest of her face. She drew closer to the other woman, eyeing her over with a bored look in her eyes, which only brightened when she made note of the hound following close behind their guest.

Almaria had long since stiffened, looking awkward and out of place, a hand coming up to rub her arm as she debated simply turning around and walking back to town as fast as possible. Yet she couldn't bring herself to move while the woman advanced upon her, like a predator might on its prey, eyes narrowing once more as the grey lady spoke, "What brings you to our neck of the woods at this time of night my dear?"

Almaria gave a short shrug, looking away nervously, "I couldn't sleep." Her voice shook as the other woman stared at her, pale eyes housed by a paler face seeming to pierce everything about her.

Reaching up to pull her mask down, the woman revealed her smile. She calmly approached Almaria, grinning horribly and extending a hand. "Why don't you come sit down and tell us all about it, dear." With a long, debating look, Almaria took the hand, shrugging, and quickly being led off towards the fire.