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Saga Saga - OT Something wicked - Autumn BINGO Challenge - OCs

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kit', Sep 7, 2020.

  1. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Name: Something wicked
    Author: Kit'
    Genre: mixed
    Era: Saga (between the end of the prequels and A New Hope)
    Characters: Zallie, Blu, Kithera, Del and other Scoundrel Family members (there are so many)
    Summary: These are short snapshots that make up a longer story as part of the Autumn BINGO Challenge by @devilinthedetails

    Author's note: This is not your normal Star Wars story. This is going to be something a little bit different (I hope) in that it won't be a giant space opera but rather what happens to one Force user after the rise of the Empire. How do you keep true to yourself when that truth could land you and the ones you love in danger?

    I've also borrowed a bit from GNU Sir Terry Pratchett in that Zallie's domain is called her Steading - similar to Tiffany Aching's steading in the Discworld universe. I've also borrowed at least one witch trope per story in keeping with the autumn and halloween theme.

    I've also changed it so that they are now all interconnected stories that should work to tell a cohesive narrative.

    *

    "The moon has awoken with the sleep of the sun. The light has been broken, the spell has begun."
    - Midgard Morningstar,


    An apple a day keeps the witches away

    Haystack, Crisp, Apple, Blustery, Festival.

    It wasn’t often that you found a boy in a haystack. Zallie had raised an eyebrow when she’d first spotted him and then glanced at the old apple tree that stood next to the barn and was now missing some branches. It had probably been the blustery wind and the old, lichen covered branches that had been his undoing. The kid had been lucky though, had he tried to climb it a week ago before the hay had been gathered, it would have been more likely that he would have broken his back rather than just an arm.

    Zallie stared at the deep indigo and azure weave of The Force that surrounded him that was now tinged with the ruby pink of pain and injury and sighed. She cast about but there was no-one else near the barn. The boy’s friends had obviously fled at the first sign of trouble. A’radia had warned her that this would happen when she set up her steading. That the curiosity of small children and old ladies would be something she would have to contend with until she was accepted. Zallie wrapped the boy in the weave of The Force and carried him inside. She sighed as he laid him down on the threadbare couch and covered him with a blanket to guard against the crisp winter air. The break was a clean one which was good and it would need a cast, but she wasn’t going to rush it. Instead she sat quietly and focused on the way the weave moved and played around the injury, just as Kirsh had taught her. She tugged at threads until they untangled and smoothed out the creases until the ruby had softened to a light pastel. Zallie sighed and stood. The sun was setting and the boy would sleep for a while yet, so she still had plenty of time to prepare.

    It hadn’t taken as long as she had expected. The sun set quickly in the mountains, filling the valleys with deep shadows and making the pines creak as the wind whistled between their trunks. The knock at her door wasn’t the timid one she’d expected but loud and demanding. From his bed next to the fire, Blu raised his muzzle and glanced enquiringly at the door. “Don’t get up old dog,” Zallie said smiling at him as she slipped off her perch where she’d been trying to plan what she was going to do when the family descended on the steading for the local festival and made her way to the door. She opened it to see a sweaty, red faced young man, fists clenched, glaring at her.

    “I’ve come for my brother.”

    Zallie smiled at him and blinked in astonishment. She had grown used to the deference that A’radia was used to, that to have someone address her like this was astonishing.

    “Good evening, my name is Zallie. And you are…”

    “I’m here for my brother.” The young man said again. He was built like every other young man in the village, broad shouldered and tall with dark brown hair and and a ruddy, freckled face.

    “Nice to meet you, I’m-here-for-my-brother.” She smiled at him again and this time he frowned.

    “Rillion.”

    “That’s better.” Zallie tried to size him up. They would have to be about the same age. “Your brother is in there sleeping.”

    She motioned towards where she could see the boy lying on the couch, still covered with the blanket. The young man went to move forward but paused. Zallie raised an eyebrow at him perplexed at his sudden reluctance.

    “May I come in?” He asked after a moment.

    “Sure,” she nodded and he moved through the doorway, quieter and more elegantly then most farm men she’d seen. He paused at the couch and brushed his brother’s hair off his face.

    “He’s sleeping,” Rillion’s face was suspicion.

    “He’s concussed.” Zallie said, “and his arm is broken. I have bound it securely so it will heal well although he won’t be climbing apple trees for a couple of weeks.”

    “Oh,” the young man’s shoulder’s slumped like the fight had gone out of him. Zallie briefly wondered what he'd expected when he'd arrived? That she would be feeding him gingerbread and fattening him in a cage?

    “You can take him home if you like?” She smiled at him. “I can wake him or you can carry him and I’ve already made you some tea that will keep his pain at bay.”

    “So, you are the hexa,” the young man’s face twitched, “how do I know you won’t just poison him.”

    Zallie laughed, she had heard of what these people called a hexa, it was just their word for witch. The whole thing made Zallie grin internally. Magic was anything that you couldn't understand. One day that The Force was something that nobody could really ever understand, not even those who wielded it. “If I wanted to kill him I would have left him out in the cold or thrown his body off the side of the cliff.” Rillion’s body tensed again but Zallie laughed, “but I wouldn’t do that. A hexa's job is to heal not harm.”

    Rillion glared at her and then bent down and scooped his brother into his arms. The boy whimpered and Zallie sent a tiny ribbon of healing towards him until he calmed.

    “He’ll sleep until tomorrow. Just be gentle.”

    Rillion grunted at her still glaring. Zallie shook her head, there was no pleasing some people. She grabbed the basket where she’d packed the tea and some of the long-sought apples and held it out. Rillion gave her another suspicious glance.

    “If you don’t take it you’ll be back by morning because your brother will be whimpering in pain. He will need it.” Zallie said with an air of finality. She was sick of this young man’s attitude. Rillion grabbed the top of the basket and then gently carried his brother towards the door.

    “Thank you.” Zallie said as he went across the threshold. Rillion paused.

    “Sorry?"

    “I think the words you forgot to say was thank you.” Zallie smiled pointedly at him even as she kicked herself for sounding like her mother.

    “Thank you.” He grunted and turned away. Zallie shut the door behind him and went back to her couch grabbing one of the bright red apples from the tray. Blu stuck his greying muzzle up from where he lay by the fire. Zallie bit into the apple, feeling the juices run down her chin.

    “You know what they say,” she said softly to the dog, “an apple a day keeps the witches away.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  2. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    My First Rule of Witchcraft is Don't burn the witch.
    ~Michelle Heron


    Sow the wind

    Feast, Ghost, Reap, Spice, Apple

    The hall was always his quiet domain at this time of the morning. Rillion lazed back in the chair, his legs swung over one side, a data pad held in the other hand. Normally he would have been with his father touring the estate or sorting some sort of issue out, but his father had declared today a day of rest. His brother’s escapade the day before and the way he had been returned by the hexa had caused a slight uproar. Rillion had been put to work to watch his younger brother, a chore he despised. Mateja was over fifteen years his junior and it would normally have been one of his sister’s jobs to care for him, but all the girls were busy planning and prepping for the feast day.

    “Rillion,” his mother’s gentle voice drifted across the hall and Rillion put his book down and swung his legs off the chair. Mateja looked up from his spot at the table where he sat surrounded by data pads and gave Rillion a hopeful look. He shook his head at his brother, thinking about the hunt he’d missed out on because he’d had to babysit. His mother bustled into the room, her long violent gown rippling gently at the hem as she moved across the floor. She smiled serenely at Rillion as he went to greet her, kissing her warmly on each cheek as they’d been taught to do since they were small. In her hands she held the basket that the hexa had given him. The bright ruby apples were gone replaced by spice cakes that filled the air with their soft, sugary scent.

    “I need you to take this to the hexa,” she softly. Rillion frowned. His parents had been far too forgiving when the hexa had moved into the little cottage in the mountains. As far as he had known, she hadn’t asked or paid for the land, just moved in as if it was her right. His parents had been overjoyed. Mother R’hilde had died four summers ago and he’d secretly been glad. She’d given him the creeps with her spells not to mention the uncomfortable feeling you got when she looked at you, as if she could see right into your heart. He had been glad when had passed and even more pleased when the younger children of the village had started to say that the house was haunted. Perhaps if the old farm fell into ruin then no-one would ever live there again.

    Then she had appeared with her animals and his whole plan had gone up in smoke. Her house had already had the smelt of herbs and potions just like the old hexa’s had. The way she had talked to him yesterday had been galling. She was the same age as he was and yet she spoke as if she was much older and now his parents had fallen thrall to it when it had been her silly apple tree that had gotten his brother into trouble in the first place.

    He didn’t understand his parents’ and the villager’s obsession with having a witch. This was the Imperial age now. The Emperor was leading the galaxy into a new future and old traditions like hexa and the Jedi with their silly powers needed to be left in the past.

    “Why mother?” He asked pursing his lips, “she fixed Mateja’s arm but anyone could do that. She also said she was going to toss him off the mountain.”

    Her mother shook her head.

    “I need you to do this because if a hexa isn’t paid then evil will come to the kingdom.”

    Rillion just managed to stop himself from rolling his eyes.

    “It’s silly superstition Mother. She’s a girl my own age. She’s no Mother R’hilde. She won’t fly down on her broomstick and smote us if we don’t give her basket back.”

    His mother sighed. “I don’t care Rillion, I need you to give her the basket back. A service was rendered and thus a payment must be made. We will not reap the benefits of having a hexa if we cannot fulfil our end of the bargain.” She thrust the basket into his hands and bustled from the room. Rillion turned shaking his head. He would prove to them that nothing bad would come of not giving the witch back her basket. He took the spice cakes from the basket and threw one to Mateja. The boy looked up confused.

    “Mother said we shouldn’t eat these,” he said worriedly.

    “I won’t tell her that we did and neither will you.” Rillion dug the rest of the cake from the basket and then tossed the old wicker container deep into the fire where it crackled into flame.


    *


    Up on the high mountain Zallie looked up from where she was separating herbs. The fire in the hearth crackled loudly and glowed green and Blu lifted his muzzle and whined. Zallie frowned as the weave of The Force suddenly rippled and shifted, buzzing with warning.

    “Oh dear.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
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  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    You ever want to see real witchcraft, you watch people protecting their comfort, their beliefs.
    ~ Peter S. Beagle



    Reap the whirlwind



    Cornucopia, Orange, Bounty, Blustery, Festival


    Lieutenant Commander Marcellus rubbed the tip of his index finger across his temple and closed his eyes. He could feel the headache building. This mission had been an abject failure from start to finish. From the false rumours of a star ship full of Force-sensitives that had sent them on a wild mynock chase across half the sector to find nothing, to the fact he had his suspicions that he’d been sent here merely as a diversionary tactic by Commander Stroud so that Stroud’s own favourite was in prime position for the next promotional spot, nothing had worked. Even the name of the Victory-class Frigate was a slap in the face, Ambition, a nuance he knew would not have escaped Commander Stroud. And now she was floundering, her board flashing bright orange lights that only spelled more disaster. His ship’s engineer had come to see him an hour earlier. The man was all bluster and hot air as he’d argued with Senior Lieutenant Edsel and had demanded that the Ambition stop until a full account of the problem could be made. That had been four hours ago. Four hours of hanging in space, idling twiddling their thumbs while those at home grinned at how far the once mighty Marcellus had fallen.

    His headache was getting worse.

    There was a tap-tap-tap of well-heeled boots on the bridge and he opened his eyes to watch Senior Lieutenant Edsel walk hurriedly towards him. Even his crew had been ill-fitting. He seemed to have been stuck with a veritable cornucopia of everyone who had almost failed out of the R.I.A. He sighed again. The Senior Lieutenant was an a tall and rather striking looking young lady whom Marcellus was sure that been placed there by Stroud with the sole job of reporting back his failings. She was, he mused, very competent at her job though, a far cry from the rest of the crew who had cunning enough between them but lacked the intelligence to make a decent, dependable crew.

    “Yes, Senior-Lieutenant,” he said sharply as the tall, angular faced woman saluted, “what is it now?”

    “It’s the capacitor bearing sir.” There was a short sharp pause as the commander raised an eyebrow, “it’s failing sir.”

    Marcellus sighed. This was now the almost perfect end to the worst mission he’d ever had the misfortune to oversee.

    “Will it last us until we return to the Star Base?”

    Edsel shook her head. “Unfortunately not sir. We will need to make repairs as soon as possible.”

    Marcellus sighed. “Is there a world nearby we can make repairs?”

    Edsel tapped her datapad and looked at him with a slight frown.

    “There is a low-tech world nearby,” Stroud pursed her lips, “they have some technological advances that will be sufficient for us to cobble together a workable solution to get us home.”

    Marcellus briefly wondered how his life had come to this and how fast the Emperor would make his death upon his return.

    “Any other information Senior-Lieutenant?”

    She consulted her data pad again, her short but immaculately kept fingernails making taping noises across the screen.

    “Feudal-level civilisation based up high in the mountains. Strong cultural ties between communities. Civilisation is a mixture of felacatians and human. Apparently the felacatians and humans both crash-landed on the planet hundreds of years ago and have formed a harmonious civilisation.” She made a face at the mention of the non-humans. “Also there is apparently some kind of festival there at the end of the week. Something to do with the end of the harvest.”

    Marcellus raised an eye-brow, he didn’t really care for the strange cultural customs of this planet and although he knew that the Empire was no friend to the non-humanoids they didn’t bother him as long as they stayed out of his way.

    “Anything else? Any other surprises we should be aware of?”

    Edsel pressed her red-painted lips together until they were a thin line as she rapidly scanned the data. After a minute, one eye-brow raised and she smiled at Marcellus.

    “They have the tradition of having a hexa.”

    “A what?”

    “A hexa. We would call them witches. They have some rather interesting powers according to legend.”

    This time it was Marcellus’ turn to frown.

    “Interesting how Senior-Lieutenant Edsel?”

    “From what I’m reading here,” she said going back to her data pad, “they are powers very reminiscent of a Jedi. There are accounts of them healing, moving impossibly heavy things and communing with animals and people via the mind.” She looked at him and grinned, “this might solve more than one of our problems.”

    Ahh. So Edsel was as hungry for some way of redeeming this mission as he was. That was something he could keep for later. A sensitive, even if they weren’t a Jedi, would still be of interest to the Empire and the Emperor and the Inquisitors would reward very handsomely the person, the Commander, he corrected, who brought such a bounty home.

    He permitted himself a smile.

    “Then we should pay this world a visit. Make the arrangements.”

    Edsel saluted smartly and turned briskly on her heel as she made her way off the bridge. From his command post Marcellus cracked his neck hearing the sharp sounds and feeling his headache dissipate.

    Maybe this mission wouldn’t be such a disaster after all.
     
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  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Uh oh. Trouble's a-comin'.
     
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  5. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    I've been wanting to read this, and now I finally have time! Yay!

    First, I love the general atmosphere and the world you've created here. It feels very fairy-tale and fallish, and you've used all these prompt words so creatively.

    Lovely description, and I love how she perceives the Force in colors like that.

    These lines made me giggle!

    There's definitely a sinister vibe with Rillion. Love the glimpse of the culture and the hexa traditions though!

    Suspenseful! I really love your description here, I can picture this so vividly.

    And then even more foreboding when we meet Marcellus and Edsel! I have a feeling things are going to get rough for Zallie! [face_worried]

    Awesome job so far, and I can't wait for more! =D=
     
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  6. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I did not miss the fact that Edsel was an engineer. If I remember my automotive history correctly, Edsel was a spin-off of Ford that kind of sucked.
     
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  7. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Yep. You don't follow the ways of the the land it has a way of coming back and biting you - hard. :p

    Thank you. I'm trying to squeeze as much fairy-tale stuff in that I can as I love the whole imagery of fairy-tales. Too many Grimm's brothers when I was growing up.

    Thank you. To me it just makes the whole "Force" thing more real than just "I pushed my hand out and I shoved the thing off). Makes it far more like Synesthesia for Kirsh and Zallie and way more of a distraction for Kit who has to focus past that to get to what's actually happening in the world around her. So both a super power and a possibly hinderance.

    Hopefully the next bit will explain Rillion a little better. I definitely don't want to turn him into a moustache twirling bad guy!

    Yep. Poor Zallie is off to a rough staff.

    That was an accident but I'm happy to run with it. :) :p Particularly after I looked up the history of it as it fits...so yeah...totally did that on purpose!
     
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  8. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Those who do not believe in magic will never find it.
    ~ Roald Dahl


    If you go down to the woods today…


    Cider, Scarecrow, Ghost, Thankful, Orange

    Rillion leant low over Ghost, the equus his father had given him on his twenty-first birthday, and grinned as the wind tussled his hair and the pine needles crunched under the equus’ hooves. This was his favourite part of the day; the early morning sun had just crept over the edges of the mountains, a thin line of orange light and the air was crisp with promise and the adventure. He spurred his equus faster following the thin slivers of golden light that were beginning to stretch and grow between the trees. There was a flash of red off to one side and Rillion turned his head but it gone. He frowned and gripped his mount tighter with his knees. Riding up in the mountains this early was dangerous, it was too easy to miss a low hanging branch and end up hanging like a scarecrow from a tree, or worse knocked clean off. He knew that his mother would have a heart attack if she knew he was riding like this. There were many stories in the village of a boy being knocked off their equus when riding fast in the early morning. According to legend they hadn’t found him for three day and when they did his body had been eaten by bears so that only the boy’s head remained.

    There was a shout ahead of him and he slowed to see his cousin Lycx coming towards him on the back of his own equus, his little sister Ocsi in front of him.

    “Well met cuz,” Lycx smiled baring felacatian pointed teeth. Rillion grinned in return. The Felacatians and the humans shared a long and intermingled history. Rillion’s aunt was Lycx’s mother and therefore the two noble families shared a closer link than most.

    “You are out early,” Rillion said patting the neck of his equus as he pulled alongside him.

    “Ocsi decided that because the sun is up she is up.” Lycx grinned and patted his sister on the head. Ocsi had taken more of the felacatian heritage of her father than Lycx had, her tawny short fur was dotted with deeper brown along her cheeks, “so we decided that we might as well get a head start on the rest of the family. That way the mothers can get everything organised without this cub under their feet. I believe they will be very thankful for the the reprieve.” He reached down and tickled his sister who squealed and giggled.

    “It should be a good festival this year.” Rillion said turning his equus and setting it off on a slow walk. “Did you bring anything?”
    “Mothers will bring most of it but I have cider.” He lifted a flask from his saddlebags, “enough to keep the chill off, but not quite enough we can’t make it back without falling off.”

    Rillion grinned as his cousin passed him the open flask and sipped. The cold apple fizzed on his tongue, filling his nose with a spices and sweetness before the heat of the alcohol burned down his throat.

    “That is good.” He smiled and wiped his mouth before handing back the flask, “do you think your father will have enough?”
    “For tribute, yes.” Lycx’s smile faltered for a minute, “or at least I hope so. The beast asks for more and more each year. I just hope that our harvest continues to leave enough for us and it as well.”

    Rillion frowned. The beast’s appetite had become voracious over the last few years and he’d often heard his parents arguing about how they were going to feed it and still have enough for winter. If the beast was not fed then – he shuddered and glanced at Ocsi who was sitting in front of his brother eating a muffin that her brother had pulled from the saddlebags. Lycx glanced down too as if guessing what Rillion was thinking and then up and his cousin.

    “It has to be enough,” he whispered, “it just has to be.”

    *

    The two cousins turned and made their way back along the mountain path, travelling in silence while Ocsi chattered about her dolls and her various playmates at the castle. Lycx brought out another muffin and grinned as the young girl snatched it away, the nails on her hand briefly lengthening as she saw the treat.

    “We haven’t quite got our shift under control yet,” he grinned at Rillion, “but we’ll get there.”

    “As long as she doesn’t shift midfestival when the fireworks go off and then climb a tree and refuse to come down then we’ll be fine,” Rillion teased.

    “Ha! Don’t remind me,” Lycx poked his tongue out, “although I remember you being terrified of old Mother R’hilde and refusing to take a treat from her basket because you thought she would turn you into a toad.”

    Rillion humphed.

    “It was a stupid tradition anyway.”

    “Well, with her departed it’s unlikely to happen again, is it.”

    Rillion sighed thinking about the basket that he’d burnt yesterday. He hadn’t liked the old hexa as a child and he was determined not to like this one either. “We’ve got a new hexa.”

    Beside him Lyxc sat up straighter, “Really? I didn’t think Mother R’hilde had trained anyone.”
    “She didn’t. It’s a new girl. She just moved in.”

    “Girl?”
    “She’s young. I don’t know. Our age or something.”

    “Your parents would be thankful for that. A hexa is always good luck for a village.”

    “That’s what they say.”

    “I take it you don’t approve.”

    “Why would I?” He rounded on his cousin, “I know you think it’s all romantic and my parents think that traditions need to be followed, but it’s ridiculous and antiquated and in the age of the Empire it’s something we should be moving past.”

    Lycx had stilled where he sat. “You think we should follow the Empire cousin?”

    “I think the Emperor speaks truth when he says that old myths like the Jedi are dangerous. The Empire promises new technology and a better way of life.”
    “For whom?” It was almost a whisper.

    “What do you mean for whom?”
    When his cousin looked at him again he was frowning, his pupils mere slits.

    “Have you heard of what the Empire does to non-humans.” Lycx asked. “Have you read the reports that have come in or have you been too busy hunting and moaning about the village girls to give it some thought? Have you read the reports and I don’t mean the ones from your beloved Emperor?”

    “I don’t moan about the village girls.” Rillion huffed, “and the Emperor has done a lot of good by getting rid of the Jedi. Their order and was sucking the galaxy dry.”

    Lycx laughed but there was no joy in it.

    “Come on Rillion, use that brain for thinking just for once. On Empire controlled planets people like us disappear. We aren’t sure where they go but we’re pretty sure they become slaves. Did your Emperor tell you about that?”
    “I’m sure-“ Rillion began.

    “No.” His cousin cut him off again, “There is no justification that you can come up with. Put it this way, if the Empire ever becomes interested in us it’ll make the beast look like a picnic.” He tapped his equus and it moved off. Rillion sat for a second confused in the saddle. He had read the reports from the Emperor, the ones about the corruption of the Jedi and the new way forward. He’d read about the valiant actions of the tie-fighter squadrons and their quest to make the galaxy a safer place but he hadn’t read about what Lycx was talking about. He wanted to shout at his cousin that he was wrong and that the Empire would be good for all of him but he was stopped by another flash of red far off in the forest.

    “Lycx.” He whispered loudly. There was no-one up here at this time of the morning. The woodsmen stayed away until the sun was into the sky and none of them ever wore red.

    “What?” His cousin turned, jaw clenched to stare at him. Rillion pointed towards where the hooded red-cloaked figure was wondering through the woods bending down occasionally to pluck something from the undergrowth and put it in the basket it held on its arms.
    Beside her lumbered a bear. Rillion blinked and went to call out but the figure seemed unconcerned, merely offering something that picked to the bear who took it gently from its hands. He heard Lycx’s equus turn and come back up beside him.

    “Is that a bear?” His cousin asked incredulous the argument of only a few minutes ago seemingly forgotten. Rillion nodded speechless.

    The figure straightened as if it had heard them and Rillion caught the flash of long, loose, brown curls and pale skin. “Who is that?” The Felacatian asked .

    “That,” Rillion said with a sigh, “is our new hexa.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  9. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Am enjoying this! I don't think Rillion is the bad guy he seems to be, I feel that he just hasn't thought things through, and, perhaps, is a little restless, seeing no outlet for ambitions that even he doesn't know he has. He hasn't really paid much attention to the Empire's anti-human policies, and is certain that Lycx (great name!) and his other family don't count. As to Marcellus, he's ambitious and this looks as if there is a giant train wreck waiting to happen.
     
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  10. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Thanks @Mistress_Renata I'm glad you are liking it and that Rillion is coming across more as human than moustache twirling bad guy. I like that you like Lycx's name. His sister Ocsi is also named for a cat as well. I think there will definitely be a trainwreck, I just have to work out how we get there (weirdly I know how they get out of it but now how they get into it!)
     
  11. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    “Shadows mutter, mist replies; darkness purrs as midnight sighs.”
    — Rusty Fischer

    *

    And I shall wear dawn

    Quilt, Changing Leaves, Reap, Sweater, Bounty.


    Zallie pulled the edges of her clock more firmly around her shoulders as she made her way deeper into the forest. She knew that she should have picked a sweater to wear but the idea of wearing a cloak when picking mushrooms had just been so enchanting that she had ignored the niggly part of her brain reminding her that it was cold outside and instead picked up the cloak that Estra had made for her and taken one of the many baskets that Mother R’hilde had seemed to favour out into the woods.

    It was peaceful so early in the morning and Zallie revealed in the way that the light seemed to meander between the trees, highlighting the russet and golden brown leaves that lay on across the forest floor like an ever-changing quilt. The wind blew and the leaves scattered again, revealing new treasures. Zallie grinned as she spotted one of the stout red capped mushroom growing in amongst the leaves.

    There was the thunder of hooves in the distance and Zallie glanced back towards the path to see an equus galloping through the trees, the rider bent low against its neck. She reached out with The Force and saw the deep plum and amber of the young man she had met yesterday. She ducked behind the tree hoping that he hadn’t seen her. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to talk to the locals, A’radia had made it very clear that this was her job as Hexa wherever she went. It was just that she enjoyed being alone. After growing up on a star ship filled with her siblings, the quiet of the forest with its ever-changing face was a novelty she wasn’t quite up to sharing yet. Zallie pushed further into the forest revelling in how the leaves crunched under her feet and the lichen studded the trees. The wind whistled through the trees again bending the branches and sending flickering shadows across the ground.

    Zallie rounded another giant tree and saw a tree covered with tiny black berries. She almost squealed in delight, they looked the same as the berries she’d seen described in the datapads that Nicco had gotten her. She’d found a bottle of them in Mother R’hilde’s cupboard marinated in spirits and they’d been delicious. Throwing caution to the wind she almost bounced towards the bush and had her hand on the first berry when she heard the snuffling behind her. She turned and saw a giant brown bear regarding her curiously. Zallie froze, hand half way to the bush. The bear huffed, making deep snorting noises, and Zallie watched as rolls of mustard yellow anxiety followed from it in waves. The bear huffed again and Zallie gingerly reached out one hand trying to calm it.

    “Friend. No harm. Friend.” She repeated under her breath. Animals were normally easy to converse with – keep your emotions in check and try not to be a threat. It was normally the easiest Force trick she knew and she’d been doing it before she really even knew what The Force was. This was different though, the bear was caught somewhere between fear and sleep. The changing of the seasons was slowing down its thoughts making it less responsive to her suggestion. The bear sniffed the air and stared at her through dull brown eyes.

    “Friend. Friend brings food.” Zallie whispered again and reached into her basket, letting The Force guide her hand. It closed around the thick stem of the mushroom she’d picked earlier. She brought it out and offered it palm flat. The bear smelt it and then took it gently from her hand before nuzzling it. Zallie stroked it, running her hands through its thick, coarse hair.

    “How about you show me where the food is.” Zallie said rubbing the bear’s ears. It hummed loudly, an odd purring sound as she picked the sloes from the branches, adding them to her basket. Once the basket was full, she wandered back through the wood bending down occasionally to pluck another mushroom from the undergrowth.

    There was the sound of hooves again and people talking on the pathway and Zallie slowed her walk and watched as the two equuses came into view. One was ridden by the young man she’d seen earlier and the other had two riders, a young man with unruly tawny hair and a small girl. Zallie watched them for a minute and then went back to picking mushrooms. She could feel the tawny haired young man’s displeasure and the other young man’s confusion at whatever they were talking about. There was a confusion of hoof beats and then silence. She glanced up and saw them staring at her. The tawny-haired one flicked his reigns as if guiding the equus towards her but the animal shied slightly. Zallie looked down at the bear who was making a low rumbling noise.

    “Calm friend. You stay here.”

    She pulled another mushroom from her basket and dropped it on the ground before heading towards the two young men.

    “Good morning,” she said smiling as she came towards them.

    “Morning hexa,” the tawny haired one smiled at her as she came closer. He was cute with wild curls of hair but when he smiled she could see sharp pointed teeth. The little girl in his lap was also staring at her, but unlike the other one she had soft tawny, lightly spotted fur on her face and arms.

    “You’re felacatian,” she said and then stopped feeling the blush creep up her cheeks, “sorry, that was inappropriate of me.”

    The young man smiled. “We are. Well my sister Ocsi is but I’m only half. My mother is human but my father is felacatian. He swung himself off his animal so he was standing on the ground and the bowed low, “Lycx of the House Kotele.”

    “Zallie.” She smiled at him, “I’m please to meet you.”

    “This is my cousin,” the young man motioned to where the other young man sat on his equus glaring at the both of them.

    “We’ve met.” Zallie smiled and raised an eyebrow as the young man continued to glare, “how is your brother?”

    “He’s fine.” The young man glanced at her and then away.

    “You’ve met already?” Lycx looked perplexed.

    “His brother had a rather unfortunate adventure in my apple tree,” Zallie said watching Rillion intently. He shifted in his seat uncomfortably, “but I patched him up and sent him on his way.”

    “Oh. You didn’t tell me any of that.” Lycx said looking up at his cousin and then back at Zallie. Zallie couldn’t help but notice how handsome he looked in the early morning light and he smiled at her again, “I am sure that with your expert administrations Mateja will already be well on his way to feeling better.”

    On his equus Rillion shifted again. “I must be going.” He said gruffly, “I’ll meet you back at the house Lyxc.” He spurred his equus and disappeared down the track. Zallie and the felacatians watched the beast disappear out of sight. Lyxc turned to face her and shook his head.

    “I must apologise for my cousin, he frequently forgets his manners.”

    Zallie shrugged and looked at where the little felacatian girl was still perched in the saddle.

    “How old are you?” She asked. The girl held up three fingers and grinned. “I love horses, is this your equus?” The girl nodded and Zallie held a palm to the beast which sniffed it gently.

    “What were you doing in the woods this early?” Lyxc asked.

    “Gathering mushrooms and berries.” Zallie said holding out the basket. The young man’s eyes grew wide as he saw her haul.

    “My lady, I do not think you want to eat those.” He said reaching out and taking the basket from her. He fished a handkerchief from his pocket and gently pulled out the large red spotted mushroom she’d gathered earlier.

    “This is a death reaper, my lady.” He said softly, “if you’d cooked this you would have died.”

    Zallie’s hands flew to her mouth, “I fed one to the bear. In fact he kept eating them so I thought they were safe for me too.”

    Lycx laughed. “Bears can eat them, just not humans.” He frowned at her, “that is if you are human.”

    This time it was Zallie’s turn to laugh. “Very much so.”

    “Ah, and here I was thinking that Hexa were some different breed.”

    “No, we have some unique abilities but that is all.” She grinned, “but apparently, those abilities do not extend to being able to pick the right mushrooms.”

    “Lycx, hungry.” The little girl’s said softly.

    “I’m out of muffins precious.” Lycx said patting the saddlebags, “you’ll have to wait until we get to the castle.”

    She pouted and Zallie grinned.

    “Perhaps you could come and have tea with me.” She said, “I’ve not had many visitors yet and I’d love if you were the first. I promise I won’t feed you the mushrooms and perhaps you can help me look at the rest of the bounty I’ve been gathering for any other mistakes. ”

    Lycx smiled, “that would be lovely Hexa. I just have one question.

    Zallie frowned at him.

    “Is the bear coming with us?”
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  12. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Very sweet and definitely evokes the best parts of autumn! The story is unwinding so nicely, with such great character development. Love how she made friends with Ted.

    This is every fanfic I've ever written! [face_laugh][face_laugh]
     
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  13. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Finally, I came around to read your entrances for @devilinthedetails ´ autumn bingo. I should have done so earlier but this kindergarten year brings a lot of complications at work and, believe me, not only due to the corona virus.

    Anyway, tonight I made it.

    First of all I would like to congratulate you, that you used all the words of the bingo. Awesome!

    Then I would like to point out that you have a wonderful imagination and created wonderful OCs with it. The bingo worlds, that you use in each story to introduce them more and more to us, are brilliantly chosen.

    And next, I like the author quotes that you started each story with. Most of them belong to my favourite authors. They would be proud of you.
     
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  14. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Thank you! Zallie does definitely make friends wherever she goes. I'm glad the characters are working too as it's something I'm trying to work on (and description!)

    Thank you! That ended up being quite a challenge! The words were amazing and I was so determined to get in as many as I could!

    Oh! That's so lovely to hear. Thank you! Like I said earlier, the bingo words were just great and even though living in a country that doesn't really get autumn, I only really had the movies and tv shows we get down here to work off - so I'm so glad it worked!

    Yay! They are some of my favourites and I love them. Also most of them are far better wordsmiths than I will ever be, so I'm happy to use them!
     
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  15. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Apologies for taking so long to update. I'm trying to get my long Kit/Namia fic finished and so that's been consuming most of my time. Luckily my own halloween challenge presented the perfect opportunity and incentive to take that next step!

    “"On Halloween, witches come true; wild ghosts escape from dreams. Each monster dances in the park."
    — Nick Gordon


    *

    The Kirkyard

    Spine-tingling, Epitaph, Shadow

    [​IMG]

    Rillion frowned as he made his way back home, following the trail that meandered through the woods. He let Ghost decide the pace, in no hurry to be back at the castle. He needed time to think. The whole interaction back in the forest with Lyxc, and the hexa had thrown him. There was something that irked him about her, but he couldn't place exactly what it was and it irked him.

    Maybe it was the confidence that the girl seemed to exude or the way that he had felt like she had been mocking him that rankled so. He frowned. The fact that the girl had been making friends with a bear should have been enough warning that something about her was wrong. The fact that the others, and particularly his cousin, couldn’t see that was a mystery to him.

    The equus crested the hill and Rillion sighed. He had been so lost in his thoughts that he hadn’t noticed the way he’d been guiding Ghost home. This side of the mountain was still in shadow, curls of fog rippled through the undergrowth, waiting to be chased away by the slowly rising sun. The path led through the kirkyard, with its neatly spaced headstones like the crumbling teeth of an aged monster. He hated that place. It contained the ghosts and memories of so many people – including her.

    Rillion shuddered, a cold tingle running down his spine, and Ghost, sensing his master’s distaste, snorted in response. He thought about turning back, but that might mean bumping into the hexa again. Rillion straightened in the saddle and grasped Ghost’s reins more tightly as they made their way down the hillside. The faster he went through, the better it would be. That way he wouldn’t be tempted to find her grave.

    He knew that he should visit. His mother went there every week to put fresh flowers on the grave and to clear the weeds and leaves, but Rillion couldn’t do it. If he didn’t face it, if he didn’t stop there, then he didn’t really have to acknowledge the idea that she was dead. He gritted his teeth as the equus’ heavy tread took them closer to the kirkyard.

    It had been the hexa’s fault of course. The stupid old crone had had the power to fix the situation, to remedy what had been gone wrong. Instead she’d turned up too late, too drunk, too beligerent and then declared there was nothing to be done. Rillion ground his teeth together. He could still hear his mother’s wailing as she had watched her die. Could still see the tears on his normally stoic father’s face. He’d only been ten at the time, but the memory was burnt deep. The babe had survived though and his mother had claimed the mewling infant as her own. Even as he’d be glad of his nephew’s survival, it was galling that his parents had gushed that the hexa had saved the baby. They had seemed to purposefully ignore the old witch leaving its mother, his sister, to die. That had been the day he’d decided that the hexa was one tradition that he would get rid of when he was Lord. When the old woman had died and he’d thought he’d been saved the problem as the steading had slowly fallen to ruin. He had thought the matter dealt with until the young hexa had moved in. Now he would have to deal with the problem himself and, given their intitial meeting, he wasn't looking forward to it. She was going to be a difficult problem to remove.

    The shreds of mist wrapped around Ghost’s fetlocks as if pulling the beast towards the grave. Rillion shuddered as the cold, mist wrapped him in its clammy embrace. There was a soft thump deep in the kirkyard and Ghost snorted. Rillion sat up straighter, pushing out his chest and lifting his chin even as his hand came to rest on the butt of his blaster.

    “Who goes there?” He called, relieved when his voice didn’t quaver. There was another thump and Ghost danced sideways as Rillion fought to keep him under control.

    “Lord Rillion.” The disembodied voice floated through the mist and Rillion almost shrieked in terror at the sound.

    “Bauk, come out of the shadows. You almost scared me half to death.” He managed after a moment, glad his voice didn’t wobble and betray his terror. The man loomed out of the shadows. He was sallow faced and thin, a parody of the man he had once been. Rillion’s skin crawled at the sight of him. He had been a servant since his grandfather’s time; had overseen the grounds of the great house. His mother often complained that Bauk was a lazy drunk but Rillion didn’t agree. He’d seen the old man watching the family keenly when he thought he couldn't be seen. In fact, from what Rillion had observed, he only seemed to act drunk when he thought he was being watched. He didn’t know what Bauk’s game was, but he certainly wasn’t going to get caught out by the old man. Bauk was another relic that would disappear when Rillion became lord.

    “Master Rillion.” The old man gave a low, obsequious bow and Rillion raised an eyebrow. “You are out early.”

    “I wanted to go for a ride.” Rillion said and then frowned, unsure of why he felt he needed to justify his choices to any servant and especially to Bauk.

    “Not going to visit that new hexa? Heard she’s a pretty piece-”

    “That's not the way to speak to your betters,” Rillion straightened up and scowled at the man’s inference. "Although while we're on the subject, what are you doing out this early?"

    “I was just checking the grounds before the guests get here. Have to get rid of all the old rubbish. Can’t have mice around when the cat beasts are about.” The old man croaked but he was still grinning. Rillion’s scowl deepened. Bauk came from another generation and didn’t quite understand the alliances between the royal felacatian and the noble human houses that his aunt’s marriage to the felacatian king had Lyxc's birth had cemented.

    “Mind your tongue Bauk. You forget your place. I have half a mind to-” He said sternly. The only man grinned at him and wagged a finger cutting him off mid-sentence.

    “and you forget yours young master. You’re not his lordship yet.” The man’s smile slipped back to a grimace. “Although maybe your little hexa friend can fix your father the way the old hexa fixed your sister.”

    Rillion was standing in his saddle, his blaster out before he realised what he was doing. Underneath him Ghost snorted and pranced sideways again. “I will tell my father what you’ve said.”

    Bauk took a swig of the bottle that he always kept on his belt. He staggered sideways in an obviously exaggerated fashion and lent against the gatepost of the kirkyard.

    “They won’t believe you little lord,” he slurred, “Bauk’s too drunk to be any harm.” He chuckled and then cupped his hand behind one ear.

    “Hark, I hear your mother calling. It’s not just the cat people who join us this feast day. The Empire also sends some emissaries.” The old man straightened and waggled the bottle at Rillion, “best run home then.”

    Rillion frowned and turned Ghost’s head towards where the man was standing.

    “Not until I have dealt with you.”

    The old man laughed again, “You don’t have the courage to deal with me. Not for a mewling boy whose too much of a coward to visit his sister’s grave.”

    Rillion clenched his jaw and stared at the man. Bauk was right. Rillion never properly entered the kirkyard. After that day he’d always skirt the edges. Bauk laughed again.

    “Run home little prince. Go play with the Empire.” The man bowed again and retreated back into the swirling fog and shadows. Rillion watched him go, his chest tight and his teeth clenched. Eventually he pulled Ghost’s head back to the trail and followed it home. He could have sworn he heard the old man laughing in the gloom.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Hello! Here I am, taking my first steps in the Kit'verse, which is a faraway land that I've been meaning to visit for a while :) In truth my plan was to read Snips and Snails and Bantha Tails because I so love that title, but it's quite a long read to catch up on so I opted for something smaller for the time being – and I was definitely not disappointed! Reading this as a standalone story, there is an element of mystery surrounding Zallie that I would have missed on if I had known anything about her. I essentially got to discover her through Rillion's eyes, with the difference that I found her rather likeable ;) I like the idea of a Force-sensitive hiding in plain sight as a witch in the early days of the Empire. It simply makes sense, but with the Imperials coming to town Zallie is going to need a better disguise.

    I also really enjoyed learning about the planet where this is taking place. I'd noticed in the very first entry that Rillion is "more elegant than most farm men", and I was wondering why. It was interesting to come to the realisation that he's royalty, which explains why he's, ahem, a bit full of himself, although as Mistress_Renata said above he doesn't come across as an entirely bad person, and that was confirmed later on when we learn about his sister. It was also interesting to see the contrast with his cousin and to learn about the interbreeding between felacatians and humans. Are these all OCs and worldbuilding elements that you created solely for this story, or should I expect to encounter them again when I get around to reading the rest of the Kit'verse?

    All in all, this was a great read, and I'll be here for more when you add to it. Meanwhile, I'm hoping to figure out the time to read the rest of the stories where Zallie and her family of scoundrels appear!