Witta, a royal descendant to the throne of Calduon, is on a mission to rescue a young man who is imprisoned in the heart of the Queens dungeons. Though her head is on her mission, her heart is elsewhere. Her story begins with an herb witch, who she hopes will set her on a path leading to her family
The witch’s eyes flash. A wickedness from her youth awakening beneath her creases and pallid skin. Whatever is going in her ancient mind causes her to rise quickly from her chair and hasten to a small chest in the eastern corner of her home. She pulls a key from her skirts and pushes it into a small rusty lock that dangles from the wooden box. In moments, lid is pushed open and she is rummaging through her possessions. I cannot see what the chest contains but whatever she is desiring is soon found.
When she turns to face me, my reflexes send me grabbing for my sword, for in her withering hand she holds a long twisting knife.
“Calm yourself, princess.” She says. “Behold, the knife of Bludhurst, from the hand of Pheanus the lord of oath. 'Tis a ceremonial knife.” I release the hilt of my sword and slightly relax as I observe what she holds before me.
“This knife must be of great value,” I say, observing its beauty and detailed craftsmanship. “I wonder how you have managed to conceal this from the queen’s men?”
“To the common eye, this looks like nothing more than a bread knife,” She continues, “It takes someone worthy, for it to reveal itself. Someone who has a mind equal to its own.”
“You speak as though it can think for itself.”
“Indeed, princess, indeed.” She offers it to me and I take it carefully, examining its details. Rubies and sapphires, inlayed within the handle, form two serpents coiling round one another. The blade twists so perfectly that I'm sure it's creator must be unmatched at his blacksmithing skills. “Whoever made this has a touch of magic in his blood.”
As I hold the knife, I feel a strange sensation. A sensation that is beyond the cold touch of metal on my fingertips, as though I’m trying to remember something. Much like trying to recall a dream from my childhood. My memory knows this knife like a long lost friend or companion, yet I am sure that I have never before seen this weapon.
“It knows you.” Says the witch, he grin broadening and her eyes even more iniquitous than before.
“How? I have never seen it before this night.”
“Destiny. Know you nothing of it, Witta?” She replies. “Many have a touch of destiny about them or perhaps a tinge of greatness. But you, my sprite, have been drenched in its oils, your being oozes with its purpose.”
I stretch my arms forward, offering the knife back to the witch but she withdraws her hands, “It has chosen you, who am I to interfere with Destiny's fierce hand? I have been its watcher for many generations. It is yours now, not to watch over, but to wield, dear one.”
She turns back and shuffles over to the chest returning with a crimson sheath.
“Providence is with you, so I shall aid you.” She says. Pausing, she sways a moment and then stretches up her arms and her eyes roll back until I can barely see their rue. “Before the dawn of the fourth day, you will be reunited with your one who is of you own blood. One who will come unguarded, unaware, in a form unexpected. Grip the knife in your left hand.”
I do as she commands, feeling the round surface of the gems beneath my fingers tips.
“Now, set the blade on you right thumb,” She says. As I do this her cool hand closes over mine. “We make this bond by blood.” The knife slowly pierces a thin layer of my flesh. “It is done. All heaven will aide you. Blessings be.”
She takes a small bottle filled with oil from her pocket and unstoppers it. Fragrance fills the room. The witch pours a bit on her thumb and swipes my forehead in an X pattern, mumbling something inaudible. I warm again, from head to toe. I know now that I was right in coming here. I was meant to come here on this night.
“Blessings from above be upon you. Now go, the guards have been tipped off that a stranger has entered the town.” My senses returns and I quickly buckle the sheath around me. I don't bother asking her how she knows this I just take her by her word. The witch shows me to the back of her home. “You must leave out of the town this way. Don't go back the way you came in.”
She opens a window beyond a small table and I climb out. Before I slip off she speaks again, in a rasping tone.
“Beware of this one of your own blood who’s loyalty lies with another. Another far more precious than the bond of blood. . . .Safe travels, dear one.” She says before closing the window sharply. I quickly fade into the night and the sounds of my footsteps as I leave the town behind.