“Get out of our sight!”
“You disgust us!”
“Never come back!”
“Not welcome around here again!”
“YOU’RE NO SON OF OURS! BEGONE FROM OUR SIGHT!”
“Ssh, it’s okay.” A woman spoke softly, her tone tired but kind. She stood before a frightened Griffin. “It’s okay to be afraid, but trust me, I just want to help you.” The gryphon watched her carefully, it eyed the blue of her hair and relaxed slightly, inching forward with caution. The woman smiled softly, not once did she show fear when the Griffin was agitated, this was not the first magical beast she had to calm down from a frightened rage.
Arora Everfield, the Forest Witch as the people of the nearby town called her. It was never in a bad way, she was dearly loved by the people, she had kept them safe from many magical beasts, they all answered to her, or at least listened to her. She would aid them when needed, make them well if they were sick, even seek refuge with her if hunted. And in return, they would remain around sometimes, guarding the forest and the town, or if they needed to leave, they would bestow great gifts upon her, items that if forged into items could give incredible boosts to a class, or just a blessing of their kind leaving the magic imprint in her hair. She kept all of it in her home, a small cottage seemingly grown into four trees, a comfy home that she shared with her only child, Acrisius. There was no man in her life, she didn’t need one, her son and the magical beasts were enough. The gryphon looked up at the women, golden eyes wiry. She smiled and knelt, petting its head. “It’s okay, I know. You’re injured and you’re scared. I know you just want to keep yourself safe.” Arora said softly. “Let me help you heal.” The Griffin let out a low croon, lowering its head to the ground, as it slumped down. Arora smiled, running a hand over its beak. “See, that wasn’t so hard was it.” She spoke. “Now, let’s see how I can help.”
“Mama!” Arora chuckled as her baby boy came running from the nursery, his tiny legs carrying him to her as quickly as he could. There was an obvious waddle to his run, and it was adorable, like a little duckling. Acrisius, her own baby, her only child. He was so young, only 1 summer and a few months, but his mental growth was unlike anyone his age. He picked up speech like it was nothing, he spent his time at home trying to get his writing done. Arora couldn’t have been prouder of her child, but she had a suspicion it was all due too.
“Hello baby, what did you do today?” Arora asked, Acrisius giggled happily, eyes shining.
“Nina told us a story about a knight and a dragon and how they became the bestest of friends, and-and during nap time, Malus didn’t have a blanket, so I shared mine, we played together with the sand!” He told her happily. “Then we drew!” Acrisius told her.
“Oh, you’ll have to show me when we’re home,” Arora told him, Acrisius nodded eagerly.
Arora knew how lucky she was to have her son, during her pregnancy there had been an issue that had arisen from his father. He had begun to get forcefully demanding Arora to do strange things, give her peculiar smelling food and beverage, none of which she dared to ingest. Every part of her screamed that it was dangerous, the beings of the forest spoke badly of the items, and the forest itself seemed to shudder in rage every time she was presented with such an item. However, his behaviour had only gotten worse once he had discovered Arora had not been doing as he had ordered.
Luca came from a family swallowed by the element of fire and born in the river of blood their family constantly created, born with an untampered rage and a bloodlust that would put the demons themselves to shame. It was a dangerous combination, one Arora had learnt, leaving them no room to care or love. And Arora’s self-preservation to not ingest the drinks and food was enough to fuel his rage, ending with all of Luca’s senses engulfed by the bloodlust.
Arora had almost lost her life that night, the beasts fought to keep her and the unborn child alive. The once confident woman, who stood strong against anyone was eternally weakened by the spell she had to cast for her protection. Her magic bursting to the seams, she had to constantly pour her magic into the forest to prevent her magic from overloading her body. And by some miracle, Acrisius was born healthy, but magic endued, a rare condition often leading to new and unique magic classes. Most magic endued were taken in by the council, trained and then allowed to leave as council endorsed peacekeepers. But they didn’t dare go for Arora’s child. For as kind as the Forest Witch was, her power and love were unmatched. She would easily level cities to protect her son, the council were wise in the decision not to anger her and left Acrisius alone. They did not want her as an enemy.
Arora watched Acrisius as he skipped ahead, she found herself smiling softly. His little pointed ears seemed a little red with cold, but they were luckily close to the forest, and the forest would not allow his body to be cold, Arora could swear the forest was his father figure at this point, she could trust in the forest to care and help raise him to be true of heart.
“Mama?” Acrisius had stopped, Arora slowly joined his side, she gasped as her eyes widened. Leaning against the trees of the forest, injured and tired, was a young adult, blood dripping from the right side of his face. Arora patted Acrisius’ head, she could feel his wild magic bubbling a little, as it always did at seeming a creature injured, Acrisius looked up at her with concern.
“Let’s go and help him, shall we?” She said, Acrisius nodded, taking her hand. He needed help, who were they to ignore his silent plea?
Lux Nibow would have done anything to escape his family, their dangerous ideals that left him with physical and mental scars from childhood, from their dangerous magical pursuits that would leave others dead or sacrificed. But now he was, he had nowhere to go; no one to ask assistance from. Thrown from a harsh family to a world that was no less harsh to those without shelter. Lux was truly afraid, he had no idea what to do, and his injuries would become infected if not cared for soon. He had gone to the edge of the Berasbour forest, he recalled a day, just over a year ago, where extreme magic had been cast, warm and protective. He had hope, by being close, that maybe the forest would find him worthy of its protection.
Lux collapsed against the first tree with a grunt of pain. He slid down until he was sitting, the tree keeping him seated. Lux took a deep breath, he was a student training to be a guardian, yet now he felt such training would be unneeded. He let his eyes close, mentally preparing himself for the rough night he was no doubt going to have.
Lux had no idea how much time past had when he got gently roused from his uncomfortable slumber. He wasn’t quite as comfortable as he was when he first closed his eyes. He opened his eyes, finding a low thatched roof, with herbs tied into bundles and hanging from the rafters. He could hear a child running around, talking excitedly at a mile a minute, and the smell of cooking that filled the room, wrapping him in a warm, homely feeling.
Despite the lingering pain, Lux forced himself up, hissing as his injury tugged at his sensitive skin. He looked down to see his injury bound, treated with bandages that appeared to have been dipped into a herbal ointment. He deduced that the mysterious owner of the home was a healer, someone in a healing class, maybe with a mix of nature magic. It would make sense with all the herbs around the place.
Now he was seated, he took in the small room he was resting in. Comfy, a small fireplace sat at the far side of the room, more herbs hanging from the roof, there was a rocking chair near the fireplace, everything screamed motherly at him.
There were hurried footsteps, Lux turned to watch the doorway. He froze as a child stopped there, at the entrance, the child watched him with wide eyes. Lux does mentally stop for a moment, his hair was a soft, earthy brown, but his eyes – it was his eyes that were the biggest shock. Under his right eye was the mark of being magic endued, on his right eye gave the appearance of being blinded, paled by the lack of light, but there was a light there that told him otherwise. Appearing silver with a ring of sapphire around the outer iris, the pupil was more feline than humanoid, a sharp vertical slit. The left eye was a burning red with a small ring of gold around the outside of the iris. The boy beamed and waddled over to the bedside, as he got closer, Lux noticed his small, pointed ears and the little fangs of his smile.
“Hi!” He smiled.
“Oh-um, Hi?” Lux replied.
“’m Acrisius!” The child introduced himself proudly. “Mama and I helped you!”
“Who’s your mama?” Lux asked curiously, not noticing the figure now filling the doorway.
“That would be me.” Lux looked away from the child and his breath got caught in his throat.
“The forest witch-” Lux muttered stunned; Arora just gave him a soft smile in return.