Shivers Event The Grimere Haunting

For open threads for the Halloween 2021 event

Asuego 'Susanna'

Cutter-Witch of the Laggend bog
Character Biography
Fallowed fields were rummaged through by famished pigs and cows with scars upon their flanks. Barely a crop was left intact as if the farmers left in a hurry. Even the forests in the distance, far beyond the arable land appeared dull and lifelessly brown, barely able to hide a looming keep that kept watch over this dreary land.

Dusk was soon upon the weary and the downtrodden, yet no refuge would be left for them in Grimere as its gate closed shut with no intent to let any outlander in. Even the tall walls out of tree logs that surrounded this small but substantial town would let no one in. Too daunting to scale they were, yet attempts of such were clearly seen upon the damaged bark.

Yet luck to find refuge was there, as a single inn with a small open gate and a low picket fence, invited all inside with the hearthy glow that came from its window.
Some drunkards in long hats and rugged cloaks loomed outside nearby a campfire between the gate and the inn door, singing songs incomprehensibly, with little care for the world.
The inn was quiet, engulfed in a gloom that battled for dominance with the warm fire from the kitchen and the candles that sat upon every table and shelf.
Asuego, who made herself cosy inside, took her mug of tea and slithered towards a dusky corner, where even her complete snow-like visage would remain relatively concealed.

While the patrons kept to their own, only the weary dwarf innkeeper kept tabs on the people that came and left, with his half-dwarven daughter relaying the drink and food from the kitchen to table.

Everything reeked of bad intent to the experienced beldam, and she clutched her basket closer to her lap, only taking reserved sips as her eyes stared into the void of the room.
It was too quiet.
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Alysandra hurried nervously past some drunkards sitting around a campfire, Ceres trotting closely at her heels. There was something unnatural and oppressive about the darkness that had decensded upon the town. She whistled tunelessly in an attempt to comfort herself as she neared the inn.

The atmosphere inside of the inn was just as gloomy as the town outside. Alys was hit with a wave of negative emotions from the other patrons as she scurried over to the closest table and sat down. Ceres yowled loudly as a large man stepped on her tail, before hastily hopping onto Alysandra's lap. "We should have stayed in Elbion like your father suggested." Ceres grumbled. "But NOOO you just had to go on an adventure to the middle of nowhere!" she spat. "Hey! I would've gone with Great Gran Gran but she said it was too dangerous to come here! So I had no choice but to find my own way!" Alys retorted defensively.

After ordering some tea, and a fish for Ceres, Alysandra sat back in her chair. She wondered if what her grandmother had told her about the dangers were true.
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»Alysandra, « Asuego beckoned with her outstretched hand for the lass to come.

She wouldn't have thought it at first. But the silver glimmer of her eyes when met at the crossroads between the darkness and was easily recognisable.
And the voice, it's hard to forget something close to one's heart.
While her vision was poor under such conditions, other senses were invaluable.

From her deep and dark corner, her pale hand reached out, waving slowly with her palm facing the ceiling, as was customary of the ancient elf.
Only the red glimmer in her eyes was seen beyond it.
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Alysandra avoided making eye contact with the other patrons. She could feel the gazes of many men fixed on her.

"Alysandra...." A very familiar voice called her name. Alys' face lit up with joy and she quickly looked around for source. A pair of floating red eyes and a pale white hand drew her attention. Sticking her protesting familiar under her arm, Alys grabbed her tea and hurried over to the table.

"Great Gran Gran Sue! Its so nice to see you!" she said cheerily setting down Ceres and her cup. Ceres rubbed against Asuego before settling under her chair. Alysandra smiled cautiously at her grandmother, hoping that she wouldn't get in trouble for coming to the town despite her grandmother's warning.
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The lights of dwellings broke the darkness that lay ahead. Lights that she should have encountered many hours ago, well before the sun had dipped beneath the horizon. But no, she hadn’t, and Azlat was left trekking through the dark of night, cursing the directions and distance obtained from an apparent idiot she was a fool to seek guidance from. At this point, she couldn’t even be sure if this was Grimere or some other nearby town she happened to chance across. Neither did it matter, for the town itself held no importance to her other than the amenities she’d find in most any town. Namely, warm food and lodgings; the sooner the better, given how late the hour had gotten during the unexpectedly long journey.

And it truly did not matter, as the gates were long sealed shut on arrival! Expected, but she cursed nonetheless – continuing to utter profanities under breath as she undertook her fruitless search to see what would be open and available outside the city walls at such an hour.

There was but one place, and it was so overflowing with louts that several were babbling to a campfire outside its entrance. There was nothing else, and she had no other choice. Begrudgingly, she set off towards the building, doing her best to ignore those outside as she made her way in. While wise enough not to reach for it, she had a sizable dagger on her hip and at least the fools hadn’t given her cause to draw it. Small blessing, that.

The place looked better from the interior than exterior, yet no less foreboding. Still ready to reach for that dagger, She surveyed the room around her. One woman stood out, with extremely pale complexion and bright crimson eyes. She looked strange to say the least – but surely so did Azlat to them. At least she’d stand out a little bit less, though she still noted the odd looks that came her way.

“I seek a bowl of stew, and lodgings.” Food and sleep. Sorely needed, and in quick order.

“Oh, of course I’ve got the gold for it. She reached into a pouch that contained a substantial amount of gold to make payment for the hot meal that had been in mind all night. Discomforting as the place was, it’d clearly have do to, though she couldn’t shake a sense of foreboding since she’d arrived. Azlat remained on her guard, attention occasionally sweeping the interior as she waited for the food to be ready.

Hopefully she’d get what was requested with little fuss.
Azlat Ushus Alysandra Mendrev

Asuego was very pleased hearing the gentle sound of her, albeit far removed, but still dearly cherished Alysandra. The caress from Ceres came with a surprise.
Oh, how could you do when these kids are out and about seeking their own thrills? It's better she caught her now and at least she was not alone. Nevertheless, allies come useful in such a glum realm.

From her basket, beneath the flower-embroidered cover peeked her horned owl, Aristotle, curiously inspecting the world before dipping his head back in, well, not before hooting at the young miss.
» Sweet child, so you have chosen to come to Grimere? «
While she would have her head turned at her, nevertheless her eyes gazed at the new arrival, equally regal in appearance.

On one bench upon which a pair of married peasants was seated, the man kept gawking at Azlat, the other, most his wife hit his ribcage with her shapely elbow, soon after diverting his attention with some gossip.
»You heard about the recent disappearances? « she mumbled.
»The count's wife, and then the burger-hic-meister's dogs, «
»Don't think dogs count, our folk, they've been -hic- missing.«
»Don't think som -hic- som, some random street nobodies count either. «

»Didn't the wife run off with some bloke? « a third from a different table muttered at the two.
»No, t'was the daughter, « replied the woman.
»Well how'd ya know that, « grunted man.
The pale skinned woman that she noticed upon entrance had turned a glance back upon her. As did several others, though Azlat had been gratefully spared the attention given to her in Osteriam. That the patrons of this establishment looked to be of a more varied sort likely had a hand in the comparative absence of attention. From most of them, at the very least.

Draconic eyes gave the room errant glances as she waited patiently for her food to arrive, continually noting another pair leering at her. The man seated on the bench seemed to maintain his interest in her long after that of the others waned; but not in peculiarities such as her painted face or barely visible serpentine pupils, for his gaze was clearly aimed too low. Perhaps he mistakenly believed her to be blind. Well, the lady seated beside him certainly wasn’t and made attempt to control him with an elbow to his chest. Must be his wife; pity that poor woman, wed to such a lecher.

She continued to wait while the woman began a topic of conversation, doubtlessly in attempt to hold her wayward husband’s attention. She spoke of disappearing townsfolk, and he made mention of a noblewoman who had vanished, along with some dogs. He was correct in one regard: 'random street nobodies' most certainly did not matter.

Another implied that the married noblewoman had absconded with another man, to which the woman gave correction that it was the daughter. Azlat silently pondered the eavesdropped conversation as it continued to unfold, oh this was getting interesting. That noblewoman’s daughter just ran off and eloped? Was that before or after the mother disappeared? What of the noble house she was to be wed into?

Such gossip hadn't been heard since she departed from Thagretis, and it retained her attention in full. As the lecherous eyed husband inquired how his wife knew this particularity, she listened on. It was distracting enough to avert her mind from her incoming meal, and the innkeeper had to wave her hand before Azlat's face to gain it.

“Oh right, my stew.” She remarked, taking the offered bowl by the edges with a barely noticable nod. As soon as the meal was in hand, focus returned to the conversation immediately.

It was the most entertainment she'd managed to find thus far on the northern continent.
»And what of it? « He repeated again.
»The daughter ran off, simple as that.«
»Wasn't the woman colluding with witches? «

»It was a witch she ran off with! The heiress cursed Grimere when she ran off with that good for nothing eloper, that much is clear! « The woman chuckled, though it was obvious she was being serious.
Grimere was cursed and as the minutes began to inch closer to midnight, strange yowling grew within the howling wind.

Asuego finished her tea before she gently patted on Alysandra Mendrev on her head. »The night is wearing me down, I'll see tomorrow if we'll have more luck entering the town.«


In Asuego's room there was a glimmer by the pillow as something small winked out of existence. Whatever it was had left a smattering of ingredients upon the bed. To a witch as knowledgeable as Asuego, it may be obvious what they were for.

A potion to dampen one's own magical aura or, if brewed more strongly, to suppress the magical abilities of a foe.​
What of it? Of course the witless lecher couldn’t grasp the weight of the news.

Doubtless his simple mind had but one track to it.

Colluding with witches, and rushing off to join their coven? It sounded like a delightful adventure; Azlat being hardly deterred by the mentioned witchcraft. These northern fools had misguided beliefs about what was holy and what was an affront to the world. Why, they’d considered her own superior god as such an affront – and just because He was hungry. Craven lunatics, the lot of them; Azlat would need more than the fretting of the locals to consider something a true threat.

And then the daughter cursed this place. Well that shifted Azlat’s opinion; was Grimere not always a disgusting dark hovel then? Further; the daughter had already dealt them shame and difficulty through her abscondance with another. Why would she see it fit to punish them further, when she had already punished them once though fulfillment of selfish desire? Was the daughter simply cruel, or had she her reasons for besetting the town with such a curse?

These musings kept her mind busy as she settled into sit at a table with her stew – in a secluded corner well aware from those leering eyes of the husband. Local wildlife began to yowl audibly from beyond the walls.

It would be concerning, but the creatures here in these lands were always so diminutive. She'd fared against worse; the beasts of Malakath required an organized effort. She'd yet to regard one on the northern continent to be as fearsome as what she knew roamed about her homeland.

Besides, surely these northerners were prepared to deal with them should they turn out to be aggressive. If Thagretis can deal with worse, she reasoned, these northerners could deal with what minor threats assailed them.

And Azlat continued to happily eat her stew.

Alysandra Mendrev Asuego 'Susanna'
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