"You know what they say about curiosity and cats, don't you?"
I don't turn to meet the voice as it playfully mocks me. It's a girl's voice, definitely, and young, but it doesn't belong to anyone I know. Not anyone that's important to me. Not anyone whose voice I want to hear.
"Amalia! Say something!"
She doesn't speak. She doesn't move. Amalia is...
"She's not dead, stupid." The voice continues to mock me. Hasn't she done enough with her cruel...
What did she say?
"You can clearly see her breathing, even from here. So quit getting so worked up over nothing, would you?"
"Amalia isn't nothing!" I rudely snap back without thinking. How dares she? She's making me so angry! She's making me want to... to hurt her! A lot!
I watch her feet as she casually walk past me. Her dirty boots bang thump against the floor, the layer of discarded books crunching weakly under her weight. Her lower legs are bare. Exposed. Vulnerable. I feel something, something that's more than anger. Something I've never felt before. An urge, rising in my chest. An urge to...
But good girls don't do that. And I'm a good girl, unlike her.
"By the way," she continues casually, "you might want to move before the ward-"
For a moment, my vision is filled with blue, the same blue that lit up beneath Amalia. No, not just my vision. All of my senses, all of my mind, and everything I am, is blue.
Devotion, the Will that never ceases. Blue.
Deceit, the Will that breaks the powerful. Blue.
Calm, the Will that brings Harmony. Blue.
Alteration, the Will that bends. Blue.
These are the feelings that wash over me, filling my entire being.
I think that I should be frightened, screaming. But I do not feel that. I only feel blue.
I think that I should be hurting, but I do not. Pain is elsewhere, not here. Not blue.
I think that I should be thinking of... someone? Someone who I want to help? Or someone who can help me? I don't remember. They are not here. They are not blue. There's only me and blue here.
I taste the blue, feel it. I know it now. The blue is...
There is nothing to fear.
>Mistress' current opinion: 15/100
>Lily's current opinion: 05/100
> Herbalism: Fledgling
> Penmanship: Uninitiated
> Infusion: Unitiatated
> Twitter: https://twitter.com/FriendQM
> 4plebs (RIP .moe): http://archive.4plebs.org/tg/search/subject/Witch%20Apprentice%20Quest/order/asc/
> Suptg archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Witch%20apprentice%20quest
> Nadja's Notebook: http://pastebin.com/k9cMVURJ (updated 03-10-2015)
>The 'Additional Pages' section of the notebook is open to you as players to add your notes about anything in the quest that you feel is worth noting. Weird things, notes about characters, anything. My hope is that this will help the notebook to serve not just as a witchy "cookbook" but also as a means for you to communicate to each other and to me what you sense to be important.
>If you want something added to the notebook, just say so here in the thread! Try to make the note as visible to me as possible, and to the extent that you're able try to use Nadja's voice as you perceive it. If you don't feel confident, just write something and I'll edit it before adding it to the notebook!
Three to two so far, five votes in total. Since it's a fairly important vote, I'll wait a few minutes more to give all the regulars a fair chance of making it.
So... two votes deleted for some reason? I have no idea what's going on, but I guess they don't matter since they're opposed anyway. Three to three, the vote is a DRAW.
Vote closed, please stand by.
We stepped on a ward or something last game. We're being pacified I think. I don't know if we should resist and try to save amelia or if we should lie back and think of blue and cause less problems.
I've noted this last minute vote, but I am sticking to my call. You are confused, so I will try to make it clearer. Just a moment.
For a moment I felt so sure, as if everything was in perfect alignment, but that was only for a moment. That moment is gone now. New feelings spill forth from within me, pushing the other back. Different feelings, a different taste, but just as familiar.
Love, the Will that burns brighter than all. Red
Power, the Will that conquers. Red
Desire, the Will that moves. Red
Conjuration, the Will that creates. Red
Now we are Two. Back and forth, they swirl inside me, outside me. They are me. Us?
No, that doesn't make sense. They're both so familiar. They both care so deeply for me. But we can't be Two. I am me, because that is the way. I touch them again, touch their faces, their smiles. Her and me. Me and her.
I think I know now. I am...
>Devotion, Deceit, Calm, Alteration. Blue.
>Love, Power, Desire, Conjuration. Red.
Orignially I would have let you have a chance to change your mind later anyway, once you were better informed, so I've just moved it forward to now. Please choose one.
10 for Red, 3 for Blue.
The decision is made, Child of Summer.
I am Love. I am Power. I am Desire. I am the Will that creates. I remember now. I love.
I can't see her anymore, only the red. Only me. But I still see her in my memory, feel the subtle warmth of her smile. I love her, because she is not me. Because she is gone.
She fades, retreats to somewhere far away. And then I feel myself fading as well, retreating into... my self?
Yes. I almost forgot, but the young girl is definitely me. She's a little more than that, but she is me. Now that I remember, I long only to return to her. With a final sigh, I wake her, me, from my stupor.
"Well," the voice speaks, "that's new." She sounds so distant, yet rapidly approaching. Or perhaps I am the one who is approaching?
Gradually the flash fades from my eyes. Immediately, they lock with hers. Curiosity, caution, and the slightest hint of joy. She is tall, taller than Sis or Kerstin. But not as tall as Papa, not nearly.
"Hey Nadja, are you okay?"
She knows my name? I am certain I don't recognize her voice. Or her face. Or her... No, this attire is definitely-
"Come on," she offers her left hand, "unless you want to go for another round of that."
The ward. It did something to me. It's so unclear. Not unpleasant, not pleasant, but something. I take her hand.
"You must have broken it or something," she muses, "it's supposed to put you to sleep, but you just got this weird look on your face."
Oh right! Amalia, I need to help her! Where... where did she go?
"I put your friend in the bed next door, don't worry. Sheesh, you'd think I was some evil monster with the way you're acting."
"Hey! Talk to me, Nadja!" She's afraid? For me?
I try to speak, but nothing comes out. As if something was...
>Please roll 1d20!
>That's 20, not 100!
How boringly average. Oh well, out it goes!
Sensing the issue in time, I rush for the window, only just holding back long enough to lean out of the window before my stomach twists around itself, my meager breakfast spilling onto the cobblestones beneath. Oops?
"Right, should've seen that coming, shouldn't I?" The stranger puts her hand on my head. For a moment, I feel a strong urge to push her away, but that quickly fades from my mind as I feel a second wave coming on.
"Honestly, I have no idea what that just did to you. Nothing it should have, that's for sure!"
She pulls her hand back and I, feeling fairly certain my stomach has no more to give, turn to face her again. "Who..."
"Oh!" She seems taken aback. "You don't know who I am? I thought you figured that out, seeing as you come breaking into my study and everything."
I'm supposed to know who she is?
>Write-in if you know!
That's about as much as I can reasonably expect after all this time, I guess. Close enough, anyway!
"Uhm, I think Mistress said this was someone's domain? You're Mistress' other former apprentice?"
"Oh." The strange girl looks down for a moment, sharing a look with nobody but the floor. "Right. I guess that's all I am to her now, huh?"
Moments later, she looks back up, a strained smile on her face. "Anyway, sorry if I creeped you out a bit like that, I guess I forgot you don't know me just because I know you."
She extends her hand, then hurriedly pulls it back. "Right, let's save that one for later, huh? You can call me Sparrow, and I'll call you Nadja until you come up with your witch name. Sound good?"
"Well duh! Didn't you start thinking of one yet? Even apprentices should have one!"
"Uhm... I don't-"
"She didn't tell you?" Sparrow almost yells, outraged. "Urgh, priorities, Mom! She never knows what's REALLY important"
"Uh, did you just call-"
"So yeah, as pretty as your real person name is, you definitely need a new one! You're part of the coolest Line around, so you need a real badass name!"
"So you better start thinking! I can't have you shaming me by picking a dumb name like Rainbow or Unicorn or something! Got it?"
"Mistress is your mom???"
Sparrow stares at me for a moment, befuddled, before suddenly seeming to realize what's going on again. "Woops! I was going to keep it secret since she APPARENTLY didn't feel that was important to mention, but I guess I ruined that already."
"Anyway, awkwardness aside, welcome to the family and everything, I guess. Just don't call me big sister or anything, Lily is creepy enough as it is. This is where I'm crashing for now, so if you need advice or something, stop by or something. Just remember to knock, okay?"
>"Why are you here, though?"
>"Is Amalia okay?"
>"How come you know my name and everything?"
>Other questions you want to ask? (Write-in!)
There you go, anon. That's all the way back from thread #2 if I remember correctly!
So anyway, I just realized I can't be bothered to count these votes to determine priority. I guess I'll just start writing and see what happens. Write-ins are very welcome still!
"Ohhh!" Suddenly, the memory washes over me, awkwardness and all, "I remember now! You're Camille! Heehee, I think Mistress still has frogs legs for you if you want any!"
>Camille's opinion has increased by 10!
Camille snaps her head, her eyes seeming to light up like stars on a summer night. "She... she said that?"
"Eheh... Kinda? She uhm, she was a little crazy when she said it, but..."
"She thought I was you," I try to laugh the awkwardness away, "and was very uhm... motherly?"
"I..." Her eyes seem to glaze over as she stares at the cauldron in the center of the room. "See."
"She seemed to miss you a lot! Are you not friends anymo-"
"NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!" She snaps at me, clenching her fists as she does so. "...Sorry, you didn't deserve that. Just... forget that, okay?"
I want to agree, but... She seems so sad, I don't think I want to keep that promise. And you don't break promises, so you shouldn't make ones you can't keep! Maybe I can change the topic instead.
"So uhm, does Kerstin know you live next door, or uh, wall?"
She seems happy for the change of topic as well, grinning weakly. "She invited me herself. A favor for a favor, you could say. I get a place to keep my stuff in exchange for helping her out with her little problem. 'Sides, she and I go way back, I couldn't have said no either way!"
"Huh? Problem? What kind of problem?"
"Ah," she slaps herself on the cheek, "I'm not good at keeping secrets, am I? Anyway, client confidentiality! If she wanted you to know, she would tell you, right? So uh, just pretend you don't know anything about that, okay?"
"But maybe I ca-"
"Not unless she asks you. Sorry!"
Hrm. More secrets! Why does it feel like the entire world just turned complicated after I became an apprentice?
"Wait, you know Kerstin? How?"
Casting a glance to the still open door to the next room, she replies. "Well, even witches need friends, don't they?"
I follow her gaze, suddenly becoming aware of a soft snore coming from within Kerstin's room.
"And yes, she'll be perfectly fine, don't worry. In fact, she might wake up sooner than most, given her, ahem, background. Or maybe that just makes the effect last longer? I guess we'll find out. Either way, I'll just ask Kerstin to take care of her, so you don't have to worry about that."
"You know about Amalia too?"
"I guess I know almost everyone here, even if they don't know me." She turns to me, smiling softly. "That's not a rule, by the way. You can tell anybody about yourself if you like. Sometimes, it's just easier not to."
Easier... It doesn't seem easy, at all. But then, her mother IS the witch.
"Right, so," She interrupts my thoughts. "I should probably get back to work, if you don't have any more questions?"
I cast a glance out the window, seeing the sun already high in the sky. I promised Papa to go to the castle today. I should probably hurry if I want to be back before nightfall. Still, a few more questions wouldn't hurt, right?
>More questions? (Write-in!)
>Time to go to the barracks to ask for someone to come with me!
>Ask her to come with me! She's a REAL witch, she can keep me safe while answering more questions!
>Chevalier Julie de Vite, The Raven, Student of Redwing, Slayer of Velithis, Bane of Lents, Mediator of Esaille, Ender of William Blackfoot, Ender of Émile Leblanc, Ender of Anton Trudeau, Ender of Stefan Richter, Teacher of Weeping Lily, Teacher of The Sparrow, and Warden of Burchwald.
The notebook has useful info sometimes, even though it still needs a lot of work!
So we have the Raven and the Sparrow, we could be the Cardinal the Dove or the Lanius which is pic related
So far, the popular opinions seems to be asking her to come with you.
So far, you also know Weeping Lily, Mistress' first apprentice, and you know of Redwing, Mistress' teacher.
The latter is kind of bird-related, but Lily isn't at all. You can choose literally anything, just remember that since other witches know YOU chose the name, rather than being given it, they WILL judge your sense of aesthetics by it. First impressions matter!
You don't have to decide yet, obviously, but I wanted to let you guys know it was a thing so you're prepared when the time comes.
is that tamaura, from the webcomic blindsprings?
"Hey uhm, if you're not terribly busy, do you think maybe you could go with me to the castle?"
She raises an eyebrow at me skeptically. "Why, exactly?"
"Well uh, I promised Papa to go there to talk to the Baroness for him but he also told me to ask someone to come in case there's bad people or monsters or something, and I thought since you're a REAL witch, I'd be safer with you!"
Sparrow let's out a sigh, not really annoyed but rather... disappointed? "Witches are not soldiers, Nadja. Do you think if we run into a monster I can just instantly pull out a magical solution to make it go away?"
"That's not how it works. We fight when we have to, sure, but we fight smart. Magic takes time, it needs preparation, just like that ward of mine. So we do not run blindly into danger, we use careful planning to lead our enemies into a situation where we can defeat them with our magic, where our magic is most effective. What you need is a sword and a strong arm to swing it, not a witch."
"Oh..." I guess I don't really know a thing yet.
As if reading my mind, she puts on a kind smile. "Hey, sorry if that was a little harsh. You're still brand new, you can't be expected to know everything. We all took the Pledge of Secrecy, after all!"
"Oh yeah! That makes sense! Thanks Miss Sparrow, gotta go now!" I'll have to ask someone at the barracks instead!
"Hey, who the hell are you calling Mis-" Her voice fades as I hurry out of the room and down the stairs, shouting goodbye to both Kerstin and Klemens as I depart, even though I didn't actually see them anywhere. But they're probably around, and it's only polite!
Conveniently, the barracks is very close to the church, so it only takes a minute to get there and find...
The barracks is so quiet, even the background noise from the market seems to fade as I enter the training grounds, giving way to a deathly silence. I make a round of the entire grounds, confirming that nobody is out training. Usually the place is so noisy, full of guards swinging their weapons at dummies or each other. Very strange!
I pull at the door to the mess hall, hopeful that maybe I'll find somebody inside. Fortunately it is unlocked, but everything is just as empty and quiet as outside.
"Hello?" I call out, only for my words to echo back towards me. Everyone just left their plates and everything, too! How rude! It is only on my way back outside that I noticed it, a small piece of paper left at the doorstep.
"Hunting" Is all it says.
They went hunting? Everybody? And just when I needed help too! Now what do I do? I promised Papa I would go to the castle, so I have to do that. But I also promised not to go alone. I can't keep both those promises if nobody is around to help! Then that means... I have to choose to keep one of them, right? Because then it's not really breaking the other promise, because I didn't do it intentionally!
Yeah, that makes sense! So then I'll...
>Go to the castle without anyone protecting me. Papa needs my help!
>Go home and tell Papa.
>Something else? (Write-in!)
>Go to the castle without anyone protecting me. Papa needs my help!
We have to be brave if Papa needs us.
Also sending every guard off hunting at once seems silly, what if someone mean comes to the town?
Thanks for playing!
I uh, see the resemblance, but I don't know the character and don't really remember where all my old images come from. I usually try to source them before using them directly in the quest so I know about the image I'm using, but this one is just for posting cute witches while you wait so all I cared about was it being cute.
And I thought it was cute, so it got posted. Feel free to try to source it, though!
Bad things obviously don't happen to good girls, so there's nothing to worry about! Onward!
...Go to the castle without anyone protecting me. Papa needs my help!
Besides, bad things don't happen to good girls, only to bad ones. And I'm always a good girl, so there's nothing to worry about!
Thoroughly encouraged, I hurry back onto the streets, pass the church and the town hall, skip down the stairs, smoothly cut through the upper level of the market, carefully avoiding bumping into anyone. I wouldn't want to repeat this morning's accident I think to myself, remembering how I made such a mess of that tall lady's clothes. Wait didn't she seem familiar someho-
"Ow!" I cry out as I bounce into something soft, bouncing back onto the cobblestones. I think I did it again. "Oh no, I'm so sorry uhm," I look up, confirming that the bumpee is wearing a frilly black and white dress, "Miss! Very sorry, Miss I was just in a h- hey! I know that dress! Hi Angeline!"
"Hello again, young Miss Nadja. Please forgive my clumsiness once again. I shall be more careful in the future." Angeline replies calmly, her composure not the least bit disturbed by my impact. How does she do that?
I lift myself back on my feet, awkwardly trying to brush the dirt away from my dress. It's hard not to, in Angeline's company but... I think some of these spots are older than just now. They're not going away...
"If you will excuse me," she continues, perfectly unperturbed by my awkward scene, "I must hurry back to the castle."
"Wait!" I cry, my voice a lot more shaken than I'd like it to be. Why does she make me so self-conscious? "I'm going there too, I promised Papa I would talk to the Baroness! Maybe we could go together?
Angeline takes a few moments to look me up and down, making me feel completely naked as she seems to silently make note of every imperfection, as if counting them for evaluation. I try to smile as cutely as I can, but I feel like I might just be embarrassing myself more.
"Acceptable." She finally states, almost like a machine. I guess I passed, somehow!
"Let us go, then." She announces, continuing towards the path out of town.
"Wait, don't you have a guard with you? The road could be dangerous!"
"I came alone." She states flatly, without further comment.
I guess it can't be that dangerous after all. Angeline seems like a very smart person, so if she thinks it's safe to go alone, it must be! Heeh, silly Papa is just worrying about nothing at all!
>Let's roll dice! 1d20, please!
Best of three makes for 17. That's pretty good.
Walking with Angeline turns to be... Really boring! No matter what I ask her, she always answers with brief and careful sentences, or just says "I would rather not speak about that."
And she doesn't ask me any questions either, she just keeps walking in straight lines, every step identical to the last. She doesn't even seem to care about looking at the pretty flowers, or listening to the birds' singing, or anything! You'd almost think she was afraid of having a little fun! I wonder if she was always like this?
She walks quickly too, making me have to almost run beside her to keep, even as she maintains her seemingly perfect stance and pace. After just a few minutes we've made it to the crossroads outside of town. Apparently this crossroads is very important to Hinde because traders come past here. Not to Hinde though, just past it, but they often stop here anyway and spend money.
To the west, the road leads to Lent and the rest of the Western Reaches, while the road to the east leads to the mountain trail. It's apparently a very hard climb, but it's the only safe trail within many, many, leagues, so it's very important. Meanwhile, the road to the north leads to the castle and beyond that, further into the Empire.
Angeline doesn't stop to think about this, of course, immediately cutting straight across and onto the north road, forcing me to sprint to catch up with her.
Finally giving up trying to start a conversation, I spend the rest of the trip in silence. The journey feels like it took many hours and I'm thoroughly exhausted when she finally pauses at the gates of the castle, raising a hand to indicate for me to stop as well, staring at the giant door, waiting for something. And sure enough, only a few seconds later the doors are pullled open, a dreadful roar emerging from within.
Instinctively, I press myself close to Angeline, holding on tightly to her hand.
"Stay close," She whispers.
THREAD ELEVEN END
As always, thank you very much for playing and I hope you enjoyed my meager performance!
Last thread was two weeks ago, which is what I'm aiming to keep as my current maximum gap between threads (rather than three months). Ideally I'd make a thread every weekend, but... Yeah.
Next thread will be next weekend if the week is good to me, otherwise the weekend after that. That's semi-regular, and I've come to accept that as sufficient. I will of course try to keep you informed via Twitter.
If you would like to ask me questions, I'll be around to answer them until I fall asleep. This will probably happen without warning. Also, feel free to discuss things (such as thinking of good names) though I should probably try to restrain myself from butting into those.
Other than that, hope to see you next time!
I'd prefer not to.
There are no rules on the matter. It is generally assumed that young witches will think carefully over what to call themselves, picking names that they feel are both tasteful, memorable, and somehow representative of how they see themselves, since the name cannot be changed once it has been made known to the Circle.
Incidentally, that's also the time the fact you actually exist is made known to them. It can be a little nerve-wracking for an apprentice to be judged by all the Eldest like that, which is more motivation to not make a fool of themselves.
I'm not particularly worried. But if it comforts, I can tell you that while Witch Mistresses are not permitted to name their Apprentices themselves, they are permitted to slap them when they feel the Apprentice is being stupid.
Plus, if you guys haven't come up with anything you agree on by the time it's needed, I'll just pull out some suggestions for you to pick from. But I'm sure you'd also prefer it to be a name of your own making, right?
Pretty much every witch you know of just picked something they frequently see in Nature and thought sounded neat. Don't cripple your creativity by trying to be needlessly deep or clever.
I do like some of the names that have been brought up already, though I think I'll hold my tongue on that for now, keep the whole thing neutral and open, you know?
>Last thread was two weeks ago, which is what I'm aiming to keep as my current maximum gap between threads (rather than three months). Ideally I'd make a thread every weekend, but... Yeah.
Still a better track record than hex callow or diarca. Thanks.