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Into the Fae Kingdom

Circe, Human Cleric (Knowledge Domain) / Wizard (School of Abjuration)

Johan was angry again; Circe had snuck into her father’s laboratory and had crafted a spell that while far beyond her years was imperfect and unpredictable. Johan had barely arrived in time to save her from her mistake, and scolded her with an anger that could cow a child without Circe’s bravery and defiance. She was far too young to understand that his rage came from concern, and certainly wasn’t there when the mage cried thinking of losing her. She ran from the castle into the woods, wondering why she was being held back, why Johan accused her of being foolhardy, why her spell didn’t work, and why the world of adults was so constrained by rules. She was only eight.

The forest was familiar to her, or it was supposed to be. But as she ran deeper into the thickets the trees around her twisted into strange, unfamiliar shapes. Fearful and confused she wandered deeper and deeper into this strange place, noticing dichotomies everywhere she looked. Flowers grew out of rocks, but trees died in front of her. Darkness and stars filled the sky, but the forest was warm and awash in sunlight. This place was wrong. Circe had no idea, but she had somehow reached a confluence, a place where powerful creatures from the Fae Kingdom could meet and discuss the next grand story they were to play out.

It was supposed to be impossible for her to be here, you see; The Closing had locked her plane away from the Fae Kingdom save for portals carefully regulated by the Mage’s Guild. The spell she had attempted had torn a temporary rip, which she had tumbled through.

Before her was a glade, with two tall, beautiful women. Circe watched from behind a tree, intimidated by the two creature’s presences. They argued, their words unfamiliar. One, a woman dressed in black and surrounded by a halo of raven’s feather’s spoke dispassionately, anger simmering in her tone. The other, a woman with impossibly bountiful red hair cascading down her naked body spoke passionately, as if on the brink of tears. Their presence was so fantastic that Circe didn’t notice herself stepping forward only to break a twig underfoot.

The two women turned sharply towards Circe, and the child screamed in fear. With terrifying celerity, both women rushed towards her. Circe closed her eyes, raised her hand and tried to cast her spell. But the red haired woman held her wrist tight, and spoke with a soft tone. “Darling, that spell is not safe, you musn’t use it. Especially here…”

Circe opened her eyes to see the two women standing above her, one smiling warmly and the other regarding her with a cold but somehow doting authority. “She should not be here. She cannot be here. She is clearly mortal…” said the woman wreathed in raven’s feathers. “Well, there clearly are a few things that should not be possible occurring today…” said the other woman. And then Circe spoke, her tone formal, as her mother had taught her to speak when addressing royalty. “If I may, where am I? You see, I seem to have become lost…” she said, mustering all of the courage her young heart could handle.

The raven woman smiled, slightly, before catching herself. A moment of confusion spread across her face, as if the joy she was experiencing was a foreign feeling. “Dear, you are in a place called a confluence. A space between realms where people such as us can meet when important matters must be dealt with.” She said. The woman with red hair spoke soon thereafter “Dealt with?!” She said, her tone cold. She as well seemed confused for a moment, as if the icy tone of her words was foreign to her, but brushed it off. “You see, my companion and I are two sides to the same coin, and in spite of our differences our… coin is being threatened. Do you understand?” She said.

Circe spoke quietly, as if her response, as quick as it was, might be percieved as inappropriate by these obviously powerful, severe women. “When I am scared, I hide. Father told me it is safest…” She said. And in her innocence her words rang true. The women regarded her as if she had revealed an ancient and powerful wisdom. “From the mouth of babes…” said the woman wreathed in feathers. She leant down to kiss Circe on the forehead, and Circe smiled, her eyes closed.

When she opened them, the forest around her was familiar, and sunlight coursed through the trees. She ran home, the memory of the event already slowly fading from her young mind. Still, it left an impression deep within her psyche, an obsession with learning about secret, hidden places that would later inspire her faith.

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