Time Frame: July, 2030, 6th Day of the Moon
Location: Belgrad Forest: The Wild Wood
Status: Private --- Staff('It's almost time')
A young woman, cloaked and robed, stands in the middle of a small clearing. Dusk begins to fall around her, casting an eerie light amongst the trees around her. The arborous plants seem to reach forever upwards and some are as big around as she is tall. Almost as old as the land itself, their foliage casts shadows upon the forest floor. There's a peace in the air that is almost supernatural, and the amount of unadulterated natural energy in the air is almost palpable. That's the essence of the place she has come to; that is the essence of the Wild Wood.
It's the second rite that Anna faces, and the last before she is fully initiated into the Gwyllt Caste. Coincidentally it's the right that she's dreading the most. Ghosts and Spirits freak her out, you can never tell what they are going to do. ('Even if they're my family, probably more so since its MY family')
She thinks as she lowers the hood of her cloak.
She looks all the part of a classical female mystic. Her robes are white, her cloak is gray, in front of her sets a simple wicker basket with a strange assortment of items in it. At her sternum the Rowan Ring rests on its delicate chain. She touches it briefly with her left hand for luck because the shadows are deepening. The setting of the sun with the rise of the moon indicate that it's time to begin. She has to go by feeling though, since only patches of the sky are visible between the crisscrossing branches and shading leaves.
Anna offers up a silent prayer to her ancestors to heed her call.
She bends over and pulls out a thick, foot long, white candle. Carved deeply into the wax are tiny, miniscule, words in Ancient Greek. She'd painstakingly carved the mantras into the candle over and over again with a needle, spiraling down the length of the wax. Her fingers still sting from the endeavor, but she doesn't dwell on the pain. Instead she places the candle level on the ground before her.
Stepping back she pulls out the next of her trinkets. An old fashioned hand bell, hand wrought from silver, or at least that's what the Book of Secrets belonging to one of her nomadic ancestors told her. That particular ancestor claimed he fought a female necromancer's spells and powers with it. Though, over the years the bell's ceremonial purpose had shifted within her family. Annabel had no doubt that it could be used to banish still, but here tonight it was to be an instrument of calling.
Carefully setting the bell upon the ground so as not to ring it unduly, Anna fishes out the last two items: a box of long matches, and a thick book, bound in leather. It wasn't THE Pryce book of secrets, but it was definitely part of the collection of journals and tomes passed down through the generations. It was, in fact, the aforementioned book that described the bell. Over the years it had slowly become the Pryce's in-depth guide to death, and something about it just made Ann want to shudder.
It was the best book for the job, however, and so it's the one she would have to use.
Slipping the book under her arm, she manages to extract a match from the box, light it, and deftly transfer the flame to the candle. Extinguishing the flame of her match, she tosses the thin stick into the basket at her side. The last vestiges of daytime leave the scene as she thumbs through the book to a certain page. She doesn't need to read the spell itself from the time because she has studied it in depth. The ritual, however, calls for it.
Kneeling slightly she picks up the bell and holds it out, away from her as if she is raising a lantern. The sun has gone completely, with only the candle's light to illuminate the creepily still wood around her. The light catches low branches, turning them into reaching claws, and the shadows flicker and shift on boulders transforming them into gravestones out of the corners of her eyes.
The fledgling druidess clenches her jaw, trying to bite back some of her anxiety fueled by her nervousness. ('Just get on with it Annabel, the living shouldn't fear the dead, for the dead only envy the living.')
She says, surprising herself. She just quoted from the book in her hand without even thinking about it. It was a little disturbing, but also reassuring.
She rang the bell. Shaking it back and forth it clanged out a mournful toll. It was the sound of a funeral bell, but in miniature.
Guardians of the Gates:
Thanatos, Dark Winged Reaper!
Lord Hades, Great Shade Keeper!
('I call to you.')
And so it began. Her arm felt heavier as she paced out her words in slow rhythm, but she continued on. She rang it again, and if anything the second tolling of the little silver bell was worse. Her stomach knotted up, she continued her recitation.
Souls of my Fathers now set Forth.
From the Depths of the Hereafter's Night
Now into the living lands' light
('I ask of you.')
She only had one more verse to go and she would be done... She tries to tune out the bell one last time, but fails.
By Silver Bell's Seeking Toll
By Secret Book's Arcane Rite
Bound Before Me in Candle's Light
('So. Be. It.')
With her gaze locked on the candle flame, Annabel waits in terror and hope. She needs this ritual to work, but is nervous about what is to come.