G.o.T. Campfire - House Hightower
Born out of darkness into the light
It is you who decides fate.
What is the world you live in? Where is your future? Who are your friends and allies and which of those might be foes?
Do you turn your back and leave the darkness behind you in order to face the light or do you avoid the light and dedicate yourself to the dark side of your life?
The choice is yours.
This is your campfire! Do what you must.
LostGhost: Seeking & Learning & Lina Black-So Far Behind!!!
Make your own decisions and lead the story in the direction you and your members decide on.
We will not stand in your way. We shall not reveal your words until the last day.
You have until May 25th to add what you need.
On this last day, May 25th, try to make the closing post, as in finish the story - tie up loose ends - get it done!
But, keep in mind, the rating is set at 13+!
"Red Wedding updating "
Good luck, my Warriors!
|I looked all around myself. The hanging tapestries, the fragrance of clean air, the clash of steel outside the wall—all suggested the same thing. I had been summoned again, and the one who called me sat there on her rocking chair, moving furiously. She definitely had a name, but I do not like to call her by that. For me she will only be The Wife, the title I could not hold for long. |
I wondered what had happened this time though, although it was not quite difficult to guess. Must be some new woman, some new toy of her husband, Adam.
Despite of knowing that she could not hear me, I snarled at her. I did not deserve her envy, her hatred. I wanted to rest. My spirit was weary of being a ghost; it called for peace, the respite from their emotions, as it was their emotions that kept me hanging between the worlds. The life in the Netherworld was not pleasant, and the longer they clung to me—both The Wife and her husband—the longer I stayed in this suspended state. It had already been two decades.
I was mostly free to roam in any century I wanted, but their emotions were my nodestones, calling to me, and I had to come at time like this when somebody chanted my name. It did not matter whether their thoughts were fueled by love or hatred or jealousy or any other emotion; all it meant was I had to be there to witness their emotions.
I waited for her tears to flow, or her mouth to give a cry, but she maintained the same restraint as ever, all the poison of the chant happening inside her. I sighed. I was going to be here for sometime; if only she’d release the words bottled inside her at someone. If only!
|Priscilla sat in the high back chair which sported her husband’s clan colors of silver and pearl while. It was one of many wedding gifts presented to her husband from her home clan. A huge hearth in front of her blazed high, the fires embers nearly reaching the top. The crackling sound dominated the lonely room. Priscilla looked into the flames, then around her rooms and contemplated her life.|
It was not the chamber originated for the castle’s Lady. Lord Adam McDowell, Laird of Hightower, Lady Priscilla McDowell’s Lord and husband, chose to build her these grand and lavish rooms. In the beginning, she’d thought it was to celebrate her, and honor her as his wife and life companion. Later, she’d found out the most startling news. He not done so because he valued her, he’d done it to preserve the memory of his first wife. His dead wife.
Priscilla’s rooms consisted of a sitting area, sleeping quarter and her very own private privy. She had an oversized bed, draped in linens the same silver as the rest of the castle, but the nights when she slept were cold and empty. Each room and a hearth to keep her warm, there bricks were a pearl white, the same as the castle’s outside structure. She closed her eyes and sighed.
She now knew the truth. Even two centuries dead, he still loved, and mourned his first wife.
The name floated through her mind, and melted the strings in her heart each time she thought of it.
She’d been ten and seventeen when her father had given her to the powerful Laird, and most handsome man she’d ever seen. Priscilla had fallen instantly in love, but the emotion was not returned. A pain filled the pits of her stomach, then boiled over to bitter anger.
“Amelia,” she spat to the empty room.
Just then, the hearth’s fire hissed and a cold chill ran up her spine. The hairs at her nape and forearms raised high, and she knew she was no longer alone.
Abruptly, Priscilla stood, then whirled in a circle… searching for her intruder, but she knew she would never see her. “What do ye want?” She sneered. “Haven’t ye done enough? Leave here, a never ye return. Ye cannae ‘ave him!” She screamed, tears threated to fall.
Priscilla stood still several moments, waiting on the feeling to pass. It didn’t, she could still sense, Amelia’s spirit. “So, ye willnae leave on ye own?” she said and stormed to the doors. She looked back. “Ye had ye chance.” She said, and slammed the door behind her.
She would ride them of that ghostly wench. When, Amelia is gone, Priscilla will have the time, and love needed to mend Adam’s broken heart.
| Amelia had caused the hearth's fire to hiss. Although she had no earthly power to live again with his love, she was determined to keep her memory alive within him. As long as he remember their most loving moments, and even their firey moments of anger, she was his. |
She loved when he came to sit by the hearth, remembering. She could seen his desire for her as his face took on moments of joy. Those moments intensified when she curled up in his lap, nestling her cheek under his; she could feel his warmth increase and his heat passed through her. She knew his thoughts were of their bodies moving together in the passion of shared love.
They were moments because tears of sadness and loss would begin to drain from his beautiful eyes, wrinkles of sorrow covered his face and his warmth turned icy cold. She wished she could find the way to let him maintain his joy, his love, his passion. Would she learn soon or would he always be unavailable more than those few moments?
Amelia hated for Priscilla to enter the room. What hadn't he locked the door to prevent anyone from entrance? There was no positive reason for anyone other than himself to disturb her solace. Priscilla always borough madness, screaming hatred at his first love, shouting slurs and her own fears. In those times, Amelia attempted everything that she hoped would snuff the life from that woman who wanted to steal away the warmth of continued love. If only there was a power available to strike her ugly and push her into the dungeon of hell and pain. Perhaps with time, her unseen powers would make it possible to have him again and never choose another woman to roam the house.
|My own laughter sounds brittle to me. I am nothing, but a helpless shadow, a puppet tied to her emotions and she thinks I have done enough. I wish I had a substantial form to answer the blames she laid on my shoulders, but Lord works in weird ways. He left me nothing, just this flickering body which can see everything, but say nothing. |
Another shadow materialized before me, fresh and dewy, her face frozen in horror. Newly deads were like that. Their spirits, not yet free from the mortal experiences, carried the expression of their bodies. She might be here for a moment, as a passing phase to heaven, which happened many times.
“My Lady!” she screeched, kneeling before me.
I took a step back. I was nobody’s lady—never was, never would be.
“I never thought I’d see you again, my lady. I missed you so much,” she said, her eyes almost crying but without tears as spirits have no tears in them.
“Rise, my child,” I ordered her, taking the cape of Ladyhood she forced on me. But she needed to leave. I didn’t want her to become a ghost like me. “Tell me you name.”
“My Lady, I am Mana. It has been so long. You took more care of me than my mother. I can still feel your affection—the way you enjoyed combing my hair, the way you loved to tell me stories. I was nobody, just a servant’s baby who had already seen six winters, but you took me as your own babe. I missed you so much, my lady.”
“Mana,” I said, remembering the little girl with golden hair, the one who made me feel like a mother. “What happened to you, sweetheart? How did you end up like this?” I asked, pointing at the horror on her face.
She shuffled a bit, as if her spirit was trying to mimic the mortal experiences. “I was tired, My Lady, tired after a night of…” She gulped as if her spirit was also afraid of the horror.
I smiled at her. “They cannot harm you now, my child. You are not in their hands anymore. Tell me what happened and relieve yourself from the burden of horror. Afterlife awaits for you.”
She looked at her feet and nodded. “My Lord Adam, he—I mean we…”
“I get it you mean to say that you used to have sex,” I said without flinching. She was feeling guilty enough without my adding to it.
“My Lady, it was not my fault. He said being with me made him remember you. My Lord said that it made him feel closer to you as I was like your child. Last night, he was a bit affected by the brawl. He—he took me, many times, asking me to come before him. But I couldn’t. I tried to fake it, but he didn’t believe me. Then he started hitting me with his belt, thinking I was you, My Lady. He thought that the pain would anchor you to the world, rather than dying,” Mana words tumbled out of her, freeing her from the clutches of experience. “I am sorry, My Lady. I was a poor replacement for you. I couldn’t keep him happy.”
I sighed. She was just a little girl, nary a fifteen, more like Adam’s daughter, but when had he respected that distinction. I looked at the horror frozen on his face and tried to squelch a shiver at the consequences of Adam’s love. “My child,” I told her, “you did your best. I am sorry that you had to take my place. I am sorry that I wasn’t there to save you. Forgive me.” I raised a hand when she tried to object. “No more arguments, Mana. You need to leave. The afterlife is waiting for you. Shed your horror and guilt here, and go. Life of a ghost is no life. You’ll be taken care of in afterlife.”
“You’ll take care of me, won’t you? Like you always did. I love you, My Lady. I wished I had spent more time with you.” As she said the words, her spirit relaxed, and the portal appeared taking her to the Heaven she so deserved.
“I am sorry, Mana. I didn’t mean for you to suffer Adam. I am sorry,” I whispered and then cried tearlessly for Mana, my foster daughter who had become the fodder for Adam’s craziness.
|Priscilla looked down at the lifeless maid her husband had appointed to her, Mana. She couldn't believe he had gone to such extremes. Would his madness ever end? Were they all destined to suffer for a woman who no longer had a body?|
She closed her eyes briefly and took a deep breath. When she re-opened them, the other inhabitants of her husband’s chamber staring at her with horror, but waited patiently on her orders.
Not only did, Adam continue to shame her with his continued obsession of his long dead wife, he'd defiled their marriage bed with the help. She glanced at each person present, and wanted to end her on life. She saw various expressions, but couldn't quite name them. Pity? Sadness? Animosity? Were some sneering at her? She didn't understand it. Did they think she was weak, and unable to perform as a wife should? Did they think if she could have given him a child he would have learned to love her? Did they blame her for, Mana's death? Well, there was nothing she could do about it now. These people has sworn to protect and serve her as they did their laird, and she would cower to them.
Priscilla grabbed her skirts, raised her chin and spoke to the small crowd in, Adams's chamber. "Take, Mana to be buried. We will 'ave a service in her honor afore the nooning meal." She turned and fled the room, not wanting to suffer more of her peoples disdain.
Reaching the castle’s garden, she took a deep breath, enjoying the many different aromas. Priscilla paused when she heard soft sobs coming from the lavender bush. She slowly walked over, and found the huge form of her husband crouched down on his hands and knees, with his face in his hands.
He flipped around, quick as wind and glared at her.
Priscilla reared back, afraid of the wild and untamed look in his eyes. Had he gone mad?
He took several long strides toward, stopping only when she could smell the hot air of his breath ghosting over her face. “What do ye want?” He sneered “Can me ever escape ye presence? Are ye so daft, ye cannae know when ye are nae wanted?”
Priscilla gasped. And anger churned her insides. “Nae wanted?” She yelled, no longer caring of his anger, because hers had reached its boiling point. “Me ‘ave been but ye ditful wife. But all ye can offer me is ye hatred over a dead woman! Ye clan thinks it’s me who cannae give ye a heir, but tis ye who refuse to take to bed ye wife.”
She could feel sweat beading at her head, and in the back of her mind she knew she should be quite. But her hurt and anger had taken over. Priscilla was no longer in control of her own body, thoughts, or words. “Ye should never ‘ave taken me to wife! Me could ‘ave been happy!” Then before she knew what she was about, she was pounding him in his muscled chest with both hands. “Ye should ‘ave left me to me father’s clan?”
She couldn’t stop her tongue. “Ye dishonor me. Takin’ whores to ye marriage bed. Sobbing over a dead wife. And ye refuse to give me, me own bairn’s to love.”
Tired and out of breath, Priscilla sank to her knees at her Lord Husbands feet. “Why, Adam? Why do ye hate me so?”
She expected to feel his raft. She had lost her mind, and hit her lord and husband. At any moment she would feel the pain as he struck her. She closed her eyes tight, waiting on the blow. But it never happened.
She peeked up and gasped.
|Tyrin lifted his head suddenly as he heard the raised voices coming from the direction of the lavender bush. He had been tending to the spring vegetable garden - lettuces and onions peeking their heads out of the dark earth. He loved this patch - although the flowers which adorned the palace gardens in abundance were a pleasure to tend, the vegetable garden was something else. He felt a great sense of accomplishment when he took a basket full of fresh greens in to the cook, who marvelled and exclaimed about the dishes she would make that day.|
It was thanks to Lady Priscilla that he was there at all. Having fled a miserable home life in the City and with not a penny to his name or a set of clean clothes to wear she had given him a chance where others would have thrown him to the wolves. Some may speak ill of her - but Tyrin knew the greatness in her heart. He would defend her honour whenever it was required, for without her, he would most likely be dead.
Jumping over the patch the youth sprinted over to the bush, trowel still in hand. Priscilla was on her knees, her face streaked with tears whilst her husband stood motionless in front of her.
"My Lord, My lady." Tyrin said, bowing his head to both in turn. "Is everything alright?"
|Adam turned slowly to look at the lad who had interrupted them. Anger roiled in his chest, but as he looked at the innocence on the lad's grimy face, he knew he couldn't take it out on him. He breathed deeply of the clean, crisp air and knew the moment had passed. In all honesty, he was grateful. When his rage passed, he had to deal with the guilt and horror of what he wreaked on the innocent. Amelia. Priscilla. Mana, may her soul rest in peace. |
Adam's head shot up as a new thought struck him with the force of a blow. Dear God, would Mana haunt him as Amelia did? He staggered back a step. He truly didn't think he could survive being haunted by a second ghost.
"All is well, lad. Be about your business." He watched as the youth left, wryly noting the reluctance visible in every stiff legged stride. It was good that the boy cared for his lady. She needed it. The lady of the keep didn't have friends, couldn't have friends due to her position, but she needed support and respect. He didn't give her enough of either, he knew.
Sighing, he glanced down at the lady still kneeling at his feet. There were many things he wanted to say, but they stuck in his throat. He couldn't make things right for her. She couldn't make things right for him. Truly, there was only one solution available to them.
|I regretted Mana’s death, but there was nothing I could except hope for her to find peace. I felt the tug of Selie’s call. She was the only person in this whole castle who knew I existed. Being a witch made a person aware of even ghosts. I saw Adam and The Wife fighting in the distance, but passed them through the garden to the little room at the end. Selie was sitting there, chanting spell to call me. |
“I would have come on my own, Selie. You don’t need to put that much willpower in the spell,” I said, floating through the closed gate of the room.
“My Lady,” she wailed, rising as if to hug me as if I was not a ghost, but a living person who can offer her the comfort.
I tried to comfort her in the only way possible. “She passed away, Selie. She crossed the portal. She might have left you, but she’ll be in the happier place.”
Selie sniffed and asked, “She is not around? I was so afraid that she’ll—that she’ll...”.
“That she’ll end up like me,” I completed her sentence. I wasn’t agree. Being ghost bound to emotions was not a fate I’d wish for anyone.
She sighed. “I’m sorry, My Lady. It’s just that I know how wretched you feel to be called here every time. I wish you to find peace too.” She hesitated for a moment and then said, “Lord Adam’s madness is increasing day by day. I so rued the day he came to sought Mana. I should have hidden her, I should have sent her to my brother.”
I raised a hand. “Don’t berate yourself. You, like all the other people, were unaware of Adam’s obsessive rage. You thought he loved me. And not only you, my own family thought he loved me. They never noticed the coldness or the scars. Sometimes even I believed that he loved me.”
“My Mana will have a better life now, won’t she, My Lady?” Selie asked.
I nodded. “But Selie, you need to put a stop to this. Something needs to be done. He’s getting worse. His fits of rage are increasing in intensity and count. I’m afraid he’d hurt someone else too.”
A glint of determination came into Selie’s eyes. “He took my daughter away from me. I won’t let him hurt anything else. I’ll tell Lady Priscillia everything.”
|Priscilla felt the pinch to her skin as her Lord husband grabbed hold of her arm, tugging her to her feet. She cried out in pain. “Adam, please. Ye are hurting me.” She tried with all her might to pull her arm free, but it was no use, he wouldn’t bulge. Then she was being dragged across the garden, through the kitchen, and inside the keep. |
Once inside, Adam bellowed. “Be gone with ye.” He waived his hand the length of the great hall. “All of ye!”
There were skittering feet as all the castle inhabitants in the hall scattered away.
“Sit wife.” He said to, Priscilla when they were along.
Her palms began to sweat. Would he yell at her? Strike her? Or worse yet…kill her? Priscilla gulped. Was this to be her end? All because she loved her husband? She took her skirts in hand, and sat down as a well brought up Lords daughter would, then raised her chin, waiting on her punishment.
“Ye will have ye maids pack ye things. Ye are go to ye home clan. me have nae further use for ye.”
She gasped. So this was it. He would shame her as an unworthy wife. All were sure to think her daft. Priscilla could take no more of, Adams belittling her. She stood up and faced her Lord husband head on. “Ye will do nae such think, Adam. This is my home. It was mine the day ye took me to wife, and consummated our marriage. Ye will shame me nae more!” She’d had enough of him discounting her and her efforts.
“What did ye say to me woman?” He bellowed in his signature tone.
Priscilla didn’t even flinch. “Adam.” She took a deep breath, trying to calm her shaky hands, and quivering nerves.
“Me will nae be taken from me home.”
He stared at her as though she’d lost her mind. He frowned. “Ye will defy me?”
“Me should, Adam. Things ‘ave to change, but before we can run our keep, lands, and the people, we ‘ave to make some changes first. We will start by removing yer little pest.”
Then she walked past him, up the stairs and to her chambers. Once there, Priscilla lay on her oversized bed, and tears started to roll down her face like a water well. She never wanted to have to use the book her mother had gifted her with. She had been very afraid of the things it entailed. But it looked like her mother’s family traditions would continue to go through their bloodlines.
She pushed herself up, and made way to her chest that sat by the hearth. She raised the lid. Cool air rushed through her rooms. She shivered, then took the book out and read the inscription.
|Selie was alone again. She spoke to herself in a whisper, "My Lady said, Selie, you need to put a stop to this. Something needs to be done. What did she mean? Does she expect me to us my witchery to stop his dreadful hostility and abuse? How can anyone or anything but death stop him from all the meanness? He hats and abuses everyone. There's no person in the realm whom I am aware of who could have an ounce of power over his personality. Some men become tender and kind when they fall in love, but he has proven that can't work for him. Priscilla has loved him and tried so hard to receive his love. It hasn't worked. And, for him to take an innocent, our precious Mana, to his bed did not lead him to take her to his heart. There can never be love in him again; he won't allow it, and My Lady can do nothing."|
She walked to the window and gazed at the palace grounds, the coiffured shrubs and trees, the bright lakes of floral blooms and watched the sunlight fade. Her hand to her chin, she shook her head. "I must consider all the possibilities as she would want of me. Perhaps he needs lifelong sleep; that would prevent him from hurting others with his beastly hands and horrific anger. Perhaps he just needs to sleep." She mused at the thought as she turned to leave the room.
|Adam strode about the hall, kicking over wooden pews and sending rushes flying. Had his lady wife really called Amelia his 'little pest'? He grimaced. He had loved Amelia as much as anyone could love another person. More. She had been his life, and when she had died, his heart had died with her. He lived for the chance to see her, even if it was just her spirit form. But he couldn't live with the regrets. He had hurt people. Too many people. He just...he couldn't let go of this desire, this madness, while there was still a chance to see Amelia. Amelia was everything.|
"I love ye, Amelia," he whispered to the empty hall. "I love ye so much I can't live without ye." His mind made up, he walked up a flight of stone stairs looking for Priscilla. He would see Amelia's soul laid to rest....and find a way to join her there forever.
|I felt Adam's call when he walked to The Wife's chamber. He was going there early. I was afraid that the things might not be set up. The Wife alone couldn't handle it. She didn't have the expertise or the resolve to lay Adam to his eternal sleep. But Selie was there. She'd help her. She'd help her see the truth and make the herbed drink-- his last drink which would lay Adam to eternal sleep. |
I floated along with Adam, his pain anchoring me to him. We passed the gardener, the one who carried the soft spot for The Wife, and I could believe that he would help her with the grief. I needed to believe that because I needed to be free of both Adam's and The Wife's emotion to leave this non-corporeal form.
Selie was nowhere to be see when we reached The Wife's chamber although she looked shaken.
"Wife, ye are to leave for ye home clan now," he bellowed.
She didn't reply and just offered a cup of wine to him. "Will ye tell me why? I never asked ye about her, but please tell why ye hate me so much? She couldnae have been an angel. What is it that keeps ye bounded to her."
He shook his head and drained the glass in one drink. "I cannae say. Do ye know how she died?"
The Wife shook her head. "They say that she died in your arms."
Adam just nodded. "That she did. I am afraid I might have been the one to kill her. One moment we were talking, and another moment, we were fighting. I remember the red haze of the rage that comes when something spikes my temper. I recall raising my hand, but rest is all blurry."
I snorted. Of course the rest his blurry. The wine, the rage, the fights-- all he decided not to remember.
"Ye loved her. Ye said that ye loved her? How could ye raise your hand then?" she asked, her hand shaking as she poured more wine.
"Do nae question me, woman. There is no doubt that I loved her. I still love her." I just roll my eyes at his stubborn and stupid belief. Had Selie failed in explaining to her? Had she not told her that Adam was truly mad? Why was The Wife asking so many questions?
"So ye loved her, and there never was nae chance for me to win your heart." She was too calm, too calm. "Ye killed Amelia, you killed Mana, and ye want me to go to my clan so that ye can keep on loving the shadow of dead wife?" She asked pouring wine from another bottle.
Adam winced at her accusations, but he didn't deny the truth. "I did nae wanted to kill them. It was all red. They provoked me," he said, downing the glass in one sip. Next moment, he was clutching his throat, flapping like a fish without water.
The Wife's eyes blaze with anger. "I could have forgiven the love, but I will nae forgive the madness. Ye need to leave Adam. Too many have been dead because of ye."
A few minutes and his spirit left hsi body. He saw me, but didnae approach me. I was expecting a fight from him to stay in this plane, but all he gave me was a mock salute like one he had given me when we first met. There was a whisper of apology and he passed through the portal. Weird, I thought. Usually the spirit liked to chat, but it was like he was sucked into the portal. Maybe Hell was waiting for him.
"Are ye still here?" The wife asked. "Amelia, why are ye still here. I killed my husband. I murdered my love. What more do ye want. Leave. Go wherever the deads go. I free you!"
I, freed by the strings of emotions, felt adrift and went away. Hopefully, she won't hate me more or call on me anytime sooner.