| The Spitting Pixie bar was a back alley pub that looked like nothing special, but the locals loved it, the food was good, and they made a decent cup of tea. Trix entered the battered front door and went to her favorite stool. The man behind the bar eyed her, took a moment, and brought over a fragrant cup of black tea. Trix smiled her thanks as she sipped, staring at the crumpled letter in her hands; it was all about to change. Mother, the Ebon Queen, was dead, and Trix had been called home. Long live the heir apparent.
Following a couple heading into the establishment, a woman slipped inside like a wraith. Her eyes assessed the room and honed in on the petite woman at the bar drinking from a delicate teacup. With a tiny shake of her head, she went to stand just behind the woman. Moving back her hood, her opaque eyes, and pure white hair the opposite of the other woman, she said softly, "long live the heir apparent;" and promptly let out a soft grunt of pain as she reached down and pulled a tiny dagger from her thigh, "missed you too sister mine."
A loud group of revelers entered; at the center of the mix, a woman let out a raucous laugh and called out, 'a round for the house, my friend here just lost another bet!' Both women at the bar turned their heads and rolled their eyes as they watched the same woman waggle a wallet, surely stolen, in the air, causing people to whoop and holler, calling out drink orders. Then as if she had never been in the fray, she vanished and appeared by the two of them winking, "Heir apparent, royal guard, your delightful sister/spymaster is reporting in."
Trix glared at Luna and Jaye, her dark eyes flickering with odd motes of violet light as she growled, "I don't fucking want or need a guard, or a spymaster, and I sure as the dark Queen's tits do not want that gods damned title." Flicking her stark white braid of hair over her shoulder with a tilt of her head, Luna waived her letter at Trix while Jaye grinned, pulling a similar letter from her boot saying, "The gods have never given two shits about what any of us wanted, nor did our not so dearly departed mum. "
Trix snorted, 'dear mum was a dark-hearted bitch that cobbled us together through blood magic in an effort to create tools to do her bidding.' She raised her cup in a mock salute, Luna and Jaye watching her warily. Looking down at her hand, she watched as lightning crackled and danced across and around her fingers. Luna reached out and covered Trix's hand, not showing any reaction to the pain of the electric shock to her system, hissing a quiet but firm, "Control yourself; we are vulnerable here" to Trix. "That's the problem. It's too much. I can't control it."
A shift in Trix's body, a stiffening, had Luna locking eyes with Jaye and saying, "Trix, has the transfer happened yet?" With obvious effort, Trix raised her cup, showing her sisters the tea inside it, roiling around as if it truly held a tempest and her brow beaded with violet droplets of sweat. "The process started as soon as I crossed the boundary into the Ebon lands last week, it comes in waves, and each one is worse than the last. At least the quakes, fires, and storms in the area have eased off according to the chatter in here."
All three of them shared a knowing look, and then, ever the practical one, Luna said, 'we have to get you out of here and to the proving field; if we don't, the curse will kill you.' Trix smiled, her eyes haunted, voice soft, "that's not a bad thing Luna, you two could finally be free." Jaye spoke up this time, her voice deadly quiet, "we have never asked to be free, of the binding or of you. Besides, if there is no living vessel, the rifts open again. So stop whining, get your ass up and get moving. Now."
The three of them stood, Trix dropping a generous amount of coins on the bar, and headed out the door. As they entered out into the dark alleyway, Trix trembled again and started to drop to her knees; Jaye and Luna grabbed her up, making it as if they were helping a friend who had a bit too much to drink. Then they heard the sound, like the tolling of a sonorous bell; it reverberated through them all. Trix started to speak incoherently, glowing symbols manifesting from her breath. Luna and Jaye locked knowing eyes; he had stepped across the Ebon Lands border.
The border looked like any other road; a simple signpost indicated that on the other side of the footbridge lay the Ebon Blessed lands. The man approaching the verge of the bridge moved with grace and economy. His cloak and boots were of fine quality if a bit worn, and on his left hand, a ring glinted as he reached to adjust his satchel. As he stepped across the border, he grimaced at the tangible sound rolling through him once his foot settled on the dark soil. He said softly, "Finally, it has begun; long live the heir apparent."
With those words, he went to one knee, head bent, seemingly in prayer. After a long moment, he raised his head as if coming awake and spoke words that left violet symbols in the air. Then, suddenly it was as if he had never been, and a large grey and black brindle dire wolf loped off along the path. His big paws left no trail, his body flitted through the forest like smoke, never stirring a leaf or twig; yet his chuffing bark hung on the wind, tangible, mocking, and absolutely joyful. The sound of the Ebon Hunt being underway.