Why can't I run fast enough? Ceriwyn glanced behind her. two bulky figures effortlessly chased after her. Fear filled her entire being as she tried her best to run faster than they. Tears flowed from her eyes, blurring her vision. Where was she running? Her long hair whipped around herself, slowly getting shorter as the men behind her swung their giant swords as if they were made of parchment. Ceriwyn didn't dare look back now, feeling their breath on her. The backs of her hands burned like fire, as did the back of her neck.
She jolted up out of her bedroll in a cold sweat. Breathing hard, she clutched at her blankets, pulling them closer. The night was quite chilly, but she still sweated like it was mid-day. Her head rushed as she reached for her pack and pulled out parchment and a thin piece of charcoal. Ceriwyn didn't have a fire, but the moon was light enough.
She could see her dream, or vision as it were, clearly. Her hands moved of their own accord, slowly revealing two men. One had a hood like death, and the other had large blue eagle wings that almost dragged behind him. Both of their eyes had glowed red with anger. Or was it need? It's so hard to tell. Ceriwyn fingered her long brown hair, curling it around her hand while she thought.
She knew that now she had to take precautions. Why can't I ever stay in one place? Tears filled her green eyes and tumbled down her cheeks.
"Gods," she whispered to herself, "All I'm able to do is cry."
Ceriwyn pushed her way through the crowd, her hood up to hide her face. Walking up to a weapons stall, she bargained and bought two small, easily concealed daggers. Nodding her thanks, she turned on her heel and headed towards a smaller stall with medical supplies.
Purchasing a sewing kit and several herbs, she handed her coins over to the elderly woman. Her hands shook almost uncontrollably, feeling as if all the eyes in the market were staring at her, knowing what she was. Ceriwyn tugged her leather gloves tighter to keep from revealing her secret.
Leaves crunched beneath her boots as she hiked up her hidden trail to her meager camp site. Feeling only slightly winded, she untied her cloak and gently laid it on a stump by her make-shift fire pit. Ceriwyn pulled off her boots and set them by her bedroll. She preferred walking around barefoot in nature, not having her feet feel claustrophobic inside her shoes. Stretching her toes and pushing them into the dirt, she pulled off her top layer of tunic, revealing a lighter and thinner shirt with no sleeves. A cool breeze rustled through the trees above her. Smiling to herself, she knelt before her fire pit.
Her hands tingled with the power of conjuring up flame. It danced on her fingers for a moment, then fell into the pit, slowly growing from the kindling. Ceriwyn wiped the sweat from her forehead, and crossed her legs.
"Gods, that's so exhausting," The raw magic she could use would suck up her energy so fast, it would kill her if she didn't get much larger spiritual well somehow. Thankfully, the rituals and potion making is all material, so it takes little effort on her part.
A squawk, then a thump sounded to her left. Ceriwyn raised her hands menacingly, and slowly walked to where some brush was bent and flattened. A very large raven had accidentally flown into a branch and landed wrong. It rolled and squirmed at her coming, screaming at her.
"Shh," She cooed, kneeing closer to the poor bird, "I want to help." The raven stopped struggling and looked at her quizzically. Biting her lower lip, Ceriwyn gently picked it up and brought it to her fire. Setting it down, she pulled out a jar of thick yellow cream.
"I'm sorry, but you'll have to stretch out your wing for me if you want it healed properly," the bird cradled it's wing close to it's sleek body and looked at her with it's beady eyes. Ceriwyn raised an eyebrow and after a moment, the raven let his wing out. It screeched in pain, but it held it out for her.
"Thank you," she whispered. Her examination concluded that it wasn't broken, luckily, and just bleeding. Ceriwyn dipped her finger in the jar and spread it on the wing.
"Would you mind terribly if you became my familiar?" She asked when she had finished, "By the way, if you do, things like this wouldn't happen so badly," she paused, "Never mind, they would, but I'd feel it too, and be able to fix it," The raven didn't seem to respond, "Also, another perk, I'd be able to tell what you say or think, and you'd be able to understand me better too," Ceriwyn smiled at the large bird, "But I would need your permission first."
She wiped her hands in the grass. The raven hadn't moved from it's spot.
"So, do you want to be mine?" Ceriwyn sat down in front of the bird. The intelligence she could see behind it's eyes was surprising. The raven hopped towards her and fluttered into her lap. Ceriwyn's face broke out in a smile.
"Thank you." She reached for her sewing kit and pulled out a pair of scissors. Gritting her teeth, she cut her thick hair to her shoulders. Fighting back her tears, she placed the locks she cut into a pouch.
"You should feel pretty privileged," she said to the raven. It cocked it's head as a reply, "I wouldn't cut my hair for just anybody."
"Technically, I did blackmail you into being my familiar," Ceriwyn stuffed her things into her larger pack.
Well, I think that is in poor taste. Cormac landed her her shoulder and pecked her hair. Anyway, these men that are chasing you, are they dangerous? She pulled out a small looking-glass and black paint from her bag
"Dangerous enough to try and hunt me. They probably even have a chance," Ceriwyn spread the paint in exotic figures and forms on her face. What does that do? Make you look scary? Cormac chuckled. He enjoyed mocking her.
"Obviously," Her voice dripped with sarcasm, "But they're magical symbols that will hide me from their senses. Even you should know the difference. I need you to circle the skies and tell me when you see them, please and thank you. They should be in the forest by now, if they are the stellar hunters I saw." He squawked in her ear and flew off.