Cormac hopped around Ceri as she sat, thinking. Her back against a tree kind enough to allow her to rest on it.
Should we keep running? She shook her head. There was no doubt in her mind that the men had heard her attack and were already on their way to her. Ceri's mother's words haunting her every thought.
"My mother came to me, Cormac," Ceriwyn twiddled her thumbs in her lap, "She basically commanded me to go to my pursuers. So I must," How ever much she loved her mother, what she was asking was testing Ceri. More testing than her Trials. It was deciding to give up what little freedom she had.
Why would you follow the orders of a dead woman? Ceri scrunched her face at him.
"She sees things I don't, knows things I don't," she sighed as her gaze fell to the ground, "Spirits rarely make sense in the first place." Cormac fluttered into her lap to capture her attention.
But you don't have to make it easy on them. She chuckled, and looked at his beady eyes, full of mischief and knowledge beyond any other animal.
"What you're saying is, to let them catch me?" Ceri could have sworn the raven smiled. What I'm saying is, you cast a few traps for them to follow, let them see you for an instant, and then let them believe that it was their doing in finally catching you.
"And if they kill me as soon as they catch me? I am their prey, Cormac," The bird spread his wings, as if to shrug. Then they lose the grand opportunity of knowing you. Ceri smiled at his subtle sarcasm and went back to staring at her hands. Not to mention, if you die, I die. So I'd prefer if you didn't. She sighed and reached for her lightly snow covered pack.
"Seems like I've only got two choices. Let them catch me of their own accord, or let them catch me of mine."
Brushing off the flakes, Ceriwyn pulled out her tomes. Their weight seemed like the physical phantom of their mastery of the arts. The Treatise cover still gave her chills.
"There's got to be something interesting in here." She winked at Cormac as she tied back her hair with a small leather strap.
Ceri looked up at the sky. Though it was cloud covered, it was beginning to darken. Cormac landed on a branch over her head, knocking snow down. She could hear him cackle as she frustratingly shook the snow off her face. Ceriwyn shot him a glare, and began to finish her scheme.
Years of training and practicing, causing it a habit of Ceri's to always have parchment and charcoal. She drew a perfect circle, and connected it with an octagram in the middle. With a spare tack she had, she nailed it to a willing tree.
Whispering her apologies, she finished it off with placing one hand on the sign, and the other on her jeweled forehead. Ceriwyn felt for her gift and drew what she needed, causing it to glow a purplish hue; as did her tattoos. The charcoal left marks on her palm, but the light stayed true.
It dimmed as she backed away, but the spell was in place.
"For better, or for worse," she muttered. Cormac lightly placed his feet on her shoulder.
So, now that it seems you're finished, what does it do? Ceri then remembered that she hadn't said anything to him about it.
"It's a barrier of sorts," she turned in a circle as she explained, "Each sign is in a circle, as perfect as it can be in a wood, and if they enter past the circle, I will know about it." The raven nodded his head slightly.
Rather clever. Ceri nodded slowly.
"All the techniques, and new spells I'm learning are proving very useful. I didn't even know I could touch my gift until it said so in the healing possess for," She paused, trying to remember his name.
"Thank you. Wulfrik," she bent down and hoisted her pack up on her shoulder and headed to the center of her fortification. She crouched down behind a bush, double checking her things. Ceri remembered that her marks were still on her face. She reached down and got a handful of snow. The cold, wet snow on her face came away gray, and instantly made any sleepiness disappear.
"I suppose we just wait now, and let those 'Brothers of Purgatory' catch me."
If they can.