Monday, April 16, 2012

Nistra’s Nightingale

“Sit here upon the sill, and sing sad songs of the death of kings.” She whispered to the small bird. The little brown bird blinked, cocked its head, and began to whistle, trill and gurgle a soaring song into the night. From the height of the tower the song echoed down the valley, and even in the sleepy village it could be heard clearly. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the people of the village stopped to listen to the sad sweet tune.

Nistra sighed as she stood away from the window. Wrapping her cloak around her she reached for her broom, and lifted into the night. Flying below the clouds, she followed the song down the valley and toward the village. Tonight she would claim her due, and complete her part of the yearly ritual.

The song continued as she landed in the village square. As ever, the people were uncomfortable around her, recoiling as her feet touched the ground. “Wilt thou be gone before the coming day? Hear the nightingale, its song in the dark, that pierces the fearful hollow of thine ear. This night she sings, and her song summons me. I come, now, to accept your sacrifice for the coming year. Bring it forth.”

The village mayor steps forward. “Lady of the Night, Lady of the Moon, Messenger of the Singer of the Sad Song, we welcome you to our home, and give you thanks for the past year. To honor our covenant we present one of our own, given freely. Take this sacrifice...” he stretched his arm out to the side, and looked at the empty space. “Will!” the mayor hissed. A young man, no a boy in a blood red tunic was pushed forward to stand at the mayor’s side. His wide eyes looked at the witch.

The mayor cleared his throat. “Take this sacrifice, and let our bond be renewed with the very blood of this village.” A woman in the crowd began to cry.

“I accept your sacrifice in the name of the singer. Will, step forward.”

With a gentle shove from the mayor the boy stumbled forward. Nistra again mounted her broom. She guided the boy onto the broom in front of her. and with a series of slow, lazy loops rose up into the night.

Landing inside the tower she eased the wildly confused boy off the broom and back onto solid ground. “Come on, let me show you where you’ll be sleeping.”

“Sleeping? You aren’t going to eat me?”

Nistra smiled. “No Will. I’m sure you heard all sorts of stories about what happens to the sacrifice, but I promise you, they are wild, and wrong.”


Nistra’s Nightingale

This little bird is a magical construct that sing a song that can be heard for miles. Anyone hearing the song must make a save vs. spells or will be under the effect of the user’s choosing. Effects are generally shift in attitude/emotion and can include tense, calm, irritated, pleased, etc. Generally the effects tend to be minor shifts toward the desired attitude rather than a sudden and dramatic shift in emotion.

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