merchants on long

3

a dragon/manakete au requested by @draceempressa

also:

Princes are dull. I’d be bored to death traipsing off to royal balls and in a foul mood because I would be cinched into a scratchy gown and wearing the latest fashionable shoes - something ungodly painful and foolish like glass slippers. I’d rather dream of a Green Man with horns or a margrave with pretty scars and a lovely body.”

“And if you wake up to find one in your bed? Will you run screaming for help?”

She gave an indelicate snort. “Hardly. I know a good thing when I see it. I’d skive him sideways.”

—  Entreat Me by Grace Draven (who gets it)
Baby King learning...
  • The newest merchant in town has been hounding at the Kings for an audience, proclaiming to have the best vases in the kingdoms. On a slow day, Laurent finally decides to entertain himself and see what the merchant has.
  • The merchant is being an absolute shit, announcing himself the best of all merchants. “Better than the old and useless Charls, I assure you, Your Majesty,” the merchant boasts, “I am the future.”
  • Some time along his speech the Royal Baby enters the room and runs to Papa because he seems mad. Daddy told him to watch out for “That Look” from Papa and help him. He reaches for Papa and he lifts him into his arms.
  • The merchant sees a baby and continues “Wouldn’t the Royal Baby like to knock over my fine vases? Yes he would, yes he would, wouldn’t he?”
  • What he didn’t notice was “That Look” coming over the mini King, always learning the best from his Papa.
  • “Don’t don’t talk to me, or my Papa ever again.”
  • The merchant was never been spotted in the united kingdoms ever again.
Book recs for Ravenclaws!

Gif source | More recs: ravenclaw (pt. 2), hufflepuff (pt. 1 and pt. 2), slytherin (pt. 1 and pt. 2), gryffindor (pt. 1 and pt. 2) | text by @viegsen and @juan-nieves

House traits: intelligent, witty, wise, creative, original, logical, enjoys learning, quirky/eccentric, accepting, competitive, individual

  • THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - mystery - If Sherlock Holmes isn’t a Ravenclaw, I don’t know who is. He needs no introduction, but if you dig brainy detectives and have already read Doyle’s books, you can also try Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries.
  • HOPSCOTCH, by Julio Cortázar - fiction - There’s really no describing the plot of this book, because you can literally make the story go where you choose. It basically consists of two main structures or ways of reading: in one, you can read every chapter in the way you would any other book, and you’d stop at chapter 56, which wraps up the main story. The other thing you could do is follow the suggested order the author gives you at the very beginning, which mixes chapters from all over the book and sort of builds a different path for the story. You could ALSO make up your own path and read chapters in whatever order you choose, and then you’d end up with yet another take on the story. So, reading this book is really more of an experience. It’s a book you have to work on in order to make sense of the whole thing, which means you have to dedicate yourself a little to it. Plus, it’s something you can read over and over again, and you’d end up with something different every single time. Complex, original, intricate, ambitious, and kind of pretentious? This book is as Ravenclaw as they come.
  • THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - historical fiction; mystery - What could be more Ravenclaw than not only a book about books, but also about the people that love them?
  • THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, by Douglas Adams - science fiction; comedy - Hitchhiker’s is the perfect mix of sci-fi and silliness, and provides ample commentary on the absurd aspects of life on Earth. If Luna Lovegood read muggle books, she would probably be a huge Adams fans.
  • A WEEK TO BE WICKED by Tessa Dare - historical romance - Tessa Dare writes the most hilarious historical romances, and I couldn’t not recommend this story of a bluestocking who is so determined to go to a Geology conference in Scotland and present her studies to the Geological Society, she decides to say goodbye to her reputation and convinces the village’s resident rake to fake an elopement and travel four hundred miles with her all the way to Edinburgh. Not only does this have a Ravenclaw heroine (she’s eccentric, creative and loves learning), it also features several of my favourite romance tropes (fake engagement! road trip! they have to share a bed because reasons!), so yeah it’s terribly silly but it’s one of my faves.
  • THE DUCHESS WAR by Courtney Milan - historical romance - If you like historical romance (or romance in general actually) and you haven’t read Courtney Milan yet, you are missing out. She writes complex, interesting, refreshing, heart-wrenching romances, and tackles social issues while at it. Basically she’s the best. The Duchess War has a Ravenclaw heroine (brilliant, witty, creative, logical and a scary good strategist), a woman who’s living a lie and goes by a fake name in order to hide her scandalous past. She adopts a timid persona and does her best not to attract attention, until a handsome duke with a secret of his own comes into her life, and jeopardizes the new life she’s built for herself. (This is free on Amazon btw)
  • DANGER! WOMEN ARTISTS AT WORK, by Debra N. Mancoff - art - Are you tired of art books that pretend all great art was created exclusively by men? Well this gorgeous, fully illustrated art book is for you: learn about more than 60 fierce, groundbreaking women artists from the Renaissance til today; their lives, the barriers they faced to express themselves, and of course, their work. Perfect for those creative and original Ravenclaws.
  • FRANKENSTEIN, by Mary Shelley - science fiction - Ravenclaws would totally be into the whole mad scientist trope, and what better than this classic that practically started it all? This book has a pretty engrossing story, but on top of that it’s full of passages that leave you to ponder about human life and the whole nature vs. nurture thing, which has led many a Ravenclaw scholar to think and write tons of interesting stuff. Plus, Mary Shelley pretty much started a whole genre with this book, so it’s great if you wanna keep on with the theme of creative and innovative women.
  • THE HANDMAID’S TALE, by Margaret Atwood - dystopia - In the dystopian society of the Republic of Gilead, women are quite literally treated as property and have specific roles that relate to society’s needs. This is where you meet Offred, a handmaid given to a couple to be used for reproduction. From her perspective, you get to explore the place that the Republic allows women to inhabit, and how to move within it, along with the consequences this has in all spheres of both public and private life. As with most of what Atwood writes, this book is definitely a thinker. Out of any of the four houses, Ravenclaws would know best just how dangerous theories and ideas can be, and how much they can impact every aspect of life. Besides being having a good plot, this book will make you think quite a lot about society, gender roles, the use of information, and human relationships.
  • THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, by William Shakespeare - play - This play has probably one of the greatest examples of a Ravenclaw woman. Portia will show you how intelligence and book learning sometimes have to be used in pretty creative ways for you to…get your point across, let’s say. It will also show you that women just get shit done tbh.
  • BLUESTOCKINGS, by Jane Robinson - non fiction - Bluestockings is a history of the first women to fight for access to higher education in Britain, with lots of anecdotes about their lives and the misogyny they faced on every turn. Did you know Tolkien was a jerk to his female students? When women were present in his lecture room, “he grew quiet and subdued, his Anglo-Saxon sounding faintly threatening, like ‘gentle swearing’” (no wonder there were so few women characters in his books). I found this book very inspiring, and hopefully so will other Ravenclaws (Rowena, of course, would never have stood for gender-based discrimination at Hogwarts, so suck on that, Oxbridge). It should remind us that the battle for women’s right to education and a hassle-free learning environment is one that is still being fought to this day.
  • HEART’S BLOOD, by Juliet Marillier - fantasy; romance - This is kind of a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but the heroine is a SCRIBE and she is fleeing her abusive relatives so she ends up in a cursed fortress with strange people, lots of ghosts and weird magical artifacts. She’s really smart so she spends a lot of time in the fortress’s library reading and translating stuff to try to lift the curse and save everybody with her logic and wit. Ravenclaw heroine, fuck yeah! TW: descriptions of physical and emotional domestic abuse.
  • BLINDNESS, by José Saramago - dystopia - If you’re a Ravenclaw who loves exploring both science and human behavior, then this is the book for you: a story in which the spreading of an unknown disease reveals not only how capable we are of keeping true to our principles under extreme circumstances, but also in just how many different ways we are able to do so.
  • BURIAL RITES, by Hannah Kent - historical fiction - Another thinker, this time exploring themes ranging from death penalty, justice, hate, and punishment, to gender roles, cultural differences, fear, and compassion. This story of the last woman in Iceland to be sentenced to capital punishment is filled with passages that relate to a very personal and unique experience, but that in doing so point to something greater that has been a point of discussion and debate among people for centuries.

znh12  asked:

Hate to bother ya, but I'm super curious. What Aberrant usually do when the Player is not around? Just sitting in his house? Also, has he ever hit another Face Monster with his lantern? No need to answer it. And have a nice day! ^-^

He reads.

A lot.

It really doesn’t matter where he is, and he’ll either sit in his room to read, or go outside to get out of the way of those who generally detest him. He tries to spend more time outside than inside.

Since the dungeons are the source of most of the books found in any town, and the dungeons go way back and were used as bunkers by stranded space/interdimensional travelers, the available books can range from magic tomes to historical accounts to technical manuals to fictional novels.

Aberrant prefers technical books to outright fiction, as he (ironically) doesn’t follow character-driven narratives well. 

Maybe, once he runs out of textbooks and manuals, he’ll read fiction out of boredom and find he likes it. But seeing as Terraria’s wealth of objectively written work spans multiple times and dimensions, what constitutes their reality is often just as, if not more fascinating than fiction is to us. 

As for the last question…

No.

But he would.

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Today marks the 1 year anniversary of this video being posted holy s hi t

three little words

a quick drabble of the scene in 43 where vex visits victor with percy and the two actually say i love you to each other from percy’s perspective - and taliesin makes the point to repeat percy telling vex he loves her when he realizes laura didn’t hear.

prompted by @tieflingofcolor‘s message in the cr discord: “you know what I want to see in fic? that moment in episode 44 where percy/tal says “I love you” after vex convinces victor not to bribe themwhich is probably the first time percy said “i love you” to vex and his thought processes when he realizes he meant it”

[ao3]

“Vex?”

“Yes?”

“Two hundred and fifty gold if you would be so kind.”

“That much?” Her face twists up, and even just leaning in through the door to look at her he can see she looks almost offended.

He can’t help the little smile that flickers across his face at her response. “I’m going to make you something lovely.”

Almost instantly, she loosens up and shoots back in a sing-song voice, “I love you!”

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broken promises || baekhyun

[1] [2] [3]

part 2 to baekhyun’s soulmate au! this part mostly gives some insight to baekhyun’s home life.

3920 words; soulmate!au; baekhyun/reader scenario; slight angst

“Look who’s finally home.” The older boy straightens up as Baekhyun wanders inside, a bowl of porridge settled in the boy’s grimy hands. His voice is harsh, but Baekhyun can sense the relief within. “How was your outing with Chanyeol and Sehun?”

“Just fine, Junmyeon.” Baekhyun winks. “I think I might have just found something that’ll buy us a month’s worth of food.”

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THE MONGOLS UNDER GENGHIS KHAN WAR AGAINST CHINA’S NORTHWESTERN TANGUT (TIBETO-BURMESE) RULED KINGDOM OF XI XIA

This is an expert from my post “THE MONGOLS AND THE RISE OF GENGHIS KHAN”.

WESTERN XIA, 1205–1210 CE

Something their Chinese neighbors had always feared was a unified nomadic nation and now Genghis Khan (Temujin, Chinggis Qa’an) had done just that. With the Mongolian Steppe unified under one banner, Genghis Khan and his hordes could direct their full attention elsewhere, like towards the rich and opportunistic nations of northern China. Uniting these rivalrous tribes was difficult enough but as Genghis promised them a comfortable life of profit and glory, he needed a target to assail – an outlet, a common enemy and a unifying ploy. After defeating his father-like patron To’oril and his oath-brother Jamuqa there still remained one foe, Senggum (son of To’oril), who fled to the empire of Western Xia (Chinese: Xi Xia or Hsi Hsia). Senggum’s refuge in Western Xia, the third weakest realm in China, was enough of an excuse for Genghis Khan to invade it.

In reality Genghis Khan long sought to conquer a different realm in China, the eastern Jinn Empire, but he first needed to eliminate the threat posed by the Tangut (Tibeto-Burmese peoples) empire of Western Xia. Western Xia was renowned for trade (being that they also had trade relations with Central Asia), artistry (literature and architecture), and craftsmanship (weavers, builders, leatherworkers, metallurgists). This Buddhist realm was also admired for their religious, cultural and intellectual aptitude; boasting about three hundred schools and nine grand pagodas. Despite being the smallest, weakest and most vulnerable of the northern dynasties this did not mean that they were powerless, just overshadowed by their neighbors. Western Xia possessed a military force renowned for its skill in archery, chariotry, horsemanship, amphibious combat and artillery (with cannons being carried around by camels). Another advantage was their geographical position: they lived in a fertile valley and were guarded by the Taklimakan desert to its east, the Tibetan Plateau in the south and the great Gobi Desert in the north and northeast.

^ Trade map. Voyages in World History, Volume 1 by Valerie Hansen, Kenneth Curtis.

Before invading Western Xia, Genghis Khan gathered intel from many sources. One of these sources of information came from newly conquered steppe nomads like the Kerayits, Naimans and the Uighurs who had closer relationships with China’s northern dynasties. Another was from Muslim merchants whom had long traded with the Xia and were unhappy with the empire’s greedy overtaxing. The third source of intel came from the results of small scale raids ordered by the Khan, the true purpose of these raids was a way for the Mongols to not only loot the Xia but to explore the landscape, scope out their new enemy and to take captives for them to question. One obstacle that Genghis Khan had to overcome was that now he faced his first sedentary foe which possessed walled cities that they could hide behind. By this time the Mongols were highly inexperience at besieging cities as the greater part of their history was spent clashing against other nomads.

Another obstacle faced were the great deserts which guarded the Xi Xia from the northern nomads. The Mongols, however, learned that they could bypass said deserts by traversing through a mountain pass they learned of beforehand. This pass was guarded by Tangut fortresses which the horde of one hundred and twenty thousand Mongols, inexperienced in siege warfare, failed to overcome.

Osprey – ‘Men-at-Arms’ series, issue 295 – Imperial Chinese Armies (2): 590–1260 ADby CJ Peers and Michael Perry (Illustrator). Plate E: Hsi-Hsia. E1: King with attendants – “This figure, based on an 11th-century cave painting from Tun-huang, is thought to represent one of the kings of Hsi-Hsia. His embroidered robe is a typically Chinese symbol of royalty”. E2: Armoured cavalryman – “A 10th-century painting – also from Tun-huang – in the Musee Guimet in Paris shows several of these warriors on foot. However, the unsuitability of the armor for infantry fighting, and its similarity to the long lamellar coats used by Turkish horsemen, suggest that they are dismounted cavalry. Such armour styles are also very similar of those used in the same area by the Tibetans. The figures are shown armed with bows, but may also have used lances when mounted. A distinctive Hsi-Hsia hairstyle was imposed by Yuan Hao: the top of the head was shaved, leaving a fringe across the forehead.

The Mongols then employed a common tactic used by the steppe nomads, that of the feigned retreat. This so-called ‘Dog Fight tactic’ was a soon-to-be common ploy used by the Mongols in battle and when facing fortified settlements. In an attempt to lure the garrison out of the safety of their walls and into the plain where the nomadic hordes held the advantage, the Mongols would leave a small detachment of men or supplies behind and feign retreat. The enemy garrison would then sally out of the settlement and attempt to chase down the fleeing Mongols, attack the abandoned Mongol camp or pillage and loot their abandoned supplies. The Mongols would then either lure the garrison further away from their settlement, obliterate the looters or allow them to transport the pillaged supplies to the settlement which would now have their gates wide open and obstructed by carts and animals laden with booty. 

The Mongol tactic was successful as they ambushed the sallying Tangut garrison. Now their path towards the Western Xia capital of Chung-hsing (Mongol ‘Eriqaya’ or ‘Iryai’.  Present day city of ‘Yinchuan’) was clear. Swiftly they headed towards the capital, before reinforcements could arrive, and besieged the seemingly impenetrable capital. The Jinn responded to the Tangut pleas for help by saying, “It is to our advantage when our enemies attack one another, wherein lies the danger to us?

^ Mongol (2007). My snapshot.

The Mongols then began their long siege of the Western Xia capital of Chung-hsing. Despite how greatly skilled the Mongols were as horsemen in the open field, siege warfare was a different beast. The Mongols spent a year unsuccessfully besieging the capital before choosing to use the capital’s canals and dykes (dam), which utilized the Yellow River to irrigate their lands, against them. Genghis Khan ordered the dykes to be destroyed in an attempt to divert the Yellow River (Hang-ho River) into the city which would then be flooded… but instead it was the Mongol camp that was flooded out. 

The eastern Jinn dynasty refused to send a relieving force to save the Western Xia so with the loss of hope, their croplands flooded and the fear that the Great Khan’s plan to flood the city would eventually succeed, the Western Xia submitted to Genghis Khan (in 1209 CE). The Emperor of the Western Xia then gave his daughter (Chaka) to Genghis Khan to marry, gifted them textiles, falcons and camels while agreeing to pay them tribute and supply troops.


To read more about the steppe nomads known as the Mongols, read my post titled “THE MONGOLS AND THE RISE OF GENGHIS KHAN”. I cover their rapid adaptation of foreign technologies, their transition from seemingly insignificant tribal confederacies into an empire that was four times the size of Alexander’s and twice the size of the Roman’s. I also speak of their military tactics, some of their battle formations, armaments, and their secretive order of bodyguards known as the Keshik, as well as Genghis Khan’s early wars against northern China’s Western Xia dynasty (Tanguts: Tibeto-Burmese) and eastern Jinn dynasty (Tungusic Jurchens who were Sinicized).


The following is an excerpt from my post, “GENGHIS KHAN, THE STALLION WHO MOUNTS THE WORLD”. 

During Genghis Khan’s campaigns against Khwarezmia, Western Xia (Tibeto-Burmese empire) refused to send reinforcements, declared independence and tried gaining an alliance with the eastern Jinn dynasty (sinicized Tungusic Jurchens). This betrayal and disrespect remained on the mind of Genghis Khan as he had a secretary of his remind him twice a day (every noon and dusk) that the Western Xia still existed.

Because the Tang’ut people gave their word but did not keep it, Chinggis Qa’an for the second time took the field against them.” – The Secret History of the Mongols.

When the west was under his sway, he returned to China in his late 60′s to exact his revenge on the Xi Xia. The Great Khan was furious at how resistant and defiant the Western Xia were so he ordered that every settlement and fortification was to be destroyed. During this campaign Genghis Khan mysteriously died (August 18, 1227 CE) and on his deathbed he ordered that the Western Xia should be erased from the face of the earth – even in death his death toll rose. The Mongols were pretty successful at following his last order as we have few archaeological remains to study and the Xia are rarely ever spoken of.

after having exterminated the Tang’ut people’s mothers and fathers down to the offspring of their offspring, maiming and taming, Činggis Qa’an gave the following order: ‘While I take my meals you must talk about the killing and destruction of the Tang’ut and say, “Maimed and tamed, they are no more.” – The Secret History of the Mongols.

Burial

The rich could be buried on an open plain and inside a ger (tent; Turkish ‘Yurt’), but at times this was just a ruse as he was instead secretly buried in a pit elsewhere. Mongols could be buried alongside a horses, saddles, bridles, bows, quivers and arrows. The rich man’s slave was placed beneath the body and if he managed to escape within the span of three days then he was made a freeman and respected guest of the rich man’s family. The rich man’s burial site was then further covered with earth and trampled on by horses so to obscure the site. Horses could be impaled over or stuffed with hay and placed on wooden scaffold over the grave of the deceased. The poor, however, were simply deserted and left unburied out in the open where vultures, wolves, and dogs could pick at their carcasses. This was seen as a noble act as all living creature needed to eat, another benefit being that these momentarily satisfied predators and scavengers would leave more wildlife for man to hunt. If the deaths of the poor were larger in scale or if they shared a specific spot of interest, mass graves or hills of bodies would be a common site.

It would be impossible to imagine a more horrible spectacle than met our eyes on arriving at Golgotha, an open space or cleft between two green hillocks… a valley literally crammed with corpses in every stage of decomposition, from the bleached bones of skeletons that had lain there for years, to the disfigured, shapeless masses of flesh that had been living beings but a few days or hours ago. The moon shed a pale, unearthly light over the grinning skulls and grey upturned faces of the dead, some of whom lay stark and stiff, just as they had been left by their friends, others with their blue shrouds ragged and torn, with disfigured faces and twisted limbs, lying in the horribly grotesque positions in which the dogs or wolves had dragged them… The Mongol is, at any rate, free from an evil which always more or less threatens us of superior civilization – that of being buried alive.” 

The Great Khan’s death remained secret to keep the campaign and his empire from unraveling. Mongol soldiers had all tomb builders executed; all witnesses to his funeral procession to Karakorum were also killed as were two thousand funeral attendees and the eight hundred soldiers themselves – so to keep its location secret. There are also stories of horses trampling over his unmarked grave so to obscure signs of a burial, trees being planted over it or maybe even a river being diverted to flow over It. Till this day it has not been found though some historians believe that it may be buried in an area (Ikh Khorig, “Great Taboo”) near the great sacred mountain Genghis often visited, prayed atop of and meditated at (Burqan Qaldun).


Head over to “GENGHIS KHAN, THE STALLION WHO MOUNTS THE WORLD” to read more about how Genghis Khan was pressured into campaigning out of China toward Central Asia (Kara Khitai Khanate) to Greater Iran (Khwarezmian Empire), the frontier of Eastern Europe (Medieval Russia and Ukraine) and back to China. Genghis Khan’s campaigns against the Jinn dynasty of Northern China might’ve reduced their population by two thirds and the invasion of Khwarezmia ended in the population of Persia dropping to about one tenth of its original number. I also cover Mongol shamanism and their tolerance of foreign religions, the famed ‘Yam’ pony express, their tactical use of captives and their massive deportation policy.

FIC: The Rules Don’t Apply

Fandom: Samurai Love Ballad Party
Timeline/Continuity: Canon divergence
Pairing: Maeda Toshiie/MC (unnamed)
Genre: fluff
Word Count: ~1900
Rating: PG
Notes: I love Inuchiyo, but there’s only so much MC’s father/scar angst that I can take. So have some fluff, featuring MC who is a little TMI but means well. A million thanks to pseudofaux for looking over this mess for me. <3

“So you and me - us - like this is kind of… strange.”

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I’m crawling on your shores

for the first day of OMGCheckPlease Women Week 

Also on AO3 


Jessica Ford stirs from her slumber, the smell of eggs and chorizo pulling her away from her dreams. She gently rubs her eyes as she yawns. She reaches for the other side of her queen sized bed. It’s empty.

She shuffles out of bed, putting on her fox slippers before trudging upstairs to the kitchen. Her eyes are still mostly shut as she slides onto a barstool at the breakfast nook. She rests her chin in her hands.

“Morning,” Caitlin says cheerfully from the stove.

Jess cracks her left eye open, grinning tiredly.  “Hey, did Chris leave already?”

“Yea, the coaches wanted him to come in early to do drills with some of the vets that are still in town,” Caitlin explains.

The sound of Caitlin grating a spatula against the pan is oddly soothing.

Jess hums contentedly. “That’s good right?”

“I don’t want to jinx anything, but…I think so,” she says. “Do you want toast on the side or should I make it a sandwich?”

“Sandwich.” Jess groans as she stretches in her seat. “I don’t think I can wait for toast. I’m famished.”

Caitlin chuckles. Not a minute later, she places breakfast in front of Jess, kissing her firmly on the temple. Jess turns her head so they can properly kiss each other. She thinks this is her favorite part of Caitlin and Chris visiting, getting quiet moments with her girlfriend. As much as she loves her metamours, all three, it’s nice to have some time for just the two of them. 

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A Witch by the Sea

Summary: Summer of 1692. With Port Royal leveled and Salem caught in witch hysteria, a pirate meets a healer that’s more than meets the eye. 

Rating: T

Words: 7,200ish (one shot)

Ao3   FF.net

-x-x-x-x-x- 

She knew him for what he was the moment she saw him, ambling along the dusty, rutted road that led up from Town. It didn’t matter that he’d clad himself in the proper attire of the settlement, nary a stitch out of place – the rich tan of his skin gave him away in an instant. No proper gentleman of Salem would reveal himself to the sun with enough regularity to attain such a rich, caramel coloring to his skin. There was also his manner of walking, as though he expected the dirt to shift below his feet with each step he took.

What he was doing in Salem village, so far from Town and the harbor, was anyone’s guess.

Emma kept her head down as she hurried back to her cottage, dust kicking up over her boots and skirts. Dangerous times were afoot, and for a woman like her, widowed but still young and pretty, being seen alone was an invitation for trouble. The gaol already held a half-dozen or more women who would swing before the month was out, and Emma was not keen on joining them.

Especially since if anyone was a witch, it was her.

Not the sort of witch being whispered about with fearful glances at the neighbours – Emma could no sooner induce a fit in the herbs drying from her rafters than those poor young girls that the whole mess had started with. And while they were certainly afflicted with something, she sincerely doubted they had been cursed.

After all, she’d never met another of her kind, and if there were such a creature in Salem, she would know. And if Emma herself were powerful enough to do such a thing, well, she’d be more interested in bringing mothers through childbirth alive and whole than causing a bunch of silly teenagers to foam at the mouth.

It was a relief to reach her cottage and close the door behind herself, the hot summer sun left outside. She set down her basket, now empty after delivering the various remedies and medicines she supplied to the village. Not everyone could afford to be attended by the doctor in Town – Emma couldn’t – so they came to her instead.

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