moat in the woods

[Ask RPedia] Elaborating For Your Partner’s Sake?

Anonymous asked said: Minor PSA: when you and your partner agree to do a crossover to something your partner explicitly told you they know nothing about, you’re kind of supposed to fill in the details. Don’t just describe the Dwarven castle as “the Dwarven castle.” What am I supposed to do with that? Knock on the door? Oh, there’s a moat. Thanks for clearing that up. It’s so frustrating to have to flail about and try to play along! Make it easy to participate or you’re really just writing a private fanfiction. 

I like this. I can see where it may apply and questions it’ll bring up though… LET’S EXPAND ON THIS. I’m gonna rub my greasy little fingers all over your very decent PSA and help ya’ll add a little Dungeon Master to your roleplaying flair, so everyone can be on the same footing. This is, for example, very useful for super hyper-intelligent characters who are supposed to pick up on everything, or psychics and dieties and– whatever let’s go play.

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Horned Serpent Headcanons

So I’ve seen a lot of headcanons for the other houses, and I thought I’d help us Serpents out with a few of my own. True to my house, I of course, researched.

The Horned Serpent is a familiar figure in South Eastern Indigenous mythology. The crystal at its forehead is said to be divinatory, that it’s friendly to humans, but can draw its prey with a sort of magnetism. It’s long been associated with rain, water, and rainbows. Horned Serpents in indigenous mythology are always magical, and possess powerful medicine, bestowing it upon those who help or defeat them. They often have the power of invisibility, or of shapeshifting, in addition to divinatory powers and hypnotic magnetism.

There also seem to be some myths about the negative side of the Horned Serpent - that it’s poisonous, and vengeful - it won’t cause the death of the person that wronged it, but it will cause the death of it’s family….which is rather dark.

There is also Horned Serpent iconography throughout Europe, most notably with the Gundestrup Cauldron, held aloft by Cernnunos, Verile god of the forest, lush growth, and of the wild things. Antlered serpents are wound about his waist like a girding belt, protecting the thing they treasure. In Celtic mythology, horned serpents are associated with the Underworld, and with the Otherworld, and are often guardians for their treasures.

With that in mind, here are my headcanons.

Dormitories and Common Room

Like the guardians from which they have been chosen, the Horned Serpent house dormitories guard the grounds of the Great Library, encircled by a moat with no drawbridge.

The Moat is fed by the Serpent’s river, and the denizens of the house must enchant themselves a means of crossing. Some enchant their feet, so that they may walk across the water. Others a daring vine to swing upon. Some will call a canoe forth, or work with their hands, hollowing out a tree trunk and carving special sigils and runes, ingraining the wood with the medicine of sweat and toil, learning the best sigils to ward off capsizing, to steer through fog, to shake off the untrustworthy.

Many, at their first entrance to their house do not have the refined knowledge yet to do any of those things, and so, they simply swim across. Those that cannot swim are helped across by their fellows, whom are instinctively protective of their own. Much to the surprise and wonderment of the new Snakes, the River Serpent will often slither through the green waters, his scales shining, as he winds through the moat, assisting those having trouble, weaving along the legs and brushing toes in welcome. He is often quite silent, but a special few may hear his voice.

The Dormitories

The dormitories themselves are set into the curtain wall around the Great Library’s tower. The granite is dark and speckled with rainbow flecks that shimmer in the sunlight, and warm with it. The gothic arch of the dorm doors is belied by the warm cypress woods, which are native to Greylock Mountain. Sun slants through the stained-glass windows in a myriad of alternating colours, painting scenes of nature and knowledge and the seeking of it against the deep, comforting darkness that typifies the Horned Serpent dorms.

Loft style, Beds alternate from the airy attic, with it’s high curtain-wall ceiling and views slanting across the fog along the moat and into the Wild Wood, and deep below, nestled into the alcove under the stairs, lined with portholes into the Moat, watching the fish and the water snakes, and the other, hidden things in the dark water. Most Horned Serpent dorms will have their wall space tacked with emergency shelving, for their ever-growing collection of books, articulated skeletons, specimens in bell jars, scrolls, Divination tools, and implements of their own construction, and forgotten coffee mug. Ladders are often enchanted when the young witch or wizard’s climbing begins to grow calamitous, and might damage their collections (They give much less thought to the state of their bones than the state of their beloved stores of knowledge)

Large diagrams, Tarot card spreads, and sigil designs will often drift up the staircases, and discarded boots and dropped notebooks, scrawled with hasty notes, will endanger even the most eagle-eyed Thunderbird, or dexterous Wampus. The Horned Serpents, however, seem to learn (even if they are clumsy at first) to sense the path around their own scatterbrained leavings, following the course unconsciously, their noses stuck in books or scrolls or peering through fascinating spectacles of their own making.

The Common Room

The Horned Serpent Common Room is better known as the Gatehouse. It sits atop the arched gate of the curtain wall, overlooking the entrance to the Library, and the Wild Wood beyond. Equally at home among the dusty shelves as they are under the shady leaves and swaying branches, the Horned Serpent’s common room marries the seeking nature of the Scholars.

Two giant Cypress trees ground the gate-walls, with roots that sink deep, deep into the ground, and branches that splay along the two retaining walls of the Common Room. They stretch along the ceiling, blanketing the roof with reminders of the season. Gold, saffron, crimson, and cranberry during the fall, drifting ever so slowly to the stone floor. Jade and new green in spring, unfurling in a haze. Deep, shady emerald and vermillion in the height of summer, and bare purple-brown, spiny and stark and beautiful, in the cold clutch of winter. The wide trunks are tattooed with youthful carvings, ‘so and so was a serpent’, ‘KL+ LM =<3′, and other such graffitied life, worn with the dignity of history. Young witches and wizards often take a special fancy to figure out who carved what, and why. As such, there is a long and rambling oral history of the house, and all of the escapades of its members, from the insignificant to the big, for, the Horned Serpents know, like the ouroboros, it all feeds into each other, in the end.

The branches are hung with lanterns, scattered about without thought for size or style or placement - a haphazard coziness that is both gloomy and warm by turns. There are articulated skeletons of all sorts of foraged creatures, and a collection of bell jars and glass greenhouses filled with Baneful herbs - nightshade and redcap mushrooms, hemlock and monkshood, on a high shelf, out of reach of first years. On the floor and catching the light of the windows are the beneficial herbs, bright calendula, spiny rosemary, silvery sage.

The bookcases, like the lanterns, are rambling and disorganized. Some are rough-hewn, just planks on brackets, inset into the tall stone walls. Others are ornate and carved, rubbed with oil and inlaid with sigils and knotwork designs. They are stacked and stuffed to bursting with what cannot fit stacked precariously around or on top, loose papers held by random paperweights.

Tables are round and low and footed with regal, jeweled serpents. Candle plates are layered in ages of melt at different stages, and there are just as much scattered, threadbare cushions along the floor as there are lush, thick, overstuffed chairs, soft and worn from use.

Half-Library, half-laboratory, A long table cuts down the center of the common room, laid about with vials, jars, and cauldrons for potions, long parchment scrolls, inkwells, and special quills for sketching diagrams and observations, and notebooks of all varied sorts and purposes, fit into the left-over spaces.

There are always coffee mugs and kerchiefs, loose tarot cards and pendulums, coffee ring stains on hardwood, and cobwebs in the corners. Dust-motes glitter in the coloured light of the stained-glass windows. Muddy boots and soaked backpacks line the door, and wet socks hang in front of the giant, roaring fireplace. Collected roots, stones, and bones from the Wild Wood are a tumble in woven baskets and stacked jeweled boxes.

It is never quite tidy, never spotless. There is always a bit of clutter, a bit of tarnish, a stain, and a spider lurking about, in the Gatehouse. there is a strange ease to it, amidst the moodiness. It is a velvety intimacy that speaks of the knowledge of dark places, as well as light ones.

Rewritten, Chapter 24: The Master Sword

Read this on or Ao3  ➜

The Master Sword was the last thing Link needed before going to take on Ganon. Over the last few days, an incredible momentum had been pushing him forward, and he felt like he was hardly able to keep up with it, like he would be swept off his feet at any moment. The four beasts were done. He had regained his memories. He remembered, finally, and he knew now why the sword was so important and where it would be resting. But then, he also knew that it would not be easy to get.

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read it here on AO3



I’d figured it out fourth year. I’d started getting hungrier, all of a sudden- started feeling urges I hadn’t felt since I was eleven.

“Vampire puberty” had hit me at eleven years old, consisting of terrifying cravings of blood and a constant longing that never left. This was particularly bad timing, as I was just about to start Watford, and my family was afraid of me possibly losing control. I could’ve not gone to Watford at all that year, saving myself a million problems to come, but I went anyways, insistent and stubborn.

That had been a bad time. Constant thirst made me cranky- crankier than I usually was, anyways. And being around Simon Snow made me absolutely insane.

It was his magic. Not only was I hungry for his blood, but his magic- it drew me to him constantly, like I needed to be around him, like I needed it, like he was this sun of energy and I was an orbiting planet…

And he said, when we first met, mildly, “How did you do that?”

I looked down to where he was pointing, and it was a simple Stick with It spell- I’d attached my notebook to the side of my bag, since there wasn’t enough room to fit it into the internal space.

And I looked back at Simon in disgust, hungry, cranky, wanting him, wanting his blood, wanting to drink his blood, and his magic, his crackling, electrifying, overflowing, spilling sparkling magic…

And I remembered who he was.

Who the Mage was.

And who I was.

And how this idiot- this Normal- waltzed in, Mage by his side, an avalanche of stupid dynamite magic at his command, and no fucking idea how to use it.

This is not how it was supposed to be. Old Families knew. Magician families knew. We knew how to be safe.

And he didn’t.

And all of this, this realization that came with a simple question and knit eyebrows, it washed over me alongside overwhelming hunger-

And I snapped, “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

Snow had startled, narrowed his eyes, and I had walked away. That was a bad first impression, but it didn’t have to be like that. I know that we could have fixed it. We could’ve made nice, I could’ve stopped being such an asshole, Snow could’ve forgiven me. Possibly. But I just… couldn’t. I couldn’t be that friendly person. Because every time he was near me, it was the same rolling avalanche of emotional burden. It was the same nebula of a headache that drove me to near insanity. His stupidity, his name, his connection to the mage, his magic, and his blood. All pounding on me. All screaming for my attention.

And he was always around me.

And it just stuck. It wasn’t as though I turned into anyone different- I was always cynical, biting, dry, even as a kid. Always had been, since seeing Mom that day. So it wasn’t like I was a changed person, it was just that around Simon, the worst parts of me came out- lashing, poisonous, childish and uncontrollably immature.

And I was a Pitch. And he was a… Whatever he was. An Other. An Outcast. Not an ally of mine.

He was the Mage’s secret weapon.

Even if I had been perfectly polite to him in the beginning, and we became friends, it would have never worked out.

My family had never been friendly towards the Mage and his political allies, but when I got home that summer, they didn’t bother to mask it. They had near declared war.

And I was to take Snow down, somehow.

So I tried. For a while. Second and third year, there were constant tryings. I remember releasing a chimaera, luring him out into the merwolves moat, sending him into The Woods. Always, his stupid magic, a stupid burst of magic ready to save him, setting him off and nearly taking me with it.

And then, fourth year, after a few more weak tries, I’d noticed it.


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Princess of Love and Beauty

So, I sent out requests to all the Klaroweek drabble writers for dragons.  kickassfu was kind enough to turn my request back on me, and I will forever love them for that.  So here is a Klaroline AU complete with dragons :).  Shout out to cupcakemolotov, who is responsible for the whole dragon kick.

It was said that a beautiful princess was locked away by the Queen of the Unseelie.  Her beauty was such that it was said she would someday rival the great Queen herself, and Mab refused to allow this to come to pass.  So she took the princess from her kingdom, leaving a Changeling in her place, and carried the princess to be locked away, never to be heard or seen from again.

               To the prince that could save the princess from her terrible fate, great riches and power would come, and by his side he would rule the world with the great beauty that even Queen Mab could not compete with.

               It was ridiculous.

               So his people didn’t particularly like bending knee to the bastard son of their one-time Queen.  Well, Klaus was the one that had killed Mikael, so they would have to get used to it, wouldn’t they?  He shouldn’t have to do this – go on some harebrained quest to find a princess to take to wife.  Because he ruled a kingdom filled with superstitious sots, and Elijah said that if she could just find the princess, bring her back – well, magical fix-all!

               He couldn’t even be sure the damn story was true.

               Yes, Celeste had said it was true, that the Princess of Love and Beauty was real, but considering that she later went on to betray them…

               Well, who could blame Klaus for taking her statements with a grain of salt?

               Still, he’d gotten a location and had promised Elijah he would see if it came to anything.  And Elijah had promised that if this was yet another empty lead, then he would stop pestering Klaus about finding the damn girl, and let him play the role of King as he saw fit.

               His way involved a lot more fear and bloodshed than Elijah’s.

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