“Look at this!” Melany rushed to the center of Darkshire, where jack’o’lanterns lined the fountain, all lit up and staring out into the night. A particularly large lantern had been perched upon the fountainhead, the water cut off so that it, too, could be glowing bright. The young Arcanist couldn’t help but bounce at it all, folding her hands together just to stop from waving her arms in excitement. The decorations lined the streets of Darkshire, were strewn across the walls, and on top of Duskwood’s natural state of being, the place was a Hallow’s End paradise.
Chloe approached behind her sister, playfully knocking a plated shoulder into the excited girl. “I’ll never understand why you get so hyper around all this… It’s just another holiday, Mel, the world’s got plenty. Even murlocs get a friggen’ holiday…”
Melany pouted, kneeling down to pick up her staff and lean it against her shoulder before straightening her posture and following after Chloe, down the road out of town. The mage turned her nose up, pursing her lips and narrowing her eyes at her un-festive twin, but soon lost her cynical look as they passed by a home that was in the process of giving children candy. “It’s just… Gah! Look at it all! It’s so mystical, and mysterious, and, and, and…”
She inhaled sharply as a realization passed over her. “The candy! Chloe, we should go around getting candy if we still have time! Come on, even you can’t pretend you don’t like something sweet every now and then!”
“First of all, we’re in our twenties now, Mel - we passed the trick-or-treating threshold a while ago. Second of all, we have jobs… Okay, we work - we can afford to buy our own candy, if you really want some that badly. I’m sure plenty of general stores still have some. Third, we came here to do a job - there’s some real horror-story level crap happening out in the woods according to these folks…”
Melany rolled her eyes a bit, furrowing her brows. “First of all, you’re never too old to have a bit of fun, you grump. Second, I know we have money, but mom could’ve bought us candy whenever she wanted, too. Trick or treating was about having fun, not just getting candy. Third, if there was a necromancer raising feral Worgen out here, the Kirin Tor would know about it! They’d send the Tirisgarde and stop it! We’re wasting our time, when we could be out bobbing for apples, or going through a haunted house, or-”
Chloe stopped suddenly, slapping a hand over Melany’s mouth and muffling her speech as magics flashed in the woods. The mage quieted and followed her sister in a crouched stance, moving to get a better look. Lo and behold, there in the center of a clearing outside a cave, a Forsaken was casting spells on the ground, where claws with limp patches of flesh and fur shot up out of the ground. Canine skeletons, with various assortments of flesh remaining on their frames, climbed from the Earth, giving a haunting sort of howl as they did so.
Melany stared, slack-jawed, before turning to Chloe. The dual-wielding warrior communicated silently with her twin, using various hand signals the girls had made up together over the years. Once the plan was clear, Melany nodded, gripping her staff and standing straight, tilting her head back one more and taking a deep breath. Chloe followed suit, rolling her shoulders and reaching up for her axe and the family sword, grinning as she nodded at Melany. In a moment, the pair was rushing onto the field, giving their war-cries into the night.
Chloe flicked a piece of rotted Worgen flesh into the bushes along the path back to Darkshire, scowling a bit in disgust. She rested her greatsword on her shoulder, clutching the Necromancer’s necklace against the hilt as proof of the kill, while Melany straightened her cloth armor. The mage took after their mother, never being one for long skirts, but an Arcanist like her couldn’t very well be wearing plate armor. “Fine, he was real… And so were the undead Worgen. The Kirin Tor will want to know about this… I guess I should probably start making my way to Dalaran so I can-”
Suddenly, the much stronger warrior grabbed Melany by the shoulder, tugging her along up a short path. “Chloe! What are you-?!”
“Quiet… I can’t stand the thought of you moping about this until Winter’s Veil.” Soon they found themselves at the door of one of Darkshire’s residents, as Chloe pounded on their door. Melany was embarassed for a second, before noticing the lights were still on inside - whoever’s house this was, they were at least awake. A middle-aged man opened the door soon after, eyes flicking between the pair. Chloe prodded Melany on the back, before taking a pack off her belt to hold open. Melany smiled, following suit and speaking in unison with her sister. “Trick or treat!”
The man looked between them, crossing his arms as he leaned against the door frame. “Aren’t you too old for this?”
Chloe looked deadly serious, while Melany maintained her excited smile, letting the warrior speak for them both. “Listen, we just fought our way through a whole pack of undead ferals and the necromancer who raised them. I think my sister and I have earned a bit of indulgence?”
It took a moment, but soon the man shrugged, grabbing his bowl of candy and pouring half into one bag, and half into the other. “Not like any kids are coming by this hour… Stay safe.”
The door shut behind them, and Melany couldn’t help but bounce again as she stared into her pack. “See?! Come on, there’s another house with lights on! Hurry!”
She dashed off as Chloe hurried after her. “Melany, wait up! This armor’s heavy!”
Those who follow this blog regularly will know of the main aspect of my religious practice; curating petals for the Deity I devote myself to.
He really likes petals, that’s about all I can say to explain it.
What you’re seeing here is the first part of a long, lengthy process: buying lots of bouquets, and drying lots of flowers. This is probably the first of about 5 different plates – maybe I’ll even upload some more.
Here we have eucalyptus (top of the plate, green), bird of paradise (orange and purple, one of many; this one dropped off first), orchids (the white), snapdragons (the pink), and sunflower.
Also being offered up are lavender and calendula, which you can see on the left side of the altar in the wooden offering bowl. On the right we have a personal crystal (sort of) grid.
In the centre of the altar there’s something that I’m particularly proud of:
A claw from an animal representing each element. From the left to the right we have a Thrush (air), Grizzly Bear (earth), Crab (water) and Bengal Tiger (fire).
In between them is the gatekeeper’s key to All Things.
It’s a small gift to a greater purpose.
**All photos property of TheLivingWiccan - DO NOT remove source, please don’t remove text**
Festive birds, all courtesy of Mark Catesby and my recent quest for images to adorn the Library’s annual holiday card.
From top left: The Parrot of Paradise; The Summer Redbird; The Flamingo; The Redheaded Woodpecker. All handcolored copper-plate engravings from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (London: Printed for C. Marsh, 1754).
Ksenia Ovsyanick as the Firebird is a mysterious creature in glittering body tights and scaly armour-plating, sprouting feathers like a Bird of Paradise. She loses these in the course of the ballet to other characters. The dancers commit themselves to their roles, flaunting their glitzy costumes with panache. But it’s a muddled piece, overpowered by Stravinsky’s myth-making music.