Spin Offs, Mir Part c

Spin Offs, Mir Part c

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Not long after her father had departed, with his short sword on his belt, Mir’s mother had walked the unknown woman to the sick house. She sent Mir to fetch more water and the boiled nettle. Then sent her back to the house to put together a light meal of boiled oats and spring greens. The woman only ate a couple of mouthfuls of food before exhaustion forced her to lay back and she was soon sleeping.

Outside, mother asked her to get a chair and keep the door to the sick house. “I’ll bring you by some mending. Better to keep busy than sit there fretting.”

Morning passed to midday then to early afternoon. Mother saw to the couple of customers that came by during that time. Mir had nearly finished the mending by that point, she noticed her father’s return. He seemed unconcerned, briefly went into the house and came back out a bit later without his short sword. He resumed work around the yard, when another customer came for business he casually went about his routine as if nothing was amiss.

Mother came to the sick house shortly after the latest customer had shown up. She looked none to pleased and had a haversack in hand. She went into the sick house and indicated Mir should follow her in.

“Something is seriously wrong.” Was the first thing her mother said.

“What did the council say?” Mir asked, confused.

“Nothing. Not about this mess anyway. Though it seems Lady Kerine is now the council head and she has declared a celebration for the morrow.” Mir could not read the look on her mother’s face, but fear was definitely part of it.

“But what about her? People don’t get raped here and then we throw a party. I’m going to talk to Pa.”

He mother grabbed her firmly by the arm. It hurt, Mir looked at her mother startled and confused. “Your father seems to have forgotten about our guest.”

“But how? Seriously. By the gods.”

“Your uncle is right.”

That stopped Mir, “You mean Kerine is a mind mage?”

“Yes my love.” Her mother pulled Mir into a strong hug and cried. Mir could not remember having seen her mother cry, ever.

“Ma, tell me what has you so upset.”

“This is not the first time we have had a mind mage in Aramy. Now listen carefully to me. I want you to take this food and the young woman and go stay with your uncle. Don’t come back until we send someone for you.”

“But what can you do?”

“What needs to be done.”

“Mother?” Mir felt like she was going to cry.

“Shush now, none of that. Take the girl, go to your uncle, tell him what has happened here. And, by the gods, don’t come back unless we send for you.”

“Okay, alright. I’ll take her to Uncle. Though if we’re going to remain out there for any length of time Uncle will need more drink. I’d also like to take my new bow.”

“You’re right, I’ll get you some of your father’s booze. Where’s your bow?”

“In the lower work shed, wrapped in leather on the top shelf above the bench. There’s a quiver of arrows hanging from the end of the same shelf.”

Mir went back inside, the young woman was sitting up in bed. She looked worried. “You should drink some water and eat the rest of the food there. We’re going to go stay with my uncle.”

She seemed quick to adjust to the news and started eating. Mir looked through the bag mother had left, she found foot wraps inside and passed them to the woman. “Put those on.”

She took the wraps then said, “I know that woman is a mage. She made my father leave me for her men, just two days ago. I saw her do it.”

Mir looked at her, nodded, then started stripping the bed. “There’s no bedding out there, we’ll take these blankets.”

“My father loved me and I was on my way to get married, a large dowry was offered. If she could make my father give me up and the promised dowry, she can convince anyone to do anything.”

“Okay. We still have to leave here. She’s subverted the council. They might come looking for you.”

Mother returned, with another sack, a couple of bottles within, Mir’s bow, still wrapped and the quiver of arrows. “Now go, I’m going to keep your father distracted.”


The sun was setting by the time they made it to the old house. Uncle was outside watching the sky, sitting on the old stump, a jug cradled in one arm. He gave a bit of a start when Mir called out to him. He stood, rocked back and forth from one foot to the other for a moment.

“Hey, there’s trouble in the village. Kerine has put herself in charge. Pa’s been turned as well. We have a house guest, I’m going to find her a corner.”

Uncle seemed startled, was about to say something but stopped short. Hopefully he was not too drunk and could process what she had just told him. A moment later, after they had entered the house, he said, “I made a cot yesterday, give ‘er that.”

Sure enough, in the corner where his mattress had been there a cot crafted from saplings and branches. A good job by the look of it too. She wondered if he had hiked to the brook to get the trees or if he had lucked into them more locally. Either way, she felt much better putting the woman to bed on something other than the floor.

She laid out the blankets and the woman sat down and drank some water. “Thank you.”

“Easily done friend. Settle down if you will and I’ll have a talk with my uncle.” The girl made no move to lay down but nodded her head.

Mir stepped back out into the yard, it was largely overgrown with thorny bushes. Her uncle tilted his head to one side, “Let’s talk.”

He ambled backward a few steps, and gestured to the iron wood stump. She sat down and in one long breath told him what had happened. In the end he held his mouth in a big oh and plopped down on his ass. Darkness settled around them.

Mir had fallen asleep shortly after telling her uncle what had happened, she awoke just before dawn. She stood and dusted off her clothing and made something of the food mother had sent along. Their guest was gone, Uncle had passed out near the stump in the yard and still snored.

She put coal in the brazier with dried pieces of shrubs and grass. Scrubbed out the pot with sand as she waited for the fire to glow. She went outside and knocked the side of the pot with a spoon until Uncle woke up. He scowled at her.

“Remember we have a guest somewhere around and the village has been taken over by that gods cursed sorceress. Could you get us some water. Thank you.” She left the pot, her uncle grumbling about bad manners.

By the time breakfast was ready her uncle had cleared some of the brush from the yard and their guest had returned. She stayed somewhat apart for a while but as Mir set food on the table the young woman joined them. Mir could see the woman was of a similar age as herself. Her hair was dark and straight and her complexion indicated some Pwhanna ancestry. Her face was heavily bruised and her split lips bleed when she ate.

After eating Uncle asked her what she intended to do.

“I’m going to get my bow and go kill the sorceress.”

“That’s it?”

“What else can I do? She controls Pa and the council and who knows how many other people.”

“You know, most folk are not likely under her direct control, but those who are close to her or spend a lot of time in her company they are more likely to be under her sway and do the most unreasonable things on her behalf.”

“Pa walked back and had completely forgotten about our guest.” Mir was feeling incredulous.

“Best thing to do would be to go to Lekas and seek out Dame Andisal.”

“I’d be an eight-day there and back, if she’s even there when I arrive.”

“Yes, but you and our guest could make the trip. I can keep an eye on things from here.”

“But you’ve been hiding out here since the witch first showed up.”

“No one believed me.”

“I did.”

“True, but you still think of me as having some use left. You haven’t learned to dismiss me as a hopeless drunkard. You’ve never disregarded the things I say.”

“I love you, Uncle.” She got up and gave him a big hug.

“Ah gods girl, alright, I love you too, now sit down. Sit down.” He was embarrassed and pleased.

“I’ll go.” Said their guest. “Whether you want to or not.”

“I’ll go with you. Two travel on the road better than one.” Mir was quick to say.

“Maybe, but I was with my family and the witch still made them forget about me.”

“Alright. We’re going to get Andisal Morro. You keep an eye on things here. When we return we’ll come here first.”

Her uncle nodded, “Sounds like a plan. Let me see this fancy new bow of yours.”

“I’ll get it. It’s not been unwrapped yet, but Tipper said at least six eight-days, twelve would be better. It’s been a bit over eight, maybe nearly nine eight-days since we finished the bows.”

She carefully opened the wrapping on the bow and cut loose the many straps of leather they had tied it together with. When it sprung free of the remaining bindings it did not break. It needed to be sanded but it looked the way Tipper said it would.

Their guest seemed surprised by the bow, she said it was the type her grandmother’s people had used. The type her living family still used. She said there was a slight difference in style but it was the same type the Pwhanna had crafted since the First Day.

Mir finished one of the bow strings she had woven from horse hair and with a bit of effort was able to string the bow. Carefully she tested the draw, it took all her strength, yet she was able to hold the string to her cheek. Gently she released the tension. It would take some getting used to, but with help from Tipper she had made a bow. Something no one else in her family knew how to do.

She looked to the other woman, “If you are familiar with this we can share it on the trip. I’ve only ever hunted with a short bow and I’m not the best shot.”

The woman gave a nod, maybe a ghost of a smile, “I can show you what I know.”

They gathered a blanket and some food and by midday they were hiking westward to Lekas.


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