Biography [edit | edit source]
Born to the Direwytch family of Newcastle, Taranava had a family lineage that dated back to the Roman occupation of England. Her heritage afforded her many advantages within her family and its namesake coven's power base in northern England. To the mundane she is a socialite born to old money and one who is involved in the operations of her family's private academy, but to those who live awakened to what lies beyond the veil, her lineage is known if not by name but by reputation as being fierce protectors of the veil as well as the separation of witch and warlock.
Taranava graduated and became an instructor at Darkside Private Academy (DPA), located on a portion of the family estate at Darkside Weald. Taranava had taught counter-spells and wards at DPA up until she took sabbatical in order to travel to the United States on a personal quest.
Far from Darkside Weald and the protection of her family and coven, Taranava had crossed America in her search for clues about the life and travels of an ancestor she was named after and haunted by the memories of. The clues, in the form of possessions once owned by her relative, have led her along a path that took her toward the sleepy town of Emory Haven, joined by a young woman named Kitsune whose own past is locked away by the glamour of the Fae.
Vignette: Family Legacies[edit | edit source]
"It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood. Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak. Augurs and understood relations have by magot pies and choughs and rooks brought forth the secret’st man of blood.—What is the night?"-Wm. Shakespeare, Macbeth
The asylum stood a dark husk before Taranava as she walked up to its entrance. The doors stood ajar and uneven upon rusted hinges and stripped mounting screws like the crooked teeth of a stone behemoth. Crows perched upon the sills and ledges clicking and cawing amongst each other as they watched her move in the moon's light. She looked up at them, her eyes alight with reflected moonlight and upon lips painted dark by the night whispered the words "be watchful." Their chattering stopped and they blinked dark eyes as they nodded at her.
With gloved hands Taranava pushed open the doors, their bottoms scraping the tile and long neglected hinges creaked their complaint which echoed the empty halls, punctuated by the clicking of her boots upon hard floor. She was certain that the place was far enough out of the way that nobody would witness except maybe an addict or vagabond that nobody would believe anyway. Lightning sparked across her fingertips as she shaped it into a glowing ball that hummed and crackled faintly in the air where she placed it. It was a little bit of her own energy and its blue-white light filled the lobby, forcing the shadows to retreat to hollow corridors and empty rooms. Even without spell sight, Taranava was sure now that she was alone, so she reached into a large leather satchel that hung at her waist and produced a jar of sand. She drew a circle with it as she poured its fine white grains upon the floor before setting small bundles of sage at cardinal points upon the circle.
Satisfied with her work, she produced an antique opium pipe and an artists brush. Both had seen much use and bore long dried paint smudges and partial fingerprints from their original owner. As if they were fragile things, she carefully placed each in the circle whilst whispering in a language long forgotten to the world, its syllables melted into the circle and the objects floated an inch above the floor. With a flick of her fingers, she sent the ball of electricity upon the circle. The sparks grew in both directions upon the sand, setting the sage ablaze as it passed, until with a snap the circle closed, glowing blue-white upon the floor.
The two objects spun in the circle as she continued to whisper until they both settled like hands of a clock pointing in different directions. Taranava smiled but her satisfaction cut short as she whirled around to find a woman's figure at the entrance, silhouetted by the moonlight outside.
"Did you think that you could ask the wind for her secrets without my notice, little mortal?" The woman asked mockingly, her voice echoing like distant wind chimes as she stepped into the light of the spell circle. Her hair was as spun gold and platinum that framed a pale, unblemished face and impossibly blue eyes that gazed down at the unreleased spell that crackled in Taranava's hand.
"The notice of the immortal was not my goal, nor my desire, noble one." Taranava answered as she let the spell dissipate into the air. She knew not to raise the ire of the mercurial Sidhe as they brooked no insolence, especially from those they considered ephemeral.
"You cast in the old manner and you speak with respect that is lost to your contemporaries," she said as she walked up to Taranava and brushed a stray lock of dark hair from the young witch's face "your family taught you well, Direwytch."
Taranava stood silently and looked past the woman at the entrance, careful not to show anger or even fear. She didn't let the question escape her lips but almost as she thought it, the woman glanced at the entrance and answered her unspoken question.
"They may be your spirit pets but they owe their flight to me, little one, as it is the wind that holds them aloft and the tempest that breaks them. For that favour, they've owed me long before you were born, and will continue to long after your bloodline fails. It is in their nature, after all."
With an outstretched hand the wind blew through the asylum, scattering the sand and breaking the circle in a whirlwind. The pipe and the brush caught upon the wind and landed in the Sidhe's grasp. She looked upon it with dispassionate eyes and waved it under her nose. "It still smells of her, these trinkets. Such a talent she was, born of the strongest of magical blood. Tainted by that thing she let into herself, and into my home. It shows that even the best blood finds itself in fools and mosquitoes."
The Sidhe circled close to Taranava, close enough that her very breath against the witch's neck sent shivers down her spine. Still, Taranava stood silent as to not interrupt the Sidhe, an act nearly as dangerous as playing with living fire.
Lips close to her ear whispered. "Yet I helped her, gave her the means to free herself. A boon for a price that I have yet to collect. Are you here to close that bargain little Direwytch?"
Taranava turned to face the Sidhe and answered flatly. "I'm here for answers to questions only she could give. I've no quarrel with you nor am I here to deal in favours."
The Sidhe stepped back and smirked. "Ohhh, but the answers I could offer would make the task of a Direwytch who finds herself so far from Darkside Weald that much easier. Are you sure you do not want to deal in one small favour for that boon?"
With fists clenched tightly at her side, Taranava closed her eyes for a long moment. The aid of a Sidhe, especially one that knew her ancestor could make everything so much easier but at what cost? Before she attempted to consider it further, her mouth uttered, "No." It was a reply that was swallowed in the darkness of the asylum.
The Sidhe reached down and took Taranava's hand in hers, turning the palm up as Taranava released her fist. "You know that you look just like her and even have her determination but perhaps you might be wiser than your predecessor, little Direwytch," she said as she placed the pipe and brush in Taranava's hand. "You've yet to prove that, however, as the path you seek will take you dangerously close to her fate."
Taranava grasped the artifacts and resisted the urge to take the bait so carefully laid out before her. With dry throat and barely a quaver she answered, "time will tell."
The Sidhe turned with a satisfied smile then walked toward the entrance with the grace of the wind. "Time is of no consequence, as you are well aware. I know of what your family guards in the middle of that forest of yours." Before disappearing through the entrance, the Sidhe looked over her shoulder and said, "I'll be waiting for when you change your mind."
Taranava stared at the doorway and let out a breath, more from the realization that she got far more than she bargained for from a simple locating spell than from actual fear. Yet she let herself tremble for a bit in the darkness, framed by the moonlight spilling from the doorway.
"I’m getting closer to them, I can feel it. I just need to find out who has them," she said to herself as she walked toward the exit, still clutching the pipe and the brush.