Black Rose Chronicles 15 – by Belladonna Rose – narrated by Asclepius
Black Rose Chronicles, chapter 15
Background music by Smartsound
After a lengthy talk with Astor she explained she wanted to go back out and try to help once again with this threat from the Undead. He agreed and said that things will be fine and for her to come home as often as she could. Although the lands seemed huge they were not. Many of the locations were within day or two for travels. And with the wagons and ships and even the Lunar Rifts it was easy to fast transport to anywhere in the realm. With that she donned her newly crafted armor and freshly honed weapons. Packed her backpack with a few necessities and she headed over the stone bridge towards the exit of town. She would hop the ship from Hidden Vale to Brittany and then take the ship from there to Ardoris. Might as well head back in that direction since she had already started some work there. She was not too thrilled about doing back there but she did what she had to do
After what seemed like months she walked into Knight’s Watch. Tired, dirty and hungry she trudged to her house by the river. When she walked up she notice that her quaint little house was no longer little. It had been built up to a sprawling stone building.
It was near dark and she did not enter the house. Maybe Astor thought her dead after so long away and let someone else build in her place. After a good night’s rest she would seek him out. So she headed to the tavern where she could get a quick meal and a cot upstairs.
When she made her way through the door the tavern was crowded. Many folk stood and sat around. Some gent named Omegaflux was at the piano banging out a lively tune while another named Ozzy Questor was trying in vain to keep up on his bagpipes. The laughter and talk were so loud even over the din of music. Bella saw Astor standing behind the bar and she approached. When the door slammed behind her the noise died down. Many of the faces she did not know or did not know that well, but she kept moving.
“Master Cerberus” she said once she found her voice.
“Did you give me up for dead?”
Smiling across the counter he shook his head in humor
“Nay, Milady. I know it would take more than some undead rabble to take you down.”
She looked at him for a moment and slapped her hand on the counter.
“Then perhaps over a pint you can explain why my house is missing.”
All the fellows in the tavern broke into laughter. Some shouting to Astor I told you so and such.
He too chuckled at her comment.
“Now now Bella. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. You were gone but a month when we all here
in town decided that you needed a much better house than you had built.”
Putting up his hand to stave off her retort he continued.
“Bella we all in appreciation for what you did to help the others build up their homes decided
to make you a grand house indeed. Furnishings and all. So when you come home you can sit back
and tell us your tales from your journey.”
The man named Ozzy came forward and peeked sideways at her.
“Tis a fine fireplace i built ya Miss. Hope it keeps ya warm on cold nights”
Others approached and told of the things they did to help as well.
Bella couldn’t help but blush, smile and even shed a tear for all the welcomes and the
She looked back at Astor as he stood beaming behind the bar. She pointed a finger at him as if
saying…I will get you for this. Then immediately rounded the counter and started pouring more
pints for all.
“Drink up my friends and celebrate my return…..but i have you know I won’t be cleaning up the mess.”
As the revelry continued into the night Bella snuck up the back stairs and found an empty bed in the far corner. She cared not if anyone else came up there. All she wanted was sleep. As soon as her head hit the pillow she was out like a light.
The next morning she rose from the bed and quickly made use of the washstand. Washing the smell of pipe smoke and ale from her face and neck she quickly changed into some regular clothing. She would definitely have to brush out her leather armor later
in the day. Gathering up her things she hoisted her pack on her back and made her way down the stairs. Setting a chair upright she sat down for a moment. The fire had gone cold in the fireplace, so she gathered up some kindling and small logs and got a nice fire started. Going behind the bar she looked about for a kettle and a tin of tea leaves. Both were nicely stored underneath the counter. Checking the bucket of water next to the counter she deemed it quite fresh so poured it in the kettle and set it on the fire to boil. Searching around she found some food and quickly made a trencher of assorted items. Cheese, lemon bun, apple, grapes and a jar of butter. Plate of food in hand she placed it on the table. Then pulled the porcelain teapot from under the counter and a cup. This will be the first good tea she had had in a while. Those taverns elsewhere could not make a decent cup of tea for anything. As her tea steeped, she nibbled on the food in front of her. It was very peaceful and quiet inside. There was not much going on outdoors either except the chirping of the birds. This was one thing she did enjoy about Knight’s Watch. The quiet.
As time moved on and the town grew, she was able to do more adventuring. Often the residents of Knights Watch gathered and went on hunting parties. This she enjoyed a lot. She felt more at ease and enjoyed the company of her town companions. Often as not they would get into some real messy hunts, but the revelry of the group made it enjoyable. She was feeling quite content with her life as it was going. Still at certain times of the day or night her thoughts drifted back to her crew from the Black Rose. And of her old world where her family was. But it wasn’t long till a lot of those memories were just that
Waking one morning early she slipped her feet into cozy kidskin shoes and grabbed her oversized robe. Funny she thought to herself the men in this town still have not gotten the right proportions in making clothing for her. Usually, they had to take in and stitch up once she put them on. But this robe she would not allow them to adjust it. She loved it just like this. Slowly walking down the staircase she ran her hands along the stone. “Tis a fine house we built ya lassy”. She could still hear them the night they told her about the house. Pffft. It wasnt a house at all but a small castle keep. Huge in her eyes and all hers. Often times she would have them over for pints and meals and often times she would find someone sleeping off the revelry by the fireplace. Indeed, she had a grand fireplace.
She loved it all the more because they worked so hard building it for her. Fine furnishings and the occasional knick knack decorations they thought a fine lady would like. Although she had been far from lady like they still regarded her none the less.
Reaching the ground floor her trusty dog Roofus greeted her. Twirling in circles the lunk of a dog followed her towards the back door where she opened it up to let him out. Then she made way to the kitchen. The men wanted very much to provide a fine kitchen for her, but she refused. She had no idea how to cook on such things as they called pot belly stoves. She liked cooking on a hearth. The jug of water sat on the table and she filled the kettle full. Stoking up the fire she put it on to boil.
Taking down her fancy tin of tea leaves that Astor had gotten her on one of his adventures she sniffed at the aromatic leaves. Smiling she took a pinch and put them in the teapot and waiting for the water to boil. Today was to be a busy day. Many chores waited for her and the first thing she planned on doing was going into Kingsport to purchase some seeds. She had asked a couple of the men to build her some planting boxes as she was determined to grow some fresh vegetables and she was going to start some fruit trees as well.
While out she planned on riding up to Owl’s Head to get some other things that she knew she couldn’t find in Kingsport. It was going to be a busy day indeed.
After many months of being idle in her mind. Bella decided to venture back out into the lands. She had become restless staying in the Hidden Vale. She felt the draw of the sea and the need to put some newer lands under her feet.
Sitting around the large table in the tavern of Knight’s Watch she chatted with the others on places they had been and things they had seen. Since there were all brought to this world much the same as her she knew they too had been
of the adventuring spirit. Whether from needing to do so or hired to do so they had covered the entire realm. Many of those places she had travelled with them and many she travelled alone. But she felt she needed to move. At least for a couple months.
The Fall season was approaching so it would be a good time to travel.
Packing up her travel pack and gathering up her weapons she looked it all over to make sure she was set for a journey. Food was carried light as she was able to hunt and forage for pretty much what she needed. And when near towns she was sure she could come up with a decent meal in those. After the talk a few nights back with her fellow townsmen she knew where she was heading. Now to just get on the road and start moving