Instruments: Tarot Deck
You are a witch traveling the world and trying to find your forever home. You draw as many cards for each season as you please and continue onto the next season when you think it's time. The tarot cards correstpond to a set of promts.
Game Content WarningsThese are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.
Playthrough Content WarningsThese are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.
Word Count: 2,385 Played: Nov 28, 2021
Name: Sherita Important-Hourly
Abilities: Specializes in herbs, alchemy, and fae issues
Bad at: Fortune-telling, omen reading, pattern reading
Broom: Banshee Oak
Favorite season: Spring
Prefers a small coven but is fine working alone, not good with groups of 5+
Leaving behind their teacher and the other apprentices in Errentol
Desires the most: To help others
(A/N: I’ve decided I’m going to do 6 cards per season)
Village: Yarlford, in the forest to the West of Errentol,
Yarlford is built on top of the river with most of the buildings on stilts standing over it. The village is known for fishing and harvesting blue-river berries, a sweet fruit that grows under the water and is harvested twice a year.
Sherita’s house is on the outskirts but still over the river. They have a small herb-box growing on their window sill but are unable to have a large garden like in Errentol. She put each of her jars of herbs in a perfect arrangement on the shelves, each labeled and in exact quantities. She swept each room with her Banshee Oak broom, blessing and cleaning each area.
But in their forgetfulness and arrogance they didn’t erect the shrine they should have. They were more interested in the practical side of magic and witchery and forwent the devotion which they deemed unnecessary.
Every year in spring there is a big festival when the first harvest of blue-river berries are brought out of the water. People make garlands out of the berries, bake them in pies, make jam and a few savory dishes. This was a food and feast holiday where everyone exchanged the goods they had made from the berries.
Sherita knew just the right herbs to mix with the berries to produce potions that would heal and potions that would ward, and even potions that were simply a strong drink. The berries worked well with all her alchemy since they didn’t act as a reagent and were simply for flavor.
She shared her potions with the village and they in turn shared with her all the goods they had made.
A young lady came to her door one day, frustrated and angry. She was unhappy with her life and uncertain what she should do with the future. She wanted a fortune telling to tell her what to do with her life.
Sherita shook her head. They couldn’t tell her. They could guide her into realizing what she wanted, they could offer her suggestions, but they could not tell her a definitive answer.
The lady was angry and didn’t understand why she couldn’t be told how to live. Sherita knew she didn’t want to make the choice herself and instead wanted to rely on someone else.
If she were more skilled at fortune telling, maybe Sherita could have given her a definitive answer, but that wasn’t the lesson the lady needed to learn, and so she refused.
Sherita never really prayed to -A-Z-, the god of arrangements and rearrangements, the primary deity worshiped by the witches. She didn’t believe that it wa sas necessary as some believed and focused more on tangible things that she could touch and feel. She hadn’t bothered to set up a shrine in her new home.
They didn’t notice the signs of their presence, the tinkling of the windchimes and warmth of the sun on their skin. Sherita went about their business outside but found when they had returned everything was in the wrong place.
She knew it couldn’t have been a person or a fae since her books were all on the floor, opened to the pages about -A-Z- and the jars were still sealed, despite having the wrong contents inside.
Their home had been rearranged and she knew not to ignore their god any longer.
One afternoon they had a quiet meeting with one of the village elders, an older woman with long silver hair and missing one eye. They talked about the community, how every year in spring the rivers would flood and how in the winter they would freeze.
She said many centuries ago the village used to be much larger but more than half of it was swept away in a massive flood and the people sought refuge in Errentol. She worried that more and more of the villagers were leaving the Yarlford and that soon there will be nothing here but empty buildings.
Sherita nodded along, listening to the tale and asked about the long ribbons that hung in front of every door. The elder nodded and said it was an old tradition to keep those would would do harm out of the home.
The ribbons were simple strips of cloth, not blessed or marked in any way. Sherita knew that she could amend them to actually work but she wasn’t in a position to insult the elder’s work.
Despite being good at alchemy and potions, Sherita had never acquired any skill at cooking. She tried and tried again but everything always turned out half-baked or burnt. She was attempting to make a pie from the remaining blue-river berries when Arielle, their neighbor, a heavily pregnant woman knocked on her door.
She all but invited herself in and went straight to the kitchen and began to help Sherita. Arielle knew exactly what to do and how to fix the cooking mistakes they had been making. Sherita was incredibly grateful and the two shared the pie together, laughing at her bad cooking while they ate.
All of the cider from the harvest was nearly sold out when Sherita decided to stop by one of the local stores. They were still learning their way around the town, through the twisting planks and bridges that connected all of the suspended buildings.
They were delighted to find that there was one bottle left and quickly purchased it to take home for a nice quiet evening.
Yarlford was a beautiful, welcoming place, but Sherita missed having a big lushious garden most of all. This little village on the river was not for her, and when the rivers receded she bid her farewells to the people and friends she had made her way north to the coast.
Athelney was a coastal village to the north of Yarlford and west of Greystone. It was a sleepy, peaceful place that smelled of fish and salt. Sherita lived in a small shack on the beach and grew their herbs in the small patch of land in the backyard.
Sherita had learned from her mistake and the first thing they did after cleansing and blessing their home was to set up their shrine. They took out a small folding table, drew the circles and patterns onto the surface with chalk, and placed the pendulum light catcher in the center where it cast rainbows across the surface.
On the first day she set up shop, her home was crowded with strangers all yelling and demanding her attention. Before she would have let the other witches in their small coven in Errentoll handle the people, but she was by herself and one by one, patiently gave each of the customers advice, herbs, and potions.
At the end of the day their feet were sore but their pockets were filled and they were content with how they had handled all of the people.
They traced out the pattern in chalk before they attempted to stitch it onto the inside of their coat. They knew the project would take a while, for they were bad at sewing, and wanted the protection it offered once winter came.
Their hands were unsteady and for every stitch they made they had to undo three more. Several times they pricked each of their fingers, but eventually it was complete. She hoped it would work, but the needlework was lopsided, stained, and uneven. It was the best she could do for now and was glad that it was on the inside of the coat and not the outside.
The plants grew in wrong. All the signs were there: the leaves the wrong shape, the flowers the wrong color, and even the roots were in patterns that made no sense.
Even though she had worked so hard, it needed to be set to right. She made a fire on the beach during low tide, far from any of the buildings and one by one, dug up each plant and watched it burn.
She kept the fire going until the tide rolled in and put out the fire. The sea owned this bit of land and they knew that they couldn’t grow here anymore.
Athelney had a local festival to celebrate a local legend of the defeat of a sea serpent. It was a week-long affair where everyone told their version of the story. There were contests to see who could tell the best verison, plays and theater of the story, and murals and other art depicting the legend.
Sherita must have heard the story over one hundred times by the time the festival was over. She too played a small part in the festivities. She blessed each of the stages with her broom even though it almost caught fire once. They weren’t sure how, but the bristles brushed against the floor and started to smoke.
All in all she did have a good time.
Summer is the time of storms and the sea decided that it would reclaim half of the land where the village lay its roots.
Through their own tears, Sherita helped the people bless the bodies of the dead and bury them in high ground.
Sherita knew the signs of the fae better than anyone in Athelney. They were small at first, missing buttons, misplaced shoes, but she was certain beyond a doubt.
Each night she set out a dish with milk and honey for the creatures and each morning she found the bowl empty with small rocks inside it.
She kept these rocks in a jar underneath her shrine.
An older man came by their home one day complaining about pains in his back and knees. He couldn’t sit or stand or lie in bed without the pain.
Sherita knew a concoction for him and set about grinding and blending and pulverizing all the herbs for the man. She sang while she worked and for the final blessing swung their pendulum around the jar three times clockwise and twice counterclockwise before giving it to him.
Athelney was no place for a garden either. There had been too much taken by the sea and they could not look upon the village without seeing the great tragedy. As the seasons changed so did their village and they continued west to the small islands of Shachen and the town of Isbury.
They found a home near the center of town, surrounded by other buildings and stores. She did have a small garden in the back, but it was barely big enough to grow more than six types of herbs. She did not like the air growing cold and longed for the days of spring.
She set up the shrine like she had in Athelney and traced over the chalk several times before setting down the pendulum.
They decided they would take a week to settle into their new home before they would open their doors to the public. On the last day they took time for themselves to rest and recover from the move and the unpacking.
They sat by the window with a mug of tea and watched as the birds and bugs visited the garden. They wondered if they could be happy here, with such a tiny little piece of earth. They longed for the company of their coven in Errentol and felt embarrassed at having to write to them that they had moved once again.
She wondered if anyone else had trouble finding their place. She wondered if she was destined to be a traveling witch for the rest of their life. Perhaps she should just settle.
They had never been good at reading signs, so it came as a surprise that the pattern of leaves at the bottom of her tea mug accurately foretold how many people would visit that day.
They tried again the next day as they drank their silverneedle tea with breakfast. Again, it was correct. They tried a third day, with a green tea blend, and found that their numbers were not accurate.
For the fourth day, they tried the silverneedle once more and found the numbers to be correct. She paused and wondered if all witches could read only one blend. They had never considered it before but for the rest of her time in Isbury they drank the silverneedle in the morning, knowing how to prepare each day.
It had been many months since they last laid out all the crystals, incense, and fruit for a ritualized bath. They sat soaking in the warm water for hours as it slowly turned cold. She felt clean in both mind and body.
The herbs were to soothe her mind and they worked perfectly. For that time she did not think of their future and worry about moves to come.
One of the most well known functions of witches is dowsing. Some use pendulums, others cast stones, but Sherita preferred the metal rods.
They had stumbled upon a small ring, hidden in the cracks of the pavement. It was a plain ring with a single gem in the center. She doubted that it had much value but still decided to return it to their owner.
She brought it home with her, washed it with a mixture of oils and herbs before attaching it to the bottom of her dowsing rod.
It swiveled and pointed them down the road, over hills and in between houses where she found a small home. She knocked on the door and was greeted by a small woman in her 50s. They presented the ring to them, much to their delight, and the woman gave her a homemade pie as thanks.
They used the rods once more when they were in Isbury. They had taken a day to themselves to walk along the coast of the small island. The rods vibrated and pointed her along the shore where she found a small cave.
Inside the cave was a small forgotten shine, also to her god. The chalk had been rubbed away and the crystals misaligned. It looked as though no one had been to this shrine in years, perhaps decades. They knew better than to invoke the wrath of their god and so they took the small piece of chalk they always carried with them, redrew the circles and placed the crystals back into their correct order .
They felt the warmth of the sun on their skin and a soft breeze blew through the cave and knew it to be a sign of good fortune.
Sherita knew that not all believed in the magic she wove and there were many dissenters among town. They sneered at her as she walked by and laughed when she spoke of any of her rituals. They started to avoid those parts of town where they had made it clear that she was not welcome. Over time, they knew that she alone could not change their minds and so their fears came true, and it was once again time to leave.
From the Shachen Islands she moved north to the Granite Isles. They were closer to a holy site for the witches and they knew that they would soon need to make a pilgrimage there. But it was cold now, and the winters were harsher than she grew up with in Errentol.
Every morning they continued to brew the silverneedle and every night they lit the ox tallow candle for warmth. The world outside looked beautiful covered in snow, but only when they were still warm inside.
They didn’t know how her teacher knew to send the letter to the Granite Isles, but it reached them all the same. It was short, brief, and to the point. One of her coven-mates had died suddenly in a fatal accident.
They could not leave the Isles in the winter, it was far too dangerous, so they sent back a long and sorrowful letter, the envelope contained crushed herbs and the envelope sealed with wax.
For three weeks they lit a black and blue candle for their friend. Each time they stood over it for 3 minutes thinking about them and the rest of their coven. They had never felt more alone.
Usually they enjoyed their time alone when the storms raged against their home. But in the wake of their death, she felt more alone than ever. She kept the candle lit until it burned away completely.
They wondered if they could afford to get an animal, but knew the travel would make it ill at ease. Was she truly destined to be alone?
The candles were not solving her grief. They burned and burned and melted faster than they had any right to. She could not solve this by herself. All she could think about was death and sorrow.
They went to the local candlemaker and begged them to make a candle for her to ease her sorrow. The candlemaker sat her down and they talked for a long, long while about the specifics, the herbs, the smell, the color, and every aspect in between.
It wasn’t long until the candlemaker realized that Sherita was the one who needed to make the candle herself. They guided them through the process, showing each step as they poured the specific ingredients and dipped the wick over and over.
The candle was perfect and Sherita could pretend her problems were gone.
Few people ventured out in the winter to see her services so Sharita found herself alone most of the time. They stood by the candle, watching the flame flicker and the room fill with smoke.
They thought of their coven, they thought of their friend, and wondered if they had not left would they still be alive? They know it is not their fault, but they could not help but feel that they were one part in a larger pattern that led to their death.
Some days they could not get out of bed except to light the candle. Those days they dreamt of the garden in Errentol and of the laughter of their group.
It was the candlemaker who was the first to come by their home. They realized that she had not been by to purchase their usual candles. They found both the home and Sherita a mess.
The candlemaker was kind and helped her into the kitchen where they made her silverneedle tea. It was warm against the cold air in the house and she was thankful for the company.
They talked for a long time about nothing and about everything. Before they left, the candlemaker told her that their friend wasn’t completely gone if she still remembered them.
Sherita understood. It was still hard for them to get out of bed, hard for them to do anything but light the candle, but still she found comfort in knowing they kept the memory alive.
It was near the end of winter when the stranger came knocking at their door. It was an elderly man who had lost his way. He couldn’t remember where he was headed, only that the storm had come down around him and he needed shelter.
They let him stay for a while, which turned into a week as the storm refused to die down. Then when the storm vanished, so did the old man.
Sherita searched high and low for him but there was no sign of where he went or even that he had been there in the first place. She thought back to the fae and wondered if this had been a test, and found herself to be right when under her pillow she found a small sack of golden teeth.
It had been a year since she left Errentol, a year living on her own. They thought of the places they’d been, the places they could go, and the place they are.
She had found nothing special about this place, but she had also not explored this place. It had a garden out back and a village that was kind. There was nothing exceptional about it, but they found they didn’t need it to be.
They knew that they could not stay here forever, that their heart still wandered. But for now, for this year, it was home.