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When Eirkham began to ponder what it would be like to be under a love potion Thalia shook her head. ”I don’t recommend it, drinking a love potion is a nasty experience.” Love potions were great money makers, but they’re use caused more problems than it solved. Well at least problems for most people, Thalia rather enjoyed hearing about the trouble mortals got into when their potions wore off.

Thalia dropped in the last of her vegetables as Eirkham mixed the soup; she leaned back and allowed him to continue the mixing. When he asked her about a soul extraction potion she raised an eye brow, resting a hand on her hip as she thought about it. ”That sounds more like a high level spell…” Thalia trailed off, placing a finger to her chin as she racked her memory for a spell or potion she might have used in her past.

”Oh I know!” She snapped her fingers, turning toward her wagon before calling out. ”Oh book!” After a moment a large leather bound book came floating out toward the two of them. Thalia reached over, stopping Eirkham from his stirring and placing a lid over the cauldron. She grabbed her book from the air before handing it to Eirkham. ”I believe it calls for at least three magic users and the elixir of life.”



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Eirkham Delven of the Ardor Staff, Warlock of the West

…In training.



Eirkham had not really expected her to have an answer. He had just hoped. He wasn't much for subtlety. He'd always been of the opinion that you never got an answer if you didn't ask. There were so many answers to be found in the world though! Knowledge was so exciting to Eirkham. Every new scrap of understanding had a myriad of possibilities attached! Sometimes his exuberance carried him away though. He often asked questions he shouldn't of people he should not.

He watched Thalia as she thought and felt his hopes rising as she thought of something. The flying book filled the warlock with delight and his silver eyes lit up excitedly. He let go of the spoon and eagerly began flipping through the book. "Thank you!" He exclaimed.

He glanced over the criteria for the spell and realized she was right. That meant they needed another one. Assuming Thalia would help, of course. He unconsciously touched the medallion under his robes. "You had better get it right this time." Came the angry whispered response to his touching it.

He jumped and made a show of fumbling through the book. "Do you know anyone else who could do it? Or...how to get the elixir?" He didn't know too much about alchemy (his master had looked down on the art with scorn) but even he knew this would be beyond difficult.
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This time, Thalia was more than sure that she had heard a voice, she raised an eye brow this time, though before she could ask about it he had moved on to ask if she knew anyone else could do it, about the elixir and shook her head. ”If you are requesting I help you there will be a hefty fee, the other will be up to you to find, though I suppose I could point you in the right direction.” She paused, glancing over the spell herself before answering his other question.

”The elixir can be made of course, however it would require a potions master.” Thalia grinned, because she knew between the two of them (especially after watching the man stir the soup) she was the only of the two who qualified. ”That would of course come at an even large price. The elixir of life is… well it’s not exactly an easy brew.” Her fingers ran down the symbols on the side of the page. ”The ingredients themselves are difficult to attain, a lost soul, the innocence of a child, a vial of royal blood… these are not ingredients one normally comes across during travels.”

She paused and turned to look toward him. ”And of course it requires the sacrifice of some sort. Generally trapped souls are meant to remain that way; the spells to release them are not easy.” Thalia reached past her book then, her fingers wrapping gently around the edge of his robe as she began to pull it open. ”Don’t think I’m stupid, Warlock, I can hear your little pest, perhaps you would like to explain your reasoning for this spell a bit more?” Normally, if it meant money Thalia wouldn’t even bother questioning the need for the spell, however this was a dip into black magic, if she was going to disrupt her balance she wanted to hear a bit more about it. Besides, this was sounding like a story filled with drama, Thalia loved to hear about drama.


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Eirkham Delven of the Ardor Staff, Warlock of the West

…In training.




He probably should have expected there to be a fee. He didn't have any more money though. His master might have some later. He wasn't sure how much he could promise her, especially if he needed a third magic user. He would need her help to make the elixer of course. He might have been able to find another person capable of cooking it up, but he didn't know where to go. It was easier to stick with what he had. He listened as she read off the ingredients. None of them sounded particularly easy to acquire. His spirits sunk a little as she described the difficulty.

He was focused on trying to think of what he would have to do for the spell and did not immediately notice her movements, not until she was actually pulling open his robe. His face flushed red and he was suddenly aware of her closeness. He closed the book and scrambled backwards, closing his robe up again. "Hey, I don't...I'm not like... Oh." Her words clicked in his brain afterward and he realized how vastly he had misinterpreted her actions. He blushed harder.

"I...er..." He fumbled with his robe and produced a shining gold medallion. "I don't think you're stupid...I mean...you made the horse, on purpose." He looked down at the necklace in shame. "This is...er...my master. Sort of."

"Blasted idiot trapped me! He ought to be locked away!" Swirling inscriptions along the metallic surface flashed a bright scarlet as the voice came out.

Eirkham's blush spread to his ears as his shoulders drooped. "It...it wasn't on purpose..."


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When the Eirkham reacted to her pull at his robes a grin spread across her face, watching as he scrambled away obviously feeling a bit violated, Thalia would need to use that to her advantage some time. Giggling a bit when he realized he was wrong, Thalia rest her hands on her hips and watched as he fumbled around in search of something. Gavin stomped his foot when he was mentioned, shaking his head toward the two once though Thalia rolled her eyes. The grin was back though when she heard about what the medallion contained.

Stepping toward him, Thalia lifted the medallion gently, looking it over and shaking her head. ”Now this is interesting, locking your master away.” She grinned, waving the medallion around a bit before dropping it. ”That’s why we witches do not mess around with souls, much too easy to lose your body.”

Thalia walked toward him, patting his cheek then a grin spreading across her lips. ”Well this seems like it could be an interesting time, we can just call your company a down payment, hmmm?” She clapped her hands together, walking to her stall then and beginning to pack up. ”I think though, with you on the run we should head out tonight, don’t want another run in with your friends.” Thalia was taking control of this already, though the man obviously needed some guidance when it came to a spell like this one.


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Eirkham Delven of the Ardor Staff, Warlock of the West

…In training.



Eirkham had a feeling he would be spending most of the foreseeable future blushing while Thalia giggled at his misfortune. How did he get himself in these messes? He really did try to do things correctly! They just got out of hand! Often.

He waited as she inspected the medallion. Once she had dropped it, he hastily shoved it back under his robes. It was sometimes quieter when it was hidden. "Well...I wasn't... I mean I was trying to make an energy storage unit! You know with the energy transfer in case of emergencies and you're out of power and need just one more spell? The crown kept calling for them. But I must have messed up or something cause when my Master came into the room he got sucked in too..."

Worse, he now couldn't take the medallion off. Every time he tried, the chain it hung on started to choke him. He wasn't sure if that was just part of his master's spiteful nature or if he had done something else wrong to the medallion.

He looked up when she patted his cheek and blinked in surprise when she started packing up. Was she really going to help him? Just like that? This was wonderful!

"Oh, y-yes! I forgot about the soldiers." He glanced anxiously over his shoulder and hustled to attempt to do something useful.

"You're just going to trust the first scheming hedgewitch you see?" Came an annoyed grumble from his shirt, using a bit of a more derogatory term for Thalia. "You're more of an idiot than I thought."

Eirkham pulled his robe a little tighter and sent Thalia an apologetic look. "There's..er, nothing wrong with hedgewitchery. Or, I mean, regular witchery, cause I don't think you're a hedgewitch or anything! Or...ah! I'm sorry!" He babbled as he tried to overcome both his own clumsiness of wit and his master's abrasive personality. "What...how can I help?"


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Thalia nodded as she listened to him speaks, sorting through the potions to make sure they were all closed tightly. Honestly she had never had a spell go so wrong before and unless he knew what he did wrong she couldn’t really help him with that problem. Stepping back from her potions, satisfied that they were tightly packed Thalia snapped her fingers. The stall began packing itself into boxes before letting itself into the wagon to pack away.

Gavin shifted as he saw the boxes being put away and Thalia rolled her eyes at him when the horse snorted impatiently. The witch grabbed some of the carrot ends, feeding them to the horse and grabbing his lead. Of course a gasp escaped her lips as she heard the boys master speak and Thalia’s eyes narrowed into a glare, grinding her teeth together.

”You allow your own apprentice to trap you in a medallion and you dare call me a Hedgewitch!” Gavin attempted to back away from the seething Witch though she held him tightly, after a moment Thalia shook her head, calming down as Eirkham tried to cover for his master’s mistake. Thalia rolled her eyes and spoke to Eirkham this time. ”You should tell your master that it is not beyond me to release him from his trap only to turn him into the toad that he acts like.”

She ignored the young warlocks question as she grumbled to herself, tying down the shades around her wagon as she hooked Gavin up to the wagon. Thalia stomped toward the cauldron mumbling something under her breath as the large cauldron lifted and moved toward the wagon. She glared down at the fire ”Imberia!” The air above the cauldron opened up into a quick down pour of water, putting the fire completely out.

Thalia turned then to speak to Eirkham. ”Alright, you go ahead back into the wagon, there is a chest there with and assortment of men’s clothing. You should change out of that robe and into something that is not so easily identifiable, when you have finished we shall head out. I have an old friend further into Ponternia who knows much more about soul trapping than me. She’s… well a bit of a hag, but she can at least point us in the right direction.” She had calmed down by now, no longer as angry, the thoughts of revenge helping just a bit.


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Eirkham Delven of the Ardor Staff, Warlock of the West

…In training.



Eirkham flinched as Thalia's temper exploded. He really did think his master's insult was uncalled for, but there wasn't much he could do about it besides apologize. He was the apprentice, he wasn't supposed to undermine his master, even if the man was now a necklace.

There was no need to repeat Thalia's threat. The necklace could hear as well as he could and even Eirkham knew that would be an unwise course of actions. So instead, he just shuffled his feet as the witch stomped around packing things. He was used to the sort of unkind things Master Bivorne tended to say. Eirkham had always been an idiot and few people had been too shy to tell him so. He didn't like the man insulting Thalia though, who was clearly a competent magic user and was nice enough to pack up and help him on a whim.

She seemed to have calmed down by the time everything was packed up though and Eirkham hoped it would be forgotten. He had no doubt the scene would be repeated later (and often) but he had hopes for a bit of a peaceful trip.

He wanted to ask why she had a chest full of men's clothing, but a glance at Gavin made him rethink whether he wanted an answer or not. He followed her directions and found the chest. He was sad to leave his robe behind, but she was right. The soldiers would spot him a mile away with the billowing thing. He had a tunic on underneath which fit him fine, but he did have to borrow a pair of breeches from the chest. They were a little big on him, but he was able to belt it up enough to fit. Then he began searching through his robe pockets for the knickknacks most valuable. His whistle, of course, came first. A few small pocket books came next, as well as a small pouch of dried flower petals. The rest was mostly junk he had thought might come in handy later.

When he was dressed, he made his way to the front of the wagon to look out at Thalia, once again knocking his head on the top bar. "Thank you, for this." He said politely, as he rubbed the sore spot on his head. His blonde hair still had a few vestiges of the blue that always came when he performed magic but it was mostly faded by now.

He looked out towards the town and said, "I've never actually been to Ponternia. I heard so many stories though, of the old days before the split. Is it true there's a purple castle full of fairies where they hold big magical tournaments? And there are mountains with waterfalls bigger than an ironwood tree? And people keep big, colored birds as pets and mounts?" His eyes shone with a measure of childlike curiosity as he considered the wide world beyond his tower. He was inclined to believe things people told him.
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Thalia was remaining surprisingly calm, especially after such a rude comment from the warlock’s master. However she also knew that there was no point in being angry with the warlock as he didn’t have control over how his master spoke to her, but she also knew that she would only be able to keep her cool so long. Not that it was the first time that Thalia had been spoke to that way and it definitely wasn’t the worst name she had been called, but she couldn’t help but be insulted that she was going to be helping the man who had just insulted her.

When Eirkham stepped out of the wagon, Thalia nodded, looking him over, though she raised an eye brow seeing blue in his hair. It looked like the warlock may have had a bit of a problem channeling his magic; she had seen the same in young magic users. It wasn’t a bad thing; nothing a little bit more practice couldn’t help, at least if that was the problem he was having.

When he began to talk of Ponternia a grin spread across her face and she hopped up into the front of her wagon, patting the spot next to her. ”Things have changed quite a bit since those days; Ponternia is a darker place now.” She shrugged though, raising an eye brow toward him after he had joined her on the wagon. She grabbed the reins, snapping them a bit before speaking once more. ”Let go Gavin, we’ve got a long trip ahead of us.”

Gavin shifted, following an outer path and Thalia turned to look at Eirkham once more. ”I suppose you’ll have to decide for yourself though, we’ll be seeing quite a bit of Ponternia on this journey.” She bumped shoulders with him then, grinning up at him. ”And it’s going to be a long journey.” Thalia sent a wink his way, it was quite fun to tease this boy.

”It shouldn’t take as more than a two or three days to reach my friend, she runs a small… um shop… in Valwald Swamp, I don’t know that she’ll be able to help us with the spell, but she may know where we can find some of the tougher ingredients and lets us know if there is anyone in the need of a job like this one.” Thalia’s eyes watched the trail, as they rounded the town, though she took a turn, heading down a smaller, less traveled trail. ”I don’t think it should be too hard to find a third, there are always young magic users looking for a quest in Ponternia.”


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Eirkham Delven of the Ardor Staff, Warlock of the West

…In training.



Eirkham flushed when she noticed his blue hair and uselessly attempted to cover the locks with one of his hands. It had happened to him fro as long as he could remember. The children in the village he had lived near before going to the Warlock’s tower had often teased him about it. His grandmother had told him he looked like a toad stool and the nickname of ‘blue bonnet’ had followed him until he left for the tower.

There he had just been scorned for not having proper control over the side effects of spell work. No real Warlock had unintentionally blue hair. It was unseemly.

Thalia did not mention it though, for which Eirkham was grateful. Maybe she was taking pity on him for the moment and would razz him about it later, but even the brief respite was welcome.

He took the offered seat and tried not to be disappointed by the thought of the darker country. He should have assumed as much, but magical far off lands always held a happy dreamlike luster that did not normally entail real danger. He still maintained hopes of purple castles though.

Her teasing movements were rewarded with a hot flush up his neck. He worried he might be in a constant state of fluster for the entire ‘long’ journey. “I, er, hope we have a pleasant journey then. Good weather and…good winds? That’s for ships though, isn’t it. I don’t suppose a wind would do us much good, actually.” He frowned in puzzlement at attempting to find the proper setting off words. “My grandmamma used to say, ‘Luck and lost scruples’ to people when they left but I never knew what that meant.” He chatted amiably. He had been told he was good at useless blathering, or ‘charming slow-witted chittery’ as his grandmamma had also said. Even if it was insulting, it had a sort of shadow of a compliment that Eirkham liked to think was the true intention. He hoped it did not annoy Thalia, also.

He was not exceptionally thrilled at the idea of a swamp, but if it held any answers he would happily trudge through it. “I hope your friend is as helpful as you. Are there really just wandering magi? That’s fascinating. I thought every child had to go live in a tower for many years. Did you ever live in a tower?” He would chat like this, asking any such question, the entire ride if Thalia let him.
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Seeing the flush run up Eirkham’s neck honestly brought a thrill to Thalia, it had been a long time since she had been around a man who was not too overconfident. He wasn’t strutting around like a peacock, assuming that she would be impressed with everything he did because he was a man. Eirkham was genuine, at least from what she had seen so far and despite the fact that she would have to watch to make sure she didn’t end up in a medallion herself, the warlock seemed perfectly harmless. Yes, Thalia was going to enjoy spending time with such a genuine man, but that also wasn’t going to stop her from teasing him.

He began to talk about their journey and a grin spread across her face, as she let the young man chatter on. Thalia spend her journey’s in silence and often spent her nights the same way so it was comforting to have someone speaking to her, she didn’t really mind if she was able to speak back. ”I’m sure that good winds couldn’t hurt, maybe a nice tail wind will get us to Valwald faster.” She encouraged him, her eyes staying on the trail.

When asked about wondering magi and spoke of his tower and asked Thalia shook her head. ”Ponternia is filled with wanderers, the very young are always looking for an adventure” Thalia smiled softly then. ”I was raised and taught by my mother and the other witches in her community just as most witches my age were. I don’t think they like to send young witches to towers.” Her eyes glanced toward him, lingering over the chain that held the medallion before smirking. ”Which is fine with me, I think ugly old warlocks have lost touch with the worlds they came from. Maybe this adventure will keep you from a fate like your Master’s.” Her eyes flashed then, a grin spreading across her face.


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Eirkham Delven of the Ardor Staff, Warlock of the West

…In training.




Eirkham smiled brightly when she did not discourage his chatter. The grandmamma had let him ramble on as much as he liked as long as he did his chores, but his Master had been a different story. “Oh, do you want a wind then?” He asked. “I could whistle one up, maybe. I’m usually good with my whistle.”

“You will do no such thing! You are lucky you didn’t create a hurricane with your last spell!” The warlock in the medallion called out. Eirkham had never actually messed up a wind spell before, minus his hair coloring, but he supposed there was a first time for everything. He tended to bumble most everything else.

The young man winced and his ears reddened. “Oh. Well, maybe not then.” He looked dejectedly down at his boots for a moment before brightening and shifting to the next topic. He always bounced back quickly. Despite his many failings, he was an eternal optimist and accepted the criticism as simply a fact and not something to be taken too personally.

He listened with rapt attention as Thalia told him about her education. It sounded wonderful to have a whole group of magic users learning together. Thalia had probably had many friends. He smiled at the happy picture in his head and chuckled at her comment about his Master. He regretted doing so quickly, as his master did not take kindly to the insult.

“Coven of lawless witches! There are civilized ways to train young mages! It is not my fault this one is an incompetent fool!” The angry, trapped voice sputtered indignantly from under Eirkham's shirt.

Eirkham winced again, but once the mini tirade was over, he smiled sheepishly at Thalia. “He’s actually a very powerful Warlock. He’s the Master of the Ardor Staff Guild.” He was proud of his Master’s abilities and prestigious standing. He generally thought someone of that much ranking probably had earned the right to be irritable about lower warlocks like himself, so he did not take the insult to heart. He did recognize that not everyone was quite so patient with the old man though. “I just… get in the way sometimes. But he’ll…ah, quiet down soon. Talking too much from the medallion tires him out.” Sure enough, the medallion made no more noise.

“Were there lots of witches in your community? Why don’t they send them to towers? Is it because they’re drafty? It is pretty cold sometimes. I often wonder if that is what makes Master Bivorne so cranky. No one likes it when their feet get cold. And he’s, well, very old. His bones creak.” It was easier for Eirkham to attribute the man’s unfortunate disposition to the weather than the actual person.
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Thalia watched the two warlocks interacted; she was surprised that the young warlock would take such harsh criticism from his Master. Honestly, Eirkham seemed like a wandering mind, he obviously loved hearing about the old stories of this land before Eulon and Ponternia split. The conflict though, brought out a darker side, families were broken apart and laws on those who had magic running through their veins was made stricter. Witches had always raised their children themselves, passing magic knowledge down the generations and keeping secrets within the family.

When the split came and war seemed likely to follow (the threat was still there) both sides began to see the advantage of mages as warriors. Thalia was still young when the first of the Warlocks were recruited, they were praised and called the best of the best, Witches, no matter what their ability were not seen quite competent enough to go to war. Now it was a requirement that Warlocks were sent to be trained by a master, family magic was no longer as important and those like Thalia were seen as unqualified.

She rolled her eyes when the Warlock reacted just as she suspected, snapping the reins and urging Gavin to move a bit fast. ”The world has lost hope in family Magic, it’s sad to see something so powerful die away.” Thalia ground her teeth then, though she settled down when Eirkham said that his Master could not speak long, she would try not to bad talk the man for a while, to spare Eirkham.

Of course Eirkham’s questions brought the smile to her lips once more and she let him ramble a bit before she decided to answer, though the comment about the cold attributing to his master’s bad mood. ”Poor soul, living in a drafty old tower, maybe he wouldn’t be so old if he actually let himself live, outside that tower.”

She shook her head though, moving on. ”I suppose I should have said communities, just like most witches my mother moved from place to place, I had many teachers, though my mother primarily taught me. She was a potions master just as I am and just her mother was before her. If I ever chose to start a family I will teach my daughter in the same way.” Thalia normally didn’t speak about these things with strangers, but Eirkham was so curious and sincere. ”As for why Witches are not wanted in the towers, I think you should ask your master about that, he seems to have his own opinion.”


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Eirkham Delven of the Ardor Staff, Warlock of the West

…In training.



One of the reasons Eirkham was largely alone in the tower with his master was the recent calls for the Warlocks to join the ranks of the armies. Ostensibly, in Eulon this was just for training purposes, both for the soldiers and for the magic users. Everyone knew the truth though. He had not been brought into the ranks mostly for the purpose of helping his master create magical objects for Eulon’s armies, though his lesser skills also played a part in the assignment.

“I like the idea of family magic.” Eirkham said. He wasn’t trying to agree with her for any purpose, he genuinely thought it was nice. “Connects you to people. I always thought that was what magic was for. Connecting things.” He looked around as they rode through the trees. “There was this tree near where I grew up: an olive tree. A really rich man owned it. He had special people hired to tend it. Not me of course, but I watched sometimes. It was sick one time and they brought branches from somewhere else and tied them to it. I didn’t get why they were doing it, but I just watched. They carved a little cut in it for each branch and somehow they branches started growing together! And the new ones they had attached gave the old ones energy again to grow and then they all made olives.” His eyes became a little wistful as he reminisced. “I thought that had to be real magic. Everything coming together, old and new to build something better!”

He realized he had trailed off with his story and wasn’t entirely including Thalia, which was rude. “Sorry.” He said, ears reddening. “That must sound silly. I found out it’s called grafting and it’s an old gardening technique, but it seemed magical to me.” He was a little embarrassed by this admission. It was tales like these that marked him as one who had spent his first ten years away from proper magical training. Thalia had probably already known about grafting when she was that age as well as all sorts of other things he was still learning. “When did you first start doing magic?”

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((If at any point you want to hurry their traveling along, just go ahead. He'll just chatter on forever however long it takes. xD))
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Thalia smiled when she heard Eirkham say that he liked the idea of Family magic and she couldn’t help but be happy that there was at least someone out there who still believed in it. She let him go on with his story, honestly comforted by the young man’s story; she could understand why someone so young could see such a technique as magic. Her hand rest on his knee gently when he apologized and she sent a smile his way. ”Don’t apologize, there is no reason too.” She flashed him a smile, patting his knee once more before leaning back. That’s when he asked when she started doing magic and smirked a bit. ”I was very young, I think the gift showed itself in me when I was three years old. Of course that was quite a while ago.”

Their conversations continued much like this, Thalia was perfectly happy to let the man ramble, only adding comments here and there, enjoying the peaceful ride. It was growing day though and while Thalia enjoyed pushing Gavin to his limits, she knew better than to make the old man continue on these paths so late at night. Thalia pulled off of the road soon enough, finding a small clearing and halting Gavin. ”It’s late, I think we should stop for the night. If you’re hungry, help yourself to that soup in the wagon, there are bowls on the shelf next to the cauldron. I’m going to make sure everything is secure and then I think we should turn in. We should reach Valwald by tomorrow evening so long as we rise with the sun.”

With that Thalia jumped off the wagon, walking around it to place the breaks and releasing Gavin from his hitch. She pulled the covering once more, tying Gavin under it to shield him from any weather that may come through. Happy with the look of the wagon, Thalia picked up a leather pouch attached to her hip. She poured the shining blue liquid around the perimeter of the wagon, there was just enough to complete the circle. A grin spread across her lips as a blue light shot up around the wagon before disappearing, the invisibility spell set, it would be good until morning.

Thalia entered the wagon soon after, it was much roomier inside the wagon than it appeared on the outside, though it was to be expected. An expansion spell had been used, not a heavy one as the wagon was still only one room, but a large one. Against the farthest back wall was a large bed, covered in pillows and blankets collected over the years. A small table that could seat four comfortably stood a few feet in front of the bed and shelves lined the two side walls. Thalia walked to the bed immediately, pulling a trunk out from under it and setting it on top. She removed her bangles and other bracelets, placing them inside the trunk and removing her belts to hang on a hook near her bed. Her finger ran nimbly along her corset, loosening it before pulling it off as well as her layered skirts, placing them in the trunk and then pushing it under her bed once more. She was left in a black cotton dress that stopped just below her knees.

A grin spread across her lips as she turned to look at Eirkham, raising a thin eye brow. ”Are you ready for bed?” The witch asked with a smirk, gesturing toward the bed, completely aware that the question would probably make him uncomfortable.


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☽ωɩтcɦ ☾


((Sounds good, I couldn't resist teasing Eirkham a bit though =]))

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