Published 2020-10-19Camilla Ochlan
The haunted world Of Cats And Dragons. This Halloween season, we want to take you back to some of the bad baddies we've encountered in the tales. Starting with the witch Cornelia. One could argue her status as good or bad, of course. But one thing is for sure, she is dangerous. And our boys are smart to be very polite to her.
"Run, walk, crawl, won't much matter boys," a low, harsh voice informed them.
Both Omen and Templar spun around. An old woman stood behind them, clutching a gnarled wooden staff in one hand and a goblet of wine in the other. A small hummingbird flittered about her head, pulling at strands of her long white hair. It landed on her shoulder and perched calmly there, tiny eyes peering intently at Omen.
"Ma'am?" Omen nodded his head politely to her — his Melian-bred manners at the forefront. He'd been taught to speak respectfully to the elderly.
"They'll eat you if you go near them," the old woman continued with a chuckle that sounded remarkably like a low rolling cackle.
"Who will?" Templar and Omen asked in unison.
The old woman pointed her staff toward the red sector and the group of women sitting in the center of it. "The Feast Seekers of course!" she said.
Templar's gaze was on the old woman, a frown marring his brow as if he were trying to recall something. "You're from Revival," he stated. "Your accent is pretty distinctive."
"Cornelia, at your service," the old woman replied, slowly inclining her head. "And I recognize that pretty face of yours anywhere, Prince Templar — got out from under your father's and sister's thumbs I see, slipped your leash so to speak and came to see some blood sport. And who is your handsome young friend here? Looks a mite young to be wandering these dark halls."
Omen bristled. "I'm old enough," he said. It was rare that anyone made note of his age these days. The moment he'd grown taller than most men around him, his being fourteen ceased to be an issue.
"This is Omen Daenoth, Miss Cornelia," Templar replied, his tone turning strangely respectful as he inclined his head to the old woman.
"Ah, yes, the boy with five parents." Cornelia chuckled, eyeing Omen up and down. The bird on her shoulder fluffed its feathers and trilled excitedly.
"Five bloodlines!" Omen snapped instinctively. "I only have two parents!" His whole life he'd been subjected to strange questions and subtle insults regarding his heritage, and he was sensitive about the subject.
Templar elbowed him hard in the side as if urging him to be quiet. "It's an honor to meet you, Miss Cornelia," the prince proclaimed loudly and gave the old woman a graceful bow. "I've heard a lot about you."
"All lies!" the old woman scoffed, shaking her staff and startling the hummingbird. The little bird flittered around in a panic for a few moments before landing once again on the old woman's shoulder. "Now what business drives you two boys to wander in these parts?"
Omen glanced warily over at Templar — it was obvious that the prince knew something about this old woman. Should we trust her?