Jay was slightly overwhelmed with the stewardship of Ironwood but she wasn't going to let her comfortable home life ruin an opportunity for growth. Aspen's Rest had grown to the extent that new flora and experiments needed to be done outside the city limits, so the move was necessary.
The starting over wasn't going to be easy without her normal support system. No more visits from unsupervised orphans, no attempts at being dragged to go out drinking with the dryads and no more late night moral and psychological talks with Kar and Ja’Nuk. Jay knew that it was time to face her self-doubts and personal worries. The idea that she was unfit to lead or take any responsibility over others. The small gifts she had to assist in her escapades back in the Reverse had been stirring within her.
Dreams of past endeavors.
A light going out in a corridor. A gentle breeze to pull her scent downwind of guard dogs. Pulling shadows closer to her form as she skulked the rooftops of her old city home.
Similar instances had arisen in Osterra but her magic didn't have the pull, the strength to breach her new home land. The Ley Lines would not support her naturally given magic from the Ancient Ones.....
But there were ways to get around the work of the Risa Fae. There was an old way she had seen many people practice to enhance their abilities. It wasn't ideal and it was certainly not something she would have never thought to do three and half years ago.
Peach wine was poured into a simple and elegant glass cup. Jay downed the beverage quickly and filled it back up. She looked at the small burning campfire she had built away from the rest of the caravan, just outside the forest. If she traveled two more days east she would reach Goldenglen, and the altar of the Green Goddess. Oognah’s old charges the hyenas had been residents there for over two years, the refugees taking to Her guidance and altar well since they rested in Her domain.
But Jay could feel Her here at the little camp. She had felt the curiosity of the rogue, the idea that had taken root in Jay's mind.
A warm breeze caressed her face, uncharacteristic for early January. A weight settled on the rogues' shoulders. A woman appeared at the edge of her campfire. Her face was engulfed in shadows and could not be seen; the trees gave her an eerie backdrop with branches reaching back into the woods.
"Is there room at this fire for me?" The figure spoke with a feminine voice that was clear and hearty to Jay`s ears. The question beckoned if Jay had room in herself for the Green Goddess to reside. Jay would have jumped off another cliff like she did back in the Reverse if this question had been asked of her last year.
But this year had been one of learning. Learning she was powerless against many foes with her own abilities, like corruption and demons and monsters of the lands. Learning that her old home magics would not be returning to aid her in the coming battles.
So she brought out a carved goblet from her bag and placed it beside her on the log she sat at. Jay gazed towards the face area of the woman in the woods, the Green Goddess in the mortal form on this moonless night. Peach wine was poured into the second cup.
"I'm open to partnerships so long as I feel the company I'm with is supportive of my own goals." The response echoed into the night, eerily silent. A chill ran down her spine, the weight intensified to a breathtaking degree.
Green irises glowed in response and for a horrid moment Jay glimpsed a form of the diety- not her true form but something still beautifully terrible. The branch backdrop were horns, the face smooth wood but covered in painted blood streaming from her eyes that began to swirl in a hypnotizing pattern. Jay looked away before she could see the rest. After some unnerving silence she risked a glance up…but saw the second cup she had poured was gone. In it's place was some moss Jay had seen in the local area but didn‘t have the chance to study given how hard it was to experiment on the road.
This time she saw something within it. Something ethereal floating about the moss. Runes?
They were... and to her delight she could read them. Upon closer inspection the words 'insightful' could be read and an obscure thought cam to her mind. Not her own voice, but it was whispered gently on the night breeze-
A second sound entered Jays being, a second heartbeat, an old friend she thought had died years ago at the cliffs before the Armies of the Ancient Ones.
Jay had just entered into an agreement with the Green Goddess. “Let my Warlock era begin,” and she drank that night half the bottle of peach wine- pouring the rest of it in the woods for her Patroness.