We open this story to a page long forgotten and a time much romanticized. On the first harsh winter in many years a woman sat alone in her chamber in Lord Quath's castle.
The room was neither cramped nor generous in size, but very clean and tidy. Under the mantle was a fireplace where a fire roared in challenge to the deafening winter winds.
The lower floor of the castle where the woman lived contained many other rooms where visiting Knights slept during their travels.
She was exceptionally beautiful with skin so pale it rivaled even the moon; her hair was darker than a raven's feather and just as sleek and shiny.
The irises of her eyes were so green that they reminded one of the purest emerald and a body tall and slender.
As the woman sat by the fireplace, She polished her suit of armor in preparation for tomorrow’s jousting match.
A knock sounded on the heavy wooden door, she looked up with a jolt. Quickly she got up and soundlessly moved across the room. At the door stood a man who appeared no older than 20 years of age.
“ Lady Quath wishes to speak to you immediately, follow me.” he said.
The woman opened the door wider, stepping out and followed behind him. The man had chestnut colored hair and bronzed skin, although, he was of noble birth, he treated everyone kindly and fair.
This was a quality she admired in him very much and hoped that it never be lost.
“Cecily…” he started.
“Simon, please don’t.You have known me for a very long time, you know better than to ask what’s wrong if I haven’t mentioned it first.” Cecily replied harshly.
Taken aback by these blunt words Simon shut his mouth promptly only to open it again a moment later to say
“Ceci, I’m only worried about you. Lord Quath has only allowed you to be a knight because his wife, Lady Quath, asked him to. Which was only so she may keep an eye on you.
Only she and Margery besides, I know of your magic. Certainly this summoning can not bode well for you.”.
“Simon please not here! Anyone could hear what you are saying and that should worry you more than my silence.” Cecily hissed.
Cecily knew Simon wasn’t used to her speaking so harshly to him, but for now she had to focus all of her energy on what the Lady Quath could want with her. The walk up to The Keep was silent.
Simon turned to study her often and look away with worry clouding his cerulean eyes.
Cecily was tempted to tell him not to worry so much, but she was not ignorant to the peril that likely lay ahead.
Finally they reached the lady’s chamber and Simon knocked on the polished wooden door.
A deceivingly cordial voice sounded from within the room, replying
“You may enter.”
Cecily turned to look at Simon and smiled before opening the door and stepping into the room. A lit fireplace was in the center of the far wall lighting the dark room.
In front of her stood Lady Quath who was plain in every way except for her long deep red hair and piercing stare.
"Please sit down." She said while motioning to the chair nearest the one she now sat in.
"I have decided how you will pay your debt to me my dear Cecily.
As you are aware, I hold immense power over my poor naive husband; I owe a debt to a man named Sydney in a neighboring land where I was once the daughter of a farmer.
My husband knows nothing of this treachery and I will do anything to keep it that way.” her gaze flickered for a moment before continuing
“Sydney is a disgraced merchant who helped to hide my true identity and pass me off as the daughter of a nobleman here in Quath. Sydney’s years are growing shorter now and he is nearing death.
Although I hold no true kinship, I have always thought of him as something of a father. Long ago I promised him that he may call upon me any time after and request any favor.
He has asked to be given 30 more years of life and to become an adviser to Lord Quath. " she said searching Cecily's face for any hint of emotion.
Lady Quath continued “ I know of your forbidden blood magic and to cancel your debt to me, you must give him 30 more years of life.”
“ You have two days to complete this task or Margery will die and you shall be stripped of your knighthood.” Lady Quath's gleeful gaze searched Cecily’s face for a reaction.
"Oh yes Cecily, I know of your romance with my daughter. Nothing goes on in this castle that I don't know about." A menacing smile now hung on her mediocre features.
Stricken with fear Cecily ran quickly out of the chamber and straight to Margery's room further down the hall, knocking on the heavy oak door.
A moment later Margery opened the door, her dark eyes glittering with bewilderment and then understanding of Cecily’s sudden appearance.
“ Mother has finally decided how you will repay your debt hasn’t she?” she said as her fair skin flushed to match the same deep red hair that she and her mother both possessed.
“How long did she give you to complete the task?” Margery asked as calmly as possible.
“Two days.” Cecily responded quickly.
“Judging by the look in your eyes, she must have threatened my life if you refused the task.”
Moving closer to Cecily, Margery kissed her passionately and whispered “Then you must make the honorable decision, and do not let my possible death affect it in any way.
I know that in order for you to use your magic someone must give blood or even their life.”
Cecily pulled away from Margery with tears streaming down her face “ But to make that decision you must die!” Cecily cried.
“ Then let is be so and take this kiss to remember me by” Margery replied sweetly as she reached up to kiss Cecily once more.
The next morning Cecily awoke in the chair next to the fireplace.
For a moment she thought the events of the night before and been a dream before touching her face and finding it still wet from tears. Slowly she got up out of the chair and washed her face.
After changing into her armor she resolved to continue with the day's events as normal.
She wouldn’t let Lady Quath control her life any longer, especially not now that she knew about Margery and Cecily.
Cecily opened the door of her chamber and found Simon at the door mid-knock looking dazed and sorrowful. “Ceci...I don’t know how to tell you this, but..
Margery was found dead in her chambers, this morning...She apparently poisoned herself in the night...” he broke off unsure of what do now.
Cecily fell back against the stone wall, emotion crashing over her like waves.
After a few tense moments she stood up straight, ignoring Simon’s worried stares and marched up the stairs to The Keep and into Lady Quath’s chambers.
Soundlessly she crossed the room. When she reached the chair Lady Quath sat in Cecily drew a dagger from the right side of her armor and held it to Lady Quath's throat.
Startled Lady Quath's gasped "What is this?!"
"Oh haven't you heard? Your only daughter killed herself so that I could only make an honorable decision regarding your ultimatum." Cecily growled back.
"But Margery always overestimated how kind and generous I was. It's a good thing she isn't here to see me now. I'd hate for Margery to see me slay her dear sweet mother.
" A devilish grin crept onto Cecily’s beautiful face. Lady Quath must have realized the danger that faced her life now because her body tensed and horror was evident on her face.
Intoxicated by her new power, Cecily pushed the dagger deeper into Lady Quath's skin, drawing blood.
"This is in revenge for playing a part in killing my dear Margery. May the gods have pity on your wretched soul." Cecily whispered.
With her green eyes bright with terrifying rage, she swiftly slit Lady Quath's throat, leaving her to die, but not before she waited for the lady to draw her last breath.
Cecily made her way unseen through the castle and down to the stables. She mounted her dark horse and rode off the castle grounds and far from Quath.
Many villagers of the time later reported that she still held the dagger drenched in Lady Quath’s blood while chanting in demonic tones a curse that still plagues Quath’s castle to this
very day. There have been many reports of dark energy surrounding the castle and its grounds, even in the present day,and has been uninhabited for hundreds of years.
Archaeologists and historians have been interested in the site for decades but none who venture there come back.