Dark eyes were alight with a storm of emotions, rage boiling in their depths as the witch looked down upon her home, years of work and research gone in a single blaze that left most of the area charred, her wards unable to protect the artifacts collected from a century of travel, paid for in blood, flesh and soul.
Her voice was soft as she began to speak aloud, but it quickly rose and hardened in rage, though it seemed more that she spoke to herself then to her raven. "Those fools. How dare these men, how dare they? Was it not obvious?! Did I not show mercy by not slaughtering them all!? I must make an example then! I must make a show of force to make sure that this does not happen again! It has been too long, a hundred years too long! Losing one of the last vials of his blood I have left even! I shall once more teach them the meaning of fear." Her eyes rose to center on the place that the stone circle lay, narrowing as her body seemed to twist, ever so slightly.
A snarl grew in her throat as her body shifted, growing tall and slender, her hair growing down to just above her hips, a deep black tinted red as her marble skin seemed to become slightly taunter, slim muscles accentuating every curve and dip. With a silent bang, she vanished, the air rushing in to fill the gap she left behind.
Grunting as he pounded the logs into place, a giant of a man groaned as he rubbed his back, the bones popping as he straightened up after almost four hours bent over tying ropes and hauling trunks to form the winch and pulley. Damn humans. Breaking the stones, angering She-Who-Hunts, and all to kill a human twisted by the magic of that witch? Gaia, the elders are not going to be happy when they get back. I know the humans are kin, but you would think they at least kept the tradition of 'Don't break the stones'. Still, it could have been worse.
He felt the faint brush of an ethereal touch across the nape of his neck as his muscles strained, hauling the massive block of granite into the air, the bundle of ropes creaking as they pulled taunt across the trunks. "Hunts," He ground out as he tied off the slab, watching the log bend as it took the stones weight. "You can thank me after I'm done working with a three ton stone, okay?"
The touch vanished at that, a smirk flashing across his lips as he moved under the stone, guiding its base to the broken section. Once it was in place, he ascended the crude ramp he had made, pushing on the stone itself with his shoulder while his free hand took up the slack. Slowly he began to advance the stone into an upright position, the progress slow but steady as he worked, until he was near the apex of the pull, when she appeared.
With a silent bang she popped into view, her hand curling into talons as she slashed sideways, black ghost erupting from her hands, wicked teeth and gleaming eyes shown in the faint light of the moon wrapping around his body and hurling him through the air, the slab and the entire setup shivering as so much weight was forced on it at once. He hit so hard that he furrowed the ground for almost fifteen feet before he was once more gripped and thrown, slamming into one of the standing stones hard enough to send cracks rippling through it, a gasp of pain forced from his lungs as he was rammed face first into the dirt beneath the hanging stone.
The bruises already forming as he pushed up from the ground, fighting the black spirits that held him pinned, the witch strode over to him, her beautiful face dark with anger, black hair whipping in the wind created by her power sporadically lashing around, her hand still outstretched and curled into claws. She spoke then, anger radiating in every word. "Beast. Why did your kind destroy my home?"
"What are yo-"
The vice grip tightened even more, cutting off his reply as she continued to speak, not even really bothering to listen to him now. "You and your filthy kind! I allowed you all to live here without asking for tribute or worship, and you have the gall to destroy my research?! Where are your elders child? I would have words with them!"
The grip loosened enough that he could speak, though for a moment all he could do was gasp in air, his lungs bruised from the pressure. "W-we didn't do anything to you! Hell, we didn't even bother looking you up! As far as we cared, so long as you didn't make a move on the stones, you could play at magic however you wanted!" Gulping down another lungful of air, he continued. "As for the elders, they left. A call came and they took everyone who hadn't passed the rites yet, and was experienced enough to fight. I was the one who didn't fit in either category, so I got left behind to watch the circle."
The witch stared at him in shock, confusion etched on her features. "Wh-you-why didnt you lie to me? Seriously, you just told me that your alone and the circle is going to be unguarded for an unknown time period if I kill you, and you did all that without even trying to deceive me."
The mans lips quirked slightly as he replied. "Simple. Even if you are powerful and lucky enough to slay me, you would also have to deal with the spirits here, and you would never know when the elders would return. Too many unknowns for too little gain. Plus, you also know we are innocent in whatever debacle that made you so angry. And-" The smirk died as his eyes narrowed, a hint of something dark stirring in their depths as he pushed back, his entire body straining as he pulled himself to the ground, his feet digging into the earth as he powered through the spirits she hurled at him. "I don't think you want to have my entire clan wanting your head, do you?"
The witch merely lifted an eyebrow, one hand still pointing at him as her magic held him back. Glancing over her shoulder at the far distant castle, she sighed, releasing her magic, which of course caused him to stumble forward and face-plant in the dirt as the force holding him back was suddenly removed. "I could wipe out your entire species you ignorant bear. The only reason I do not is because I do not want to get bloody pieces of you on my clothes. However..payment must be exacted." With another silent bang she vanished, leaving the man alone as the clouds above rumbled with the promise of thunder and rain...
The hall of the Dunbroch's was alight with laughter and shouts between the men as they took turns at various games of chance and skill, the very stone shaking with others dancing, or at least what they called dancing. However, the center of the nights festivities was Merida, her head and shoulders almost buried in the wreathes of flowers and presents given by all who attended, her parents sitting atop their thrones, staying out of the way of their daughters sixteenth birthday.
No words could truly be heard above the music, the laughter, the singing and the discordant slaps of leather and flesh upon the dance floors stone, but the joy upon Merida's and the pride on her parents needed no words, a massive change compared to only a few short months ago. None there however, were looking to relive the past, and all within the walls sought only to enjoy the brief hours they had to relax.
Of course, all this ended in a moment. A black whirlwind erupted from the center of the room, a hurricane that carried on its winds the scent of decaying flesh and burning meat, a plethora of disgusting smells filling the room, the peals of thunder sounding like bombs going off in the contained room. Everyone and everything in the room was hurled against the walls by the foul smelling black wind, the furniture seeming to become a liquid for just a moment before the objects splattered across the people before reforming into a solid, trapping all beneath the now embedded wood.
Curling her fingers towards the royal family as she strode forwards, the new clothes she wore, a flowing blood red gown with a massive peacock fan sitting atop her shoulders dipped in gold and jewels standing out amid the more common kilts and cloth garments.
She almost spoke then, but stopped. Ah, right, deaf. Bit of paradox do deal with here, but I'll just feed to Ywain. With a snap of her fingers the effects of her entrance vanished, though everyone remained pinned to the walls. "Ah, that's better." She said, every word dripping with mocking laughter and disdain. "After all, whats the point of looking so good and coming with such wonderful threats as I do if no one is able to understand?" A smile sat on her lips, like that of a spider savoring a upcoming meal.
"You likely don't recognize me, do you little princess? After all, when we last met, I was small, stooped and grey-haired."
Merida's eyes widened, through she could not speak, the magics holding her jaw closed.
"Ah, I see you do. I feared you would have forgotten all about little old me and my home. Speaking of.." She trailed off as her voice cracked ever so slightly, face contorting for just a moment into something inhuman, a glimpse of the monster that hid just under the facade of a human skin. Her hair seemed to take on a slight tint of red, like that of old, dried blood."My apologies," She said, the mask and mockery back in place as she continued. "Normally I don't lose control so easily, its just that I am absolutely livid."
Merida felt a knot of fear growing in her chest as she attempted to understand what it would feel like to have the castle reduced to rubble, all its inhabitants slain by this woman's power.
"Close dear girl, but I am afraid you do not quite understand. But you will, in time." She said, her horrible smile only growing as Merida realized what had just happened.
Merida and her parents were pulled off the wall to hang in the air before the witch. "It is your birthday today, is it not, little princess? Well, what kind of guest would I be if I did not give you a present? I wonder...what gift would best suit you? Perhaps a doom upon your house... inevitably is all the rage these days, but no. Too simple... too mainstream." Her eyes seemed to grow darker, empty pits of rage for a moment before returning to normal.
"Perhaps a haunting? Demons to whisper darkness in your ears until you give into madness or take your own life? Ah but that is a bit too personal for this, I believe." Her features grew sharp, angular, more like a shark then human. "Time holds some possibilities, maybe I could slay everyone you care about and trap you in the moment for eternity... but nobody would ever see you again, so that simply will not do. I could steal your prowess with your beloved bow, but you may just relearn it..." Stroking her chin, she thought for a moment, then she grinned.
"I could do anything, you know? I could erase you from reality itself. I could twist your very soul into a mockery of itself, or reverse you virtues and turn your mother and father into despots of the most vile sort. But..you deserve worse. And I want everyone to know what it means to cross me. So I am going to give you a curse that has my name all over it."
She leaned in close to Merida, and whispered in her ear: "I will curse you, so all who see you know what it means to cross Morgan Le Fae."