Stir Around Dead Part 3

Chapter 2: The Day Without Close, and the Misfortune of Thinking of Others as Worse Off.

Jadah opened the door and again a pair of lifeless eyes stared at her.

Icy rain fell down his beard in rivulets. The wayward rain itself, actually the tears of of the frozen lake above, also invaded the doorway.

The man towered above her, but that was due to her smallness, as the man was a dwarf. A human descended from stone, living by devouring stone, wide and short in stature.

This dwarf wore dull silver armour that was once shining and had a yellow half-cloak that was once golden. His eyes were lifeless, but he still had a smile poking out from his russet beard. The braids of his hair were a mess however.

In one hand he held the pole of a large hammer that he rested on his shoulder. The hammer was obscured by dirt and grime, but some blue sheen still shone through.

He was a hero, and came to the fallen land for nothing else but to break the loop that it was trapped in. In turn he himself was partly trapped, his awareness that he had been taken by the loop dulled.


His countenance was still noble and it was not just in his natural looks. There was an air about him, a distinct heroic aura. He looked more jolly than handsome, even by dwarf standards, but still this aura remained.

Jadah still felt that one day, this dwarf would succeed, though she was sure that no small amount of heroism would be needed once such a thing happened.

“Welcome again, master Wauldigg, quick, come in out of the rain” She said.

Wauldigg tugged his forelock in respect and did a half-bow that almost splashed Jadah.

“Thanke, Miss Jadah, the weather’s taken a grim turn”

He was all too grateful to be out of the cold and in the toasty warmth of the witches’ cottage, even if it did smell of cat and strange herbs. Jadah quickly closed the door behind him and took a broom from near the door. She shooed the rain that was trying to congeal into a spirit to a drain at the side of the door.

Jadah wrinkled her nose as the smell of wet dwarf tried to assert itself.

“How goes the good fight?” Jadah asked.

She busied herself with pouring tea from a kettle that had been on a low boil the whole time. She made sure to drop a little of odor consuming potion into the tea.

About half of it was quaffed onto Wauldigg’s beard, but it did the job.

“I feel like I am going around in circles, each mystery I uncover raises more questions. Do you know? This spell, this loop it wasn’t cast by anyone, it was born from several people casting their own loops.”

Jadah had heard the line about going around in circles more times than she could remember, but this was a new discovery from him. The last several days she was sure he had repeated the same discoveries, but this was new.

“Curious, well, that makes your job quite a bit more difficult doesn’t it?”

Wauldigg combed his beard with his hands.

“Yes, but I’m making progress at least”

There was the click of someone’s boots, and then a young woman’s voice cried out!

“Oh! It’s Wauldigg of course! You’ve just got to finish that story you started the last time!”

It was of course Qusheab. She was partly covered with thick wiggling grey vines, which she brought over to a table to chop up.

Wauldigg laughed, but Jadah shook her head.

“I’m afraid, sister, that since I opened the door, I must tend to master Wauldigg and you must watch the brew, these are the rules”

Qusheab made a little sad noise, but took over stirring duties all the same.

“I’m sorry, you’ll have to tell her another day” Jadah said.

Wauldigg good-naturedly shook his cup around.

“No a bother, I’m sure I’ll be here again for my kit.”

Jadah nodded, and grabbed a bag filled with a number of potions of various kinds. Though the most common were those for placing glowing markings and those for wounds. Unlike his gwearn dwarf cousins, a hath like Wauldigg couldn’t simply heal himself by shoving soil in his wounds.

“Do try not to accidentally swallow the guidelight solution again, but just in case, We’ve prepared two this time” Jadah informed Wauldigg.

He let out an embarrassed laugh and quickly pulled a satchel from behind his back.

“I gathered a good amount this time”

There was many useful reagents inside, while Wauldigg was a man that would do good for no profit, the witches were not nearly so charitable.

Then again, there was no way the raw reagents were worth the same as the potions.

“Good work master Wauldigg, now, what can you tell me of the goings on outside?”

In summary nothing much had changed, though Wauldigg did recount one strange encounter he had with something or someone stalking him, but the coward fled when he tried to confront it.

A little bit of small talk here and there and it was time for Wauldigg to continue his efforts in cutting through the knots of the fallen land.

“Still, I do not know what Galshea is” He sighed as he left.

Neither did Jadah.

Was it the city? The army? The whole fallen land? A person? A beast? A spirit? An artefact? A spell?

No matter what original resident of the loop was asked, the answer would always be the same.

“Galshea must slumber evermore”

Then the speaker would be drawn deeper in the loop, repeating their actions to such an extent that they would not notice the movements of those not bound by the loop.

The rest of the day went like clockwork, though Koolah, the eldest sister barely made an appearance, and later, in the evening, when Jadah and Qusheab were preparing to retire to bed, they found her collapsed over a book, sound asleep.

The day ended like that.

The day had been like that for quite some time.

They had, unknown to themselves become more trapped by the loop than the hero Wauldigg.

Author: SnowyMystic