No one lives near the swamp.
It's unpleasant no matter which way you look at it. It's very hot and very humid and very full of bugs. A little too far from the commodities of living near the town. Mobs roam around way more freely there than in other places. And there is a dungeon at the very core, so both monsters and Blades for Hire appear frequently.
There is no other place in the world Caster would ever rather live.
No one bothers her there. She knows spells and runes to cool the house and ward off the bugs. She is strong enough to fend off monsters and annoying BfH. And she does have a small garden and a few chickens in the backyard. Food is not an issue.
It's just a little lonely, that's all. Alexis only visits like once a week. Most of the time she has to go back to Pelles to chit chat.
Caster wasn't currently at home. Rather, she is venturing deep in the deep forest. Walking down an old trail. One she perhaps made herself along the years. She is not sure, but it sure is just as large as her old beaten up boots.
Her outfit had nothing to do with living in a swamp. The already mentioned leather boots, baggy cargo pants, a light open shirt, her iconic beret and nothing more. Caster hadn't had time to buy new buttons. And it was too hot to close it anyway. May the gods bless pesticide wards. She had like five sewn on her clothes.
She walks this path maybe once a week. The deeper parts house, aside from the usual threats, fruit trees and edible roots and berries. And so would happen that those were her favorite foods.
So here she was. Crouching near a tree, digging and cutting away a thick brown root from the ground. A basket full of fruits and colored berries. Someone had taught her at some point that this root was edible if you cook it like three times. It reminded her of mandioca. She loves mandioca.
Her good gathering mood changed as soon as the first droplet hit her head. It started light and thin. Heavy clouds moving towards her part of the swamp.
She quickly scrambled away. There was a cave nearby, mostly empty. She had taken shelter in that cave before. It's a nice place, killer view of the forest.
The rain fell freely. A symphony of a thousand little notes each second. The swamp has a particular smell when it rains, it's a mix of nature and electricity. The latter may be the lightnings. There are lots of those too.
Caster ran her hands down her hair with a tie. She usually prefers to let it loose. But it was too windy now to do so. Her curly black hair was one of her prides, after all. That along with her darker skin and brown eyes.
Caster waited. Just looking at the rain falling and the sun moving behind the clouds. Only when it started to get dark did she decide to camp in the cave once again.
The cave is very shallow, actually. Fifty meters long at best. It makes a sharp turn twenty meters deep, so it looks even shorter. Caster summoned a light from her hand as she walked the dark path.
And suddenly stopped.
She smelled iron. Iron and something else, something wet.
Caster made the light orbit her and with the same hand summoned her staff. Walking very slowly, following the smell.
The small light revealed something leaning against the wall ahead. Another person, bloody and bruised. Holding the side of her body. A girl in armor stained in blood. Damp black hair and eyes red like rubies shining in the dark.
And the mysterious girl was staring right at her.
"Please." Her voice was barely a whisper. Reeking of pain and exhaustion. "Help me."
Caster ran and successfully caught the knight before she fell to the ground. The smell of blood made her stomach twist with nausea. She lifted the girl with the help of a levitating spell. Only to notice a long piece of wood lodged on her stomach.
“Fucking dammit.” She mumbled. She turned on her heels and ran back to the entry. Preparing more spells to shield the unconscious woman from the wind and rain.
The rain smelled like smoke and wet concrete. She didn't like it.
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