Granny's Legacy

A spin-off RP set twenty years in the future when the heroes of the Chaos War reunite, but become victims of their old enemies. The children of the heroes must solve the mystery and save their parents. RPed from unknown-2004, ended at the same time as the Chaos War.
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Berry!
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Granny's Legacy

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Twenty years ago, the time of the Darke...

Village Dunnroot, Valis

Parents dead. Brother and sister dead. House burning. Dead walking. At nine years of age, little Thesa watched her world die. Her family had watched the sky darken over several days. Then the land followed. Then the dead came: mindless, rotting shells that slaughtered out of spite. Her family fell to their blows. And then rose up to join them. She had to smash in the skull of her six year old sister with an axe handle. She ran. Her family's land was near the swamp. "Never go into the swamp," her father had cautioned her. Her father was dead now.

The muck sucked at her slippers as she tried to navigate through the bog. She wasn't being followed anymore. She curled up and fell asleep in the hollow trunk of an enormous swamp oak, split by lightning untold years ago. The pale light of morning didn't rouse her as much as did the centipede tickling her neck. She bolted up with a stifled shriek and batted the crawling thing away. Her first urge was to quite this foolishness and go home but this wasn't foolishness and there wasn't a home anymore. The world had grown so evil overnight.

Thesa heard the squishing of footsteps in the moss. Off a ways, she could just see the outline of a person through the mist and heavy fog. The figure radiated an air of ancient strength, something terrible and frightening. The little girl huddled deep into the tree trunk. It could only the the witch, Thesa was certain. The Marsh Hag, The Crone of the Bog, The Swamp Witch... "Never go into the swamp," cautioned every parent to their children, "Or else the witch will suck the marrow from your very bones." The witch was getting closer. Slow, dragging footsteps. Crunching grasses and twigs, slurping muddy sounds and the smell of dead things. She was here! Thesa screamed and ran from her hidey hole. Not from the witch but from zombies. They shambled through the muck, dragging their heavy feet and splashing into puddles of black water. The crone looked up and hobbled towards the commotion.

An ancient woman came into view. Bent with age, face was crinkled with lines, her hands had fingers like claws and her eyes shown with a light that would cut through any deception. The hag regarded the scene. The walking dead took notice of their new pray. Mindlessly, they stumbled towards the old woman, arms outstretched and jaws hanging limp. A calm twinkle graced the witch's gaze.

"Little children, little children. So lost in the swamp. Don't you know it's time for you to rest?" She pointed at the groaning dead and then curled her fingers into a fist. The corpses twisted and contorted into horrid shapes, crushed from afar by the crone's bony grasp. The bodies fell broken and bent into the bog and were sucked under by the mud. The old woman curled her lip in disgust and spat. "Feh. Things are playing games that they shouldn't be playing. Stirring up forces in ways they shouldn't be."

Thesa shivered and kept hunched down, hoping the crone would pass her by. "Feh. No matter. All things find their way to where they should. EH, LITTLE GIRL?" Thesa almost screamed. She blanched as white as the zombies that had just been crushed by the woman. "Tch, tch. A little girl lost in the swamp? Speak up child! Talk to Granny Lehsa."

Present day...

Thesa poled the little johnboat across the shallow waters. Already, the swamp seemed to have lost some part of itself with the passing of Granny. Thesa had been taken care of by the old witch for two decades. It was the end of a legacy.

The thick water lapped against the planks of the flat boat. Somewhere a snake winded its way through the peat and ferns, hunting for a mouse. The early sun shown through the overhanging branches creating a diffused glow. Granny wasn't around anymore but the swamp could take care of itself.

She reached the crude dock that they'd constructed years ago. Little more than a platform sunk into stable ground and a post which to tie down the boat. Gently brushing away the spiders, she lashed the boat to the dock and stepped out. It creaked and shifted gently under the weight. She bent down and retrieved her pack and staff from the bottom of the boat.

Walking through the square, she could hear the nervous whispers from the villagers.

"It's the witch, the witch..."

"Bah, some witch. She doesn't even have the dignity to have a wart."

"Mommy!"

"Shhh... hush darling..."

"Or at least a mole..."

"Go on, touch 'er. I dare you."

"Nu-uh... she'll turn you n' me inna toads."

"...I mean, all self respecting witches have at least a mole."

It was rare that she and Granny had ventured into the village. Even rarer for only one to be walking through the square alone. Occasional visits to fill the pantry or assist a midwife. The witches would gladly have accepted more invitations for their services but few ever had the courage to ask. They were outcast. Before she had a companion to be outcast with. Now she was alone. It was a queer position to be in. Too old to be called a maiden, too young to yet be called a crone. She didn't have children so she couldn't be called mother. The people didn't have a word for her beyond Witch.

Her gray cloak hung solemnly as she glided down the street. The crowd parted, leaving a wake of fearful people, giddy they hadn't fallen upon the witch's wrath but perversely looking on in hopes of seeing some unfortunate soul who would cross her. Quiet villages rather enjoy tragedy. It reminds them of the advantages of being so tame. They make it a hobby to cultivate ignorance and call it a virtue. She was leaving. For now. She would be back.

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