When the three of them fell into the doors of the inn, they were greeted by a quick look and an exasperated sigh from the innkeeper. “He is back, is he not?” the man seemingly asked the brass lamp above his head. “Every night I hope he gets himself killed, and then he comes back, […]

Volchina, the Death Spirit

Volchina, the Black Wolf, death personified, comes for everyone. Upon meeting it, men and women of Rodhina travel to the Blazhena Kray, a mythical land of the dead, where they are offered to stay and receive a reward or punishment they deserved while alive, or to return to Rodhina, a man born now as a woman, and […]

Chapter 14. A New Sailor

Uncle Yuro’s ship was a kyrenia, a small, bulbous boat of the Pearl Islands dwellers, with a square sail, and two side rudders at the back. It was freshly covered with pitch, and Ani looked its shiny sides over. It was the dawn of the day when their journey to Rodhina was to start. The […]

Three Spirits: Domnik, Lesnik, and Bannik

The three spirits, three brothers, are each responsible for one of the three important spheres in the household of a family in Rodhina. Domnik, the House Spirit, is a benevolent, somewhat fretty spirit that lives in the house, constantly rustling in the corners, creaking with the floorboards, and dropping things in cupboards. His brother, Lesnik, […]

The next day, with a modest payment and an apologetic smile, Ani sent the maid to the Young Witch to accept the latter’s proposition.  The servant came back telling Ani to meet the Witch’s uncle in a small tavern in the docks in the evening. The girl also informed Ani that she would accompany her there, as […]

This hearty soup is good for one’s blood and can be eaten hot or cold. Ingredients: Beetroot … 32 cups diced Parsnip … 2 roots diced Carrots … 8 cups diced Purple onion … 4 cups diced Purple cabbage … 1 small head diced Tomatoes … 16 cups diced White beans … 8 cups Green […]

After several hours of weighing and considering, Ani decided to go to sleep. She would need strength the next day, no matter what her next steps were. The Long House looked unchanged, the same cold sheets of rain were slashing across Ani’s face, sea raging at the foot of the cliff the building stood on, […]

Danihla died quickly. At first it seemed that his agility, swifter movements, and lighter step were giving him advantage, but first a heavy blow across his thigh cut him down, and then Naum’s sword sank into Danihla’s neck, right above the shoulder. The sound was squelching, and Ani shuddered. She had only seen one combat […]

The witch’s house was a two story building, white walls just like other ones on the island, an outside staircase leading to the second floor. An open yard was in front of it, fruit trees, herb garden, and some thick dark green plant crawling up one of the walls of the house, succulent bunches of […]

Chapter 9. Of Red and White

The trip to the Pearl Islands took seven days. Most of them Ani spent in the tent, at the bottom of the ladya. She had learnt her lesson, and when a new wave of nausea rose, she crawled out of her shelter and up the side of the ship. She could not claim that she […]