Mad Lady Arysh (And Falkenstein Castle)
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Mad Lady Arysh, and her ‘castle in the clouds’. But are you sure you’ve heard ALL of it? I write these words out to those who travel the lands of Wurm unaware, as a warning. Do not become seduced by the tales of heroes who walk the mountains to fight trolls and best goblins. Those who venture into Falkenstein Castle rarely come out – and this is why.
Not long ago, Lady Arysh resided on Deliverance. The Fo priestess seemed content there. She spent her days on a small deed called Darkpaw Harbor, and tended to her horses. She frequented the rest of Deliverance as well, casting courier when required, engaging in combat other times. Eventually she rose in power so much that she no longer required to combat everything that crossed her way.
She became bored. Unsatisfied. She paced the floors of her docks, looking out to sea with longing. At night it was rumored that any who traveled past her deed could hear her keening wails, echoing over the water. She began to talk to herself, whispered conversations with beings that no one else saw.
Eventually rumor traveled to her that there were new lands to explore known by the name of Celebration. In the dark of the night she packed all of her belongings into a corbita moored by the shore and left. She said nothing to any of her neighbours, and simply vanished into the night. When they wandered by her deed in the early morning all they could do was gape in astonishment. Horses she had spent months caring for dotted the lands, free from their pens. They shook their heads in wonder, but not surprise.
And while the story ends there for most, I know what happened next. What still goes on to this day. On the top of a mountain in Celebration, the voices are heard. Whispering frantically over the tree tops. Conversations while no one is around. Insistent ramblings and plans of buildings, roads.
Mad Lady Arysh (as she is known these days) waits for her Prince. Little of him is known. He captured her heart with his words years ago, though no one has ever claimed to see him. She demands an enormous castle be built in his honor, for when he returns. She fingers a closed locked clasped around her slim throat, her eyes wide and blood shot.
The building continues. There will be no rest. Whoever toils for her, toils from sun up until sun down, and then onward through the night. Working on this castle in the clouds.