Ysharra/Harvest of Decay

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Harvest of Decay

The morning came too late, as it often did. Despite her rewarding work over the weeks' past with the Enclave, and her otherwise content existence, she was still plagued by disturbing dreams. Echoing arctic gales of her past brought her to blessed wakefulness, taking her from the tundras and snow-clad mountains of memory to her home in Ravenswood.

Nimbly she slipped out of bed, leaving the necromancer to his slumber, no doubt earned by another late night of research and writing. Ysharra silently walked through the villa, past Melikor's imp and Akonite's grik, in their usual sentinel positions, right outside Xanthium's door. Ysharra cracked a grin in the dawning light, their teasing of her would never end, and she'd get even in some cacophonous way involving bagpipes, no doubt.

The ranger took a deep breath as she reached the door, it would be the perfect time to work on a little weeding, as well as watering her most stubborn subjects, the peonies, the lilacs, lavender- they were all starting to get a bit parched as the late summer heat kept on. After that, a little pruning to get the glories and sunflowers to behave. Just thinking about the tasks ahead calmed her, banishing the dark dreams to nothing more than a shiver as the morning's breeze hit her bare shoulders.

...only to come roaring back, as she rounded the corner to what had been her garden. The patch of hilly, rich and sun-kissed land that she tended for hours, every day- was brown and dull under the dawning sun. Ysharra bit back a sob, and knelt down to the row closest to her, the sage and phlox that made up most of her outer border was so rotted the leaves were nearly black, and smelled bitter under her nose. She went through the rest, mint, chamomile, onion, alyssum, the colors and leaves that she knew as well as her own daughters' features- all of them were brown, grey or ashen, rotting in their beds.

Ysharra leaned against one of the garden posts, covering her mouth while her silent sobs continued. They were all dead, and with it, her source of comfort and quiet. Her other hand balled into a fist, and at the gesture her ever-present Wall of Thorns curled into her forearm, slicing open a few veins as she rocked, trying to still her dismay. She felt ashamed, the farmers near her had lost their fields, and thus their livelihood and the town its food. Her garden was showy, but the only thing it provided was to her alone- respite from her memories. And now it was gone, dead and gone...

Clouds gathered in the time she lingered, and rain began to fall, mixing with the rotted vegetation until a congealed layer of ash and dirt sloshed around her legs. Still she stayed, her wounds dripping into the decay, as the dreams came back, roaring with screams and icy horror.

...all dead, her inner voice cried, and now, what can I do?'