• Published 7th Jan 2016
  • 896 Views, 66 Comments

Witchers Weed - Orcus

Just a few days before Hearth's Warming, an unnatural blizzard lays siege on Ponyville, bringing a strange character into town with it. Serendipity, Thoraxis and Petra's blind daughter, and her visiting friend, Charybdis, decide to investigate.

  • ...

Weaving is Very Serious Business

Serendipity was the first to awaken that morning. After noticing that Charybdis was still snoozing away peacefully in her now-messy bed, she re-tucked the covers back over the foal, and silently slipped out of the room like a ghost, uttering not even a single noise as she unlocked and exited through the door.

Getting to it like she did almost every morning, the young half-changeling set to work around her home. The first thing she did was shovel and push all the snow from the still-ongoing blizzard from her doorstep, and afterword fed and watered her plants. When she was done that, she started for the kitchen to make herself something to eat, until she noticed she was passing by the guest room.

Remembering her peculiar visitor from the night before, Serendipity, after locating it, turned the knob and peeked in. Upon hearing the sound of somepony working on something, she used her sight spell to make out an image of the inside, and saw Striga's awake, cloaked shape bending over an object of some sort, as well as several, paper-thin items hanging from clips on the wood ceiling.

"Morning!" Striga greeted heartily, upon turning his hatted head and seeing her. Serendipity gave him an odd look as she fully opened the door, unaware that Striga's pet moth took the chance to flutter out from just above her.

"What are you doing?" she inquired.

"Why, finishing up a rousing session of tapestry weaving, of course," he replied, as he put the needle and thread thread he was levitating down. "It's a passion I enjoy. I've known how to do it since I was but a child, you see. The works you see around me are all for clients I meet with, so don't touch. Very delicate."

"Tapestries... huh," she said in an interested tone, taking a step into the room. "What do they look like?"

"Can't you see them yourself?"

"No... I'm blind," she spoke, motioning to her red, sightless eyes. Striga's own white eyes widened in surprise at her revelation.

"Oh my, I'm... sorry, I didn't know," he said in an apologetic tone. "After seeing how you moved around last night, I thought... you were no different than I in the field of vision. Eep."

Serendipity chuckled. "You don't have to be sorry, I get that reaction a lot. I typically navigate by using a spell I learned when I was younger. By the way, how did you get these papers, and what I presume to be a loom in here? I didn't sense you come in with one."

"Magic," he grunted in a joking fashion, before snorting twice.

"Wait, you're a unicorn?" she inquired.

"Yes," he replied. "Why do you ask?"

Serendipity thought of how he might react if he found out about the usual stamina-draining thing that happened when she was around unicorns, and so decided to bite her lip, staying her tongue. "N-no reason, just wondering," she quickly said, tittering in a way that provoked a look of brief curiosity in Striga's eyes.

The look dissipated as he looked back to the materials in front of himself, letting out a small hum as he processed a thought in his head.

"Have you ever tried weaving before?" he inquired, gazing back to the half-changeling. "Anyone can do it, pony or not. It takes some practice to become a master like me, but the basics are simple to learn."

"I haven't," Serendipity said. "I'm also curious about one other thing: What stuff are your tapestries made of?"

"Silk," he replied. "A special kind of silk, mind you. A magic kind of silk. You won't find any like it anywhere, except in a dream, possibly. And to me, it's easily acquirable thanks to my... sources..."

"Magic?" Serendipity asked, perplexed. "You mean it's enchanted?"

"Yes, it is. The magic goes into effect by broadcasting the user's emotion to convey a desirable image. However, in my years of using it, I've seen that most ponies can't seem to get it to work for themselves. Their minds... no, their souls... just aren't tuned in the way that the silk likes. Granted, I've seen a rare few, but still..."

Another idea suddenly came to his mind, and he let out a hum, betraying his thoughts before he even revealed them. "Do ya'think you might you want to try a go at it? You don't have to worry about breaking any of my silk or tools. It's all easily replaceable."

Serendipity thought for a moment, placing a hoof to her mouth. "Well, I don't really have anything left to do this morning, at least until my cousin wakes up, and I'm not that hungry for breakfast right now," she shrugged, relenting. The half-changeling walked up to Striga, and he stood up, allowing her taller form to sit in front of the weaving loom.

"Take this needle and thread," he started in a helpful manner, using his magic to lift the two objects and put them in front of her until her own magic grasped the two, "and remember, it's all about feeling. No looking, no smelling, no tasting, no hearing, feeling. Pure and simple."

"Feeling... got it," Serendipity said, resisting the urge to comment on how twee he sounded. After feeling around for it, she located the loom and its already half-finished form, and set to continuing where Striga had left off. Using her weak, but stable magic to hold the items in front of her carefully, her hooves searched and touched where the needle needed to go.

"If you don't feel like it's your cup of tea, it's okay to give up, you know," he said, as she started. "Not everyone is into weaving."

"If anypony that's ever known me knows something about me, it's that I don't give up," she smiled defiantly, as she resumed. The needle continued to slip through the threads, lacing them together perfectly. To Striga's complete surprise, an image began to form several minutes later, when she had added on another third to the once-blank tapestry. The image was a sunflower field, with a beautiful, sunny, blue sky shining overhead.

Hm. Impressive... he thought in amusement. His mind was interrupted as a loud yawn went out through the air, coming form the room's entrance. He turned his hatted head and saw the small form of Charybdis, her eyes half closed in a sleepy manner.

"Serendipity? Are you in here?" Charybdis asked.

"Oh, good morning Chary!" the half-changeling greeted in reply, stopping her work and partially turning to her. "You looked like you slept well. Are you hungry?"

"A little," she replied.

"I can make you some breakfast if you want."

"Yes... please. Thanks..." the young filly yawned again as she walked on, leaving the two alone once more. Serendipity, after placing her tools down, stood back up and made her way to the doorway, until Striga stopped her with his voice.

"I must say, you may not have ever woven before, but you sure show a natural talent," he complimented. "You even managed to form a picture. If I didn't know any better, I would say that you'd certainly make a good weaver, if you ever pursued the path of one."

"Thanks, but I'll stick with growing plants for now," Serendipity smiled back, before exiting the room.

"Are you all ready?" Petra asked through the blizzard. The wyvern and her four companions were just leaving the house in a single-file row. Also following them on their upcoming trek was Thoraxis and Petra's pet cryophoenix, Despereaux, whose crystalline, icy shape soared above them all on the powerful wind current the storm around them was providing.

"Ready!" they all shouted in unison as the last of them exited, revealing how they looked. While Longinus, Carol, and Thoraxis were covered in plain, heavy coats and hats of varying colors, Skia looked like an enormous puffball with four stubby boots for limbs. The way her multiple wears were being worn also made it so her only visible facial features were her two, green, monochromatic eyes shining through her closed-up hood.

They each headed for the pathway into the Everfree forest. While the three females of the group walked next to each other in the front, having a delightful conversation among themselves about various matters, Thoraxis and Longinus held back and remained behind them. They were far enough back to be unable to hear what the three were discussing, but not far enough to lose sight of them through the storm.

"Thoraxis, do you still remember the days before you met Petra?" the alicorn decided to ask in an effort to make their own dialogue session, looking down to the changeling with his cyan eyes. "The days before you dug me up? The time when you were but one changeling, in a world of foes?"

Thoraxis blew a loud breath through his mouth, shooting out a cloud of misty air in front of himself. "I still remember," he replied. "And let me tell you, if somepony ever told me that my life would have come to this around twenty years ago, I wouldn't believe them. And I wouldn't give up the life I have with Petra for anything in the world."

The alicorn couldn't help but smile at his warmhearted answer. "I still look fondly back on the day you proposed to Petra. The jittering legs, the ring box you held in your hoof, the gleam in your eyes... you appeared so nervous. It wasn't even a month after we had found Skia, too."

"You of all ponies know how high-strung I get in those kind of situations..." he laughed as he readjusted the collar on his coat, the image of him asking that wonderful wyvern to be his wife still freshly floating around in his head seventeen years after the fact. They both walked a little further along snow-filled road, before Longinus thought up another question.

"I noticed your younger daughter didn't talk much about herself yesterday. Is she well?"

"Yes, very," he spoke. "Zecora and her nephew have been keeping an eye on Serendipity for me lately, and they've told me that she's exceptionally happy. You know, I still have trouble trying to comprehend how she likes being by herself so much..."

"Some individuals are simply like that," Longinus said, avoiding an oncoming, snow-topped bush. "I can hardly blame one for taking a liking to the peace, quiet, calmness, and tranquility of solitude. You also told me what some other ponies thought of her when she was younger, after all."

"What's Charybdis like?" Thoraxis decided to inquire. "She's as energetic as her mother, and the way she acts so brazenly all the time looks like she might be a tad bit hard to control."

"Heh," Longinus laughed. "She's a hoof full at times, that much is true, but Carol and I love her dearly. To sum her up in three words, "she's an adventure.""

""An adventure?"" the changeling repeated. "So... she's just like her mom then, isn't she?"

"In every way."

They both chuckled to one another and continued to talk, as the two marched through the storm behind the others, the snow and wind picking up in intensity all the while.

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