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Valeria Underwood

A slight girl with long, brown hair and ruddy irises.

0 · 322 views · located in Devil's Forest

a character in “Witch's Diary”, as played by Marionette

Description

Name: Valeria Underwood

Age: 17

Appearance: Valeria's dark brown hair is straight as bone and nearly reaches her waist. Blunt bangs frame a round, soft face. Her skin is pale beige. Once her eyes were brown, but since her awakening, they glint maroon in the light. Her frame is small and slender.

Personality: Valeria can be shy, but ever since her powers awakened, she seems to possess newfound confidence. Regardless of this change, she is not too talkative. She likes to take time to sit quietly, perhaps to contemplate flowers or mend a ripped shirt. She is an intelligent, inquisitive girl, merely unskilled in social situations.

History: Before, Valeria could have been summed up in one word: "rabbitish." Such a slight, shy girl would have never left her home if she didn't need to. Since the age of 13, Valeria worked. Her father was long gone, and her mother could scarcely feed Valeria and her younger siblings by herself. Valeria served as a handmaiden to one of the richer girls in town, and though her mistress enjoyed Valeria's company (with the loose, distant affection befitting their social difference), her parents found Valeria boorish and clumsy. After one slight too many, Valeria was fired, and she went to work with her mother at the local inn. She was tolerated here for her passable cleaning and cooking skills, but she never enjoyed it.

Her powers awoke in the middle of the inn's dining hall. She dropped the tray of cider she carried, but before her superiors could scold her, her entire body was consumed with crackling light. Everyone, including her mother, looked on in horror. Valeria had never felt so alive. As soon as the light faded, however, Valeria knew -- knew from the looks on their faces -- that she had to run.

Inventory: When Valeria escaped, she managed to fill a sack with needle and thread, journal and quill, a small knife, a loaf of bread, and a chunk of cheese. Otherwise, she has only the clothes on her back: a white chemise, a red linen overdress, an apron, and a pair of cloth shoes.

State of Mind: A mixture of fear, wonder, and excitement.

State of Body: Unwounded (save for minor scrapes and bruises) and able-bodied. Her feet are currently bleeding due to her run through the forest.

So begins...

Valeria Underwood's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: The Fey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Guttural chanting reverberated in the dark forest as merriment resounded in the air from the nearby village of Austere as an old crone summoned her servants. One by one they appeared from the lowliest of Changeling to Queen Farbentel herself, the queen of the Unseelie of the forest. Long has this night of the Samhain been awaited by the inhabitant of the dark and terrible land of the Fey as the old crone was the dreaded witch Gretchel, the Mistress of the Devil's Forest and the last remaining chain upon the dark Fey's malicious ankles.

The Fey made a circle around the old witch and started to chant with her, unwillingly summoning the dormant powers of younger witches of the area. Various creatures inhabiting the forest cried and growled, merging their own power to the ritual as the village was flooded with dark powers, strings of magic going into the very soul of young girls of the village and awakening something deep inside some of them. As her chanting grew more desperate, the old witch hoped that at least one of these girls would answer her call.

That was how a young maid found herself suddenly the worst enemy of the village that saw her grow, her terrified cry and frenzied running into the forest heard by a young man, the witch's son, that was tasked with the protection of the forest's sanctity. With her last breath, the old crone of a witch banished her servant back to their trees and thorns, giving her successor a night of respite but no more...

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Valeria ran as fast and hard as her feet could take her. She pulled her long skirts out of the way of her feet and clung to the bag thrown over her arm. Running into the forest wasn't a conscious decision -- it was instinct. She paid no heed to brush that scraped her ankles, nor to the cool air that sank into her body. She only ran, ran, ran until she could no longer breathe.

When she collapsed in the clearing, that was whens he felt it -- the chill in her skin, the stinging in her lungs, and most of all, the jabbing pain in her feet. She lay there on the earth and curled around her bag and tried to regain the power of coherent thoughts. As much as her feet hurt, she was alive. She was really still alive. She sat up, looking over her shoulder, and wondered how long she had been here.

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by JEDH3
Adamah was speaking to his house when he heard the message, It came in a rustle through the leaves. "Really? what an oddity." he murmured under his breath. he stroked the inside of the tree where he lived as he picked up his staff, and a opening stretched wide in front of him. he stepped out and relaxed as his bare feet touched the ground. Turning around to face the massive tree that was his house, he whispered a few words, and ran his hand from the top of the opening to the bottom, shutting it as if it were a zipper. He took a breath, and looked around. Apparently there were people in his home, and he was in need of discharging them immediately. he deftly caught a leave that was blowing around him in circles. "Show me the way." he breathed, pressing it to his lips.

It blew away, flying through the air in an erratic path, but keeping in a generally straight direction. he followed it, running swiftly as the wind, and even more gracefully. His grassy robe pulling behind him like a ribbon marked the path he had taken moments before. Soon, he came to a girl curled up on the ground. She looked tired and beaten, almost dead in fact. after a few minutes, she awoke and sat up. She looked around as if frightened of something, but did not see him. His robe looked very much like a dead tree covered in moss, so he was very used to going unnoticed. In fact, he preferred it. after a moment of observing the girl, he spoke, "Why are you here?"

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The villager's torches and bellows grew faint as the girl ran and, slowly, all went silent but for the ambient sound of the menacing forest as she collapsed on the cold muddy ground in a small clearing exhausted, wounded and afraid.

Her wounds would have to be treated soon else they would infect and potentially leads to the loss of her feet but for now Valeria was safe. Technically, that is, as the night was cold and the Devil's Forest was notorious for being the deadliest in the realm, full of dark fey and other more feral creature, each more bloodthirsty than the other. That fact of life was hammered into the mind of every child of the village and no other place generated more terror than the forest.

The young woman would have various things to do before she was to be even thinking of being safe. She should heal her wounds, find a shelter and find warmer clothing than the ragged dress she wore, not to mention that it was starting to rain. Indeed, the dark moonless sky cracked open and down poured a torrent of cold and stinging water as was the usual in that time of the year when harvest was in it's full swing. Food was also needed, of course and so did water.

Valeria had to act, and fast as various howls and skittering could be heard in the dark confines of the forest. No apparent trail were visible in the darkness but a great three had a decent groove in it's roots, maybe even good enough to act as a shelter with enough luck and material. Was it safe so close to the ground, however?

Suddenly, a voice was heard: 'Why are you here?' A friend, or a foe?

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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At the sound of the man's voice, Valeria bolted upright. She looked around and considered running again, but when she studied the stranger, she realized she didn't recognize him. Maybe he wasn't from the town. Aside from that, now that the adrenaline had worn off, she wasn't sure if she could run. She could see a little blood seeping through the bottoms of her shoes. They were mere cloth-- no match for a forest floor of jagged rocks and sticks.

Valeria winced as she rearranged herself. "I'm here because--" She paused. "I'm here because I can't go home." She shuddered as the torrent began. Each drop stung like a frozen needle. She looked at the man again, and the tears in her eyes mixed with rain. "I don't know where to go. Even here is better than there." For the moment, her exhilaration turned to fear.

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by JEDH3
Adamah almost pitied the girl. she had no clue where she was. if she did, she would be begging to go back to her home. he stared at the girl for a long time, trying to make a decision. He could kill her right here, that would be no problem. but there was something strange about killing a girl who did not even have the strength to stand. he never had to do it before, so he never considered the possibility. After what felt like an eternity of deliberation, he stepped down to where she was, frowning at her. "I hope you can walk. I really do not want to carry you."

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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After a moment for the girl to find her footing, the duo walked slowly under the pouring rain as they made their way through unseen and faint trails unknown to anyone but the man and his deceased mother. It took nearly an hour as the young woman limbed and tripped over root and the man took the time to talk to his verdant companions on the way, but they arrived.

The clearing was inhabited by an hut that seemed nearly completely hidden by thorns and vines. The construct was made of solid stone and wood but still seemed to be in disrepair as a strange circle in the muddy soil near it's left slowly disappeared under the relentless pour. This was the old witch Gretchel's hut, as could be seen by the corpse of the woman near an end of the circle.

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Indeed, Valeria could walk, but it took time. She cringed with each step. "Where are we going?" she asked, glancing up at the man from time to time. She had been told never to talk to strangers, but now the whole village was a stranger to her. She might die here, but she would surely die there. Thus, she kept quiet and walked where she was led.

As Valeria spotted the unkempt house, right in the thick of the dreaded forest, she had to ask, "Do people really live here?" Next, she saw the woman. Valeria began to ask if she was alright, but the stiffness and stillness of her body was unmistakable. The woman looked like a bird Valeria had once seen crumpled atop the winter snow. Valeria covered her mouth and backed up a few steps. "What happened?"

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by JEDH3
Adamah was frustrated by the pace they were moving. he was tempted to throw the girl over his shoulder, it was taking so long. Or even better, he could just end her and go back to his home. but he gritted his teeth and bared it. after what seemed like hourse to him, they finally reached their destination. He scowled at the girl, "Shut it. I am doing you a favor merely by not killing you, let alone going through all the trouble of actually helping you. The least you could do in return is keep your mouth shut. Unless I say you can speak." His patience was running thin, but he knew that this girl was most likely important. "My mother just died last night. and the next day you show up running from your own village. There are no coincidences." He said this slowly with a forced calm as he looked at his mother's corpse. "You are one of her successors. Make yourself at home." he added the last part as sarcastically as he could.

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The hut was a simple one with a wooden door engraved with strange writings that were in fact protective runes and one window closed by shutters inscribed with the same strange language. The walls were made of clay and stones in a circle of approximatively thirty feet in diameter and were covered with hay and branches for a roof with twine and mud to keep it waterproof.

The interior was simple with two cots made of hay and furs of some animals near the wall and a great cauldron over a fire pit bubbling in the center of the dirty room. A broom for tidying was near the door as was various cooking utensil as well as various shelves with what seemed like grimoires on the walls.

The mixture in the cauldron seemed to be stew and smelled heavenly to the starved girl. The cots were tempting as well.

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Valeria's eyes widened at the man's words. She opened her mouth to reply but said nothing. Instead, she slunk inside the house. Her body relaxed as she approached the bubbling cauldron. Even if she was walking to her death, at least it would be a warm one. She glanced back at the man, but she could wait no longer. She found a bowl and filled it. After all, he had said, "Make yourself at home."

Taking a seat on one of the cots, Valeria studied her surroundings while filling her mouth with stew. She had never seen so many books! "A successor," she found herself saying, despite the way the man snapped at her. She got up to take a closer look at the books, but before she got there, she winced and lifted one foot. Peeling off the shoe, she looked around for something to bandage herself.

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by JEDH3
He sighed and followed the girl inside. he watched her do exactly as he said, despite the fact that he clearly did not mean it. He sat down on the cot net to her, leaning his staff on his shoulder. He reached inside of his robe and pulled out a small bag. "Give me your feet." He said curtly, opening the bag to show that it contained an odd green ooze.

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Character Portrait: Adamah Daghda Character Portrait: Valeria Underwood Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The stew seemed to have strange magical attributes as Valeria felt herself relaxing and felt her wound hurt a little bit less as the stew warmed her insides in a delicious melange of spices, vegetable and meat. Soon, the bowl was empty, as was the one filled soon after and the girl gingerly gave her feet to the man before her and let him go about his self inflicted task.

Adamah for his part did go about his task meticulously, first washing the feet with his gourd and applying the ooze on the other's wound. An odd sound them came from the concoction as it sizzled and knitted the wound closed, leaving the young witch drowsy with both her warm meal and the soporific effect or her remedy.

A howl resounded outside but it was late and the cot were oh so inviting... Morever, she felt incredibly safe in this small hut.

Valeria was unharmed but incredibly tired.

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Under normal circumstances, Valeria would have marveled at the way her wound closed itself with no more than an application of ointment, but her eyes could hardly stay open. The day had held far too much exertion and excitement for her to be able to resist -- she had never felt so tired in her life. She put her head down on the cot and closed her eyes for a mere moment before she dropped into slumber, one she was not likely to awaken from anytime soon.

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In the morning, Valeria woke with a start. She seized and wrung her blanket. This was not her room. This was not her home. Soon, her memories returned, and her grip on the blanket relaxed. Rubbing her face, she let her feet hit the ground. She hesitated, shifting weight onto the foot slowly, but her eyes fluttered as she felt no pain. She turned her sole up, and it was as if no cut had ever been there. The man's spell really had worked.

Speaking of the man, she hopped out of bed and looked around. "Morning," she said, voice soft. With the shutters closed, she could not tell what time it was. She felt her way across the room and fumbled for candle and match.