: Hooked, I think. I haven't played Sims in years, and even then, it was pretty casual (it was my sister's game), so it's a little out of my league, but it seemed interesting. A few of the phrasings were odd, such as "retrieved his eyeballs from the side of the room"; I really wasn't sure how literally I was supposed to take that. But I think the characters are interesting, and there seems to be something underlying everything that's happening.
: The links took me to "Unknown Paste ID" pages, so I can't comment. Sorry.
. It's only had a quick edit, so it's a bit rough, but I would appreciate thoughts/critiques/opinions.
Nothing that morning indicated that that was the day my life would be turned upside-down. As I crawled out of my blankets into the crisp fall morning, I remember thinking that it was going to be a good day: Lady Anna had told me the day before that today would be mending day. I liked mending; while it was somewhat fussy work, it was a whole lot less tiring than many of my normal chores, such as the washing and the hoeing. I just hoped Sarah and Ruth wouldn’t complain too much. Lady Anna usually gave them the easier tasks around the house, so they were used to having free time and hated the days when we would have to work at a task all day. And Sarah would probably want to go and meet her beau—rumor was that he would be asking for her hand soon.
So, all in all, it appeared to be shaping up to be a normal day. During the morning, I sat and sewed quietly while the girls chattered about the latest fashions from the city and interjected the occasional complaint about the seemingly never-ending pile of mending. It was as I was scrubbing the dishes from the midday meal that the hubbub began.
Not wanting to get behind on my work, I finished the dishes and returned to the mending. Lady Anna and the girls had gone out to see what was going on; I knew I would later be regaled with the tale of what happened regardless of my interest level. There was no need for me to go out. But I had just rethreaded a needle when Ruth came sailing into the cottage to fetch her cloak (which she’d left behind in her excitement) and me.
“Wynelle! Mother says you are to come see this too—there’s a party bearing the royal banner coming up the road! Why do you think it’s coming here? Do you think the prince or the king is coming? Oh! They’re going to be arriving any moment now; do come on!” And she seized my arm and began to bodily drag me out of the room.
As we emerged into the village square, it appeared that the entire town had turned out. Even the men and boys had come in from the fields.
Ruth pulled me over to where her parents and siblings were standing—Lord William and the boys had come in from the fields, like everyone else. Abandoning my perusal of the excited villagers, I turned to look in the same direction as all of them.
Three men were riding into town on horses, with a loaded donkey trailing them. The first man was draped in the robes of a royal scribe, the second was garbed in the jerkin of the royal guards, and the third man was swathed in a black cloak. He even had the hood pulled up, shadowing his face.
“I wonder why that man is travelling with the servants of the king?” Sarah asked.
“I don’t know. He doesn’t look very nice to me.” Ruth, having not yet released my arm, pulled on it as she craned to see over the generally taller-than-her people in the crowd.
As the men arrived at the edge of the square and pulled to a halt, a hush fell over the crowd.
The scribe looked over the crowd before reaching into his saddlebag and fumbling around for a moment before he emerged with a scroll clasped in his hand. Unfurling it, he cleared his throat, looked over the crowd one more time—almost like he was searching for something or evaluating us—and then began to read:
“Hear ye the edict of the king, His Majesty Edmund the seventh: This edict has been issued in order to comply with the foresight which has come to the soothsayer Wymund of Penwick. Here are his words:
“As evil whispers through the stones
Close of life draws ever nigh
The time is now for Renewal lore.
The right son of the displaced Master
Must gain his own from she who dances.
Fate of years bears heavy
Purity of purpose must reign once more.
From the town at end of downs
Ever in the looming shadow
Must be chosen she who goes
To aid him on this mission grave.
If this shall fail, then world shall end.”
A murmur ran through the crowd, growing steadily louder as people identified parts of the meaning of the prophecy. The scribe held up his hand for silence, and waited for it to be granted before continuing.
“The man you see before you”—the scribe glanced at the man in black—“is the son spoken of. You, villagers of Hyllthwaite, are charged with choosing the woman who will accompany him to The Museum on this vital task. You are also to equip him and his companion with whatever they need which has not already been provided.
“If you do not act of your own accord, my men will act in your place. If this should come to pass, you shall experience my displeasure.
“Thus sayeth the king.”
The scribe re-rolled the scroll. “You have the rest of the day to reach a decision. The two will leave on the morrow.”