24th of Cylus 479
The belongings of the butchered women were collected in piles for my sisters and me to peruse. There, we were to find something suitable among the bloodied, dirty garments, and articles of jewelry. What was left of the village women was… scattered and charred around the campfires. I never took part in the favored cuisine of my sisters. So I told myself. Often enough a cruel sister would tell me that they’d sneaked bits of skin or meat into my bread, just to get under my skin. And it did that. So I often went hungry at night when I sensed suspicious behavior on their part. At least, I never noticed any meat in my bread, but I digress.
Now one might wonder why we searched through the clothing of these women that we’d killed only a few nights before. Well, after sending their men back to the Pit of Garaia, we weren’t done with our work, so my sisters told me. The remains of our previous night's quarry would be left behind. And we would march on, fewer in number, until two by two, we infiltrated the next village, and the next, until our sisters weren’t enough in number to reliably dispatch the defenders of these settlements.
At that point, we would leave with the last of our catch, my sisters with their bellies full from their granaries and the blood of human-kind lingering on my nose. But we were far from the apex of our incursion. There were said to be several other hunting parties, slightly north or slightly south of us, as we made a way across the Continent. My sisters were nothing if not a model of shadowy efficiency in their collection of human flesh.
So again, why steal the tattered rags of my sisters’ victims? Of our victims?
I stood by my sister as she rifled through the discarded belongings. She was the one with the lavender eyes who’d shoved my first murder victim into my tent. We were to partner up for this endeavor.
She threw a clump of dirty clothing at me, a simple dress that seemed as if it’d fit. ”Get this on, and do something with your nest.”
She said, tossing her own perfect hair over her shoulder as she craned her neck to give me a good look.
She tsked at what she saw. A woman too thin to be a warrior, yet bearing the trappings of one with a short, bronze blade at her side. My hair must’ve looked a fright for the fitful, sleepless night and the brawl I’d had with my first kill. I hadn’t taken care of my hair through all of that.
When I began to step away, to make for the tent to change, she shook her head and gestured me to approach. ”Nevermind that. You’ll want to look as horrible as possible. At least one of us has to look the part of a helpless and lost refugee.”
She smirked cruelly at me then, and held out her hand.
I hesitated, of course, until her hand shot out to grasp mine, and with it in hand, began to draw a wound across the hand. I yelped and nearly bit my tongue off as the pain shot through my arm suddenly.
”Spread some of that blood over your face, your neck, your body. It’ll make our ruse more convincing.
She commanded me, and so I went to the tent, whimpering the entire way.
I slipped inside the tent, and promptly went about undressing from my large robes, into the clothing that had been given to me. It was a closer fit than I was used to. The chemise went over easily enough, but the parts I was less knowledgeable about, the overdress, and the corset, they made for a closer fit. Of course, they were tattered and in poor quality, with strips of fabric and leather torn from them where the woman it belonged to had been wounded, or killed.
Even so, as I put it on, I smeared my still-flowing blood over the face as I’d been commanded. Bloodying my face, my neck, my hands, and arms. In no time at all, I was looking a terrible mess.
Just in time for my lavender-eyed sister to arrive through the tent. ”I’m Vanaia, by the way. We’re sisters from this village.”
It took a moment for my eyes to adjust, but when they did I saw she was wearing similar clothing to me, the same sort of peasant style dress and wooden jewelry. However, she couldn’t disguise her obvious and unmarred beauty, however much mud she smeared over it. The illusion that covered the naer was powerfully alluring.
She smirked at me as I looked in wonder at her, probably noting my stare as a sign of admiration. ”Come sister, let us go ahead of our kin to see what shelter we might find in the next village…”