Deep in the forest, in a land covered in snow, in the Always Cottage, lives the Eternal Crone.
She's always dressed in voluminous black, a shapeless robe with the hood worn up or down. Her features are worn and wizened with the years. Her hair is thick, long and white. She is the Eternal Crone.
She always seems pleased to see me, no matter what guise I arrive in. She's always busy, chopping carrots and potatoes for the stew that simmers in the large pot bellied cauldron in the fireplace.
By the hearth fire sits a dark haired girl, cuddling a small brown rabbit. The rabbit seems unconcerned that sometimes the Crone is preparing rabbit for the stew.
The Crone never volunteers information, although she will provide answers to specific questions. The truth must be worked for. She won't dole it out like sweets to a spoiled child.
It's cozy and comforting by the fire. Sometimes the Crone will throw her bone runes. One visit she insisted that I learn to make my own. The future is always in a state of flux. Free will and, always, free will if you are brave enough, and if you are strong enough.
It always seems to be twilight in the Always Cottage. The Crone strings intricate mobiles of bones that clink eerily in the evening breeze. The carrion crows sound their caw in the endless half light.
Just as the rabbit is a promise of new life and the eternal rebirth of potential, death is a constant presence; the essential balance in the cycle of life.
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