lightning rattled the old tree on the clifftop, thunder crackling through the air in the worst weather she could have hoped to find. she set the vessel on the ground, hovering it several inches and creating a fire below. this was perfect weather; the conditions were more than ideal for this ritual. the gown she wore, hand-stitched dark blue with silver embroidery, whipped around her ankles, ferocious enough she worried it’d tear.

she held a hand out, steadying the sway of the wind just enough that the fire remained in its circle. (she’d learned from bitter experience it only took one spark, but the saving grace was the rain pounding down, blurring her vision that she could barely see)

now, she added the items to the vessel, hands working on autopilot. the words ran through her mind with the stilted ease of someone who has revised for a decade, mixing with the noise from the storm. it always got like this when she practiced, and she’d always been told it was a symbol of power, something to be proud of. it was why she came out here to the cliffs: there was no rule at all that she had to come to the edge of a cliff, no power boost to be added by coming out here in the midst of a storm, and certainly not in weather like this, but it was her preference.

none knew about the cliff, after all; therefore, none would come to the cliff and be curious. she’d claimed this space for her own at least ten years ago, tucking it behind the little house she’d built when the power of the location drew her there. sometimes, sailors came close to the cliffs, but always turned back away when the water became choppy, or the temperature dropped.

tonight, she swayed under the winds on the edge of the cliff, though shielded well enough to not get caught in the winds. the lightning crackled some more, bent now to her will as she twisted her power through her hands and burnt the tree, allowing it to take the worst of the backlash and manipulating the flames – they were almost blue at this point. this was her favourite part of her rituals, the aftermath when the forest had the scent of burned wood, carrying over to her cottage.

the storm broke and the ritual was finished.

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