Deep inside a dark forest, hidden at the end of a secret path lies a little house all covered in ancient vines and cast in the shade of a large mushroom. Inside this mysterious dwelling, lives a little old lady, whose actual age is only known by the stars and things that move without a sound under the moonlight.
There are many candles flickering inside the house. The candles’ sputtering wicks cast dancing shadows all over the eerie interior of the room. A strong, knee-quivering smoke swirls through the air in this dark room, as the little old lady leans menacingly over a large, black pot that is quietly bubbling over smouldering coals.
“And a pinch more of the Tears of the Sea,” she rasps to herself, reaching across the table for some powder that she sprinkles into the cauldron. The cauldron bubbles contentedly in answer to her, its thick smoke swirling from its clinging embrace to dance through the dark room.
She stirs it thrice and leans forward, breathing deeply.
“Aaah, yes,” her cackling continues, “more Dust of the Desert Fire, definitely more Desert Fire…”
She grabs for a blood red powder and casts a healthy spoonful of it into the concoction bubbling just below her warty, wrinkled nose. She stirs the thick goop bubbling there with an ancient old spoon as the red powder becomes part of the mixture.
Suddenly there is a loud knock on her front door, sending candles flickering and shadows dancing across the dark room.
She turns and smiles, though across her wrinkled, aged face it is hard to tell if it is menacing or not. She gives her cauldron a final stir before grabbing an old, gnarled walking stick and hobbling to the door to open it.
On the other side is standing a fair, young lady. Her pale skin emphasises her blue eyes and dark hair, framed by a beautiful, ornate dress and flowing overcoat. She cover eyes as the sharp smoke blows out of the dark room into the night beyond, and she coughs as she breaths some of it in.
The old hag’s face cracks into a smile.
“Come in dear, come in dear,” she cackles, “the curry is almost finished cooking.”