The Virgin in White Circles
Throughout his many dealings with the suitors the father spent many a day visiting far off palaces and baronial estates negotiating for the price of the girl. While he was away his young daughter spent her time in her father’s house and gardens painting, singing and playing with her puppy.
One day the girls puppy escaped the gardens of her house and she ran after it into the woods. There she fell upon a group of brigands’ who thought to take the girl for their own. It was when they grabbed her that a young ranger came out of the woods, shoot each brigand dead with a single arrow and carried the girl back to the safety of her house. As the household staff rushed out to collect the young girl the ranger merely kissed her hand and promised to return to the girl with her lost puppy.
As she gazed deep into his eyes the girl knew at that point that he was the only man she could ever love and all that she wanted was to be with him. So she ran up into her tower and gazed out of the window awaiting her lovers return.
Upon his return the father went to talk to his daughter about a marriage he had arranged for her in a far of country to an old but very rich king. The girl pleaded with her father not to make her go through with it and told him all about the young ranger who had saved her. Outraged by her defiance he told his daughter that until the day of her marriage that she was never allowed to leave the tower and to make sure no one sneaked in, he surrounded the tower with a ring of white powder made from the purest white berry from the Marrial tree. This powder was the strongest and most deadly poison around. The father ordered his servants every week to go into the woods collect the seeds of the berries, take them to the alchemist and replace the white barrier every week, so there was no hope of it wearing out and allowing her to escape or be taken. The girl lost all hope and retreated back into her tower to mourn her fate.
The young ranger had heard of what had happened and decided that he must rescue the girl. But he could not get through the poison that surrounded her. So on the day that the berries were due to be collected he took the place of the berry collecting servant. He had heard that the pure berries were highly poisonous and needed to be handled with great care, but he did not have this skill, so he needed to find away to collect the berries without killing himself. Now being a ranger he knew that a type of large bat creature was the only living creature that could eat the berries and live and once the berries had passed through the creatures system the poison became innate. The seeds would look the same but no longer have the ability to kill.
So the young ranger snuck down deep within the caves of a mighty hillside, past unknown creatures of horror and fear until he reached the lair of the bat. All over the floor shining bright white were the seeds of the berries he sought and silently as the grave her collected them up while the sleeping beasts hung above his head in deep slumber. His skills in stealth and tracking had paid off and he managed to retrieve the seeds and get out of the complicated system of caves alive.
He took the beery seeds to the alchemist, who could not tell them apart from the fresh ones and the white powder was created.
The innate powder was then placed around the tower and all went to bed believing that the girl was trapped safe within the tower.
That night the virgin was rescued from the tower by her love and taken far away to live happily ever after and her father was left with nothing but an empty tower and the whitest of white powders.
Copies gifted by Victoria of House Batan, 1112