The air crackled with energy as the two faced each other. The clearing had been specially chosen for it’s proximity to a ley line, as well as the positioning of the standing stones spaced between the tress. It was an ancient place, filled with the old magic, awaiting anyone to reach out and tap into it. The sky above the clearing was dark and the thousands of stars shone brightly, pin pricks of brilliant light in the inky blackness. The trees edging the clearing were old, with thick branches that reached to the heavens like beggars asking asking for alms. The thick bark of the trees was scarred and scorched in places, remnants of the old duels fought here. The trees shivered in the cool air, anticipating the oncoming duel, something that they had not seen for a hundred years. It was a sight the spirits of the forest had thought they would never see again.
The combatants took their places, readying themselves for the duel. This was a duel as old as time; a duel for the heart and soul of a man. There had been wars fought over no less and there had been kingdoms built on no more.
The man in question slumped against one of the trees; the thickest one that marked the center of the edge of the circular clearing. He was tied there with magical bonds, unable to escape and forced to watch the upcoming duel. He hadn’t intended for this to happen, he hadn’t known that he had made a mistake, he wasn’t aware that he had been about to sign away his soul.
It was, after all a fairly tricky business, and the better at lying and manipulating mortals you were, the better you were at collecting souls.
The two women faced each other from across the field.
One was willowy and pale, hair the colour of dried wheat with eyes the colour of the sky on a clear winter’s day. She was dressed in a simple linen shift and held a pale blonde wood staff in her hand. She said nothing, simply stood serenely bathed in the glow of the moon, her eyes locked on her opponent.
The other was curvaceous with dark hair and eyes that you could drown in. She wore a curve-hugging dress of dark, shimmering material. Her lips her the colour the blood and she narrowed her eyes dangerously.
The dark woman muttered a few indecipherable words and balls of flame appeared in her hands.
“You will not have him,” she growled. “He is mine.”
The pale woman shrugged in response and tapped her staff against the ground, causing flowering vines to begin to crawl forward from the earth.
The battle for the man’s soul had begun.