A mysterious tent appeared recently in northwest Skara Brae, owned by the gypsy, Doria Romanov. Ms. Romanov is a mage with psychic abilities who channeled the spirit of Lady Birmingham, just before the evil Balart was overthrown. The residents of Skara Brae were most curious about why Doria had settled in Skara Brae. The beautiful gypsy lass graciously consented to give me an exclusive interview, as we sat in comfortable red chairs inside her tent.
"Ms. Romanov, " I began, "I hear you recently gave a housewarming party in your tent, where you did a table dance."
Doria smiled a little (ah, what an enthralling smile she has-like the sun breaking in the morn!) and said, "At the party I did dance a few steps after a glass of wine or two, but any rumors about my doing a table dance are greatly exagerated."
"Is it true that the party ended up in a battle with creatures of ice and fire?"
"Aye, during the party I saw a vision of the streets of Skara Brae running red with blood, and I saw Cerin al'Eceri attacking the town. We could not stand idly by whilst the town of Skara was threatened, so we went to the Falconer's Inn to aid ibn al'Asifa, the leader of the al'Suq tribe. Cerin al'Eceri appeared and attempted to slay his rival, ibn, and the streets of Skara Brae were o'erun with monsters of fire and ice. Cerin must have used his magic to lull the town guards, for on the streets of Skara Brae, I saw Fire Elementals, Frost Spiders, Ice Serpents, Lava Serpents, Frost Trolls, a Snow Elemental, and the most fearsome creature I have e'er seen, a Phoenix, which can cut down a fully armed warrior in one blow! The defenders of Skara Brae were victorious, but Cerin managed to escape and still threatens our land."
"Do you have these visions often? Do you tell people's fortunes when they ask or do you read their palms?"
"'Tis true that I have some psychic abilities, and at times I see with the "second sight", though 'tis not always under mine own conscious control. At times the spirits of the departed have communicated with me. But nay, I am no fortuneteller. That is, I do not generally tell fortunes of individuals when they ask, nor do I read palms. I am not any kind of entertainer, nor do I accept money for doing psychic readings. I view the use of my psychic powers as a spiritual experience--a part of mine own inner being communes with another being, or my second sight shows me something in a distant part of our land. Because 'tis a spiritual experience for me, I do psychic readings only when the spirit moves me."
I then asked, "Why did you chose to chose to settle in Skara Brae?"
"I have just gone through a sad and stressful time of my life, and wished to start fresh in a new place. I am a peaceloving person, and I was attracted to live in this quiet, pleasant town. Though I must say that the eve of the party the town was not that peaceful! Skara is near a beautiful forest, and I enjoy the company of the rangers who frequent this area. The nearby woods heal and bring peace to my soul."
"Ms. Romanov, if you don't mind my asking a personal question, why have you been sad?"
Doria looked downwards. "My husband, Bryce Barington, hath disappeared."
I swallowed hard. Doria was married? She looked like an unwed maiden of no more than 20 years. Indeed when I first set eyes upon this raven-haired beauty, I began to wonder if a wild gypsy lass and a young reporter could ever… I brought my thoughts back to the interview.
"I'm sorry to hear your husband is gone," I prevaricated. Well, perhaps this was a bit of an untruth, for my heart plummeted with despair when I heard she was married, my heart leapt with hope at the thought that this beauteous creature might be free. "Is your husband alive? Will he be coming back?"
I thought I saw tears glisten at the end of her long, black eyelashes. "Alas, I fear that my husband hath died the final death and that I am a widow."
I swallowed again. I was sorry she was sad, yet I must admit part of me rejoiced. If her husband was dead, perhaps some day she might wish for some… consolation.
I asked her why she chose to live in such an unusual dwelling, a tent surrounded by a stone wall. Doria looked up and gazed at me with her meltingly beautiful dark eyes. "When I was a young lass, I was member of a semi-nomadic gypsy tribe, and my happiest memories are from the time I dwelt in a tent. During the winter months, my tribe lived in the gypsy camp near Minoc in tents much like this one." She glanced around at the walls of the tent. "I feel at home in a pleasant pavilion such as this. The skilled craftsman who sewed the tent and pitched it for me told me that oft a stiff breeze blows off the nearby ocean, and he recommended that I surround the tent with a snug stone wall as a windbreak. I followed his advice, and indeed my tent is warm and cozy most of the time. Though from time to time the wind doth tear small rents in the roof. " She gestured towards a small rip in the tent roof. "But 'tis most pleasant to dwell here and I am content."
I rose to take my leave and thanked Doria for the interview. I did not let on to the gypsy lass that she had captured my heart, but I shall be dreaming of her until I see her again.
Saturday, January 15th, 2000
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online,