Rayne Entry 8
I call upon the Emerald Flame.
Things are looking up. We emerged from the crypt in the Forest of Ringing Mountains – a forest of pine trees. I read about it in the Praetorium, ages ago… but I never dreamed I’d see anything so beautiful. Lesallai warned us to beware, for the Veil between our world and the Lands Within the Wind was thin in the forest. Of course, she kept calling her home something different every time she mentioned it…
That’s what I thought as well. She wasn’t ready to face it again. She wanted to get away from that place… we all did… but lizards ambushed us. And there was a fey panther, a creature from the Lands Within the Wind – but we managed to drive it off. And I found some metal in a hollow tree – some actual metal! And magical, besides – which Vrack fashioned into a flail.
What? Are you saying I should have kept the metal?
I don’t know about that. Besides, it’s worth more to me in Vrack’s hands. I want our group to enjoy every advantage we can… it’s the only way we’ll survive out here. And I can live very comfortably, for a good long time, on my share of the gemstone trinkets and trade bars we’ve found. We all can. I’m not sure what will happen when we get to Tyr… but, assuming we make it, I hope we stick together.
What? Who, us? I guess you haven’t been paying attention. After the lizards, we got the drop on some gith, and we routed them. Hardly broke a sweat, even. The Profiteers never could have handled them as easily…
I think I’ve explained this already. I can’t survive out here alone.
It’s not like that, and you know it. These people are my friends, Emerald Flame. I care about them. And I trust them. I think we’ve all saved each other’s lives now – more than once, in some cases. And a pirate doesn’t “use” her crew. A Profiteer sure as the Gray doesn’t.
My only foolishness was to listen to you. I think there’s enough treachery and greed in the world without you talking me into adding to it. You’ve helped me to focus my power, certainly, but everything you’ve told me has been a lie.
… all right, almost everything. I do want to be with her. Even if the group breaks up in Tyr, I want to stay with her. But you didn’t… you didn’t plant that in me. Those feelings were already there. All you did was show me.
But I don’t need your help with that. And, truth be told, I don’t need your help with anything.
We’ll see about that. I call upon my Shadow.
Shadow, come to me!
no. shadow. only. flame
You’re wrong. I am an assassin. I am Hidden. I am Shadow. And in the darkness I serve, no flame as tiny and weak as yourself can thrive.
I bend your power to my own. I shatter your will upon the stones of the pyramid of Kalidnay itself. I make you mine!
I thought he’d never shut up.
Shadow! Praise the Grandfather! Where have you been?
Close to your heart, of course. But the Flame refused to let you hear. Tell me, what’s happened?
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