Chapter Eleven: A New Promise
“So, we’ve found three black dragon eggs. Leosin and his trusty band of Harpers want them destroyed. The cult of the dragon wants them hatched.” Fillip summarized the discussion they’d been having for nearly half an hour. “I say we keep them.”
Whisper had presented them with three dragon eggs, which burned comfortably in the brazier beneath the shrine to Tiamat. He confirmed that all three contained black dragons, which Oszaren explained were considered the most fearsome of the five dragon types. They went back and forth on discussions about what to do with the eggs, but finally landed on a decision.
“We take them,” Oszaren said firmly, “and we get the hell out of this cave.”
“Agreed,” Fillip said.
“What happens when we remove them from the fire?” Shale wondered aloud. “Will we need to keep them warm while we travel, or will they go into a stasis if they are away from heat? Whisper?”
The tabaxi scratched his chin with a long claw. “Be okay,” he said finally. “Keep safe, warm when back to Greenest.”
“Great,” she sighed.
Oszaren placed one egg inside his pack, handed another gingerly to Shale, and Whisper took the last and slipped it into his own pack, though she wasn’t particularly pleased that he had one. Shale wrapped the warm egg in her cloak and tucked it away. It had a substantial weight to it. Keelan nodded his head approvingly at their decision.
“Now, do we leave—or do we continue through the rest of this cavern?” Reverence asked.
“We should probably explore everything,” Oszaren said reluctantly. It was clear he wanted to get moving. “There could be more eggs hidden elsewhere.”
“Wait!” Fillip jogged over to Langdedrosa’s corpse, drawing his scimitar and hacking off the half-dragon’s clawed hand. It took quite a few tries and a well-placed stomp of the foot to snap the bone before the druid got the hand free. Then, he held it up to them all and said, “proof,” then stowed it away in his pack.
With that, the group of six climbed the stairs on the opposite end of the room and walked through another dimly lit tunnel. This opened into another large cavern. “Do you hear that?” Keelan whispered. Shale strained her ears and heard leathery wings flapping through the air on the other side of the cavern. It was too dark to see anything.
“That would be the winged kobolds I saw earlier,” Fillip said, “when I was a spider.”
“They might be guarding something important,” Oszaren whispered. “We’ll need to get past them.”
“Light?” Shale suggested.
“Do it,” the warlock said, and Shale unshaded the lantern at her belt.
The cavern appeared before them in the orange glow of the lantern light, and several flying kobolds came into view, screeching. One dove for the light. Shale drew her bow and shot an arrow at it as it folded its wings for a dive. The arrow struck its chest and it fell to the ground. Reverence held up his hands and a thunderous sound started shaking through the cavern. The kobolds shrieked something in draconic. This can’t be good, Shale thought, drawing another arrow. Whisper picked up a stone and it began to glow. Then, he shot it into the air to hover in the middle of the cavern, drawing the kobold’s attention momentarily. Keelan ran forward with his sword and waited and was nearly hit by a stone as Fillip’s sling released. “You really need to stop doing that,” Keelan growled without looking at the druid, his eyes on the kobolds above.
Across the cavern was a staircase leading down, and from the depths there were several low snarls. There was a creak and clang and skittering as three massive drakes clambered up the stairs. The second they appeared, Oszaren shot an eldritch blast at one, striking the lizard in the shoulder. Shale hit the same drake a moment later with an arrow, then drew her blades and ran to Keelan’s side. Reverence turned in the air and punched a stream of air at another drake, and it hissed and drew back, looking for its target. Then, the kobolds in the air began to attack. They swooped down at Keelan and Shale, but Keelan battered them away with his shield. One clawed a substantially sized rock from the cavern wall and threw it at Shale, who was too distracted by the giant lizards to notice until it smashed into her shoulder. She nearly dropped one of her blades but recovered enough to parry as the bite attack came. She blocked the drake’s face, and its tail swished around and raked across her ribs with spiked edges. She cried out and stumbled back, pressing her arm to her bleeding side.
Whisper threw a blade of ice from behind them and it struck the middle drake, exploding shards of ice all around it. The explosion hit the two other drakes and the one with Shale’s arrow in it froze instantly and shattered into a thousand bloodied pieces.
The drake nearest Keelan snapped at the paladin and he continued to block it. The monster struck with its tail and, as Keelan ducked with his shield, it pounced and locked its teeth into his shoulder, cracking the armour. Keelan swore and shoved the creature off.
Oszaren came up between Keelan and Shale and summoned his blade, the greatsword appearing in an instant in his open palm. He grabbed it with both hands and, as the drake reared to pounce at Shale a second time, the warlock slammed his greatsword into its skull, hilt-deep between the eyes. The drake dropped, and he had to put a foot on it to pull the blade free.
A winged kobold on the ground was stumbling toward them with a ring of keys in one hand and a dagger in the other. It must be the one that let the drakes free, Shale thought as it charged at her. Ignoring the pain searing in her side, she twisted around the creature and cut off its head with her right blade, then continued to turn and slashed her left blade across the shoulder of the remaining drake as it struck at Keelan. Reverence pounded the drake from the other side with deft hits from his mace, dancing around the lizard as it started to move back from the many-sided onslaught.
Two kobolds still flew back and forth above, casting rocks at them as they fought. Annoyed, Whisper pointed a paw to one of the kobolds and blasted it with a streak of flame. The kobold screeched and incinerated. Fillip shot a stone at the last kobold as it started to flee toward the entrance of the cavern, but the stone missed and slammed into a large patch of green across the way. They looked to be—giant mushrooms? And, were they moving?
“Burn with the fiery wrath of Kossuth,” Keelan shouted, hitting the drake again and again with his longsword and shield.
“This was a terrible idea,” Shale said to Oszaren as the warlock leapt past her toward the drake, who was focusing its efforts on taking down Keelan. The warlock cried out and hit the creature in the side, tearing through it and disembowelling it in one fell swoop.
“You were saying?” He said lightly as the drake shuttered and went still. His blade disappeared from his hand.
Shale raised her eyebrows, sheathed her blades and drew her bow and shot down the screeching kobold, which had nearly reached the stairs and was flying haphazardly. It stumbled to the ground and continued to run, and Reverence threw a dart, hitting it in the back. It rolled into the patch of giant mushrooms, which were slowly ambling their way toward them.
The mushrooms were of a height with Whisper, but their movements were slow and didn’t seem to be too dangerous. They split up and explored the drake’s cages and a small antechamber but found nothing but old deer carcasses and a smattering of dirty rags. No more dragon eggs.
Satisfied that there was nothing else to be found there, they easily walked past the large mushrooms, Reverence throwing them a handful of food. They climbed the stairs, which brought them back to the main entrance of the cave leading outside into a starry night. Trigger bounded to Shale’s side and wagged his large tail happily. “Trigger!” she scratched his ears and he leapt up onto her shoulder, curling around her neck.
They turned left at the entrance and pushed back through the hidden chamber where Mondath’s office and the covered tunnel were. Fillip removed the rug from the hole in the ground to greet Mondath first. She glared at him, mouth gagged and suspended in the air by several ropes.
Fillip pulled out Langdedrosa’s hand and held it up in front of her. “I hear you’re recently single.”
Her eyes widened, but the gag prevented her from speaking. Fillip set aside the hand and pulled down the gag. She spat a string of curse words at him. “Tiamat will see you burned for this,” she hissed.
“Well, sounds like you’re not interested. Everyone needs their time to grieve, I get it,” Fillip said lightly and drew the rug back over the hole. Mondath continued to shout and swear, the sound now muffled.
“Keelan, can you carry Alfric to the horses?” Shale asked the paladin. The mercenary was well tied and still laying on the floor, staring at them but not struggling. Keelan nodded and knocked the man out, throwing him over one shoulder.
“I’ll carry Mondath,” Oszaren offered.
“Oh, I can do it,” Fillip volunteered with a smirk.
Oszaren looked him up and down, then said, “uh, no. I don’t think so.”
“No want her to see me,” Whisper said.
“I can—fix that,” Reverence offered.
They pulled Mondath out of the tunnel and Reverence knocked her out with an open palm to the forehead. Oszaren picked her up and they made their way out of the cavern quietly.
“Don’t forget about the hunters outside,” Shale whispered, nodding toward the tent where they had seen them earlier.
Everyone nodded and crept past, but Keelan’s heavy armour and their two heavy burdens made it difficult to stay quiet. Keelan kicked a stone with his boot and it clattered loudly against a large boulder.
A startled voice came from inside the tent. “What was that? Hello?”
After a pause, Shale looked around at everyone, shrugged and responded. “Hello.”
“Who are—who’s there?”
“We’re with the cult. Go back to sleep,” Oszaren said.
“Out for a nightly stroll to worship Tiamat,” Shale added helpfully.
“W-what?” There was a noise at the entrance of the tent.
Reverence placed a hand over his chest and spoke in a low, growly voice reminiscent of Langdedrosa’s. “It’s none of your business. Go. To. Sleep.”
It was quiet for a moment, and then the hunter muttered to himself. “Damn cultists.” There was rustling as the man returned to his bed, followed soon after by snoring. They all breathed a sigh of relief and continued, unhindered, out of the abandoned army camp.
The ride to Greenest was long and exhausting. Shale had wrapped her gored side as best she could, but the night was cool, and she was soon shivering, her ribs aching with every step her horse took. Trigger followed at a lope beside them.
They arrived in the sleeping town by early morning, the moon nearly set and the horizon brightening with the promised arrival of a new day. With their prisoners still unconscious and draped over the backs of their horses, they went first to the keep and knocked.
Keelan pulled out the coal from inside his pack, which was still burning and was wrapped in a pile of singed and tattered clothing. It was the thing he’d pulled from the brazier. “Oh, Keelan,” Shale said, eyeing all his belongings in ruins, “we should really find you a box for that.”
“I make bowl,” Whisper said, holding out a hand and conjuring a large metallic bowl.
Keelan took it slowly. “This would have been great seven hours ago,” he said, but thanked Whisper and placed the coal inside, then returned it to his pack, stuffing the edges with his ruined clothing.
A guard appeared at the door of the keep, and Oszaren asked for him to bring governor Tarbaw, and offered up the prisoners. The guard ushered for four more to carry Mondath and Alfric away. “Poor Tarbaw,” Shale said reminiscently. “I don’t think he’s slept in a week… Speaking of,” she looked longingly across the town where the second story of the inn stood above the rest.
“Me too. Sleep,” Whisper nodded to the inn.
“Come on, Trigger,” Shale said.
“Will you three be—alright without me?” Reverence asked. “I could use a rest.”
“Go ahead,” Oszaren said. “Wait!” He ran up to Shale and handed her his dragon egg, wrapped in a cloak. “Take this back to the inn for me?” She nodded and took the bundle.
“I’ll make sure he gets the full scope of what we’ve been through,” Fillip said dramatically, flipping his mid-length silvery hair behind one shoulder. “And I’ll make sure we’re fully compensated.”
Whisper, Reverence and Shale walked to the quiet inn and found beds for the night. They had to wake the innkeeper for the keys, and while the inn was still unoccupied, the place had been drastically cleaned since the day before.
Shale found a quiet room and placed her belongings carefully on the floor. She ate a handful of goodberries and watched in the mirror as her skin stitched back together over her ribs. Her shirt was ruined, so she balled it up and threw it in the corner. Luckily, she had extras. She pulled the leather ties from her hair and shook it so it fell around her shoulders in varying cords of lavender.
Sometimes, it was easy to forget.
Trigger hopped on the bed and walked around in circles, finally finding a comfortable spot and nestling down, pointed nose tucked under one leg. Shale smiled and stroked his reddish fur. She kicked off her boots. “I wish you could have met them,” she said wistfully, pushing under the covers without disturbing the sleeping fox. He snuggled close to her contentedly.
Shale blew out the lantern beside her bed and listened to the soft, steady breathing of her friend. It was nice, hearing that again.
Shale awoke before most of the others and trailed downstairs to see Whisper copying notes onto a piece of parchment. He looked up as she and Trigger passed him. The innkeeper didn’t seem to be around, and Shale assumed he was out collecting supplies for the ransacked bar. “You want spell?” Whisper asked.
“What kind of spell?” Shale asked, seating herself across from him.
Trigger traced the ground with his nose, searching for food.
“It give alarm,” he held up his paw, “only once. Here. You have.” He proffered a scroll.
Shale took it hesitantly. “How do I use it?”
“You know when use,” he said simply, then returned to his writing.
“T-thanks, Whisper,” she said, tucking the scroll in her pack. “Come, Trigger, let’s find you some food.” The fox snapped to attention at the word food and raced her to the door. Smiling, she opened it and followed him through.
“Don’t stay out too long,” Reverence called from the stairs as he descended. “I’m making breakfast!” The tiefling bounced lightly from the steps and pushed his way into the kitchen, long spiked tail swishing behind him.
Shale shook her head with a smile and stepped outside, not bothering to tell the tiefling it was late afternoon.
“Great news,” Oszaren announced as they all sat around the table eating Reverence’s hearty breakfast. “We own the horses now. One for each of us.”
“How is that?” Shale asked curiously.
“Oh, only that the stablemaster was a crook and our new friend Leosin paid for them all in advance,” Fillip said, daintily pulling apart a loaf of bread with the tips of his fingers.
“That’s great!” Shale said, tearing off a strip of bacon with her teeth, happy to finally be eating a hot meal. “And everything went okay with the prisoners?”
“They will judge Mondath and Alfric based on the laws of the land,” Oszaren said.
“That’s right, and we got some gold as well in payment, though the governor was plenty stingy with it,” Fillip handed out a small pouch of gold to each of them. Shale weighed it in her hand. So much wealth in only a week, all for a simple ranger. She tucked it away. “Plus, we basically had to drag a letter of recommendation from the man.”
“What’s the letter for?”
“To tell the governor of Elturel of our heroism,” Keelan said, and Shale couldn’t tell if he was being facetious.
“That is our next step, I think we can all agree,” Oszaren nodded to them all.
To find Leosin, or at least his friend, Omthar Frume.
“Here,” Whisper said, handing Mondath’s horn to Oszaren from across the table.
“Thanks,” the warlock said, turning it over in his hands. Then, he bent and pulled a notebook from his pack and began sketching out the horn.
“So, what about the dragon eggs?” Shale had two of them and Whisper the third.
“We hide them from the Harpers,” Keelan said immediately.
“Or,” Fillip said seriously, “we make omelettes.”
They took to the road heading north through the Greenfields, beginning their six-day journey. They kept keen eyes on the roads ahead. Green prairie stretched out before them in all directions, making it easy to spot someone coming from miles away. That was also to their disadvantage for anyone coming their way.
On the second day as they all rode in a group down the road, Reverence asked them a question. “What do you think—of Tiamat?”
“What do we know about her really?” Shale asked. “Is she a god? A physical being? Is she on the earthly plane or somewhere else entirely?”
Keelan drew out a book, dropping his reins on the horn of the saddle as he flipped through the pages. “Well, you see, there are two planes of existence, and they intertwine so the gods can connect to mortals.”
Sensing he was about to step into a long speech about religion, Shale cut him off. “Right,” she nodded. “So, she’s obviously evil, right? Five heads, has a cult…”
A few of them nodded along.
“I didn’t ask—what you know about Tiamat. I asked—what do you think of Tiamat?” Reverence eyed the tabaxi, who was sitting comfortably in his saddle.
“She’s a seven out of ten,” Fillip sighed.
“She’s evil to the core,” Keelan added gravely.
“I’m particularly interested—in the opinions—of our furry friend.”
“Never met her,” Whisper said.
“Do you like her, though? Do you worship her?” Shale asked.
“Do you—want Tiamat—to return?” Reverence prodded.
“Uh, no,” Whisper hesitated, thoughtful. “Sounds bad. Fire, death. No good.”
“What do you want, Whisper?” Shale asked. “What drives you?”
“And what about your family? The ones who raised you?” She was talking about the wolves, a conversation she hadn’t shared with the others. “Would you ever return to them?”
“All dead,” the tabaxi said, looking down and patting his horse’s neck.
“How did that happen?”
“Cult,” Whisper looked around at all of them. “Cult kill them.”
“The cult of the dragon?” He nodded. “That’s where you got the books.”
“So, the truth comes out,” Fillip said finally.
Parts of his story made sense, but still left Shale wondering about why Whisper was working with the cult, or at least pretending to. What did he hope to gain from it? Was he trying to take it down from the inside? Why wouldn’t he have shared that with them? She looked over at Reverence, who was staring out across the grassy fields.
“Should Tiamat return,” Reverence said quietly, “it would be the end of all things.”
“Even wine,” Fillip mourned.
“Even wine,” the tiefling confirmed.
“And why in Faerûn would the universe put us all together and think that we, a group of strangers and loners, could take down a god and save the world from ultimate destruction?” Shale said heavily.
“Speak for yourself!” Fillip said indignantly.
“We were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Oszaren suggested with a shrug.
“It seems we were drawn together,” Shale said.
“It is my calling,” Reverence said.
“Imagine the women if we save the world,” Fillip smiled brightly.
Shale raised an eyebrow at the half-elf.
“Or men,” he shrugged. “I don’t know what you’re into.”
“How did you find out it was your calling? Did someone tell you?” Shale asked the monk, thinking about her own, self-appointed calling.
“In my order—we seek to understand the—inner workings of the world—by any means necessary. As we—meditate—as we look—inward, we open ourselves—outward to the many planes of existence. Through this order—I have come to know—that great calamity will befall us—if the cult succeeds.”
“So, how do we stop them? Did you see that by any chance?”
“That would—only be too helpful,” the monk sighed, shaking his horns. “If we continue—as we have, finding cult members—and interrogating them—we will find a way—to defeat them. My order has been searching for answers—for centuries—but now, we finally have a way—to interact with the cult.”
“Sounds like they’re pretty inefficient,” Fillip commented.
“Indeed,” Reverence said slowly.
Shale shuffled back in her seat and stretched her legs in their stirrups. “What made you want to join the order?”
“I was found by the order—as a child. Typically, tieflings are not—welcome—in many places. But, here—I was able to call the monastery—home.”
“What happened to your parents?” Oszaren asked quietly.
“I have—no idea. All I know—is that I am destined—to stop the rise of Tiamat.”
“Well, you’re giving yourself a lot of credit,” Fillip scratched his chin.
“I never said—singlehandedly. Perhaps that is why—we all met.”
Destiny, Shale thought in annoyance. What had destiny ever done for her?
“When’s the last time you got laid?” Fillip asked Reverence with a snort. “I think you’ve done a little too much meditating, if you ask me.”
Reverence turned his head and they continued to ride until nightfall.
The next morning, Fillip pointed out some black spots on the horizon.
“What do you think it is?” Oszaren asked, squinting at the sky ahead.
Fillip shrugged. “Should we try to hide?”
“Not with the horses,” Shale said. “There’s hardly enough trees and we’re surrounded by grasslands. Whatever it is, we have to hope they don’t attack us.” As if they’d ever be that lucky.
“But we should be ready for anything,” Keelan said, dismounting and pulling out his longsword.
The rest dismounted as well. The objects were moving closer, and soon they could make out massive, feathery wings. Shale drew her bow and an arrow, and held them pointing down, waiting.
The creatures were unlike anything Shale had ever encountered, and she could only guess as to their name. There were three of them, large and colourful with feathers across their wide chests. They had antlers and deer-like faces with massively sharp teeth that glinted in the sunlight. They hissed and began to circle the skies over their group. Their massive taloned feet stretched as the first dove and landed on the ground in front of them, tucking its wings to its side. The horses whinnied and shied. Whisper’s horse pranced back as the tabaxi tried to calm it.
“Get ready,” Oszaren growled, blade summoned.
The creature struck and Oszaren shot a blast of green light that hit the creature, sending it rearing back in angry screams. Reverence twirled his mace in his hand and smashed it into the creature’s leg, sending it off balance, then danced back as it tried to bite and claw him. Whisper summoned an orb of crackling lightning energy and forced the creature back a few steps. Whisper’s horse reared and bolted and one of the creatures in the sky dove from the side and dug its talons around the barrel of the horse. The horse screamed as it tried lifting it, then dragged it a few feet before letting it fall to the ground in a bloody heap. The horse did not move after that. Shale was about to release an arrow when suddenly the last creature dove from the sky and grabbed her, picking her up ten feet before dropping her back to the ground. She fell on her back and the wind was knocked from her. She lay there, gasping for a moment, before crawling to her feet and coughing. Her side ached, and she was pretty sure at least one of her ribs was broken. With effort, she walked over to where her bow dropped and picked it up.
Meanwhile, Fillip had transformed into a massive, shaggy brown bear and ran at the creature in front of the horses. He bowled it over and dug into its face with massive paws, tearing out the thing’s throat and leaving it twitching and dying.
“Well done, Fillip!” Keelan shouted, then ran to Whisper’s horse where it lay dying and put his hands over it to heal.
Oszaren shot more blasts into the air at the creature that had attacked Shale, and it screamed as the shots landed, but continued to circle overhead. The horses were all panicked and moved back from the fight. Shale released an arrow and it flew away wildly as pain arched across her spine. Reverence threw punches of wind at the creatures and Whisper shot bolts of fire. They circled around each other. Suddenly, one dove and clawed at Oszaren and he swung back, but the thing was heavy and pushed him over, digging in with its teeth. Oszaren punched it and it ripped free as the other dove at Reverence and did the same. As Reverence tried to recover, his head bleeding, Fillip ran over to him in bear form and stood over him protectively.
Just then, a massive eagle swooped in at one of the creatures. None of them had noticed its arrival. It tore into the chest of one of the creatures as it flew up and brought it slamming into the ground. The other, at seeing its companion attacked, swerved toward the eagle, but in one moment it was hit by Oszaren’s blast of magic, Reverence’s dart and Whisper’s bolt of fire. The fire caught, and the feathered creature ignited in wounded screams, then careened downwards and crashed in a heap in the grass.
The final creature pulled away from the giant eagle and dove for the bear. Fillip stood on his haunches and swiped at it, leaving a mark along its feathery side as it tried to flap out of reach for another dive. It managed to get its claw into Reverence’s shoulder and sent the monk flying and rolling to a stop on the other side of it. The monk did not stand.
The eagle used this moment to land on top of the creature and dig its talons into its neck. With a snap, it broke the creature’s neck and let it fall. Fillip, still in bear form, lumbered over to Reverence and began casting a healing spell over him, nuzzling his nose over the tiefling’s face. The eagle landed and folded in its wings, then bowed to them.
Whisper nudged his horse, now fully healed by Keelan, and it stood, shaking its body free of dust. Whisper calmed it and mounted, bringing the destrier over to where everyone stood. Reverence got to his feet and limped over with them.
The eagle slowly began to shrink and transform until an elderly, elven man stood before them. He had long, silver hair, a cropped goatee, and wore roughly stitched animal hides. “Greetings, travellers. It is not often that I see people who can fight creatures such as these and live to tell the tale.”
“Some of us—barely lived,” Reverence offered.
“Thank you for saving our lives,” Shale said gratefully, clutching her side with laboured breaths.
“Is there something we can give you in thanks?” Oszaren asked the old man.
He shook his head kindly. “No, I need of nothing.” He looked confused. “It is strange, though, for these creatures to be so far from home.”
“What are these creatures?” Shale asked.
“They are known as perytons. Normally, they make their homes in cliffs. This is very troubling.” He scratched his goatee. “This far to the west—it’s odd.”
“You know what else we saw fly east,” Oszaren said, looking around as they all nodded. The blue dragon flew east to the mountains. “Have you seen any dragons?” He asked the old elf.
“You’ve seen a dragon in these parts?” He asked in surprise, the lines in his forehead deepening.
Oszaren nodded. “It flew to the Sunset Mountains.”
The wizened elf shook his head.
“What’s your name?” Shale asked him gently.
“My name is Valen Sylmaris,” he dipped his head to her. “Pleased to make your acquaintance. Now, you should all be on your way with haste, and disturb as little nature as you can.” The man turned to Fillip, who was still in bear form. “As for you, a fellow druid, I should hope you teach them to be careful with the creatures of this world.”
Fillip responded in growls and grunts and seemed annoyed, as per Fillip fashion, and the man nodded along in understanding.
“Thank you,” Shale said again. “Our lives are in your debt. Do you have anything else we should be looking out for on the road? We’re headed to Elturel.”
He shook his head. “My enclave has been hunting dangerous folk in the area.”
“Danger? How?” Whisper asked.
“Dark wizards,” the druid said gravely.
“What colour of robes do they wear?” Shale asked quickly.
“One man was seen, garbed in red.”
“How long?” Whisper asked.
He thought for a moment. “Two days or so.”
“Do you know which direction he headed?” Shale breathed.
“Heading this way, along this very road.”
Shale nodded seriously. “We’ll need to keep our eyes out for this man.”
Fillip turned and started back down the path on his four legs, clearly done with this conversation.
“Safe travels,” the druid said, then transformed again into a giant eagle and flapped up and away.
Oszaren hitched Fillip’s horse to his own and they set off down the road.
Five days into their journey, Shale rode up next to Oszaren, who was currently leading the group, and looked over to him. “Oszaren,” she said, taking a moment to gather her thoughts. “I know we’ve travelled together for a few weeks, but I feel that we don’t know each other that well, and I was curious. I don’t know a lot about magic, but I have noticed that yours seems different from anything like Whisper’s. I know where he gets his powers. He finds them in books. And even Keelan, he receives his power from Kossuth.” She paused. “But, where does your power come from?”
Oszaren looked back at the others, then to her and said, “let’s move forward more. I actually wanted to talk to you about something.”
“Sure,” she said. They prodded their horses and moved further from the rest of their party.
“Yeah, my powers are a lot different than what you see in Keelan, or Fillip or Whisper.” The warlock said slowly. “Let’s just say, my powers were not earned or learned. They were—more, inflicted.” He sighed.
“That sounds like a bad thing,” Shale said quietly.