The Dream is the fourth chapter in Fate.
- Brenton Eld, the Sun Child, played by Metroidhunter32
- Tallulah Windrift, the Sky Child, played by Lisa URAQT
- Enki Harmonson, the Earth Child, played by Ccbermanzzpedia
- Aquaralis, the Water Child, played by Shade Link
- Princess Adelaide
- Harmon, Enki's father
- Aysel, a mysterious woman who claims to have been one of Fate's servants
This section is continued directly from the roleplaying on Into the Forest.
(continued from Into the Forest)
- Brenton:Talluah, Enki, wake up!
- Tallulah: (sleepily) Uhhhhnnn... is it morning already?
- Brenton: No, it's two hours to dawn. But I smell a fire about 2 miles distant. Big one if I can smell it from that distance. There's straw in it to which makes me think that a fire went loose in a villiage. It's in the direction you pointed Enki.
- Tallulah: (sits up and rubs her eyes, then mumbles) Probably just someone who doesn't know how to cook, turned up the fire too high, making breakfast...
- Brenton: Not a chance, it's blocking out half the stars in the sky. This is no house fire.
- Enki: What's going on! I smell wood burning!
- Tallulah: (still mumbling sleepily) Yeah, smells horrible.
- Brenton:(At Enki) As best I can tell there is a village burning and I'm going to have to smack Tallulah to wake her up.
- Tallulah: (she hurredly throws off the blanket and stands up, smoothing down her hair where it had gotten messed up sleeping.) I'm awake, I'm awake!
- Enki: O....crap. This is bad. Aarden is close. I have to get going. (Enki throws off his blanket, stands up and takes off running.)
Tallulah and Brenton are still standing, are dumbfounded at his sudden deapature. They throw their stuff in a loose pile, and tell the Princess to watch it. She grumbles something inquoherently, and shakes her head. They take off after Enki, who was way in the distance starring at a tree. As they aproached him, the tree began to change from a simple green, to vibrant yellow, and then when they got even closer it's leaves were completely made of gold. They wondered in aw of the sight of the golden tree and Enki said, What a wonderful time to find it, now of all times, the single greatest tree in the land.... the Tree of Fate. This tree is supposed to be made of some of the oldest magic, with the ability to conseal itself to anyone it does not deem worthy. It can not be burned by normal fire, nor cut down by conventional mean's; it appears at different times and different places for everyone, so there is no set location. It's leaves are supposed to be filled with the power of nature and are a well of magic, and only the truly pure at heart can fully harnest them. It is a custom that all children in our area when they get old enough and are aproved by the elders, are they allowed to go into the woods to find the tree. Once they have taken a single leaf, they return where there is a huge celebration with their father makes them true adults in our communtiy. A single tear falls down his face, as he steps forward and plucks a single leaf from the tree. It begin's to shine brilliantly, there is a flash and the tree appears like any other, no longer golden. He pockets the leaf and continue's running.
- Tallulah: Enki, wait! Where are you going? (she runs after him, inwardly cursing her dress for being so long and hard to run in.)
- Enki: (shouts back) To Aarden! And your I don't know about you, but that dress seems mighty long for running. You might want to find a pair of pants sometime soon!
- Tallulah: I'm a girl! Why would I wear pants?
- Enki: Uhh.... efficency and safety. If we get into anymore skirmishes, with anything tougher then what we have already fought, your going to need to move a whole lot faster, and personally I don't want you to die.
- Tallulah: (she thinks while she is running, then shouts back at Enki.) I'll get some pants to wear under my dress, then just tuck in the skirt or something if we have to fight. Or maybe I'll get some gouchos, some women wear those.
- Enki: Won't make much sense to do either of those. Gouchos might get caught on something in the fight, and the dress will still hinder you movement, and it will take too much time tuck your skirt in if we have a suprise attack.
- Tallulah: Fine, I'll get some pants, but I still get to keep my dress or a skirt to wear over them if we ever go someplace where there are people. The Regimiss's daughter can't go in public looking like a cross-dresser.
- Enki: I'm afraid Tal, the Regimiss has probably put out a notice or bounty for people to find you. If we ever go into a highly populated place, your going to need to completely disguise yourself.
- Brenton:He's got a point. Probally a reward out for you. And we can get you a wrap skirt, I've known some people who used them for the exact same purpose. Wear pants underneath, pull a string and the skirt falls away.
- Tallulah: Yeah, a wrap skirt would be a good idea. And I guess I just never thought about the fact that they'll probably do anything to find me. My father probably has ordered guards to patrol the borders of Silverwing and to search all wagons and look for me, knowing that's probably where I'd go. I probably shouldn't be running around in this anyway. (she gestures toward her dress-- dirty and ripped in a few places at the bottom and on the sleeves. Even with all the dirt and wear, it was still obvious that the dress once had been very nice, something that a very high-class young woman would wear.) It would just attract attention.
- Enki: I was thinking along the same lines, until I relized that it could become more hassle than it's worth. See it will look strange in public, even more so than just pants, and if we have to on the fly we would have to leave it behind. Or if we can somehow attach to a string if it got caught on anything, Tal would be in deep trouble.
Tallulah, Enki, and Brenton slow to a walk so they can talk better.
- Tallulah: Well, maybe gouchos that are a little less loose than normal? That might work.
- Enki: Tal, be pratical, gouchos have way, way to much fabric to be safe. You gotta start thinking about stuff like this, especially with all the danger we are in.
- Tallulah: Well... I guess I could wear pants... some girls who ride horses and I guess just don't care about how they look wear pants that are sort of feminine and are really durable. Those might be the best option.
- Enki: I'll find you a pair after we see exactly WHAT is burning!
Enki picks up to a run again and the others do likewise. Soon they come upon the remains of the village. Every building, fence, and structure is blackened, and most of the village has been burned to the ground. A few fires still burn, but it has mostly burned out. A haze of smoke and ashes floating in the wind cloud their view of the scene of destruction. A piece of a sign lays at their feet, reading "lcome to Aarde". A few other letters lay scattered randomly among the smouldering remains.
- Enki: What happened? (he begins to run through the main street, the market and residential districts, everything from his childhood is gone, literally up in smoke, he goes running through the rubble to his home were he hears a faint voice, calling... pleading for help. He rushes over and finds that it is in fact his father, badly burned with a broken leg and several shattered ribs. Enki picks him up and gently moves to a clear patch of earth and whispers, Hey dad, I found the leaf.
- Harmon: (weakly) My son! (he gasps and coughs, clutching his broken ribs.) Thank goodness you weren't here, the Empusas came on their horrid dragons and set the village on fire and killed anyone who dared to challenge them. I believe... (he trailed off, momentarily overcome by pain.) I believe you and I are the only ones left.
- Brenton:(He leans over Harmon and examines both his legs and his ribs):His wounds aren't to serious. If we bandage his ribs before he moves he should be fine. But those burns bother me. Those will get infected way to easily. I'd need yarrow and elm to treat get a strong enough diseneftant.
Tallulah says nothing, biting her lip in worry.
- Harmon: No, my children. I am old. I am lucky to have lived this long. And I have lived long enough to see my son grow from a boy to a young man... (he turns to Brenton) You are kind, my boy, but do not bother to treat me. I believe my time has come.
- Brenton:Very well.
- Enki: But Dad, they can save your life!
- Harmon: My son... I am sorry. You probably won't understand until you're older. If Fate wishes me to live, then I will live.
- Brenton:Listen to him Enki. There comes a time in many peoples lives when they aren't sure wether they are to live or die. They let Fate decide if their wounds take them or if they heal. (he looks down, suddenly lost in the past) I've seen it happen.
- 'Enki: No! I.... can't.... let him die, he's the only one that I have left. (he bursts into tears)
- Harmon: Don't cry my son, if it this is how I have to leave, then at least I saw you become a man. Let's try not to make this any harder than it has to be......Oh....Ohhh....Enki I love you, never forget that. (he closes is eyes and a look of peace comes across his face. His breathing slows and after a minute or so it stops.)
- Enki: Father.......no.....father....mother.....where's my family?!............ Where's my friends?...... Does this mean that I'm the only one left? I am I already totally alone?!
- Tallulah: Enki... (she lays a hand on his shoulder comfortingly.) I know it's not the same, but you have us. Me and Brenton. We're here for you, don't worry. It'll be okay.
- Enki: No it won't, it won't!
- Tallulah: (her eyes start to glisten with tears as she pulls Enki into an embrace.) You'll make it through this. I promise.
- Enki: You sure?
- Brenton:The pain never really goes away. But in time you learn how to bear it. Perhaps it lessens with time, but it will never stop hurting. That's how you know you're human.
- Enki: How do you know?
- Brenton:(purses his lips and thinks for a moment) My mentor slash addopted father was a soilder. Well not just a soilder, a commander, virtually a general.
- Enki: What army?
- Brenton:Catalonian. He was as well known as the king for a time. He was a military genius and insanely loyal to the king. He's where I get my dislike of Catalona from.
- Enki: What happened to him?
- Brenton:The king wasn't loyal to him.
- Enki: What happened? That sounds terrible.
- Brenton:Have you ever heard of Commander Gerik Ironfist?
- Enki: In passing. I can't remeber where though.
- Tallulah: The name sounds familiar. Was he one of the rebels?
- Brenton:No, but his fingers were in that pie. You probally know him back from when he was activly searving and got his nickname.
- Enki: Wait.....was he the leader?
- Brenton:Of the rebellion? No, he wouldn't let himself get tracked that easily. He supplied weapons and training to it though. Helped it get off the ground in order to help him repay the king for his "kindness".
- Enki: That sounds like there was a serious betrayal.
- Brenton:There was. He tried to cover it up, but Gerik knew. The king destroyed Geriks career and essentally his life
- Tallulah: Ouch. Must have been hard for Gerik. ...So, were you saying that Gerik... err, passed on?
- Brenton:Eventually. It took over 20 years for him to die, and not even by the kings hand or acts.
- Enki: Let's go find if there are any others out there. (he reatracts from Talulah, and wanders off aimselly lookkng under rubble and finding nothing except for the dead. Tallulah and Brenton do the same, but with less determination than him.)
- Brenton:There's nothing but ash and charcol left beyond here. We'll find nothing save the dead.
- Enki: There has to be something..... I know there has to be!
- Brenton:(Grabs Enki by the shoulders and yells in his face) ENKI! THEY ARE DEAD! IF YOU DON'T ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL GO INSANE!
- Enki: (shakes himself free of Brenton's grasp) THERE'S GOT TO BE SOMETHING! THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING!!!!!!!! (he stops, pauses, and remembers what exactly he is looking for) One of our elder's, Terk, had a hidden cache of weapon's just outside of town. If we can find it, it may prove to be useful.
- Brenton:(Raises an eyebrow) Now that's something worth looking for. Even if they've rusted I can sand them down into raw scrap steel and make knives out of them. After giving the two to Tallulah I only have 5 left on me.
- Enki: I'll lead the way. I'll let you examine them though. My weapons trainning is minimal.
He goes in a long circle around the ruins, and suddenly takes a left with the others right behind him. He continues to where he finds several bushes, he kneals and reaches down into them and grabs a hatch. He lifts said hatch and they see a large circular room filled with perfect condition weapons, medicine, food, water, and more.
- Enki: Must have had a been a suprise attack. They didn't get to this.
- Brenton:(Makes a quick cycle around the room grabbing several sheaths of knives and medicines. He looks in the back corner and starts slightly) That Terk was a rebel.
- Tallulah: (laughs shortly) Seems like everyone's a rebel now.
- Enki: He sure was. If memory serves me correctly he also has a hideout with even more stuff including beds, a shower, and plenty of extra clothes including pants, Tal.
- Tallulah: Girls' pants, I hope...? (she bites her lip.)
- Brenton:Well, I don't know about that but he has a mountain of cannonballs back here, along with a few balistea. (he rumages a bit deeper) Ooh, I like this guy. Looks forward. Last I saw of this design was on drawing tables discussing how it couldn't work. But looks like it does, or he wouldn't have 50 of them.
- Enki: Tal... you can dream about it. (he picks up an longsword and slashes it a few times. He then spots several pairs of decent armor on the ground These can be useful.
- Tallulah: Those look kind of heavy... (she walks around the armor and looks over Brenton's shoulder.) Wha'd you find there?
- Brenton:(He smiles and pulls out a metal tube about 3 feet long and 8 inches thick, open at one end with a small hole at the other) Hand cannons.
- Enki: I remember those. I've fired one of them once or twice, and understand how to clean and tend to them. They kick like something else though.
- Brenton:I can imagine. Way to heavy to carry many though, and to slow to reload to beat bows. Punch through armor like it was cloth though.
- Enki: I only need two. The others we can leave. I'll also need several hundred rounds of ammo, and a lot of blackpowder.
- Brenton:Heh. Yeah, find me 12 oxen and carts and it's a deal. That's half pound shot, several hundered rounds would weigh over a hundred pounds. I doubt the princess could carry that much weight on her back. Powder is just a sheer volume problem, those barrels take up allot of space.
- Enki: I suppose. Less we can find a blackpowder belt. It will look weird, but you can stuff it chock full of powder. As for the rounds....well I suppose I can only take a maxium of 35.
- Brenton:Allright, good. You'll need melee weapons though, you can't always expect to be at sufficent range. Get a onehanded ax or a gladius of somesort, don't go two handed those take to long to draw. And I've got an idea for a shield modification I've been dying to try out, but works with neither mine nor Tallulah's fighting style.
- Tallulah: Yeah, the bo takes two hands, you can't carry a sheild with one of those. Same thing with a bow. Speaking of which, is there a bow in here? It's the only other weapon I know how to use.
- Enki: Yeah, right over there. (points to several bows, and a large number of arrows)
- Brenton: (Walks over and grabs a small crosbow from the stack) Do you want a longbow or a recurve? Recurve would probally be better, I doubt you could draw a longbow. Bigger to, would interfere with your bo fighting if it was straped to your back at the time.
- Enki: He's right.
- Tallulah: Yeah, longbow might be hard to use. I don't know how to use a crossbow, just a normal one that you pull manually. (she grimaces) My father didn't trust me with a crossbow.
- Brenton:The crossbow is for playing around with. You get a recurve bow. It gets aout 3/4 the power of a longbow with half the draw.
- Tallulah: That'll be good. And I'll need a quiver... (she looks at the number of quivers hanging on the wall, and selects a sturdy-looking one that doesn't look too heavy and puts it on her back.) This one should work.
- Brenton:(he walks over to a stack of bandages and picks them up) Tallulah, I'm having a thought. Make an easier way then the wraparound skirts to allow you to fight more effectivly.
- Tallulah: (she looks confusedly first at the bandages, then at Brenton) And what would that be?
- Brenton:(gives a vaugly evil grin) We disgus you as a boy. Bind your breasts flat, whack off your hair, baggy cloths to disguis your extend rib cage and camel toe. Make it easier, and less likely to draw attention walking through a town.
- Tallulah: Oh, gosh... I really don't want to cut my hair. Wearing pants doesn't seem so bad now. Couldn't I just wear pants and put some dirt on my face to make it look like I'm a cowgirl?
- Brenton:And what will you do in a fight when someone manages to get within the range of your bo and grabs your hair? Trust me, they get you get your hair grabbed, you are toally at your mercy. That's why I keep it so short. It's an easy target for you.
- Tallulah: I'll cut it sort of short and put it in a ponytail. Will that work?
- Brenton:Ponytail is almost worse. Then in one grab they get all of your hair instead of a few locks. Look at it this way. You can grow your hair back, but if somebody gets a grasp on you, you can't grow your head back
- Tallulah: (sighs and bites her lip) True. But what if I wore a hat...?
- Brenton:Well it's your choice. If you want to risk your life on a hat not coming off when you move to fast or the wind blows it's your choice. It's not like you're looking to pick up a date at the moment.
- Tallulah: Oh my gosh, what would Ben think of me if he saw me looking like a boy? That would be so horrible... But I guess he could probably get used to it, and it would grow back... Do you promise it won't be too short?
- Brenton:I'll cut it to the longest length I think effective. And Ben probally wouldn't even recognize you as a boy, so he wouldn't care.
- Enki: Captain B does have a point. I actually agree with him.
- Brenton:You can always grow your hair back when this is over. Shorter is actually better in some of the areas we're going to pass through, you'll be less liekly to get lice.
- Tallulah: (wrinkles her nose) Eww, lice. Totally gross. But I have to disagree, Ben would recognize my face no matter what my hair looks like. What are you going to cut it with, anyway? Do you have scissors or something?
- Enki: Terk probably has a pair. He was a very prepaired man.
- Brenton:(shrugs) I was just going to go at it with my knife. That's how I cut mine. (His hair was short, a little rough cut, about half an inch all over except for a shaggy patch on the right side of his head.)
- Tallulah: Umm, I'll go with the scissors.
- Brenton:Allrighty, scissors it is. (He pulls the scissors from a shel nearby where they sat and asks Tallulah to sit on a crate.) Ready?
- Tallulah: (she squeezes her eyes shut.) As I'll ever be.
- Brenton:Here I go. (He takes the scissors and begins to snip. Tallulah can ell right away that he is doing a rough job of it. He didn't bother with taking it off inch by inch, instead going straight to the near skull. The amounts of hair he was taking were uneven and rough. Some hairs were being pulled out instead of cut. Tallulah just gritted her teeth and bore it.) Allright, that oughta do it. Sorry I was so rough, but nobody not noble has a clean haircut. It probally felt worse then it looks though.
- Tallulah: (she fights to keep her voice steady.) Is there a mirror in here?
- BrentonNo, but there are lots of shiny peices of steel. Look into this one. (He holds up a lrage metal shield. Tallulah takes a deep breath and then opens her eyes. Her hair was cut very short, about the same half inch as Brenton, although without the shaggy patch. Her bangs were practiaclly sheered off, and her previous long silkey locks lay in in 2 foot sheets all over the floor. She could see how this would work for the disguise, she already looked halfway to a boy. She also realized what a terrible shape her dress was in. Definantly needed to change that out for something or she'd be drawing way to much attention. She ran her fingers throughher new short hair and sighed. No turning back now. She turns away from Brenton so he can't see her cry.)
- Tallulah: I guess I'd better be changing into some new clothes, huh?
- Brenton:One thing that needs to be done first.
- Tallulah: (she gives him a confused look for a fraction of a second, then pales as a look of understanding comes over her face.) Oh, yeah, right. The bandages. Umm... I really don't know how to do it, so, umm... I could just go in another room and you could just tell me what to do, maybe...?
- Brenton:No. Your arms don't bend far enough, and it needs to be pulled very tight in order to work. I'll wrap it. Enki might want to leave though.
- Tallulah: (her face reddens in embarassment) Wait, why would you think-- that's-- what about... common decency, and... modesty! And, well... (she trails off momentarily) But you're a boy!
- Brenton:(rolls his eyes) Ugh, you are definantly noble born. I'll stand behind you and do my best not to touch anything.
Unintentionally repeating Brenton's gesture, Tallulah rolls her eyes. An awkward few minutes later, Tallulah looks into the sheild they had been using as a makeshift mirror. The short hair and the baggy, masculine clothes they had found (as well as the use of the bandages) really made her look like a boy, as long as no one looks too closely.
- Tallulah: (she takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly.) Well, I guess that worked well enough.
- Brenton:Told you. Those bandages are going to hurt to some degree for a while though. And you'll draw allot less attention then before. That dress was getting allitle to torn up for walking through anywhere populated.
- Tallulah: (scoffs) Come on, I'm used to wearing a corset. These bandages are nothing compared to that.
- Brenton:A corset constricts the stomach, not the chest. The pressure is also considerably more, as the bandages are meant to make you look male, not thin. You'll have a little trouble breathing as deeply, but with some traning you ought to be fine.
- Tallulah: True. At least I have some experience, with the corset. Wait... (she goes back over to where her hair is still lying on the floor in sheets and shoves the black locks into her rucksack. She turns around to see Brenton watching her curiously.) What? I can get a wig made out of this later.
- Brenton:(Rolls his eyes) Ugh, nobles.
- Tallulah: Well, if we're done here we should probably go back to camp and see how the princess is doing. Didn't you say she wakes up in the morning?
- Brenton:Yeah, she'd be up by now, and angry as the moon that we left her without anything for the pain.
- Tallulah: Then we'd better get back there. We should remember this place, though. Might serve as a good hideout sometime.
Having gotten what they had needed, Brenton, Enki, and Tallulah set off back to camp.
Once the three get back to camp, the Princess is sitting there broding
- Princess:About Time you get back! You run off in the middle of the night and leave me five dead dragons for company, nothing for my shoulder and- (she looks at them and actually focuses rather then seeing 3 people) Where's Tallulah, and who's he?
- Brenton:He, I'd say it worked.
- Tallulah: (speaking in a deeper voice than her own and trying not to snicker) My name's, umm, Thomas. (she winks at Brenton and Enki.)
- Princess:(throws back her hair and takes on a snooty voice) Well Thomas These two might approve of taking in any random trash, but I don't got it? So you can just turn around and go back to whatever slum you belong in.
- Tallulah: (returning to her normal voice) No need to be so defensive, Princess! It's me. Tallulah. Brenton cut my hair as a disguise, seeing as my parents are probably searching everywhere for me.
- Princess: (stammers for a moment) WHAT?
- Tallulah: Hey, take it easy. You need your rest, and I don't want you to hurt yourself. You know I ran away from home, right? My father wanted to marry me off to another Regimiss's family, and I despise the boy he wanted to be my husband. So now I have not only the Silverwing Regimiss after me, but also the Euthanasia Regimiss searching for me. That's both Father and who was to become my father-in-law. They've probably gotten guards searching wagons everywhere and interrogating any girl who looks even vaguely like me. So they're probably not going to be paying much attention to boys, right? It's the perfect disguise, really.
- Princess:You, you can't dress up as a BOY! It's not decent.
- Enki: Well, do you want us to be captured? Yes or no my sweet Princess?
- Princess:(stammers inchoerently for several seconds) Oh, just give me somthing for my shoulder already, it hurts.
- Brenton:Gladly (he pulls out a vial filled with a white powder and measures out a dose. Tallulah notices he measures out a little more then was probally necessary.)
- Tallulah: Well, what's done is done, I guess. I can get a wig made, but it'll take awhile to grow my hair back out. (she shrugs) It's pretty near impossible to turn back now.
- Enki: What is that stuff your giving her anyways?
- Brenton:Dried and ground Holly berries. They have a small anesthesia to them. There's better stuff out there, but this is free.
- Tallulah: Well, as long as it helps with her pain, then I'd say it's good.
- Brenton: (gives the powder to the Princess and watches her drop to the ground) It also does a good job of disguising the taste of dreamflower.
- Tallulah: Wha'd you do to her?!
- Brenton:Dreamflower. It's a powerfull knockout drug.
- Tallulah: And you're sure all these drugs you've been giving her won't do any damage to her brain?
- Brenton:Trust me, rocks are sturdy stuff. And no, unless I overdosed her 3 times more then I am now, the only negitive side effects will be the possibility of addiction.
- Tallulah: Did you just imply that you overdosed her?
- Brenton:It keeps her from complaining for longer.
- Tallulah: (sighs) Sometimes I do not understand you.
- Brenton: And you never will.
- Tallulah: (laughs) Probably not. (she stops and thinks for a few moments) You do that on purpose, don't you? So no one will be able to tell what you're going to do next.
- Brenton:No, I've been doing it for so long, it's become second nature.
- Tallulah: But it's still on purpose? Unless... unless you couldn't stop acting that way if you tried.
- Brenton:If I tried I could stop. haven't seen a reason to though. And it's not really on purpose so much as it is who I am now.
- Tallulah: (nods, then glances at the unconscious princess) Urg. The princess looks totally dead right now. (Tallulah kneels down next to her and brushes her bangs out of her eyes and folds her hands, to make it look like she was merely sleeping, rather than knocked out.) Much better.
- Brenton:So now what? I have no home, your home is hunting you down, Enki's home has been destroyed and we're fresh out of goals.
- Tallulah: Well, I always have mine: find Ben. However, it doesn't look like this is the most opportune time to go charging off to Silverwing. It's probably halfway across the kingdom from here, anyway. We'd need food and water and stuff. This village could've exausted their water supply trying to fight the fire, and if there's any food left, it's probably burnt.
- Brenton:Odds are they'd have a well somewhere, but ash drifting into it would have rendered the water impure. There's some food in the stoor, but it's not enough to get much of anywhere. We can forage for food for a time as we travel, and when we get to a town I can procur some money with which to buy more. as for water there's a storm coming about a day and a half off. If we can go thirsty until then we'll get to a city or a town with what we can gather.
- Tallulah: Foraging for food? As in, picking plants and killing wild animals? ...Eww. I guess fish are okay, they live in water, so they're clean, but I don't want to eat dirty wild animals that rolled around in the mud and stuff. At home, we always got livestock that was raised under good conditions and fed and tended to well. (sighs) I wish I could go home...
- Brenton:Look at it this way. Nothing that you'll actually eat will have rolled around in the mud. Only the skin would have gotten dirty.
- Tallulah: (pouts) It's still gross.
- Brenton:It works for hundereds of people across your realm, and for a fair amount of nobles as well. When we get to a town i'll get us some money so that we can buy food.
- Tallulah: Pssh, I have money. When I left home, I at least knew that I was going to be on my own for awhile, so it made sense to bring some money to buy stuff with.
- Brenton:More never hurt, and nobles have plenty to share.
- Tallulah: I know what you're thinking. At this point, we have no need to steal anything. Stealing is wrong, and I'd rather not steal anything anyway, so we shouldn't.
- Brenton:Allright, I'll steal only what I think is necessary. But I'm in charge of the money.
- Tallulah: Why are you so greedy? It's my money. Don't think I'm stupid, I'm not going to buy anything without talking to you guys first. If I gave it to you, you'd just pocket it like everything else.
- Brenton:No offfense but you're noble. The very way you'd handle the money would give us away, and you have no idea how to barter effectivly. The money is much better off right where it is.
- Tallulah: You took it?!?
- Brenton:Back when you were mad. I figured it would save time later.
- Tallulah: (angrily) You-- (she stops and grits her teeth, trying to control her anger. She squeezes her eyes shut, takes a deep breath, and continues more calmly.) You don't trust me.
- Brenton:I trust you, but not with all things. I'd trust my life to you in a fight, and I'd have no problem letting you stand guard while I sleep. But you've never had to ration out money before. Being noble, you have always had access to as much of it as you wanted, and don't like to give it up. I've had to feed 6 with a single copper coin. You haven't. Accept that or live with it, it won't change.
Tallulah squints at Brenton for a moment, then crosses her arms and looks away, knowing she can't argue.
- Brenton:We need to get moving. All these dead bodies are going to attract scavengers, and I don't feel like sleeping with the wolves.
- Tallulah: Yeah. We've got most of the daylight hours still ahead of us anyway, and there's no reason to waste them. Where are we going, to a town?
- Brenton:Twould be best. Money doesn't mean much to animals and trees. There's a river some ways south, if we follow it for long enough we ought to find a town.
Brenton, Tallulah, and Enki gather their belongings and begin walking towards the river, carrying Princess Adelaide on her litter.
- Enki: Your just a bunch of chatter bugs ya know that? And Captain B, if your gonna take her money, you should have at least told her. Even if your right, there is a thing called courtesy.
- Brenton:Couresy gets you killed where I come from.
- Enki: Brutality gets you killed anywhere.
- Tallulah: Thank you, Enki. Nice to see that someone appreciates being nice. (to Brenton) I don't think Enki is talking about courtesy like doing a bunch of stupid stuff like holding the door open for a lady every five minutes. I think what Enki means is to not treat everyone else like they're in the way and they're your enemy every time they might not agree with you. You just said you trust me five minutes ago. So why don't you trust me enough to just tell me what you're doing and not assume I'm too stupid to see the sense in what you're saying?
- Brenton:Did I not tell you that I took the money? Did I not explain why I took it. There are things in which I know more then you do. There are things in which you know more then I do. (At Enki) And brutality is not lifting a wallet.
- Tallulah: (she resumes her almost pouting expression, staring down at the ground beside her, and half-mutters) Yeah, you took my money when I was out of my mind, and THEN decide to tell me days later. (her face loses the pout, and she looks back up.) Just hear me out, Brenton. I trust you. And yes, I know I'm noble and that it isn't always a good thing. If you had talked to me first, I would have given you the money. I'm not stubborn like my father.
- Brenton:Actually I vaugly wonder if you're noble anymore. By now they'll probally have figured you ran away and might very well have disowned you to keep their bloodline clean and untainted by common blood.
- Tallulah: (she is silenced by his comment for a moment.) ...Father might do that, but Mother wouldn't. She's too kind. But they'll both be awfully mad at me when I see them again... if I see them again.
- Brenton:And what do you think would happen if you were to see them again? Do you think that they would be fine and let you lead your own life according to your own choices or do you think that they'll immediantly try to marry you off again?
- Tallulah: They'd probably lock me in my room and tell me I couldn't come out until I agreed to marry someone they liked. They definitely wouldn't let me be free to do whatever I want unless I fight for it. That's the thing, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard spot because I don't want to marry some stuffy noble boy, I don't want to be my parents' prisoner, but I can't live the rest of my life on the run.
- Brenton:Easy. I teach you to pick locks and you keeep busting out until they give up.
- Tallulah: That's not really something I'd do... That's the thing, I don't know what to do. I haven't known what to do for so long... I'm just so confused, always... (she blinks hard and bites her lip.)
- Brenton: You need to decide who you are. Are you Tallulah Windrift, noble heiress with marigge option lined up, or are you someone else? Windrift can't survive to long removed from the silks and fine dinners. A different Tallulah might.
- Tallulah: (she looks up with a light in her eyes that wasn't there a few seconds ago.) That actually makes sense. I just have to change somehow. Somehow... I don't know if I know how to change myself. I've always only changed because of other things.
- Brenton:All it takes is a decision to change. A new last name helps, but won't change you on its own.
- Tallulah: If I marry Ben, I'll be Tallulah Irtera... and I was almost Tallulah Raskoph. (shudders) I'll find a way to change. I'll keep trying until I do.
- Brenton:Good. Change is the way of long life. Look at rocks. Complete and total failure to change. In 1, 2 hundred years they'll be dust. But a strong tree can live for a thousand years by adapting to the soil and air.
- Tallulah: (laughs and smiles) I'm not going to turn into a rock.
- Brenton:It's a figure of speech. I paraphrased quite a bit, but it's close enough.
- Tallulah: It doesn't matter if it's paraphrased, it makes sense. It's... I don't know, enlightening.
- Brenton:I'd hope so, I had it beaten into me with a big stick. The original was a tip in how to move and react in close combat.
- Tallulah: I find that ironic, seeing that trees don't move.
- Brenton:The original was a plant that isn't found in this part of the world. I switched it to trees so you wouldn't bug me on what bamboo was.
- Tallulah: (she pauses, about to ask a question, then stops.) In that case, I won't ask.
- Brenton:It's no problem. It's basically a very stiff grass that can grow 30 feet high.
- Tallulah: Wow, that's... really tall grass. (laughs)
- Brenton:Makes good spears to if I liked that sort of combat style.
- Tallulah: I'm finding it hard to imagine making grass into a spear.
- Brenton:It's very strong grass. And it's really only grasslike in the rate it grows, otherwise it is a slim tree.
- Tallulah: (looking off into the distance) That's either a lake or a really big river.
- Brenton:(looks off where Tallulah is looking) If a river were that big, it would be a canyon.
- Tallulah: (her distant expression turns to one of wide-eyed shock.) Is that a person over there? I didn't think we'd see anyone this far away from a town... wonder who he is. ...Unless he could be an enemy?
- Brenton:Well he could be harmless or dangerous. Call him over, and I'll be up a tree. (he immediantly sticks his knives in a tree and climbs up)
- Tallulah: (she and Enki put the princess down and Tallulah walks forward a few steps, hands out, palms up.) Hey! You, over there! Come over here!
- Aquaralis:Who? Me? (The boy looks around)
- Tallulah: Yes, you! Don't worry, we're not enemies.
- Brenton:(whispering softley enough that Aquralis can't hear him) Unless you move first.
- Aquaralis: (glances at Brenton's knife) I believe you guys, but just in case... (grabs his sharp hunting rock from nearby and jumps down) Hello. My name is...... A-a-a-q-q-a-a-r-a-l-i-s (Aquaralis talks in such a way it sounds like he forgot his name for a bit)
- Tallulah: And I'm Tal- I mean Thomas. Do you live here?
- Aquaralis: Sorta... Wait a sec, who's Tal?
- Tallulah: (thinking fast and pausing for only a second) Tal's uh, Princess Tal. My little sister used to play tea party. She was Princess, um, Amethyst and made me dress up as "Princess Tal". If I didn't, she'd bite me. Really hard. Um, my sis is weird.
- Aquaralis: Oh... Ok :) (That's one weird sister)
- Tallulah: Yeah. So you know this area well? Maybe you could help us. We're just travelers, and this is our first time through here, so we're sort of unfamiliar with this part of the country.
- Aquaralis:Yeah, I've been here for a long time. I think I could help.
- Tallulah: Great. (looking behind Aquaralis) Say, is that water clean? Are there fish in it?
- Aquaralis: Yup, really clean. Lots of fish.
- Brenton:(still up the tree) Ah, but the question is why are you out here? No villages nearby, no sign of a house. And yet you say you've been here for a long time. Care to tell why?
- Aquaralis: I live here. Got attacked by thieves, sent here, and here I am!
- Aquaralis: As in I woke up here. The thieves knocked me out, and I woke up here.
- Brenton:(frowning) That's out of character for common theives and no professional would bother with a common mugging.
- Tallulah: Someone had some grudge against him, maybe?
- Aquaralis: Actually, my parents couldn't pay what the thieves wanted, so they tried to drown me. It failed. I don't know everything that happened yet. They gave me some drug, so I can't remember all that happened.
- Tallulah: Ooooh, that's rough. And you've been living here ever since or something?
- Aquaralis: Yeah. Lived here ever since.
- Tallulah: Well, look on the bright side. You probably know this place better than anyone, right?
- Aquaralis: Yup.
- Tallulah: And you probably know how to fish well?
- Aquaralis: Yes, I just caught some (Aquaralis glances at Brenton). Who's your friend?
- Brenton: I iz death.
- Tallulah: (rolls her eyes at Brenton) Yes, that's Mister Death over there, a.k.a. Brenton, and this is Enki.
- Aquaralis: Nice to meet you guys.
- Brenton:We have another friend lying on the ground there, but you don't need to know her name. All she does is eat, whine, and get drugged.
- Aquaralis:Sounds and looks like a noble, or royal person.
- Brenton:Insane cousin more like. She thinks she's royal, but her parents dropped her on the head when she was born.
- Aquarlis: I don't think people in rags would have a close relative with glittery stuff and a royal dress. Hair looks fancy too. Are you guys telling me the truth, or am I being deceived? (He notices a glittering necklace on her neck)A necklace... (Aquaralis sees something glitter in the reflection on the gems and turns around) One sec, I think I know something just like that glittery stuff (he jumps into the lake and comes back up a while later with some gems, just like the ones Adelaide has)
- Tallulah: The gems are fake. She just thinks they're real. But what's that you have?
- Brenton:Well from up here they look like black opals. If that's the case, then you are a rich man, just from what you hold in your hand.
- Aquaralis: That's good. Anyways, I'll be glad to help you guys. I don't really know any way to a town, but I'd be glad to help you four on whatever you are doing. If you let me into the group, I will give you some of these gems.
- Brenton:Safety in numbers. Alright, you can come along, but just by the way, even if you didn't want to give us the gems, I'd have them in about 12 seconds anyways.
- Aquaralis: Unless I toss them into the water... So where to?
- Brenton: To the nearest town. We need supplies before we can come up with any long term goals.
- Tallulah: Sounds good to me. (to Aquaralis) Mind you, Brenton wasn't lying about the gems. Just don't toss them into the water, that's stupid.
- Aquaralis: I could probably get them back. Alright, lets see what we can do. We might need some food (Aquaralis goes over to where he dropped his fish and picks them up).
- Brenton:Smoke them, they'll last longer that way. We'll forage once they run out
- Enki: (who has taken his vow of silence to honor the dead, and hasn't commented on anything at this point) Smokeing is bad for your health Captain B. And who's this? Another dead beat that we picked up on the road? Uggg Tal what have I missed?
- Tallulah: I believe Brenton meant smoking them as a way of cooking them, rather than smoking like a cigar. And Enki, this is Aquaralis. He knows this lake area well, so he might be able to help us.
- Enki: Sorry I've been rather aloof lately, I had to wait until I could fully honor the dead before I could speak again. I would have mentioned it sooner, but by the time I was going to say something, I had to start. Well it's not all bad, at least we know we arn't dead and we have a fresh set of hands to help us with the Princess.
- Tallulah: It's no problem. Your people have your customs, and I know they're important to you, as is your dad. And yes, knowing that we're not dead is always good.
- Enki: While on my "silent adventure" I decieded to name my hand cannons. The bigger one with the brown spot is Honesty, and the more ruggeded one is Truth.
- Tallulah: Are those the virtues you value most?
- Enki: ....O I suppose. Heh I suppose its the qualities I appreciate in a person most. (He stops and spots something in the distance) What's that? Over there! It looks massive!
- Tallulah: It's a tree... a golden tree... I don't think that was there a few seconds ago... was it?
- Enki: I would expect we would.... unless we are all blind and are just sharing the same imagination.
- Aquaralis: Well, lets go. (Aquaralis runs over to the tree, somewhat making it there pretty quick)
- Brenton: (sits in the tree for a few moments and catches Tallulah raising an eyebrow at him) What, a large glowing object that shouldn't exist has just appeared. I'm making sure it's not carniverous before I come down.
- Tallulah: (laughs) Come on, it's not a venus flytrap, it's not gonna bite you.
- Brenton: (dead serious) free magic can make anything out of anything. I've seen a tree with abnormally large fruit crack one open and eat a deer in one bite.
- Enki: Well we have seen a tree similar to this one before......(pulls out golden leaf).
- Brenton:Yes, and it was surrouned by wolves.
- Tallulah: (follows Aquaralis to the tree) That doesn't make sense, golden trees are supposed to be sacred. Why are there so many? (as she studies the mysterious tree, her concentrated gaze begins to lose its focus. She falls to her knees.) Owwww... my head... (she keels over, holding her head in pain. After a few moments, her pained expression fades into a blank one. She lies there at the foot of the golden tree, not moving.)
- Brenton:Stupid girl, the sweetest smells hide the sharpest teeth. (Grabs her by her arms and starts to drag her away slowly.)
Aquaralis jumps away from the tree. Suddenly, he hears a whisper so close in his ear that it might be inside his own head... "Don't try to evade, my son. The power is not malicious... and besides, your elusion is in vain. You cannot draw your body away from what is in your soul. Just relax..."
- Aquaralis: Who said that?
The voice returns, but it laughs softly before continuing to whisper to Aquaralis. "Not one you can see in front of you. Your acquaintances cannot hear me, so why would it be one of them speaking? Ease your worrying; it will all become clear in due time, my son."
- Enki: This is either one bad dream or is actually happening. And Aquaralis who do you think said that? Me? Tal? Captain B? Lil' Miss Princess? Obviously it's not one of us. Get your head on straight.
This time the voice that spoke to Aquaralis speaks to Enki. "If his head isn't on straight, neither is yours. And neither is hers, for that matter."
- Enki: Well if that is the case, then mine is on more straight than his.
The voice continues to speak to Enki. "Or is it?" In Enki's eyes, the world flashes blue for a second, followed by a moment of dizziness that passes quickly but still makes him sway.
- Enki: Uhh...... whoa that's weird.....
Both Enki and Aquaralis hear the voice's next words. "May I suggest sitting down? You all are going in the same direction as she went, and I dearly hope you understand I do not wish to cause you pain."
- Enki: A threat? How wonderful!
This time, only Enki can hear the voice. "I knew you were the sarcastic one already, you don't need to direct it at me to prove it. I repeat: I do not wish to cause you pain. I'm on your side. I just cannot explain right now."
- Enki: Could be worse, I suppose. O wait..... it already is. So either you explain NOW or I stop talking with my mouth and start talking with my fists. Huh! Huh! Putt'em up! O that's right you don't have a physical body do you?
"Why do you not understand? I am not your enemy. And besides, you can't hurt me. I don't have a body to be hurt. I would suggest you stop trying to resist, because I can make you do what I want if I need to. So don't make me need to."
- Enki: Is it something you need to do or something you want to do?
(to Enki) "Good question." (the voice continues to speak to Enki and Aquaralis, and now even Brenton can hear.) "It's something that I need to do. Not only something I need to do, but something that my master would have done if he hadn't... I need to do it. Please, I beg your trust desperately."
- Brenton:I hate to admit it but we're stuck. This voice brought Tallulah down within seconds, and could easily do it to us also. The fact that it hasn't either means that it needs to convince us that it's good or that it really is. We can chew it over once we're away from the power of the tree.
- Aquaralis: Agreed. I am starting to feel tired already...
"Right and wrong. I truly don't want to hurt you, and I apoligize for the fact that she will wake up with a nasty headache. But what you do not seem to understand is that you cannot escape. This is not a physical power. You could run to the other side of the kingdom and it would still be just as strong. Feeling faint?" Brenton and Enki look to see Aquaralis swaying with a dazed look on his face.
- Brenton:Then do it. Stop wasting time, either you are going to or you're bluffing and can only handle one person at a time.
"As you wish." Aquaralis lets out a moan and slumps to the ground, unconscious within seconds. "Believe me now?"
- Brenton:No, I belived you from the start, I just wanted you to get started.
"Smart boy. Smart enough to convince your friend to sit down so he doesn't hit too hard?"
- Brenton:Let's see. he smashes Enki over the head with the butt of a knife, knocking him unconcious. If he asks, you did that.
The voice pauses for several long moments before speaking. "I only said that so he wouldn't get hurt, but one can assume it will all amount to the same thing in the end. Fortunate that you seem to already have a large stash of painkiller with you, wouldn't you say?"
- Brenton:Painkillers, adrenilne, irritants, poisens, I have all that. One question though, why aren't I even drowsy, when everyone else has gone down?
"Well... I planned to save this for later, but... I trust you saw how easily she went down? And she seems to have a history of doing that. Just the way her soul is, she doesn't put up much resistance. And the way yours is, it's a lot stronger than hers or your other friends. So I will have to request your cooperation. Holding your breath or trying to fall asleep works well." Brenton rolls his eyes and hits himself over the head with the butt of his knife, knocking himself out.
After losing consciousness, the first thing Brenton is aware of is darkness. Blackness stretches in every single direction there is, making the floor or ground he is lying on appear exactly the same as the air around him. He looks up to see Tallulah, somehow with long hair and lavender dress and noble finery again, looking up with questioning awe. Following her gaze, he sees a woman whose voice he recognizes when she speaks.
- Woman: I didn't think you'd go so far as to knock yourself out, but it works. My name is Aysel. (she bends her knees in a deep curtsy.) I'm not sure if you yet understand just how important you are.
- Brenton:I had a campfire talk to me, I'm either important or insane.
- Aysel: Maybe both, who can tell? Now, dear Tallulah, I understand you are religious?
- Tallulah: Yes... my parents wanted me raised in the faith.
- Aysel: Then surely you know all about how the universe was created. In the mood to tell a story?
- Tallulah: (uncertainly) Well, if you want me to. See, the ruler of the world is called Fate. He decides everything that happens and everything people do and say. He even created time. And when time began, He created this world that we live on by giving His soul to His creation. Any who go against His rule are sentenced to an eternity on the moon, which is the source of all evil.
- Aquaralis: (still a little dazed) Hrrm? Your real name is Tallulah?
- Brenton:Long story.
- Aysel: (smiling) Yes, Aquaralis, and she also doesn't have a little sister. Amethyst is her mother. And Tallulah, I'm afraid what you've been taught isn't the truth. Yes, Fate did create the universe. I'm sure what they've told you is that He has been locked in a battle between the world and the moon since the beginning of time. But what they did not tell you is that at the same time He created the world, He made evil. And evil made Him make the moon. And even though He is not up in the sky punishing the sinners as they have warned you, He is... let's just say closer than you thought.
- Brenton:How close is that?
- Aysel: My dear children, Fate is part of your souls.
- Aquaralis: So the same person who created the universe made evil, and created the moon? Why would he create evil?
- Aysel: Good cannot exist without evil. For how would we know a good person if evil ones? How can we appreciate water if we are never thirsty? Could we learn to be grateful for the solid earth if we have never been drifting unsteadily at sea? We cannot enjoy the sunlight if there is no darkness, but we still are unable to cherish a cool breeze if there is no scorching heat. Things like evil, like greed, like malice, can drive anything to a false end. It's all lies. And your job is to reveal the truth.
- Brenton:In a tone as though he were quoting someone if you've never seen darkness, how do you know when the light grows dim?
- Aysel: Precisely. Heard the same idea somewhere else, Brenton?
- Brenton:Far eastern phiolosophy.
- Tallulah: Was that your mentor again?
- Brenton:One of them.
- Aysel: Whoever taught you taught you well. Now, do you understand the importance of your two-part souls?
- Brenton:To the same degree that you undersand the importance of something you've never heard of.
- Enki': (speaking loudly) Uhh.... what? Now I'm not the sharpest stick in the world, but what in Fate's name are you talking about?!
- Aysel: No reason for you to get worked up about this, Enki. You see, when Fate gave His soul to the world, or rather, the world took His soul away from him, it was split into parts. And you have become the physical embodiment of those parts. Specifically, each part's respective element. Firstly, Tallulah.
- Tallulah: (looking extremely confused) Yes?
- Aysel: You are the Sky Child. You may have noticed that you don't put up much resistance to spells or other forces. On the other hand, you are better at magic than your companions. This is because of your soul's alliance with the element of the Sky. Secondly, Aquaralis.
- Aquaralis:(staring out into the beyond, but now startled) Huh?
- Aysel: The easygoing, lighthearted Aquaralis, the Water Child. You are willing to mold yourself to any situation that may arrise. A good quality to have. Thirdly, Enki.
- Enki:(sarcastically) What's my magic proverb? Huh?!
- Aysel: Looks like the Earth Child is already emphasising some of his qualities. You have many layers, and often try to hide your true self with a hard shell. And lastly, Brenton.
- Enki:(grumbles) Well look who is next, good ol' Captain B! What's his special "quality", being an absolute jerk? Because he has emphasized that plenty well enough I should say.
- Aysel: (giving Enki a serious look) You do not need to fight with your friends, Enki. I'm sure you'll learn to overcome your stubborness.
- Enki: (smirking) I'm sure you will too. Who are you, or did conviently forget that fact?
- Aysel: My name is Aysel. I was once a servant to Fate.
- Brenton:And you obviously have at least some of His power.
- Enki: Ooooohhhh I sense a good story, but I want to see what you say about Captain B, beforehand.
- Aysel: As you wish. (finally turning to Brenton) You are the Sun Child. You've learned to keep yourself calm and often keep your past, your thoughts, and your intentions far away from those you meet. However, you have a furious temper if you ever lose it. And unlike your friend Tallulah, you are almost impossible to sway, but I think you've already figured that one out.
- Brenton:I knew most of that, and could figure out the rest. For an omni-potent creature, you seem to have very little sense of perception.
- Tallulah: Brenton!
- Aysel: (laughing lightly) Don't worry, Tallulah, I'm not easily offended. Brenton, I'm honestly not sure I'm what you would call "omni-potent." My dear master was. I am just His humble servant. Call me a bystander, if you'd like. You have more importance in this story than I do. Since Fate was... altered from his original state, I have been trying to see to it that no harm comes to the honest beings of this world. But seeing the current state of things, I don't believe I've been doing a very good job of it.
- Brenton:I don't know, I rather like Catalona having fallen. I'm quite happy with that, if all the empusa's would just go away.
- Aysel: And that's part of your job. To make the Empusas go away.
- Brenton:Well the problem with that is one usually can only make something go away if you stop it from increasing. And another Empusa pops up any time someone looks up at night.
- Aquaralis: So how will he kick the Empusas out of life's world?
- Aysel: I hate to say this, but I must, because it's true. The Empusas are very near immortal, and in some respects, fight more effectively than humans because they have no feelings. No guilt at taking another life, and loyal to only their master, not their friends. Brenton, that Empusa you "killed" outside of the castle? Not dead in the least. She woke up a league outside of Catalona Town in extreme pain, but very alive. That method using your lunar steel knife serves well to get the Empusas out of the fight for an hour, but within a day they will be again in perfect fighting condition. However, there is one weapon that can completely kill an Empusa...
- Tallulah: And that would be?
- Aysel: There is a man who is, quite literally, insane. He calls himself the Knife Master, but in reality, his only weapon is intimidation. He has quite an unhealthily ominous appearance, and expects that alone to protect him from attacks. Brenton, I'm sure if you could get past his appearance, which I highly doubt would be a problem for you, you could take the knife from him that can kill the Empusas, and perhaps take his title as an added bonus.
- Brenton:If I know where he is, I can kill him. Knives favor the first stroke.
- Aysel: He is somewhere outside of the town of Fannar, which is half a day's walk downriver from Aarden. It isn't too far from where you... erm... rather, your bodies are right now.
- Tallulah: (horrified) Are you saying we're dead?!?
- Aysel: No! No, of course not. Just unconscious, in a sort of trance. Odd you should say that, as the man you will be looking for calls himself "Mrit," which means "dead." He probably meant that anyone who crosses his path will be dead. (to Brenton) But don't worry yourself with such nonsense, he stands little chance against you.
- Brenton: Knewas, te art muerte. "Remember, you are mortal." Even a little chance is still a chance. Although, the town gives me an edge.
- Tallulah: How so?
- Brenton:That's where I grew up. I have stashes of weapons all over.
- Tallulah: Really? That's convienent. But... Aysel?
- Aysel: Yes?
- Tallulah: Why were we chosen? Why was it us and not another group of four with these souls?
- Aysel: That, my dear, is simply Fate.
The sound of Aysel's laughing turned almost haunting in their ears as the vision slipped away, their softly illuminated figures fading into the background of monochrome blackness. Their sight was gone before Aysel's voice slipped away into silence, and all their senses died and the world became nothing.
(continued on Fate/Roleplaying)