Astelbania Chronicles: The Roads Ahead

While the dwarf and the girl made for the door, Kanan held out a hand towards the Tiefling rogue, "if you don't mind," he inferred, as Bahl shrugged,
"Of course!"
Kanan smiled, nodded, and waved at the door, "Get that would you?"

Silently, Bahl swung the large oaken door and with a clank it closed.

"Would you like a drink?" Kanan asked.
"That would depend on what my duties are tonight, My Lord,"
"Please, Bahl -- I am as strict on title as our Prince,"
"Of course," Bahl settled into a plush leather bound chair.
"Tonight you are home; for what it's worth!" Kanan looked about with an anti-critical eye, "Such surrounding are not of my choosing.  It is my wife that thought that anonymity is best served by being the great eyesore this far North of Marrokville!"

"She is wise, your wife!" Bahl said, "there are no better places to hide then right beneath the nose of your enemy!"

"Than it is from you that she gets this wisdom," Kanan laughed.
"I would not presume to be such an influence on someone as intelligent at Hylenna Al'Barran!"

"A drink then!?" pressed the knight.
"If my duties are done for this night, then I will partake in the one!"
"Only one?" Kanan bent an eyebrow.
"For now ..." Bahl's lips split in a grin, but only for a second as he received a couple of onzes of Dwarven Single Malt.  With a sniff, Bahl could tell that the strong pungeant, vanilla and oak malt was not a cheap vintage.  "Odgen Mount's finest!"

"Nothing but the best!" Kanan raised his glass, "To absent friends!"

"Hm." Bahl toasted and drank, letting the drink's aroma fill his nose and gave a hard swallow; it burned going down.  "Excellent.  Axym would sure love a glass!"

'A glass?! He's liable to drink the whole bottle.  And something so expensive as this, i like to keep around a while, if you catch me!"

"I understand," Bahl gave a wry grin, "Now that the niceties are done; what can I do for you tonight, Kanan Al'Barran!?"

"It is nice to see somethings will never changes," Kanan chuckled, "Always right to the point!
"Firstly, how is Falina progressing?"

Bahl sipped at his drink, but was not expecting this line of questioning.  He raised his eyebrows, looked into his glass at the swirling golden drink, and swallowed, "Not ready." he pressed his lips together and looked up at the icy blue eyes of his colleague, "But she is strong; both willed and in body. She has talents the likes of which she has yet to discover, but i see a lot of potential in her,"

"But she is not ready to face what is to come!"
"No! Not even close.  In the face of battle she panics.  She has too much fear in her heart.  And try as I might to harden her, i fear i merely drive her away from listening to my tutiledge.  A teacher, i am not!" he admitted, wetting his lip again with the Malted Drink.

"I see. But you say she is bright and strong!"
"Well, yes.  Exceptionally so, really! But her Street saavy is something to be desired."

"That is positive,"
"hmm. indeed," Bahl went to drink again, his body now feeling the effects of the alcohol as he felt himself comfortably sink into his chair, but something struck him, "Wait a minute!" he started, "Why do you want to know,"

Kanan smiled, and drank the full two ounces of the dwarven malt and put the glass down with a hard swallow, "Because I believe that with a little guidance from you and Axym, that she can be put in the field ... for a little job."

Bahl stood, and pointed at Kanan Al'Barran, "Oh no.  I knew you would do this. She's not ready.  She may think she is - but she is not!"

"Part of leadership, Bahl my friend, is letting those under our care believe that they are when they are not, and helping them choose the right pathes!" Kanan imparted, "And frankly, we believe she is the only one out of us all that can see this to a positive conclusion,"

Bahl finished his glass and waved it at Kanan's nose, "Fill it and tell me what is on your mind!"

Kanan complied smiling, and stoked the hearth as a chill began the permiate the room. "Put simply, Bahl, Falina is not the only heir!"

At first, Bahl stared at the "Blue Knight" as if he'd spoken a joke that wasn't the least bit funny, at all.  When he realized that Sir Kanan was not laughing, he said, "What?  I thought that the magic seed was only to be given to her eldest child,"

"And you would be correct - Genevive had only past on her magical lineage on to the first of her children!  The others would be spared this fate!"  Kanan stood and let Bahl mull it over.

"You mean to tell me there is another 'Falina' out there?" Bahl asked with a groan.

"Not so much a Falina; but a young man that goes by Magnus D'veln,"

"She'd had twins!"

"Yes! And for all of eighteen years, he lived and studied at the Druid Academy in Southern Carrenbreth - under the teachings of a Dwarven Druid named: Gregwar Ashpyre,"

"You said "lived"." Bahl noted, "Where is he now?"

"We don't know! But we suspect he has come South on his own to find out his true lineage.  He is different from the other of his village,"

"In that, there is little to dispute; he's taller than the lot of them," bahl quipped.

"It is more than that.  He outgrew his teacher before he was 12.  his aptitude for the Wilder Magics is beyond what any of us could have expected. "
"Why not put him at the towers in Westbridge; why train him with Druids ..?"

"The wizards would sooner bind him than allow him his magic, and so a more Natural Discipline was decided for him." Kanan's jaw went crooked as he sighed.

"We were unsure; you did not agree with this appointment?"
"No, not at first.  Hylenna and I argued over this matter for hours; but she eventually swayed me, both with her wisdom and .. quite frankly, it is hard to argue with a woman so stubborn as she!"

Bahl laughed, "I understand.  And Hylenna for her part in this?"
"She has travelled to Westbridge to confir with Weyoun Braxa.  They are both intelligent and powerful.  They will find him; and when they do, we hope to send Falina after him and retrieve him.  And it will be on you and the dwarf to see that they are kept hidden and safe until the time comes!"

Bahl thought it was a good time to ask, "We heard news of the Northern Plague"

"The White Tear!" Kanan confirmed, "Your sources are still excellent, Bahl.  The Tear is a Cult of Orcus - they are growing in strength and in great numbers.  Should either of the children fall into their hands, surely the secrets of Sakkarr's Tower will be open to them, and the Solaran's Gate vulnerable.."

"Surely we could protect the tower from siege.  Why not mount an army?"

"None know where it is - Genevive D'Veln has seen to it that no eyes may fall upon the cursed tower.. With great magics she moves it like a floating citadel from region to region in the hopes of keeping it's location a mystery.  For all of lore, the Cursed Citadel Tower is all but a myth.  Only the HEIRS can find it!  And find it WE MUST before the White Tear CAN."

"If it is so well hidden, how could the Tear even have a chance."
"Magic is just another ripple within nature ..." Kanan tried to look wise, but his facade was broken as he shook his head, "I do not pretend to understand any of it.  Suffice it to say, that there are means within the Magic Realms to find a 'hole' in the magical world.  Hiding a great tower could push a big hole, i would suspect!"

"So what will you ask of me!?" Bahl concluded having finished his second glass of malt.

"Meet with Hylenna in the Village of Compaatia, just East of Westbridge.  From there you will go to the territories to the North, where it is said is controlled, now, by the White Tear.  The ways will be dangerous, i can assure you.  But for now; rest!   I do not expect to have word from Hylenna for another two days!"

"What do I tell Falina!  Do we tell her she has another sibling?"

"Tell her what you must to prepare her.  But Hylenna suspects she may already know!  In his last missive to his Master, Magnus mentioned a sister!  TO our knowledge, the children were seperated at birth to protect the lineage.  Something of the arcane is at work here,"

Bahl almost spat, "Just what I need! Two of them!"
Kanan laughed, "Rest, my friend.  We will see each other at evening meal?"

"I wouldn't miss it!"

The End

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