Chapter 11 - Part 1

The five remaining Blades of Twilight found themselves in silence as they sat about the same table, save Aranaytha and Yvellen, who had it in mind to pester each other as much as possible in ways the others would not see. Aveyna leant her head upon her hands, deeply bored. She had scanned each of his letters twice over for anything that the five of them could assist in. Presently, Yvellen and Luan came through the door and sat down, saying,

“I have searched Thornhurst and the surrounding area for hours now, but I have found nothing that should disturb us.” Luan seemed restless too, pacing around the table to give himself something to do. Aveyna merely nodded, understanding everyone’s boredom, when presently, the tavern door opened a second time, and in came Markus, clutching another missive to his chest.

“Is Alceren here?” he asked, confused by his absence. Ah, Alyxandra thought, he must not have read the letter he gave Alceren this morning - what should we do?

Feeling it best to tell Markus the truth, she began, “I’m afraid that he is not here-,”

“But he will be back shortly,” Aveyna interrupted, before continuing, “he has left me in charge of his letters, so give it to me, that I may show it to him later.” At first, Markus was reluctant, but when she produced the other letters with no protest from the others, he felt a little more inclined to believe her; he remembered how her face had been buried in one previously and, trusting her words and the acceptance of the others, handed her the letter. He turned to the counter, whereupon Rupert produced some water for him, knowing by his face that it was what he required. Markus smiled weakly, before drinking it quickly, and leaving as suddenly as he had entered.

It was then that Aveyna sighed and, glad to have got away with her twisting of the truth, broke the seal on the letter, unrolled it, and began to read. As she did so, she began to smile, her eyes brightened, and before the others her face became the very image of joy. She suppressed a gleeful cry, before hurrying upstairs to her room.

Telthar’rion look at the others, bewildered, an expression that they all now wore, when they heard footsteps on the creaking staircase, as Aveyna returned, holding a scroll that had been fastened with a worn hair ribbon. Reaching the table, she removed all of the empty plates and mugs, taking them to Rupert, brushed away the crumbs and motioned to everyone to move their chairs further from the table.

Still in a state of confusion, they obliged, as Aveyna placed the scroll at one end of the table, pulled off the ribbon, and rolled it out, the parchment reaching the other end of the table. The others gasped; before them lay a hand drawn, and incredibly detailed, map of Yalandir. Aveyna took the letter and sat down, shuffling her chair to move it closer, and beckoned for the others to do the same. She then reached into the little bag which hung at her waist, removing a small, sharp implement, and pointing it towards one of the southernmost parts of Yalandir. She then laid the letter upon the table, and began to read, her voice quiet,

Friend of the Capital,

It is in this missive that we disclose to you valuable information of a small disturbance in the port town of Raiholt; a number of cases have been reported by the town guard, mentioning dark figures appearing at night, which, when pursued, seem to disappear entirely. It is feared that they are Stygians, preparing to launch another attack. We ask you to assemble a group of fighters, loyal to Yalandir and her cause, and to make your way here. It would be good for the townspeople to see reinforcements here. On behalf of Raiholt, I ask you to come as swiftly as you can.

Yours, Captain Lyrus

The End

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