Chapter 11 - Part 2

Aveyna folded the letter carefully, before placing it with the others. She folded her arms upon the table and looked, with a sudden confidence, to her four comrades. Telthar’rion smiled, more as a mark of response than anything else, asking, his voice also quiet,

“You’re not seriously suggesting that one of us pretends to be Lord Alceren, takes the rest of us as his allies, whereupon we will make the journey to Raiholt, just to find something to do? Even if the whole idea wasn’t so ridiculous, it would take weeks to come up with a decent battle strategy!”

“They aren’t even sure that the dark figures are Stygians!” Yvellen added, which was met with a nod of approval from Aranaytha. Alyxandra stood up from her chair and stood by Aveyna, looking at each of them in turn as she said,

“Lord Alceren has entrusted Aveyna with his affairs - Surely he would trust her in this matter as well?” The others stared blankly, unconvinced. Alyxandra searched her mind for other reasons, finding one that moved her; she decided to make her point. “Now that we know about this potentially fatal unrest, how would we feel if we learnt of a Raiholt takeover by the Stygians?” Aveyna smiled, glad of Alyxandra’s reasoning, as the others too began to be swayed; Alyxandra’s questioning had moved something within them, an element of them that fervently sought peace, and would stop at nothing to achieve it. It was at this moment that Aranaytha spoke.

“Although I agree that something should be done, but I would prefer there to be some sort of plan once we arrived.” The others nodded, and Aveyna smiled, joining her hands, before leaning slightly forward.

“I think I may be able to put something together. But I need you all to agree before I go through it.” They nodded, intrigued by her speed. She pointed again to the inked Raiholt on the map, and traced a ring around its edges with her finger. “Here are the walls. Alyxandra, you would make your way to the north wall, from which point you would be able to see the main square, as well as beyond the wall. If an attack was initiated from outside the walls, you could signal to us to prepare ourselves, and you would also be able to pinpoint a few and fire at them from above.” Alyxandra smiled, nodding in admiration of her tactical skill. Aveyna continued, pointing to the south wall, near the gate. “Telthar’rion, you would be positioned near the main gate, where, using your abilities, you could enchant the locks and hold any intruders back, while we prepared to attack. Aranaytha, you would stand here.” She pointed to the north gate, immediately below where Alyxandra had been stationed. “Here, you would not only be able to attack them as they entered, but you would also be the one to carry Alyxandra’s warning of any incoming enemies to the others, be it through signals or sounds - I am sure we shall come to that later. Yvellen, you and Luan shall stand beneath Telthar’rion in case the enemy approaches from the south. Once we arrive, I trust we can arrange for the town guard to watch the eastern and western gates in the same manner. In any case, I shall stand in the centre of Raiholt, in the square, as according to the map, I should be able to see all of the gates from that point, and,” she paused for breath, “head towards danger accordingly. ”

She had certainly impressed the other Blades, as they now nodded both to her and to each other in recognition of the thorough nature of her plan, a refreshed sense of duty burned within them and a new-found respect of the meek, quiet elf before them began to make itself known. Yvellen looked to the window, the light of the day now at its brightest. Luan sat now, awaiting command.

“Perhaps we should prepare ourselves to leave, if we wish to arrive there soon.” Yvellen said. Alyxandra nodded, adding,

“I shall write Markus a brief note informing him that our location has changed. From then on, from what I know of these things, a new courier will deliver our missives from then on, as it varies by region.”

“How long should the journey last?” Aranaytha asked, out of curiosity rather than laziness.

“Looking at the map,” Telthar’rion began, “I would say a three day trek, if we only stopped to eat and sleep.” Alyxandra nodded, before informally bringing the meeting to a close with the words,

“The sooner we start, the sooner we shall arrive.” She stood then, tucking her chair beneath the table and heading to her room. Soon, as the others followed suit, the table was left empty, with Aveyna being the last to leave, a tear kissing the parchment as she rolled it into a scroll once more. Her breathing had become laboured, as memory, that untimely lodger, made his way around her mind, reminding her of wounds, both to her body and her heart, that she would much rather forget.

The End

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