They spotted Andrel sitting beside the fireplace in a leather armchair, glancing through a book labelled, "The Magick of Mutation". As they drew closer, Tayna grabbed Will's arm, hauling him forward forcefully.
'Ow!' he protested,
'Just play along,' she whispered, smiling at him schemingly in a way much too like Marinia for his liking. Trusting her, he did as she said and let himself be pushed angrily towards Andrel.
He looked up from his book and his eyes widened in horror. 'M - Marinia, what are you doing here?'
'Trying to find out what you two are doing snooping in my family's archives,' Tayna snapped, curling her lip with disdain.
'Well, w - we were -,' Andrel stammered, sitting rigid in the armchair, 'you see -,' Will was unable to play along any longer, chortling with amusement. 'Wh - what's so funny?' Andrel asked.
"Marinia" lunged forward and slapped him playfully on the arm. Andrel looked at her in consternation, gripping the point of impact ponderingly, then gaped at her. 'Tayna?' She winked at him with an eye that changed momentarily to normal, Andrel pouted sourly. 'Bleeding Hel, don't do that to me!'
'Sorry,' she smiled, 'couldn't help it.'
'So...did you find anything?'
'Not exactly,' said Will. 'All we found out was what we already knew, Spirit is really powerful,'
'Well, duh,' said Andrel. 'So what does this mean? We just bend our knees to them like they want us to?'
'No, of course not,' said Tayna, sitting on the arm of Andrel's chair, careful to look proud and idle, crossing both her ankles and arms. 'I don't advocate that in any way. The Twins are dangerous, that much is clear, and if we go against them, they'll go against us, just as they did using Anala. And...one thing that I read skimming through the book was about how the practitioners in charge of Power Splitting tried to sway Spirit descendants to do it. Dabbling in other realms is dangerous enough, actually trying to get in the way of something going through is even more dangerous. Spirit descendants were probably the only ones capable of doing it, it's reasons like that why we're always under such heavy guard.'
'What are you saying?' asked Andrel,
'I'm saying...' Tayna hesitated, looking worried, '...I'm saying we should try and get along with them.'