William watched her play with Swift. In the few weeks he had known her she’d mastered a new language using her magic and the cumbersome interpretation between the impressions she left on his soul and actual meaning was no longer necessary. It was worrying that Swift, a gigantic wolf, was actually becoming friends with Shy, his little moorland pony... though he would be the first to admit it was a comical pairing being as the small beast of burden had a very much no-nonsense attitude and swift was still very much a puppy at heart.
What worried him more was that they were heading north, which probably meant that Ela meant to travel into Albion. This wasn’t a good thing. Albion was, as a whole, devout to the worship of the old gods but in particular to that of Nilda, the warrior goddess. As a result the only magicians permitted in Albion were the sisterhood and any unauthorised magic users were either killed immediately or burnt at the stake.
As if that were not enough there was also rumour that Albion was going through serious civil unrest. Officially it was just a criminal calling himself ‘the Masquerade’ stirring up bandits. According to the rumours, however, Masquerade had managed to achieve several victories against the royal Albion forces. Rumour had it that the indigenous populous and some Florisian were flocking to his banner as well as downtrodden village folk.
All in all the country seemed like the last place they wanted to go.
“you realise we can’t actually go into Albion, right?” he asked as Swift pinned her to the floor – which had taken surprisingly long for a wolf of his size. She gave him a flat stare.
“It’s where we have to go, though.” She replied simply.
“Why though? What’s so important about that coastal backwater?” he demanded.
“Don’t take that tone with me. There is someone we need to meet there and she needs our help. So we’re going to help her,” She told him. He grimaced.
“And why exactly do we need to help this woman then?”
“Because Father told me to. That’s all i need to know. You don’t have to follow me if you don’t want to,” she told him pointedly, with both her and Swift staring at him.
“i’m just saying it’s a bad idea,” he sighed. He obviously wasn’t going to change her mind. He was still in the dark about this ‘Father’ person though. She was entirely devoted to him... enough so that she was willing to walk into a country where, the moment she was discovered, she would be murdered in a very brutal fashion.
She pushed Swift off of her and looked at the last remaining embers of last night’s fire. She looked almost mournful. Seeing her watch the fire’s he lit as they set up camp was almost enchanting. Her eyes were fixed entirely upon it, noticing nothing else. He wondered what drew her to the fire so much – had she never seen a fire before? That wasn’t possible... she wouldn’t have survived the winters in the forests.