Episode 14: The Calm
The village of Helmar, located at the outer edge of the forest near Scillion, was Laurel’s first stop on her trip back to Balancor. From there she booked passage with a transport wagon to the next village, Tiris. Their arrival was around midday so they had some time to spend before they could travel again. Tiris was very close to the plains where the altar for the legendary Twins of Power was found. Laurel decided she would pay a visit to it. When she arrived she noticed a number of wolves surrounding her. The weapons were dull and blackened, their power sealed away. One of the wolves approached.
Wolf – “You there! State your business here.”
Laurel – “I’ve come to pay my respects, and perhaps ask for wisdom in the coming battle.”
Wolf – “Is that so?”
The wolf let out a powerful howl. From the group emerged another even larger wolf. He introduced himself as Arglis.
Laurel – “Hello, my name is Laurel and I seek Lidya’s wisdom.”
Arglis – “Well, as you can see she is not here, but I knew of her, through my father Argaun.”
Laurel – “So is this his tribe? You’re the guardians of the Twins of Power?”
Arglis – “We are. My father founded the tribe when he settled here. He considered protecting these weapons a favor for Lidya. She freed us and in return we protect her legacy.”
Thistle – “You seem like a scary bunch.”
Arglis – “Ah, a wisp. My father told me of a companion they had, her name was Thisir. Lidya, Thisir, my father and a dragon named Zethia traveled Entralia seeking to right many wrongs. Their battles were intense and they ended up overthrowing a great evil that sought to newly enslave the Sentients.”
Thistle – “So that’s her name…”
Laurel – “Had you heard of that wisp before, Thistle?”
Thistle – “Only rumors. It was a long time ago. Wisps are aloof Laurel, we rarely meet and it’s even more rare to exchange stories. This wisp probably spent all her time with Lidya, which must have been pretty awesome.”
Arglis – “Indeed, their adventures are still passed on in some tribes.”
Laurel – “Did you know her personally, Arglis?”
Arglis – “I met her multiple times while traveling with father. A formidable Warrior, even without the weapon of power. Her greatest strength was her outstanding courage and her trust in her companions.”
Laurel – “Well, my current situation seems to put everything on my shoulders.”
Arglis – “You possess items of great power. I could sense them as you approached. All I can tell you is that you must trust yourself as well as the people who have placed their hopes on you. They will give you the necessary courage.”
Laurel – “Thank you Arglis.”
Thistle – “Laurel, we should continue to Balancor.”
Arglis – “Since you came all this way to visit the altar, I feel I must provide more than just encouraging words. I will take you to Balancor.”
Using his magic Arglis lifted Laurel into the air and launched her to his back. A summoned harness appeared and she landed safely on it. He said, “Hang on tight!”, and sprinted away at high speed. Then stopped.
Thistle – “Hey Arglis, Balancor is the other way!”
Arglis realized it had been a long time since he visited the city, and Thistle was right, so instead she led the way while Arglis followed closely.
The arrival of Laurel was a surprise. Arglis and Laurel were flanked by four other wolves, two on each side. People watched in awe as the wolves ran through one of the central roads toward the council chambers. Their arrival at the chambers caught everyone by surprise. A startled Lumos and Lindrel looked on as Laurel got off Arglis.
Lindrel – “Goodness Laurel! What is going on?”
Laurel – “Well, considering the urgency required for the current matters Arglis volunteered to bring me here.”
Arglis – “Apologies for startling you. Laurel, stay safe and remember what I told you.”
Arglis and the other wolves ran off to return to their home.
Lumos – “Spectacular, you made friends with the tribe of Argaun.”
Laurel – “Yes, I wanted to visit the altar of the Twins of Power. Twin axes stuck there, withered and powerless. We have to take a stand against Gerthran!”
Lindrel – “We have been discussing this matter for some time now dear. Although we haven’t shored up our troops, it doesn’t mean we aren’t doing anything.”
Laurel – “Dad, council members, you’d better move faster. Gerthran was at Grentis. People died. His next target is Zanathas and Jenehrtes. If he gains those last artifacts we might not be able to stop him.”
Lumos – “It seems we have lost the luxury of time. Laurel, let’s go to Jenehrtes together. Lord Lindrel, I have stayed here long enough, and the politics of this all has kept us running around in circles. Please make sure that we have the necessary troops once Gerthran makes his inevitable attack.”
Lindrel – “Members of the council, we will adjourn for now, but remember the stakes. When we return, a vote must be passed to enable our soldiers to begin a garrison at the ancient site of Cythia’s world portal. Lumos, go with her, you’ve done all you can here.”
Lumos – “Yes, I’ve rested well these days, though there is no comfort in what is likely to come for us in the near future.”
Laurel – “It’ll be nighttime in a little while, we should go home and prepare for tomorrow’s trip.”
Thistle – “It has been some time since we were home.”
Lumos – “Let’s get going then.”
Laurel arrived at her home along with Thistle and Lumos. Lord Lindrel remained at the council chamber for a while longer to speak to the other members. Thistle lit some candles and a lantern. Lumos sat down while Laurel explained what had happened in the ruins of Scillion and at the depths of Kalvar.
Lumos – “It seems that tomorrow we will have to head out at the break of dawn. Gerthran must be close to releasing Cythia.”
Laurel – “We should rest while we have the chance. Dad should be arriving soon.”
Thistle – “I’ll head outside and keep watch.”
About an hour after Laurel and Lumos went to sleep Lindrel arrived. He stopped at the entrance to speak with Thistle.
Thistle – “You’re worried about Laurel, correct?”
Lindrel – “Greatly worried. Have I put too much on her shoulders?”
Thistle – “Laurel knew the responsibility you gave her. The artifacts choosing her was no coincidence either. They’re bound to her because she has had the strength to carry on.”
Lindrel – “I’m afraid of what she may need to do eventually if she faces Gerthran again.”
Thistle – “She already lost once, but she knows she can’t risk another loss like that. I’m sure that the ancient knowledge that she has earned will guide her further than any of us. None of that matters though, I’m sure you, Lumos and I won’t ever leave her alone in all this.”
Lindrel – “I feel like I have. Since her mother’s disappearance she has been very helpful and independent. I fear I’m not doing enough.”
Thistle – “It will be enough when the army of Entralia marches against Gerthran.”
Lindrel – “Entralia has never had a large army to begin with Thistle. We are mustering what forces we have, but I’m afraid it will not be sufficient.”
Thistle – “At this point we won’t know for sure, but any help will tip the balance in our favor.”
Lindrel – “Well said. Now then, I should head in and rest.”
Thistle – “Don’t worry Lord Lindrel, I will do my best to keep her safe.”
Lindrel – “Thank you Thistle.”
As Lindrel retired to rest, Thistle flew high up above the house. The crowded community was an interesting sight. She looked all around her, admiring the city. “None of this can go to waste”, she thought, “I have to protect her, so that she, in turn, protects us all”. Just as she was lost in thought a bright light shone from afar. Thistle focused on it for a short time, the light was moving towards her. She recognized the light as another wisp, which stopped in front of her. The wisp, overflowing with wind magic, introduced herself as Thisir.
Thistle – “Wait, the same one Arglis told us about?”
Thisir – “Heh, sounds like you met Argaun’s son. Yes, I am indeed that same wisp that traveled with Lidya. I’ve been traversing the ether for some time now. Things started to feel off though, so I decided to come here. I was headed to investigate the Twins of Power, but noticed you here. You know how rare it is for us to meet.”
Thistle – “Yeah, it seems that there’s a big confrontation coming and I’m a bit shaken to be honest.”
Thisir – “I know the feeling. Lidya and I faced great challenges in the past. You will eventually learn to ignore it.”
Thistle – “Lidya was lucky to have you.”
Thisir – “I’m sure your friends are lucky to have you as well, now then, I gotta go. Arglis won’t be expecting me and I want to startle him hehe.”
Thistle – “Alright, hope I can see you again!”
Thisir – “Stay safe!”
Thisir faded into the distance. Thistle was glad she could meet her, especially after hearing about her from Arglis. She was curious about the ether, said to be a sort of alternate dimension that only wisps can journey into. Perhaps sometime in the future, Thistle can accompany Thisir and learn from her.