I knock on the door of Lusk’s room, my usual three knocks, however my third knock slips the hard pine door altogether and like whisps of smoke from an efreet’s pipe, wood floats away and I see Lusk rise from his black iron latticed chair.
Lusk is a mountain, and inside this mountain is a creative soul. Here I am, the bardic addition to our family, yet he sings in supernal and that music could lift me from any doldrums I might be having. Lusk nods at me, and signals that I may enter to see the semi-clear shards recovered moments ago.
As Lusk moves aside, I begin speculating where things are on what should be a familiar shape. The slab is fit to Lusk’s size, and as such, for most it is the feeling of being a child again to peer over the edge of the cold, gray wood table. I am a taller person than most here, especially than the other women, and even I get on my tip-toes to see well, but it is not a childish feeling of curiosity but an adult sense of remorse for the fallen comrade who Lusk delicately reforms.
Emthri Adasunu Exfett has only begun his reformation from crystal shards. We are sure all the pieces are here, he who collected him is thorough. Magister Adasunu Tex the Exfett Rex he jokingly calls himself, taking the Exfett name as a sign of loyalty to Emthri, but most call him Tex. Some of us envy that closeness. He is the man who brought our Emthri back, and accompanied by two whom he does not introduce, immediately follows me into Lusk’s room.
Magic flows in the room and a conversation is happening between Tex, and one of the cloaked men. The other cloaked man is somehow levitating strange stone devices over the slab and they spark from time to time with colors of silver and jade. I now see the cloaked man Tex speaks to has silver teeth, and as the room grows colder, trickles jaded smoke over his lower lip. Tex has a bright smile now and slaps both hands to the silver toothed man’s shoulders. Lusk and I stare in wonder, but it is in neither of our natures to speculate openly on what we see.
What may have been a ritual, is over, Tex gestures to meet me outside. I nod to Lusk, and the two cloaked men, heading to the spiral window that is at the end of the hallway. It has quite a beautiful view at certain times of the day when the light can reach it, and the sand and rock reflect that beauty magnificently, lighting the hallway in pinks and oranges all the way to Pia’s room. When Tex approaches he speaks towards the window and not me directly. “Your brother Emthri is in great spirits, perhaps more so than he should be as he fights the multiple curses placed on him. He asks of his teammates and nothing else.”
Assuming this is a moment to reply, I respond with “We all have the utmost…” but I am cut short. “Although Abrams is closer, I need you to assist Emthri’s friends. This puts our main objective in a passive state, but I cannot have old allies lose their children. You are not beholden to act on the Miria situation, but look after those three until Emthri can again.”
As Tex finally looks at me, I return his stoic gaze with one of disbelief. “Are you sure? I mean of course you’re sure, but is this some kind of…” unable to say the word punishment.
To be taken away from here, must mean I made wrong choices.
He waits for me to continue, but I shake my head no, and stand more upright, expressing confidence in his choice. He fills me in on Emthri’s message delivered in jade mist from the cloaked man. My determined Magister, with help from the magics here sends me into the strange tiefling building that is the place where Emthri fell.
Just like that.
I have little time to think how this affects everything that he and I never discussed. An explosion pulls my attention down a hallway. If I failed already, If they had just met their end, rushing with my crossbow forming in my hands and not yet arming it with a bolt the doors blow open. A human rushes into me headfirst, his hand balanced on my chest and I am not able to react after such a disorienting teleport. Two others appear and I am now awkwardly introduced to the Blades of the Dreaded Dawn.