Arc I - Terreille in Trouble
The elderly owner of the inn had returned in the time the mass of the group had been gone. As the hearth crackled merrily, Denvar had urged the woman that they would appreciate a quiet evening. Ensuring the suggestion with a few golden marks that Mikhail notice was handed over with a wince. It appeared the brothers suspected a need for an evening with only the newly forming court of Fatima in attendance. Bellinar had arrived a short time later his large wings bristling as Denvar and Gen cornered their wayward brother. Faeril did not as she sat in a large chair before the hearth that warmed the inn's common room. "Where in Hell did you go?"
Mikhail would hear Gennar hiss to the younger of his brothers, it appeared the trio did not wish to bother the Black Widow with this matter, nor be overheard by anyone else.
Bellinar shrugged his wings, while he was broad of chest and just as tall as Gen, the Tiger-eye Jeweled Warlord Prince did not look a bit sheepish at the scold. "Needed to take a look at the nearby villages. If there was trouble in them, thought you might like to know."
His voice was a deep rumble as he glared back at Gen."You should have let us know, brother."
His twin, Denvar was wirier than his brothers and his voice was softer but there was an iron in it that Mikhail would realize held a note of suspicion. "We lost Xandar, word is the Queen of Winton decided to ship him off to her betters."
That seemed to put the larger twin, Bellinar, off balance as their conversation slipped into quieter tones as they moved towards the bar.
While on the walk back Thom peered up at Dareen and shrugged. His cheeks coloring as he looked down slightly. "I got enough of the Craft to use a bit of it, but never got a jewel."
His voice was quiet, subdued as he attempted with all his might not to let anyone other than Dareen to hear him. His was a tale that was known, but not talked about among the Blood. Blood parents expected their children to have some ability with the Craft. They were expected to get a jewel their birthright ceremony. Yet there were some children like Thom who had the parentage, but not the power for a jewel. Not even the low ranking white. It was something that was either accepted and worked around with a supporting family, while everyone else would look down upon such a... disabled child. The other choice was what Thom was doing. The child was cast out, disowned and disinherited. A stain on the family that was best forgotten. There were other ways to handle it, as it varied from person to person.
It was lucky for Thom, however, as they reached the inn in decent time. Saetan had only grown more silent and the air about him seemed to sear with the cold at his displeasure of going into a hostile town. That cold turned into frost on the walls of the inn as he paused to lean against one of the supporting pillars. Thom had been more than pleased to fetch Fatima a mug, if it got him away from the frosty chill that was making Faeril shiver as she stared at the Warlord Prince who wore the darkest Jewel in all the known Realms. The three brothers were bristling and torn between stepping between Saetan and Faeril, the fact they knew they would have no chance was the only thing that was holding them back though Gennar did grip the Healer-Black Widow's chair and look ready to intercept any attack. Dunny, seemingly impervious to most things, was cuddled around Fatima's feet in a tight ball as he sought comfort from his Queen.
The fire was dimming slightly as Saetan finally spoke in a voice that sent a slightly frozen mist into the air. "So you are the witch of the Hourglass who spelled me.""Unintentionally."
The Black Widow's voice was hardly more than a hoarse whisper. It was one of the rare time the group would hear true fear in the voice of the woman.
The laughter that followed was anything but kind. "A fully-trained Black Widow does not do things 'unintentionally'. Especially when your kind have been hunted to be turned or burned."
The words were a knife wrapped in satin and just as wicked. "What game do you play?""I play no games."
Temper flared in Faeril's icy eyes for a moment before she gave an apologetic look to Fatima. "I keep to the old ways, Prince Saetan. I wove for a way to free the Blood. To keep myself from the fire and then wove to call those who could do so to myself. I had no choice in who. To know I would have to walk deep into the Twisted Kingdom of madness-""So you say."
Saetan mocked. "Those that serve the Queens of late claim much the same. You had a choice."
His own fall had come at the hands of a potion brewed by one of her caste, and since then... Saetan could not forget the torment caused by the Black Widows who turned away from the ancient laws of the Blood for this new, twisted regime.
Gen snarled. "So we know. She wove til her hands were cut up from the threads."
The Warlord's own eyes gazing at the hovering form of Sybl. Faeril looked pained though she said nothing as she folded her hands in her lap, her jaw tightening as she bit back spiteful words. As much as it pained Faeril, she could not say he was wrong. She had cast a spell that had affected the lives of these people. She had justified it for the 'good of the Blood', just as that excuse was used by others in service of the Twisted Queens. For once, she had no towering pride or waspish anger to throw at a Warlord Prince. Rather Faeril found herself soundly on the receiving end of a short and pointed tempered scolding the likes she had not received in years. It stung her pride, and the Black Widow liked it less that it came from such an esteemed man. Moving a hand up she patted Gen's own, before letting her slim fingers fall back into her lap. "Would you rather look into my mind?"
The Eyrien men at her back shouted in unison, utterly denying this was even a suggestion. Faeril felt her wings pull tighter against her back as she debated the wisdom of shouting them down. While it would be expected, she was certain if she made the wrong move Saetan could take it the wrong way and their potential alliance would end."I would. Of course, I would want assurance that I will not be interfered with."
Saetan agreed with a cold glare for the eyriens.
Bellinar smiled and had no friendliness in his eyes. "Oh, we promise we won't interfere with you." "We are not putting you at risk Ashke!" "Hell's Fire, Mother Night and May the Darkness be merciful. No!"
All three brothers seemed united in the fact this was not going to happen and Faeril, who they considered a kinswoman, was not going to be put into such danger. Faeril herself was giving Fatima a pleading look, knowing that the men of her erstwhile family would shout her down over this. The give and take of Blood men and women was sometimes unnessecary at other times it was like trying to maintain a herd of Scelties who had some notion that you were not going to do something. The herding dogs were very effective at herding and not just sheep.