It was done, the running, the hiding, the long teleport from Katman to Sabo, moving into a new home provided by the Librarian’s Guild, meeting the staff, unpacking. It was done. The staff had prepared an excellent dinner, they had eaten, and now for the first time in days, the five of them had nothing to do.
“So, perhaps it’s time you all told me what I’ve gotten myself into?” Rowan yawned, lounging in his chair, picking the last scraps of the amazing meal from between his teeth.
“A damn sight better place than that farm we found you on,” Ur-Ravi growled from her post on a stool in the corner, with a view of both doors.
Hammond snorted, “He wants more than that, and you know it.” His companion, an enormous guard beast, Andvari, sprawled at his feet, snoring gently.
“Well, I’m not gonna tell him.” Ur-Ravi got up to pace the open floor in the middle of the great room, flexing her massive fists, her thick but nimble frame causing the wooden boards to creak.
“Me neither.” Ra-Na mumbled. Her eyes were closed, but her mind’s eye was open as she kept up an emerald magic scan of the area, watching for threats… and truth be told, watching because she liked to see everything, to see who was where, who was interacting with whom, their feelings, their intents. These desires, these compulsions, had driven her from the honor-bound confines of her home in the Slaar Clan of Nar Ram Mar. She had drifted from one job to another, one city to the next, until her path joined that of her current companions.
“Trouble. More trouble than you can imagine.” Lycia peered out the window. “We’ve got to be careful even here. It doesn’t matter that the Librarian’s Guild moved us. They’re everywhere. If we don’t stay alert, stay quiet, stay hidden, they’ll find us. It doesn’t matter that we took out Indikos. There are more of them, all over the world, and they’ll find us if we’re not careful.” She moved to the next window to squint into the darkness, her black fur blending with the black of the curtain, and the night.
“Lycia is being dramatic, it’s not that bad.” Hammond shook his head, and continued, “It all started back when the Librarian’s Guild was sabotaged last year. The date was 1/21/376. We were invited to a top-secret librarian’s guild meeting. After being thoroughly vetted, and sworn to secrecy, we were told that our mission was to escort a specially skilled individual to a location in the mountains north-east of Katman. This location was like a “backup Librarians’ Guild”. The hope was to re-establish a connection between the backup and the rest of the Guild, which we learned was almost operational. There were four of these ‘backups’ around the world, and our efforts needed to be synchronized with three other groups. The deadline was 2/21/376 on midnight.
“We decided to create a cover story that we were leaving town on a friendly, competitive hunting trip. We spent two days hanging out in town, spreading the story, and preparing for the trip. We then left, as a group, toward The Rock, to spread the story some more at the hot springs. If you know the Spa at the Rock, you know we were going to have a great time–”
“Yeah, and that’s when it all went to shit – thanks Su Tas.” Lycia snarled as she climbed the stairs to check the upper windows.
“Ur-Ravi!” Her voice shook the room. “If you can’t remember it, you’ll doom us all – ‘Kymera’. And you’d all be dead if I hadn’t taken care of Ba’ith.”
“You killing Ba’ith was beginning of our problems!” Lycia countered from the balcony. “You brought the wrath of his mother, Indikos, down on us! It wasn’t bad enough that she had the full resources of the Golden Nugget Casino, she was also a member of the I.T.T. – the fanatics that took down the Librarian’s Guild in the first place!”
For a moment, Lycia and Ur-Ravi glared at one another, both flexing their claws. The pressure of building magic swirled around around Ur-Ravi, as the Combat Mage’s anger ignited her power.
“Enough.” Ra-na’s command cracked like a whip as she opened her hazel eyes and looked around the room. “I will summarize. We were attacked at the Rock by Ba’ith and his companions. We survived, but killed Ba’ith. Our journey to the ‘backup’ became a run for our lives. I won’t tell you where it is, it’s a secret. We discovered powerful magics. We finished our mission. Adel… pardon, Hammond and Ur-Ravi, and our other companion Aderyn, bonded with their guard beasts.
“We hid for six months. We met your cousin, Thaum, when we returned to the Rock. It wasn’t the most friendly beginning,” she grinned, “Indikos was still after us. We decided to take the battle to her. Luck put us at your farm, and in the end Thom died bravely as one of us. You know the rest. Our group split. We came here. Aderyn, Weyland, Yuri, and Randella are somewhere else. It’s good we don’t know where. Now we get a good night’s rest and get ready to lead boring lives.”
The room filled with silence, heavy will all the things unsaid. Ur-Ravi, staring at the floorboards, Lycia at the loft railing, watching, Hammond sitting up on the couch, smoothing Andvari’s mottled fur, Ra-na closing her eyes again to go back to watching in emerald.
“Good night then,” Rowan stood and made his way up to his room in the loft.
Morning would bring new lives for them all.