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The Stones of Arcory Chapter Twenty Six
The Fire From The Sky

Missive to the Venerable Greyslan Amberglass

Storm Season First Quarter First Day of Charm

Fellow Trona Gan Roderic has return early from her duties in the south, and is eager to complete the task you were sent in her stead. As such, you are released from your requirement to collect the chronicles and are requested to return to Council before the Current season turns to High Storm. If you require you may use the gryphon which will be carrying Trona to the isles to transport you back faster and more comfortably than would horseback. Use of which would free you from any duties land bound travel would oblige you to involve yourself in.

We are again grateful for your work on your journey and look forwards to having you back to resume your regular duties at Council.

 

Great balls of fire crashed around the skiff as it tacked port and starboard. They hit the surf, exploding into much larger balls of steam that erupted from their impact.

“By the look on your face spell caster this wasn’t the greeting you were expecting?!” the mate called over the noise as he hung on, occasionally shouting orders at his fellows, who scrambled over the ship while it turned and twisted through the waters to avoid the fiery sky fall.”

“No, but it makes sense to me now!” I shouted back at him. When thinking back over what I’d read in Trona’s guide, it was suddenly obvious how the Albanic towers were defended, and how to reach them safely. But like anything else amongst the entowered wizards chronicles, this was only obvious in person, as even in missive they are cryptic, even with us fellows. I gripped the rail harder as the ship tacked again to avoid a ball of fire exploding in steam mere yards from where I clung. The hot salt water spray I was washed with, I have to say, was actually refreshing. Still, I do believe a younger Greyslan would have translated the encoding in Trona’s guide with a keener eye.

And I was to receive an indication those in Council were beginning to feel the same about my current reliability. Although they did not offer it in the missive waiting for me at the towers, I suspected they had received word about what had happened at the pass. It was only a matter of time before his Goldenstar’s full memory would have returned. Or perhaps they received reports from the Valesmen who survived my wild magic. In the end, it mattered not.

“Not good news, master?” Tess asked me after I read the missive. Even eight years after graduation, she seemed too young for her status, still seemed a girl with a freckled face in a green tunic, playing at the power she possessed, certainly not bearing the look of an established entowered wizard. Gazing at her I though again of Omar’s courtiere. What power might that girl have possessed, if it hadn’t been taken from her?

Perhaps it was the look on my face, or perhaps it was how I curled the mystical script into smoke between my fingers. Tess showed concern and worry on her face. I could read between the lines. Council feared I would continue involving myself, did they? Afraid I would embarrass them further, that I would again inadvertently cause needless death and suffering? Were they wrong in thinking that, after what happened at Shatterstone.

I did not hold in my sigh.

“I have been freed of my duty in chronicle gathering,” I told her. “Apparently Trona has returned from the Southern Empire earlier than expected and is eager to get back to her work.”

Or, of course, Trona may have merely speedily cleared up the seeming confusion in diplomatic letters I had subtly created. Perhaps they weren’t a subtle as I had hoped. Either which, it was due to a failure an even eighty year old Greyslan Amberglass would not have been guilty of. It seemed I truly was becoming the old fool others at Council whispered about behind my back. So much for proving my worth. And I was sure they no longer merely whispered now.

“Oh,” she noted, face turning pensive, disappointed, becoming that waif of a girl I saw her as again. “Then you will be returning to Council? But you only just arrived.”

And what would they do when I returned. Probably face the debate regarding my hermitage. Was I ready for that? I didn’t want to be. And the wording of the missive did appear to offer me some time. I was now free of obligations, and was requested to make my return before high storm season. That wouldn’t be for some cycles yet, I could interpret. There was little worse they could punish me with if I returned a few cycles late. I would, with luck have time to catch up with the Margrave, give him his wife’s message, and encourage him to return home, at the very least.

I had been freed to do just that.

I laughed.

“Master?” Tess asked again, concern on her face now.

“You are right,” I told her, smiling back into her blue-green eyes. “I have only just arrived.”

 

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