It’s taken me a while to get back to this. It’s been two weeks since I’ve even thought about it to be honest. First things first, I was wrong about Telk. Killing the cat will kill him. I almost killed him and there is no end to the guilt I feel about my stupid idea. Lexonal asked that we come to the city, his city. I didn’t know that at the time. There was a lot I didn’t know at the time, and like usual I was burnt by the trust I put in others. The good thing is that it is not too late to stop it. I’ll get back to that in a minute.
We left the next morning after I’d spoken to Lexonal and we brought Avisrabind with us. We were attacked on the road. Marr Cats, about a dozen and a half of them. Most of the horses were killed, we had one. Telk was put on it, against his wishes and sent on ahead. Luckily though, we found our ogre friend from Freehold and he offered to move us faster. We found Telk’s horse four hours ahead, his boots carried him the rest of the way until he found an elven patrol. He shifted to protect them, so it made it so he could speak to them which is a good thing.
We got there and found they were mid war with what had tried to stop us. The horn sounded for reinforcements and I grabbed my flail, taking one last look at Telk before insisting that they let us help. If I had known then what I know now, I might have been less surprised that he didn’t argue.
Lexonal was on the front lines, commanding the troops… which should have been the evidence I needed to know he was important. Unfortunately I’m a little obtuse. We fought for three days and nights after that. I don’t even know how I kept on my feet. Then there were Colossi, three of them, I don’t know how we did it, but we took them down one by one.
I don’t remember ever being so tired in my life. I remember the theurgy dragging me off the field at one point because I’d been gored by a Colossi, but as soon as I was knit back together I was out there again. Probably not one of my brighter plans. The sounded a retreat towards the end, storm clouds had started to brew suddenly, and knowing Berloten, I knew what he was doing. I grit my teeth and started to focus on drying up the clouds, and pushing the weather fronts away from the city. It worked, which is a little scary because I’ve never really thought that I was more powerful, but it’s not the first time I’ve changed the weather on him.
After the battle they let us rest for a few hours. I woke up to the dulcet tones of Lexonal again. He was a little upset about something that Telk had promised me… and it wasn’t ever something I had thought anything of. We’d been split up a bunch of time, but I guess leaving him in the city was out of the question. When that man promises you he’ll never leave, then I guess he means it.
Anyway, it meant I had to stay behind. The theurgy were supposed to be helping Telk, right? Right? So I stayed, the rest went back to Freehold to get our stuff and supplies. A four week timeline to the next eclipse was the reason for the rushing. So, one week down and here I sit, tired of the parade of pretty boy elves that just keep showing up to chat with me. I start refusing visitors, since by this point I’ve realised that they aren’t letting me see Telk. So I read. … I read some funny things, like the word Changeling is a bastardised form of an elvish word that means breeder. Funny. That was the day that I escaped to Telk’s room.
Color me surprised though, when he tells me that they aren’t seeing him. He’s sitting alone, not being talked to, or told what’s happened, in fact, nothing at all is being done for him. It made me mad. Mad enough that when I heard someone outside his door saying that they were looking for me, I didn’t budge. I let them look.
The horns sounded that the group was back, so I made my hasty retreat to my room, slipped back in the window, and turned around to see none other than Lexonal standing there. After a bit of an argument about my behavior and what looked like an admission about what I hoped would be answers, the door opened. Lexonal left and brought Telk to us. He didn’t know why Lexonal seemed to be so eternally pissed at him, but after our talk I could kind of guess. It wasn’t because he wanted my attentions. It was because he wanted my attentions off of Telk because two changelings can’t make elf babies. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be anyone’s breeder. They can die off for all I care.
The visit was shorter than I wanted, the rest of the group was given nicer rooms and I was left all by my lonesome again. Something that wouldn’t have upset before a few months ago. That tends to happen when you start to trust people. You miss them when they aren’t around.
About an hour or two later Lexonal was back, and looking a bit less pissed off. It’s okay, I was mad enough for the both of us. I flopped the book down on the table, open to the part about how I was a breeder and told him to explain. He did. Elves are steril, or at least they can’t make children together. They can breed with humans, but not each other, not anymore.
This did not improve my mood any. I explained at length that I wasn’t a breeder, and that I wouldn’t be, especially after what they were doing to Telk. He seemed confused why I even cared, but it didn’t matter. I told him he promised to help and ignoring Telk and locking him in a room isn’t going to help. Lexonal makes these faces when he’s trying to decide to tell me something, and he made the face again.
He told me that they never intended that he die. So I asked if he thought that sending me pretty elves would make me forget about Telk like I was some stupid floosy. He paused then and nodded. I almost punched him then, but I kept my voice nice and quiet. I told him that it had nothing to do with that, and as long as they weren’t helping him, they would get no help from me. He seemed almost deflated and just sank into his chair.
Then he told me something that I wasn’t expecting. He told me that I would be protected because of who I was. So without thinking, as if I ever think before I speak, I asked him who I was. His daughter. That was all he said for the longest time. Probably giving me a bit to let it sink in.
That explained everything. The spying, the following me, the bear that he fixed and brought back for me… Even the way he treated Telk. Everything. I think my silence must have been deafening, because it was him waiting for me to say something then. So what did I say? I asked him if he loved my mother.
Of course was what he said. That was all I needed to know about that I guess. It gave me a way to get through to him, since elves are bad at understanding none elves. So I told him that I didn’t understand why, if what he had done, to make me, had been because he loved my mother. Why would he refuse me the same chance. That took the wind right out of his sails, and I could see it as soon as he heard my words.
He agreed to help then, my end of the bargain, to protect his image was to continue seeing the elves as they paraded around me one by one, and just be extremely picky about the whole thing. He would make the theurgy work with Telk, every day. My condition was that I got to tell Telk the truth, because I wouldn’t let him sit in his room, in anguish, wondering if my head had been turned. I know how I’d feel if I were him. Hell, I saw it on his face when I mentioned that they were showing up. He needs to know that I’m not just carrying on while he’s silently losing hope. I’m going to arrange visits too, no one needs to be isolated like that. We’ve already suffered so much.
I don’t know if the group would understand any of this. I don’t much understand it myself. In fact, I’m pretty sure I just want to cry. Me, brave witch hunter, slayer of abominations, and I just want to crawl into my bed and cry. Not because I’m hurt, but I went from being unwanted and alone, to understanding why my Mother fought so hard to protect me, and wondering why my father never came to claim me until now.
I’m probably overthinking this, he probably couldn’t find me. I mean, I used to be fairly good at hiding who I am. Not so much anymore, but that’s more because I haven’t shape shifted in weeks, I haven’t needed to.
He did ask one thing that makes me wonder though, he wanted to know how many other changelings were with us. Probably wants to recruit them to the breeding program or something, I kinda suspect that Karra isn’t what she seems, but I’m not going to say anything, so I told him there was one. Sorry Shade, but you just have to sleep with some pretty elf women, I think you’ll live.