The March of Ages

The Scramble

Before leaving Azuldur’s camp, Serafina Anduril spoke with Anna. Azuldur had offered to marry Anna and she refused. The previous night he had asked Serafina for her advice on the matter. He laughed at her answer, but it seemed as if he was considering asking Anna what she wanted. Serafina asked Anna what was next for her. Anna was unsure and needed time. She was going to travel with Azuldur for a while until she figured it out.

Serafina said that in a year or so, after the Daughters of Calidar were trained and could take care of themselves, they would need a proper Feoral chief to take over. They could not stay in Voltierra forever without losing their heritage and she could not swear to Azuldur. It made sense to her that Anna would be their chief. Anna said she would think about it but now was not the right time.

As they said their goodbyes, Serafina noticed that Anna’s leg was not set right and offered to fix it. The caveat was that it would need to be broken again. Anna agreed and Serafina set through camp looking for a proper hammer. This caught the attention of several of the Feoral, who watched as the human was allowed to break Anna’s leg.

All business was taken care of so Sani Nodin and Serafina hopped up on one horse after saying farewell to Azuldur and they began the trek home to Voltierra. In the distance, they could still see the fires from the March of a New Fate.

Sani found Deltin in his mom’s house and reluctantly had an awkward dinner with them. Deltin seemed to dislike living in a house with “8,000” girls and wanted to live with Sani again. Sani felt bad for him and begrudgingly agreed.

Serafina had invited Julian over for dinner. The house was indeed crazy with so many human and Feoral girls about.

After sleeping for one night in Voltierra, they left the next morning for Duun’Vast to speak with Atterick. The waygate was a much smoother transportation than either of them expected. However, they blinked into Cragga chaos. They were in the middle of a battle between several hundred Cragga.

Sani pinpointed two mages who were restricting Atterick while Serafina caught the leader of the rebelling faction. Serafina had attempted to talk to the leader, Duganvardbitch, but he was not very willing to work with her, so she invented a new way to use her powers. The two humans made a quick job of the Cragga insurgents and the fight was soon over.

Atterick introduced himself and walked with them to The Citadel. He offered them rooms to clean up and then they had lunch. Atterick was a very straight-forward and to-the-point man. Sani was able to make trade agreements with Atterick and he had the egg delivered as payment as an “act of good faith.” He also gave them both daggers with his crest upon the hilts as gifts.

Somehow, they returned to Voltierra before supper.

They dragged the 800 pound chest to Serafina’s house, where they found the oldest girls locked in with several boys. Serafina scared the boys and Sani enlisted their help returning the chest to his house. Serafina bagged the egg and delivered it to Milana. Milana was surprised to receive a second egg so quickly with everything else that was going on.

Sani showed Deltin the chest and explained that what was in it was important. Deltin was mad that Sani had been in a fight without him. They had a good talk and bonded a little. Deltin asked Sani if he wanted to play a game. It was the knife game. Deltin was pretty bad at it and immediately stabbed Sani’s hand. Sani showed him up.

Serafina left Milana’s house and went immediately to meet up with Sani before going to talk with Aristos. Aristos looked as if he had not slept in days, let alone gone outside. The dragon came down the stairs and was already the size of a large cat. Serafina said that Aristos needed to get out and invited him to dinner.

Serafina demanded his egg right then and there. Aristos was afraid that they would not go to Fey’Oth if they got what they wanted. Sani and Serafina assured him that this betrayal was not going to go unanswered. Serafina insisted that plans change and every time she returned home, something unexpected happened. She was concerned for the safety of her family and the others. No one would do anything to fix this if she did not return. She would not feel right unless this was settled before she left. Aristos caved and brought the egg down.

The next obstacle was the baby dragon. She did not want the egg to leave the tower. Serafina stared down the dragon and it bit her toe. She kept walking until she and Sani were at Milana’s house. Milana was surprised to see her for the second time today and even more surprised to have the third egg. The deal was complete. Not only that, it felt right to Serafina to have returned them. Milana asked them both if they knew how Aristos had hatched one, which they did not answer. She also inquired if Sani was interested in gaining some of the Lluaran land back, but he said that the remaining two eggs were out of his reach.

Dinner at Serafina’s was a little awkward, but Aristos settled into it. Belaric, Sani, and Serafina got Deltin drunk for the first time. Everything seemed like normalcy was close. Aristos blinked out after saying goodnight. Sani helped drunk Deltin home. During the night Belaric had noticed that his Taalen’Vost tattoo disappeared; both he and Serafina went to bed concerned.

Deltin’s morning assessment of drinking was that, “drinking is evil,” and he determined that he “hate[s] Belaric.” Sani gave him Adlei Rhiggs’s hangover cure and made him breakfast.

Serafina and Belaric met Braeden at the pier as his ship was to set sail that day. They asked about the tattoo and he had no explanation. That made them worry even more. Serafina asked for a pick up and ride home from Fey’Oth in three months. Braeden was surprised but agreed. As they said farewell to each other, Serafina was concerned that she was putting Braeden in danger. Regardless of his feelings or lack of concern on the matter, she worried.

Over the course of the next few weeks Serafina had made sure that different families invited Aristos to dinner about once a week to get him out.

The restaurant, Bael, opened. The rotating menu always served three Dolgari favorites, two Drekar dishes, and one special chosen by Deltin every two weeks.

Life was balancing out. The Daughters of Calidar were learning. Belaric and Serafina were able to spend more time at home with their girls.

Five days before their departure, Sani’s caravan returned from the Great Heart Tree. Bardic brought with him a surprise, Adlei. Sani broke the news to him right away. The ground shook beneath them. Sani saved business for later and took Adlei to the tombs before telling Serafina.

Sani had an idea to surprise Chaemlin, Liana, and Islin at dinner with Adlei. He and Serafina went to visit each of them. Chaemlin was still catatonic. Serafina suggested to his caretaker to have Bruinen come talk to him. Islin was excited about going to Bael and went early with Serafina to watch the kitchen.

Bael was closed to the public that night for a private event. Sani reunited Adlei with his children. Belaric, Julian, Rondal, Aleetha, Baby Stangil, the whole family was there and the healing began.

The March of a New Fate
and the Return to Business

The morning that would begin the March of a New Fate, Aristos Dar’Vol went ahead to begin preparations in Voltierra. Sani Nodin headed up the front, scanning the ground for game and edible plants. Belaric and Marine scouted days ahead for food. Serafina Anduril remained in the back of the mass, attempting to revive any girls that dropped and could go no further.

Before they departed Avar had said goodbye and dropped off four bags of food. This was a heartwarming gesture, but fifty girls died that first day. Each time they had to leave another behind, Serafina lit the body.

After five days, 450 fires had been lit and you could see the trail blazing in the distance behind them.

On the seventh day, two figures that Serafina had been watching grow closer finally came into view. Gregar and Chaemlin were returning from Aesteryl with a sled, three frozen bodies, and a tale of horror. They had been giving information to the FimmDrekar as they had promised Kalloruth. One day, the ground opened beneath them and a demon came out. The Fimm Drekar walked away and did not help. Elrathia King, Denton Dar’Vol, and Mellara’s bodies were the only ones retrieved out of over twenty humans. Serafina wondered if it would be better to starve to death out here than return to Voltierra with this news for Aristos.

Day nine brought three wagons, Braxys, and fifty people to pass out food. Braxys told Serafina that a story regarding Riestra had been concocted to absolve Serafina of all wrongdoings and placed Riestra as Noella’s murderer. Serafina was not pleased with this news. Two wagons were sent back with sick and one wagon was sent back with Gregar, Chaemlin, and the sled.

In all, 600 fires were lit on the march. Amazingly, 7,400 survived. As much as the humans complained about this new strain on their food supply, Serafina’s heart was filled with joy and pride. These lives were saved. Their home was destroyed. They had no parents, no one to watch out for them. They made it nearly two weeks without food. No one’s complaint about rations could diminish what these girls had been through.

During that time, Geodra had emerged as their leader and Serafina had given them some structure. They were grouped with leaders and checked in every day. They were told to expect training and work when they arrived in Voltierra. They were going to learn to fight, hunt, fish, and some working skill to earn their keep. As soon as they set up camp, Braxys had been instructed to begin their training with her people.

Serafina returned herself to jail, which she was immediately released from. Rodren was in disbelief when she showed up. She spoke with Riestra, briefly, saying that she had not forgotten her promise. Then, she rushed to speak with both Braeden Brightburn and Seripathia to warn them of impending hostility with Kalloruth.

Sani met with Aluria to tell her about everything that had transpired.

Serafina and Sani were told that they were having dinner with the kings that evening. They sat in a warded room with a full dinner, that no one ate, and talked. Aristos would indeed step down and planned on going to Aesteryl alone. Kalloruth needed to die. If they were able, Aristos wanted proof and to go public with the knowledge that Kalloruth orchestrated the deaths of several humans. If they did not find proof and were caught, they would be disavowed as rogues who acted of their own volition. Sani agreed to go.

Serafina would do it for two dragon eggs. If she was going to risk her life AGAIN, she wanted to make sure her family would be safe. It was unacceptable for the kings to decide themselves who was and was not important enough to live. They agreed, however Aristos would give one egg and would most likely be able to get the other from Atterick. This was enough for Serafina.

Finally, they came to the story about Riestra. Serafina vehemently disagreed. The kings attempted to thwart her rejection by asking how she would feel about knowledge of Belaric’s involvement in Roash’s death. With that, she had had it. They were not discussing Roash, they were discussing Noella. If they thought they could manipulate her and use him against her, they were wrong. She refused to let them re-write the truth like they always do for the “more important” inner circle. They agreed to allow her to tell the truth and accept whatever consequences may come. Serafina warned them that if they ever tried to use Belaric against her again, they would be sorry.

Conversation circled back to Kalloruth. Serafina suggested they go to Kuskarosa to speak with Reikasha before heading to Fey’oth. Aristos agreed and said that they would be sent on the next full moon, mid-spring, in five weeks.

Sani mentioned setting up a merchant’s guild for the city. With growing trade markets, there was a need for organization.

Serafina mentioned setting up a second city. Voltierra was becoming crowded. She had a good spot in mind that would be both sheltered from sea storms and attacks as well as have good access to ships from other continents. She suggested they could work on shipbuilding and farming for themselves.

Both of their ideas were well-received and supported by the kings.

After dinner Sani sought out Seripathia to make up for his bad trade before the trek to the Moot. She accepted a promise to get into the Merchant’s Guild on the ground floor, but still expected him to fix the situation with Milana. He also spoke with Braeden about the Merchant’s Guild and perhaps becoming a council member in the guild.

In the middle of what would have otherwise been a peaceful night back in her bed, Serafina was woken by knocking on the front door. A Drekar woman insisted she was needed and Serafina was dragged to the home of Sosyth Toth-Iluith and Odoth Illuith. Sosyth was having trouble giving birth until she arrived. By dawn, they had a baby boy, whom she named Des, after her father. For the first time, Serafina saw Odoth show an interest in his family.

Aristos informed Serafina and Sani that Atterick agreed to give up his egg in exchange for food for his people. Serafina and Sani sent scouts to determine where Azuldur was so they could go talk with him about lifting the trade embargo now that Givik was assumed dead. Aristos also said that Atterick would be willing to acknowledge High Lord Diedik on the Summit Council if he paid tribute in the form of food. He and all three free cities would receive territory status, freedom to govern themselves, and Aristos would build a waygate in Kunik. Serafina wrote this up and it would be sent to Diedik on the first caravan out.

Cadimus was concerned that Aristos would not help him and Serafina promised that she would talk to him and Xerus. He was not forgotten in all of this.

Sani had to talk to Aluria about taking her seat on the council. She was mad and felt betrayed. Her father, Krolovik, had not bothered to tell her himself.

Serafina spoke with Braxys, who gladly gave up her seat on the council. Braxys said that it should have been Serafina’s the whole time.

Riestra’s trial made history for Voltierra. Serafina ensured that the truth was told and Riestra was tried for her real crimes. The council debated capitol punishment and in a history 10-11 vote, declared that they would not send criminals to death. Riestra was sentenced to five years of servitude to Voltierra or imprisonment for twice the time.

The next day was the funeral. The whole city gathered to pay their respects and Aristos gave a speech. He announce that he was stepping down as king and dedicating himself to his studies. Something at his feet glowed and at the end of his speech, a baby dragon emerged and crawled up his leg. Everyone except Serafina stood wide-eyed in disbelief. She grinned, having hoped for weeks that this would happen. Aristos walked away and Nalya looked livid.

Sani spoke with both Aluria and Asala, who were also angry that they did not know.

That night a council meeting was called. They stayed up all night figuring out how to restructure the voting system now with one king.

Serafina and Sani returned to their homes to sleep. Serafina did not get in the front door before Deltin brought her horse, Erador. She was to leave this morning to meet Azuldur. She picked up Stangil’s horse from Julian and headed to Sani’s. He was lucky enough to get one hour of sleep before they departed.

That evening they arrived at Azuldur’s camp. Avar was there and Serafina thanked him for the food. Every little bit helped.

Azuldur agreed to lift the embargo since that was Givik’s stipulation, but wanted something in return. Serafina gifted him with Erador. His name was Drekar for The Light of Dawn. They stayed in camp for the night and were met with a pleasant surprise. Anna had lived through the Battle of the Widows.

...and I Just Need to Rule It.

After breakfast, both Serafina Anduril and Sani Nodin wanted to visit the Primal Fire at Fire Drake Mountain. The giant golden doors opened to a cavern with walls turned to glass and a hole in the back. In the center was a lake of lava. It would have brought back bad memories to Serafina if she had not been so entranced by the flame.

They paid their respects to the great power and left to investigate the three burnt areas in the city that they had noticed the day before. It appeared as if food storage was hit first. The populous was poor and hungry. Two children robbed Sani but he let them go, knowing that they needed it more than he.

Once again they found themselves face to face with Aristos. He asked them several questions about Azuldur including their opinions about the two leaders meeting. He offered to step down as king, put Serafina and Sani on the council, and stay out of this Feoral war. He also noted that Calidaran was choosing to remain in Calidar, so there would be a spot open on the Council of Voltierra for a Feoral representative. Krolovik, obviously, would not be stepping down, but Aristos was hoping that what he had to offer would be enough to appease Azuldur and protect humanity. They thought that would be enough, if at least a starting point and both thought it would be best if they accompanied Aristos to the Moot and he addressed Azuldur in person.

Serafina later found Arianna, who was not pleased with her friend. She told Serafina that Krolovik was going to move the eggs to Idara, ensuring they would be away from Serafina’s grasp. She then asked, “what are you going to do to fix my marriage?” Serafina did not say anything, but she was hurt and angry. Krolovik, not exactly the world’s perfect husband, is furious with Arianna… after all he’s done? What a fucking joke. She held her tongue.

Belaric and Sani let themselves believe that they talked Serafina out of the idea of stealing the eggs from Krolovik before Melanie summoned Serafina and Sani for a private conversation. She requested a favor in exchange for allowing them to give a speech to the people of Calidar. Sani agreed to investigate something called “the Gardener” in the mountain and Serafina declined, citing her promise to stay out of this war.

Serafina found her way back to Arianna and apologized. She asked what she could do to help. Arianna replied, “live.” It seemed their friendship was in tact, but fragile.

Meanwhile, Calidaran found Sani and thanked him for offering his aid. He showed Sani into the tunnels where Sani met “the Gardener,” an ancient being sworn to protect something of great importance. He spoke with the being and it handed him the responsibility of protecting and planting a seed. The Gardener pulled out his own heart and it turned into a seed. Sani was to place it where it would be able to grow wildly, untouched, and into a Lluaran holy place.

Serafina sought Marine’s advice with the speech and they talked strategy. Nalya Dar’Vol offered to assist with the vocals. The time for the speech had come. Tens of thousands of Feoral gathered and Nalya used her power to lift Serafina’s voice over the wind. “People of the Flame…”

When she was done, 8,000 young Feoral girls were on bended knee.

Melanie then addressed the rest and spoke of a blaze of glory… battling until the end… et cetera. As Serafina walked away, in shock at the new responsibility, Aristos and Anna both congratulated her on her words.

Sani returned from the tunnels and showed Serafina his new responsibility. Serafina told him that they would be walking out with 8,000 girls.

The next morning they said their farewells to the royal family and walked out the front gates of Calidar with 8,000 refugees. It had been hinted to Serafina that a bold move was about to be made, but because of her neutrality, she did not ask, nor did they tell her. It was clear, however, that Melanie, Calidaran, and Anna were prepared to make a final stand.

Aristos set to fixing the gate to transport Krolovik, Arianna, and Nalya home while Serafina went to speak to Givik. She had not forgotten the treatment they received from Boren the day before and had a plan to put him in his place. In exchange for some information (that a final stand was imminent), she asked Givik for Boren. In less than a moment he was stripped of his armor, chained, and handed over to her. Sani and Belaric were both shocked at this move.

Two days later, Avar had walked them back to the Moot to meet with Azuldur. Many of the girls were freezing and hungry by this point.

Aristos and Azuldur were introduced. Aristos apologized for the dishonor they showed Azuldur last summer and took responsibility for the slight. Azuldur wanted a seat of honor at any table for all time, which he was granted. He then demanded a 1 in 10 tribute of food that was produced for 10 years. There was a brief moment of tension when the crackling of power was palpable, but Serafina and Sani interjected. Serafina suggested that 1 in 10 was too much, admitting defeat really, when they were talking peace. It worked and the two leaders came to an accord.

The matter of the 8,000 Feoral was next to be addressed. Serafina proclaimed herself Chief of the Daughters of Calidar. Azuldur said she would not be considered a Feoral chief as she was human and not sworn to him. Human or not, she retorted, they followed her alone. And as to swearing fealty, she would not. They argued over this point. She said it would be a lie to swear to him when she doesn’t follow the orders of her own kings. This made him pause and said that they would revisit this issue some other time.

He introduced her as a chief to the other chiefs. Brogaram of the Sunriders challenged her. They fought. Serafina told him to take a knee. He attacked again and again. She told him to take a knee or she would have his entire clan. He attacked again. She broke his spine. No one else challenged her.

That afternoon, Sani suggested that Serafina ask for food. After hours of negotiation, Azuldur had given them three choices. Swear to him, which she would not. Marry him, which she considered at great length. Give him steel, which they could not promise with any expedition.

Serafina, Sani, Belaric, and Aristos mulled over all of the choices for a long time. Serafina and Sani went back to talk to Azuldur several times. No promise could be made with any real assurances and they would not make a deal that they thought they would not be prepared to fulfill.

As night fell, an explosion erupted. Fire Drake Mountain had exploded. Boats came around the river bend and the Widows of Calidar ambushed Azuldur’s men.

Aristos had a knowing smile on his face. Sani and Serafina rushed toward the battle but were unsure which side to fight with. Sani decided it was best to return to the girls and try to keep them calm and distract them with stories.

Serafina stood, frozen, and watched the battle unfold. She saw friends fall and struggle. She saw how mightily Anna, Melanie, and Azuldur all fought. It wasn’t until the light of dawn, when the sounds of battle subsided to the moans of the injured, that she was able to move. She began moving bodies and helping with preparations for the pyres.

One last time she spoke with Azuldur and declined his generous offer of marriage. He had even let her determine the terms of the agreement and she could not do it. She admitted to him that she would feel controlled and it would change who she was. That would change the things she was capable of doing.

With a heavy heart, Serafina said that they had nothing to offer Azuldur and would therefore take no food. He offered to take in refugees, but she was determined to keep her promise that they would not be married off.

The World is a Mess...

After composing herself at the news of the death of her dear friend, Uugdev, Serafina Anduril prepared herself to dine with Azuldur. She and Sani Nodin told stories and met with almost fifty chiefs sword to Azuldur. Their goal was one and the same, to gain a favorable reputation with everyone.

As they were returning to their camp after dinner, Serafina showed Sani the message that Azuldur had given them. It was from Arianna and at first glance made no sense. However, it was a message, “they will kill you before Drey can.” She was warning them against the kings. They decided to keep their guard up and not say anything about the eggs for a while.

The next morning brought with it a blizzard so fierce, no one could travel. Everyone was delayed a day. Serafina and Sani both wrote notes to be delivered home. Braxys had been sent to Voltierra with the army before the blizzard came through, so they sent Rondal and Deltin to catch up and deliver their messages.

When it was clear enough to travel, Avar walked with Serafina, Sani, Belaric, Naiora, and Marine to Calidar. Upon nearing the city, at the base of the mountain, they were attacked by wraiths, buried in an avalanche, and taken prisoner by a Cragga named Boren.

Boren proudly brought the “prisoners” to Givik. Givik was convinced that they were sent by Azuldur and spoke with Serafina and Sani. He claimed that the mountain was his family land and he just wanted his home back. He agreed to grant them safe passage into the city and out again with only their royal party. If Feoral wished to surrender, half would become slaves and the rest could swear to Azuldur or die by the sword.

Avar remained outside the city and wait for them for two days.

The three humans and Marine entered the city of Calidar. It was crowded and people were clearly starving. Several buildings had been destroyed in the initial attack. They were walked to the keep and immediately seen by Aristos. The discussion went well in the beginning. He agreed that the city was not sustainable but not that humans should be out of this conflict. He was not happy to hear that Serafina had sent Braxys and her army home; help was not coming. They argued about alliances and doing what is best for humanity.

Serafina, as usual, lost what little cool she had and threw Arianna’s note at Aristos. She was furious that the kings would betray their own and then demand that humans lay down their lives for Feoral. With that, Sani decided it was time to speak with Calidaran about her idea to get some people safely out of the city.

Sani had Serafina explain her idea of claiming Feoral as a band to Calidaran. Under her protection, they would not have to marry off into other bands. Calidaran did not see why anyone would walk out of the city. They began arguing over fighting or saving lives. Calidaran insulted Serafina and after she left, told Sani that he felt “sorry for her loved ones,” and that she will turn on them.

Serafina spent the evening trying to keep up with Marine and assessed the situation of the city. They spent the night at an inn with Belaric while Sani stayed at the keep.

The Prisoner Serafina

Sani Nodin brought Cadimus to Asala’s home to check on her and the children. Asala thanked him for their help and asked if Serafina was being treated well. Once it seemed she had shaken off the fright of the night, he went to Aluria’s house for the few hours that he could get some sleep.

In her jail cell, Serafina Anduril had a chance to talk to Riestra, who was trying to escape already. Rodren brought them breakfast and questioned them about the prior night’s events. Then, he asked Serafina what happened to Roash. Her refusal to answer that question left him in a worse mood.

Sani checked on Rondal and Julian first thing in the morning before meeting up with Belaric to visit the jail. Everyone had checked on everyone and they were okay, shaken up.

The scene when they arrived at the jail was calm. Serafina had invited Riestra to the wedding. Rodren wanted the names of other people he needed to speak with. He was in a foul mood when the situation became tense. The streets outside were clogged with thousands of armed people. Briar had brought the three thousand Aesterylians to demand Serafina’s release.

Serafina was let out to talk to them. Rodren did not like the idea but she kept her word and Briar and company dispersed.

Sani went to Asala to ask when Aristos Dar’Vol and the royal entourage would be back from Calidar to sort this out. Asala admitted that they were already supposed to be back and something was wrong with the portal. She promised Sani that she would try to convince the council to free Serafina under her protection until the kings returned.

Later that day, Serafina was released and Asala assumed responsibility for her. Asala’s only demand was that Serafina tell her what happened to Roash, to which Serafina agreed, privately. She did not want this information to get out and sully Stangil Drakebane’s name postmortem.

Back at home, Serafina was informed by Sani and Belaric that the kings were missing. Serafina insisted that they needed to go to Calidar and find out what was wrong. Likely, Azuldur was using Laudengaul’s death as an opportunity to attack. Sani convinced her to ask for permission from the council first, reminding her that Asala had stuck her neck out for Serafina. Again, Serafina agreed.

She spent the rest of that evening speaking with Briar, Rondal, and Marine, to make plans. She warned Gauladek to watch out for Sosyth Toth-Iluith if the humans went to war. Meanwhile, Sani spoke with Aluria, Asala, Ithaca, and Seripathia to make plans of his own. He promised Asala that he would stop Serafina if she went against the council’s decision. He made a trade agreement with Seripathia for a piece of her ship.

The morning after Serafina was freed, she went to the council chambers and argued her case to go to Calidar with Sani and the army to make sure the kings were safe. Despite the council members’ feelings toward her, the vote was 5-4 in her favor.

They prepared to leave. Sani showed Serafina the new plank for stronger, fire-resistant bark skin. He visited Milana as part of his deal with Seripathia, who was nonplussed that he would attempt so late in the game to change the arrangement he already made with Braeden Brightburn.

Before lunch they were off. Serafina. Belaric. Sani. Marine. Deltin. Rondal. And 3,000 of their closest, armed friends.

One week later, they approached The Moot. Several people were sick and had the flu, but none had died on the journey. A rider came toward them… on a horse… Serafina’s horse… it was Braxys. She was returning from her meeting with Azuldur. He wished to meet Serafina and Sani. They asked for her take on him and she said he seemed dangerous, straightforward, cunning, and valued respect. “We can work with this,” Serafina decided. Braxys also informed them that Azuldur had joined forces with Givik and were attacking Calidar. They made camp and met him for dinner that night.

Avar met them outside their camp and escorted them to Azuldur’s tent. There was light banter, as if they were all friends, and it put them somewhat at ease. At least until they met Azuldur. He was imposing, strong, and awoken with fire. Over the course of the afternoon they made agreements. He would grant them safe passage to Calidar to extract their royal envoy if they relayed his other negotiations. He would not attack Voltierra and instead be at peace with the humans if:

- Sani ceased all Lluaran food trade with Atterick and his Cragga.
- Serafina kept the human army out of the current Feoral conflict led by Azuldur and Givik.
- The humans of Voltierra changed their leadership.
- Azuldur was granted a seat at the Summit.

Sani and Serafina agreed to their parts and to relay the final two demands to Aristos and Krolovik. They made a blood pact. Azuldur then gave them two gifts. First, four humans that had been captured at Eldeth’s Farm, and a message that had been intercepted.

Serafina and Sani checked on the humans. They had learned that during the attack, Uugdev lost himself and refused to be taken prisoner. He was killed. Sani walked with Serafina for a while and she told him how important Uugdev had been to her. This news was devastating.

Loose Ends

Aluria had invited Sani Nodin, Serafina Anduril, and Belaric over for lunch to thank Sani and Serafina for saving the Lluaran. She began to update them on council affairs but only got as far as the news that High Lord Diedik was not to have a seat at the summit because they feared it would upset Atterick. Serafina was outraged. Aluria tried to explain and Sani attempted to stick up for the council but Serafina and Belaric left before lunch was over.

The council is outdated and is more concerned with holding on to stale alliances than it is with looking toward the future, she thought. Needing to let off steam, so to speak, Serafina spent the rest of the day creating a large swath of ice behind the house for the girls to play on (and the first ice skating rink was invented).

Sani paid a visit to Emmit. As he approached two of the children, Cyth and Demarah, were playing in the snow. Mia, the youngest, was hiding. Henrietta showed him to a bedridden Emmit. Sani offered him an opportunity to start anew in the Lluaran forest. Emmit thanked him and said that he would consider it.

He returned to his home to find Deltin had cooked dinner. Deltin had spent all of the money Sani gave him and returned. He thought they were friends and that he could stay with Sani until he had things figured out. Sani let him stay the night but changed the locks the next day when he left to spend a few days in the forest with Teth Tolluith, trying to commune with the Heart Trees.

In the few days that Sani was gone Serafina visited Rondal and Aleetha to see how they were managing baby Stangil. She offered to babysit and they asked her to be Stangil’s godmother. She also visited Julian at his shop and ordered tables and chairs for her new restaurant. After which she told him that she and Belaric were getting married and hoped to have the wedding in the summer.

While catching up with Marine (who had somehow managed to arm herself again with several blades), Serafina came upon a sad and cold Deltin holding a bunch of vegetables. It turned out he was unaware of Sani’s trip outside the city and could not get back into the house. Serafina offered to let him stay at her house and made him cook dinner to interview for a job as chef. He asked if he could stab people who did not like his food, she replied with a “maybe,” that they would negotiate on a case by case basis.

Serafina also visited Derreck and Mila to talk about the council’s decision not to allow Diedik in the summit. It went much more smoothly than the conversation with Aluria.

Sani returned to a cold, locked, empty house. He slept soundly for a moment until he was aroused by the alarm of bells. Fire!

Serafina and Belaric also heard the alarms and rushed to the fire. Serafina ran into the house to find people. Sani and Belaric remained outside with others, ready to act. Sani noticed someone on the third floor was trying to open the shutters, which had been locked from the outside. He also saw a figure on the roof across the street and readied some vines, quietly, while all attention was on the fire. He, as well as everyone except Serafina, knew that this was Emmit’s house.

Serafina found no one on the first or second floors. She rushed into the third floor bedroom and saw Emmit, his throat slit, his wife unconscious on the floor, and two children trying to open the shutters. She asked if anyone else was in the house and the children told her their sister was probably hiding under the bed. After finding the youngest, she helped break the shutters open. The house was crumbling under them.

The five year old was tossed out first and safely caught below. The other girl was told to jump next. When she hesitated, Serafina pushed her out the window. The boy jumped.
An arrow narrowly missed Serafina. Sani sent his vines and entangled the shadowy figure on the roof across the street. Serafina noticed the assassin and combusted her until the screams stopped. Then, she tossed the mother out. The family was safe. The stairs had disappeared by this time so Serafina leaped out the window and Belaric caught her. Always the romantic.

Sani uncovered the would-be assassin. Feoral? The three took the body of the assassin to Asala’s house. Asala seemed to care very little for these middle of the night visits with bodies. While she agreed that this looked like Noella’s doing, there was no evidence and Noella was on house arrest. She could do nothing at this time but would investigate in the morning and send the Dark Dolgari to Belaric’s house.

Dissatisfied, Sani went to Harin to see if he could drum up some unscrupulous information. Belaric went home to keep the girls safe. Serafina went to find Marine. Sani learned that a group of assassins called The Flame Maidens led by Riestra had been hired. Serafina and Marine returned to the house where the Dark Dolgari were standing watch with Dougans. The family seemed safe. Sani returned with his news and they set off with Belaric, Deltin, and Naiora.

First, they asked ten of Braxys’s people to watch over Julian’s house and another ten to watch Rondal’s house. They then set off to the inn where they could find the Flame Maidens. Using Marine as a scout, Belaric took out the lookout and they trapped two of the Maidens inside.

“First one to give me useful information lives,” Serafina told them in Feoral. When one would not cooperate, Deltin stepped in. Fortunately, one of them valued her life and gave up information. Two groups left. One went to Rondal’s house and another group went to Asala’s.

When they arrived at Rondal’s house it became clear that this was an unnecessary stop. Pools and splatters of blood were all around the home and Rondal didn’t even have his axe. As soon as they had entered, he protected baby Stangil and Aleetha with his bare hands.

Asala’s house was a different story. They found Asala and her two children cornered by half a dozen of the Maidens. All but one were disposed of and Riestra jumped out a window and ran off. Sani chased her down into an alley and captured her.

Asala had been badly wounded, they treated her and told her kids to wait with her until more help came. Everyone knew at this point that Serafina was not going to stop until Noella was dead.

They searched Noella’s house and tracked her through a secret passage that led outside. The trail led all the way to Luke’s house. She had been ahead of them for hours. By the time they arrived at his house, he would not let them in. Sani left to get Rodren.

In a wholly unforeseen act, Seripathia convinced Luke to let Serafina and the others inside where they did find Noella. Everyone stood aside, waiting for Sani and Rodren, while Serafina spoke with Noella. Ever the agitator, Serafina goaded and waited until Noella was angry enough to attack. Sani and Rodren arrived just as Noella, feebly, but with all her strength, revealed a dagger and lunged at Serafina. Unsurprisingly, Serafina caught her hand. To everyone’s horror, Serafina burned her to death.

Luke stood in the way as she turned to leave. “My son would be about two years older than you if he were still alive. His name was Bael,” Serafina told him, emotionless. Luke broke down into tears and Serafina was arrested.

Sani and the Dy’Voth left to bring Cadimus to Asala. Belaric walked with Serafina, Rodren and Riestra to the cells. Belaric and Serafina said goodnight.

Unfinished Business

The party that Belaric threw had well over two hundred guests. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves; Serafina Anduril, Sani Nodin, and Rondal had an opportunity to see friends and catch up. Sani used the opportunity to talk trade with his new inroads and Serafina met Luke Cythson to size him up and see what he was worth. It did not impress that his new girlfriend was Seripathia.

The next morning Sani awoke to discover a surprise. Deltin could cook!

After breakfast Serafina and Belaric went to speak with Asala. Serafina was trying to determine if she had any involvement in the murder of her family. The encounter went about as expected with Serafina involved. Belaric calmed her down after and she agreed to put the whole thing to bed. She was going to move past it. Luke seemed like a pretty good guy and none of this had anything to do with him, really.

The day transpired as the previous, with Sani running around town, taking care of business and checking in with contacts. He was trying to stir up incentive for humans to volunteer to go to the forest and live with the Lluaran.

That night was the full moon. The kings and a small envoy teleported to Calidar to attend the ceremony for Laudengaul, who passed away days before Krolovik returned.

Belaric treated Serafina to dinner in a deserted building that he said was hers to open a restaurant. Then he asked her to be his wife. She agreed. They spent some time in that building before going home to sleep.

Serafina woke in the middle of the night to see a figure standing above her with a dagger. As the intruder thrust toward her, she grabbed him and tackled him on the floor. He attempted to escape but was too badly injured. Belaric and Serafina tied him up. It was Emmit, a local wagon maker and long-time friend of Noella. He admitted that she had sent him only after Serafina threatened his family as he had hers. She treated his burns but his right arm had to be removed.

Then, in the middle of the night, they paid another visit to Asala. Enraged that she put this issue to rest earlier that day, Serafina demanded justice. Noella had endangered her family. Asala assured her that she would take care of it.

As the sun rose, Serafina knew she would not be able to go back to sleep so she wandered over to Sani’s house to catch up and see if he was having an easier time adjusting to city life.

Coming Home to Piles of Dirty Laundry

Over the next month and a half, life aboard The Serafina became routine. Each morning at the crack of dawn began with sparring. Next, breakfast followed by lessons in the human language and culture in Voltierra. Then, if anyone wished, lessons in Lluaran, Feoral, and Dy’Voth.

Serafina Anduril found a private moment to talk to Krolovik the Bound about the death of their mutual friend, Stangil Drakebane. Krolovik also met with Sani Nodin to talk about the past.

Before reaching home, the ship made a stop at a dark tree inhabited by Idara. Krolovik had fulfilled his promise to her and returned the soul of her firstborn son, Risis, much to his brother, Xerus’s, dismay and warnings. Krolovik spoke with Idara about the eggs and they agreed that they should not be given to the Dy’Voth. Risis’s soul was returned to his body.

Upriver, Voltierra came into view, and below that, Lake Sayasteya. Arianna, Aluria, Zerston Dar’Vol, Aristos Dar’Vol, Belaric, Aleetha (holding a baby), Bruinen, Julian, and Autry were at the dock waiting for their return.

That evening, the Dy’Voth (and Cadimus) were given lodging and the humans returned to their homes with their families.

That evening Serafina and Belaric visited Julian to comfort him. Aleetha introduced Rondal to his son, Stangil. And Belaric showed Serafina her brand new room at their house and gave her a spice box hand carved by Julian and stocked with spices from Drekar.

The next day Krolovik, Aristos, Serafina, and Sani debriefed and discussed actions moving forward related to the eggs, asking humans to work in a cultural exchange with the Lluaran to build relations, trying to mend Cadimus’s soul to his body, and the offer of seats to Milana and High Lord Diedik on the Summit Council.

Sani spent the rest of his day catching up with his mother, Autry, and Aluria.

Serafina went on an errand spree. She bought a pig for Cadimus and learned that Peepo is his word for pig. She introduced Marine and Braxys and got caught up on events from her friend the councilwoman. Serafina also introduced Marine to Sosyth Toth-Iluith, whom she discovered was pregnant. Serafina then visited Odoth Illuith to suggest he spend more time at home with his pregnant wife before bumping into Seripathia who was not too thrilled with the news about Somnambuliss. She then visited Noella, who admitted to having her family murdered twenty years ago. The final stop was a chat with Kilian Tull and Gauladek to make sure they were settling in to Voltierra and being treated well.

At sunset, everyone who was anyone was at the party at Belaric’s house welcoming their own back and paying their respects to Stangil.

Stangil's Letter to Julian


My love, I’m writing to you at what seems to be the end of my time. I wish it was next to you in the dawn of our lives, but it seems as though it was not to be.

To have you being one of the last thoughts that I will have is a great gift and a comfort that I am honored to have. Being able to return our son to you is my honor and my duty as a father and husband to do. I know that he will continue to bring honor to our house; besides, he has a family to raise.

From the first moment that you came into my life I have learned what it is to truly live, love, and BE loved. You have been by my side and in my heart even when you were not physically there. I have done what I could to keep my family safe from harm. I wish I could say that I have always been successful but my love for you has always been something I could rely on and knew awaited me when I got home and will be the thing that I hold onto until I take my last breath.

I LOVE YOU JULIAN!! Please know that what I do is out of love for my family.

Eternally Yours,


The Detour
We Will Never Speak of Again

Serafina Anduril, Sani Nodin, Rondal, Milana, Marine, Cadimus, Deltin, and Reckard were welcomed onto Braeden Brightburn’s ship, The Serafina.

Near the captain’s quarters were three rooms with plaques on the doors for special guests. The plaques were adorned with the sigils of Serafina, Stangil Drakebane, and Arianna to honor their last voyage with Braeden and the battle that allowed them to capture this ship.

Serafina’s room had a place for Naiora to sleep. Rondal was given Stangil’s room. On the bed was a note from Julian. Rondal chose to sleep in another room.

They set sail for Voltierra.

A few days into the voyage they spotted a fire off the coast. The ship dropped anchor and Serafina, Sani, Rondal and Milana boarded a dingy to land. When they arrived eight Dy’Voth were running away from the fire. Serafina began to douse the fires while Sani spoke with the Lluaran who looked like they had been fighting until another figure stopped them. Enter: Krolovik.

The Dy’Voth this far out had not yet received word that the war was over. Neither had the Lluaran. After some convincing on Milana and Sani’s parts, both sides agreed to return home.

The rest boarded the ship now joined by Krolovik. Once on board they caught Krolovik up on the events of the past two years. He told them that he had been on a mission and they offered to help before returning home. (He is the king, after all.) Krolovik had been asked by Idara to find and retrieve the soul of her firstborn, Risis.

That night some retired early to rest. Others drank and retired to let off steam.

A couple of nights later the ship collided with something. The heroes rushed to see what they had hit. Another ship was attacking them. Serafina could have sworn she saw Eisseth on the Dreadnaught… but that was impossible. This ship was that ship and Eisseth was dead. Serafina lobbed a fireball at the ship and it dissipated. They had hit a reef. They dropped anchor and Serafina, Naiora, Marine, Krolovik, Sani, and Rondal boarded a dingy to check out the island before them.

On this island they met face to face with everyone any of them had ever killed. Krolovik spoke with Vishnu and Enterim. Sani and Serafina met Dugabahalla in Lluaran form. Serafina faced Roash. Each spirit told them to go back, to give up, to leave the island. They persisted. Serafina had to push Sani forward because he wanted to leave. They pushed forward.

They entered a great ballroom filled with a feast and people from many races. Finally, they saw who was controlling it all, Melkor the Mad. Wraiths stormed the room. A fiery battle ensued until at last, Krolovik wielded his sword, Solace, and took Melkor’s soul. During the fight he also happened upon Risis’s soul encased in a rock.

Before they left the island Sani had the opportunity to speak with Enterim and saw what happened with the Great Heart Tree, Krolovik, and Trelias ages ago. He was so disturbed by this vision that he did not return to the ship until the next day. When he did, he ordered Deltin to shit in Krolovik’s pillow. Then, he slept heavily for eighteen hours.


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