The Boy Who Carried Too Much On His Shoulders
Tam Linn sifts through the wreckage of the cabin where Helena Gravsten dreamt and planned her revenge. Fool he thinks to himself. Her shoddy, half-raised creatures might have sufficed for normals, but against ancient and old supernaturals, like the teachers of Ochre?
Although, he’ll grant her this; temporarily taking over the barrowman’s body was a clever idea.
Yowl rolls around in the dust and ash, taking on a distinctly grey hue. “Oh, just do that”, Linn mutters.”I’ll dump you in hot water”, he threathens in retaliation. Yowl flicks her tail in disdain of his words and rolls under a charred log.
He shrugs and continues to check through the cabin. Before long Yowl cries out. He frowns and peers through the wood and sees her standing on a square object. He gets up and clears the debris in a circle around the smudged cat.”What have you found, little one?”
Yowl raises a paw, revealing a book. Its bindings and cover is as dark as night and it repulses him. He flicks one page open and reads. His lips curl. Necromancy and directions in how to apply that particular art. It seems this little trek of his wasn’t entirely in vain.
In another part of the nameless forest that surrounds Fallowfell, in a great thicket of Power, Nidar Greyscale leans back against an old oak, wondering how the hell he is supposed to get out the mess he created for himself.
Growing a World-Tree is a crime on the same magnitude as revealing the secrets of supernaturals, if not perhaps worse, depending on who you ask. And he would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for that adolescent necromancer who had to cause a ruckus and a drag one of the Seven here.
Geez, their cover-up of the Bonfire Ball, him taking the Great-Form or Rune’s lack of control, all of those things pale in comparison to what he has done. His eyes take in the object that might spell his doom, its dark bark, its sinouous twisting shape that gives the impression of rising towards the sky, grasping for clouds.
He could destroy it. Claw or fire. Magic or not, it wouldn’t take long. But this tree has fed on the ashes of his dead brother. Its purpose was one that Fafnir wished for, before Sigfried slew him and bathed in his blood, thus attaining some of his powers. He cracks his knuckles. Sigfried and St George, men who Greyscale would like to talk to one day.
He glances up at the tree. No, he doesn’t have it in him to destroy Fafnir’s namesake. But… the thought of telling someone about its existence worms its way through his head. Then who?
Hermann? No, the man is under too much pressure right now. Besides he possesses the shards of Zulfiqar and might just be tempted to cut the tree up.
Corazon? Greyscale shakes his head. He doesn’t know the man well enough to judge his reaction. Besides, Corazon has ever been a knight, and Greyscale could never trust one of those.
Perenelle might understand. She might also burn the tree down out of fear of what the Council would do to her– the trauma of her incarceration after having released the Black Death is one that she has never quite gotten over.
With Merith as an unknown, that leaves Gomagog. Greyscale smiles, a smile of sharp teeth. Gomagog will do.
The door to Perenelle Flamel’s office opens with great force. Startled, she jumps in her chair. “Hey Rune”, she says after a moment, having collected herself. She frowns. “What is wrong?” A thin layer of sweat covers his face, a face that is scrunched up in inner conflict. And that he is here, in person, is telling because he has never hidden his opinion of her. Or his dislike.
“It’s Sara…”, he begins, and tell her a story about an magical experiment that went wrong,”… and she showed up.” He pauses. “Is there something you can do?” She shakes her head.”I won’t commit to say anything; I can’t tell you that before I have seen her myself.”
“Well come on then!” he shouts. She follows him through Ochre and into the health-bay, wondering if she was as dramatic in her youth. Ha, her mother would have beaten that behaviour out of her.
Merith crouches over Sara Eksjö. On Perenelle’s entry, she glares at Rune. “You told her”, she decides. “He told me”, Perenelle interferes,” but let’s not fight about that, not now. There are more important issues to discuss”, she says, motioning for Sara’s unconscious form.
Merith nods. “She’s in a coma and nothing I do seems to have an effect.I.. I worry that the combination of Erim’s magic and the drugs have had additive effect.” Perenelle taps Sara’s knee and borrow a penlight which she shines into one of Sara’s eyes.
Merith recounts the drugs she used. Perenelle winces; one should never mix magic and drugs. Choose one would have been her advice. She sits down on a nearby sick-bed and closes her eyes. Basilisk venom? No, takes too long to dilute. Too bad she used up the last of her vampire-blood for her make-up, that might have worked, and there are no vampires in Fallowfell, and importing it would take too long.
She needs an all-cure, the convenient medicine that will fix anything and everything. But a Philosopher’s Stone takes a long time to be prepared, and have to be keyed to the person’s inner snake, what in modern days is known as dna. Amanda Skog could change her into an werewolf, although that would have to be a last resort, for while it might heal Sara, it would be permanent. If only Rune- she pauses. And reconsiders the matter and the resources available. Rune, who is a member of the Flight. Dragonblood…..
She opens her eyes and turns to him. “What would you do to save Sara Eksjö? Don’t just sprout an answer. Think about this. Carefully.”
Rune’s right eye meet hers, filled with determination. “I am one of the people to blame for this. I will shoulder my responsibility.”
Perenelle inclines her heads. “What we’re about to do will perhaps not work, but if it does, then Greyscale will be furious with you, and Hermann might not too happy about it”, she cautions him.
“They can be angry at me AFTER we have saved Sara”, Rune temporizes.