Rivanon, erstwhile known as River sat down next to Elemix before the old farmer’s fire. Wrapping a fur around her she said, ‘why so glum my friend?”
Elemix looked at her and smiled as she sat down. “I am glad to hear you refer to me as such,” he replied. “I hope over these past many months you have come to know me. And to say that I am very happy no harm has come to you is some what of an understatement.”
Elemix looked into the fire then. “If I seem glum I do not mean it. We have achieved what many in my circle claimed was not possible for us to achieve, and I am grateful to all of you for making it possible. Seeking knowledge, and helping to apply it to practical purpose is what drives me, and to that end I am really very happy. We have added to the collective wisdom of Thalassa in this venture, and we all made it there and back in one piece to boot.
To be honest, I think I am a little worse for ware. I took quite a beating these past couple of days. More so than usual,” he quipped. He knew his constitution was a bit of a joke among his friends, but also that it was all in good fun.
He was also a bit preoccupied with how the wizards guild would respond to his essentially letting a powerful arch-sorcerer walk away. Though he knew it was a risk, he did not get any sense of evil intent or ill will from John – even though he had been somewhat hard with the man. In the end, Elemix had to follow his gut and he knew he had not broken any rule or oath in allowing John to walk. Regardless though, he didn’t want to burden Rivanon with any of those thoughts.
“A little rest and I shall be back to my old self I assure you. I don’t know how I knew it, but I felt deep down that we would succeed. We even acquired an incredible amount of coin. I had hoped it would have been more so that I could afford to pay you back fully, but please rest assured I will pay you back as promised. I should hate to ever see a thing such as money come between us.”
Elemix did have feelings for Rivanon, but he really didn’t know how she felt. So again he thought it best to leave the door open between them. He hadn’t pushed anything during their travels because that was not the time or place for such things.
“I have to say that I have a great respect for your tenacity and spirit. Having you with us brightened my spirit immensely on many occasions. I know that you are a trained bard, but to me at least, it was – is more than that.”
Rivanon listened intently. When Elemix was done, she replied, “thank you, but that was my father talking, and my mother. I aspire to be like them and do my duty for Uzec, Derrien, and by extension the League. This last six months has been a great teacher. Some close calls for sure, but it has helped me see the world with wider, more empathetic eyes.” She added, “I sense you are holding back a bit. The whole thing at the end. You know you may still be right. Jon could be playing us as much as Ricimer.”
Elemix nodded. “Indeed he could. I never said I trusted him, but he at least seemed to prove himself to be honorable. I’ll have to speak to the Wizards guild and I doubt they will be happy about the situation.”
“You know the Guild better than I. One thing though, he was charming. And I played along, trying to learn if he was deceitful.” she replied. “I sensed he was guarded, confident, but uncertain. It was as if he was thrust into a new world – which he was. I doubt he would be on anything but his best behavior, regardless of any long-term intensions.”
“Thank you for that insight. It makes a lot of sense.
You are nearly home now. What will you do?”
She answered, “if time permits I plan to continuing my studies with Emmeline, but in all honesty if I am here than my place is at my father’s side doing whatever he needs of me. If the groundwork I did for father has born fruit, then he should be in an ideal position to be named a March Lord, a title granted not since the days before Haalkhan’s invasion. I must put my inspiration skills to good use as my father’s herald until that time. Father will have need of you as well.” she added with pure certainty and confidence. Rivanon was always confident, but the air of superiority was tempered and the seeming arrogant tone of the past – absent.
Elemix was excited. “That is outstanding news. I am very happy for your father and you as well.
“I will of course serve to the best of my ability.
“You have changed my lady. In a subtle but important way. I think you shall do exceedingly well in your future endeavors leading your people.
She said, “thank you…” And then as Elemix was used us, like a cat Rivanon heard something, “Several horsemen and a carriage are coming up the path.”
Elemix rushed to the door to sneak a view of those approaching. Though he suspected he knew. His first thoughts were of Rivanon and ensuring her safety.