On the Road

As the party were passing hardby the highlands and woods where the hags were battled, Renée road up to the Baron, bowing slightly and discussed some thing Emmeline not Elemix could hear. Elemix could make out the words ‘danger’, and ‘possible’.

Once she was done, Renée backed her horse off to ride behind Emmeline and Elemix, and beside Typhon, saying, “I can’t really explain it, but something is not right. The more I practice the techniques my mother taught me, the more I sense odd things. I’m still learning, but remember when I felt that undead presence? I’m feeling something similar, like being near the Vale. Kalista is part of it, so I think it is fey, but something else is out there and within a mile of us that is fey.”

“You think it might be dangerous?” Em asked.

Renée replied, “I don’t know. I can discern Kali and Sevé easily enough to know it is not them. I asked the Baron if I should ride out on the vanguard to check and keep an eye out. He said yes, but asked me to check with you all.”

“I think it is probably worth checking out. Better to be too cautious then not enough,” said Elemix.

“Be very careful. Identify but don’t engage, okay?”

Renée nodded, “Yes ma’am.” She then spurred her horse to gallop and road off.

The party could hear (or read lips in the case of Elemix) some of the Baron’s conversation with Lord Arles about Renée as she road off.

Arles: “Who is that child?”
Roland: “She is the daughter of Captain Renard, Renée. You met her several years ago when the Captain assumed control of Sir Decard’s lands and added them to his own. Before his adventure in Caradoc.”
Arles: “That was nasty business.”
Roland: “Caradoc or Decard?”
Arles: “The latter. How that all went down. None of that was wished by anyone. Especially what happened to Skal.”
Roland: “No one knew. I recently found Skal’s retainer – the honest one – a new position.”
Arles: “Well, he did right by father. The rest is sad…”

Elemix wasn’t sure he liked what the two were saying. He would have to ask what happened to Magus Skal. Then again, maybe he didn’t want to know the answer.

Emmeline leaned toward Amelie and whispered, “Who are they talking about?”

“Part of the Lord Hugo scandal of several years back. I don’t know if I can speak openly. They,” nodding toward the Baron ahead, “may hear.”

Emmeline nodded and let the matter drop. Now she was fretting over Renee. “I should have gone with her. I understand the fey a little better.”

As the day went on, members of the party thought they saw Renée in the distance at many points of the compass. Eventually she returned as the party stopped at the home of a local knight for the evening. Rénee bowed to the Baron and made a report. He nodded and pointed at Emmeline. Renée bowed again and rode up to Emmeline, nodding formally at Elemix, “Magus,” then Typhon, “Sister, ” and finally Emmeline herself, “My lady, I have reported to the Baron that there is no sign of a pursuing fey, witch, bogart, goblin, hag, or the like.”

Emmeline could see through her eyes there was something else. Elemix also could tell her inflection was odd, as if she was wanting to say more but could not.

“What else, Renee?” Emmeline smiled and raised an eyebrow. “Or shall I go take a look myself?”

She looked at Elemix and Typhon and said, “if you excuse us, I must speak with Lady Emmeline in private.”

The two of them fell back from the rest where they could talk more freely. “Ms. Em, I could see no sign of any fey following us, but as I returned, I could sense you. Easily.”

“Oh. Yes, of course,” Emmeline said with a nod. “That makes sense. We should be safe then.”

Renée remained concerned, “ma’am, I don’t think I’m making myself clear. My mother taught me skills that Ms Giselle and Sister Typhon also added to and helped refine. Zoe helped me awaken them as well. I’m really starting to get an understanding of the land everything nearby. I see the signs, how animals and plants react, and more. What I’m saying is that you seem very fey-like and easily trackable by anyone with a similar skills to my own. Something has changed ma’am.”

Emmeline nodded again. “Mm hm. I know.” She again didn’t explain but just watched Renee steadily. “We are also surrounded by strong warriors and mages. We’ll be fine.”

She looked suspicious.

“Good ma’am. I’ll keep an eye out.” she replied.

Emmeline smiled and gave the girl a quick hug. “I know you will. And I appreciate it.”

She hugged back, but Emmeline could tell she was confused by her senses.

“How common is that,” Emmeline asked after a moment. “To be able to sense the fey?”

Renee relied, “I don’t know, but I’d guess it is rare. I’ve only began to grasp it myself. It isn’t really directional, just a feeling of something different. I mean, I really couldn’t sense details even riding beside you or even Kalista. My mother has these feelings as well and Sister Typhon seems to be able to ask Aarith to reveal such. For myself, I have to concentrate and it takes a lot out of me. I have so far felt dragons, fey, and undead so far. Think of it being one with the land. If I hadn’t triangulated and didn’t know how to track, I wouldn’t have guessed it was you.”

“Rare is good,” Em said. She seemed satisfied with that. “This is going to be a very interesting trip. I wouldn’t want it to be annoying as well. So long as the fey-ishness is limited to Kalista and me, we should be good.”

Renee added, “it is hard to tell, but that seems right. But you are not fey? I mean a little, like Zoe is. Is it a side effect of you growing in using Mara’s magic and glamour?”

“Truth be told, while I ‘think’ you may be it, it could easily be someone else in the party or a nearby farmhouse.” She said with a shrug.

“It’s okay, Renee,” Emmeline said. “I really appreciate your vigilance. But I’m okay, Kalista is okay, too. You don’t have to worry about us.” She felt bad keeping the girl in the dark, but this was something that she’d be better off not knowing.

She nodded as they rode on.

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