The Grand Sage smiled sadly at Callysta. He stood and walked over to them, laying a gently, reassuring hand on both hers and Reveka's shoulders. "Everything will be well," he told them. "We'll find them."
Reveka jumped when she heard a gentle cooing at the window. The Grand Sage turned, and they all saw a pigeon on the window. There was an odd tube tied to its leg, with an odd symbol on it. The Grand Sage inhaled sharply.
"Nigal?" he said incredulously. "After all these years..." He turned back to the girls. "I'm sure you're tired. Head to your rooms, girls, and sleep awhile. I'll tell you what we'll do in the morning."
Reveka knew better than to argue, even if she could. Nodding at Callysta, she turned and left. She ran to her room, closed the door, then felt the weight of not having Arren there with her come crashing down on her. She collapsed on the bed, crying, mentally screaming, "Arren! ARREN!!!"
"So how are the others?"
"Well...everyone was okay, last I looked," Ethinine said. "Of the twins, Arren's...what I guess you'd call the dominant leader. Reveka clings to Arren like a timid rabbit, and won't do a thing without him." He paused a moment, then asked, "Was Reveka always mute, Priestess?"
Emagene looked a little confused. "No...she had quite a healthy pair of lungs on her. She was louder than Arren," she added with a smile.
Etho nodded slowly. "She was mute when I first met her. She j ust stared about with wide eyes and clung to Arren. It took forever for her to feel at ease around us."
"What about Callysta?" Demetrius, seated on some boxes nearby, asked. He and Erasmus seemed to be playing some sort of handgame, and were watching each other carefully.
"She's quite well," Ethinine answered wistfully. "She's gentle and supportive, just don't make her mad. She gets really scary then." He paused, then added, "She can also weild shadows, sir. She had an unncanny knack for them."
Demetrius was obviously surprised, as his head snapped toward Ethinine with such a piercing gaze that Etho took several steps back. Erasmus, seizing his chance, lightly slapped Demetrius' hand. "Point," he announced with a triumphant smile. Demetrius, sufficicently recovered, turned and glared at him, which Erasmus cheerfully ignored. "And what about you, Ethinine? How have you been doing?"
"I've been well, F-Father," he answered, a little of his stammer creeping back in. "I kept up in my studies, and the Grand Sage says my knowledge of history and magic is astounding."
"Its been twelve years," Demetrius said suddenly. He raised his eyes to meet those of the Mage and Priestess. "Twelve years we've sat here. dreaming of home, of loved ones and children left behind, struggling constantly in the midst of Darkness and evil. Twelve years since we've laid eyes on our own children. Why did we let it go this long?"
"Because we can't get out, simple as that," Erasmus responded. "We're surrounded on all sides by creatures eager to kill us, held back only by the Dark's Hand. Your sword is lost, and Emagene's and my powers have been suspended. What can we do?"
Demetrius suddenly stepped forward so that he was directly in Erasmus' face. "We fight," he replied. "We don't give up!"
"What do you say we do?" Emagene asked softly. "We've tried before. What do you intend to change?"
"To not dive in unarmored. DId it ever occur to you we could make our own weapons?" Demetrius vanished into the shadows of the back. Emagene raised an eyebrow, but he kept talking. "I found materials I could work with." Demetrius appeared again, holding somethings. "They're merely stone, but its better than nothing." To Emagene and Erasmus, he handed out two small stone knives. Their edges were jagged, but that would perhaps be better. In Demetrius' hand was a stone sword. He turned to Etho, but the man shook his head.
"Don't worry." He held out his hands, and a small breath of wind traveled through his fingers. "I'm still capable. Guess ol' Azarael forgot."
Emagene smiled softly. "He probably doesn't believe you're something to worry about. Let me bless these new weapons, and then we'll try."
Nigal thought a moment, then shrugged. "Continue as we always have. It would just be really nice to have their joined aid. We were more than holding our ground when their parents were with us. Now we're barely holding on." He shrugged again. "But that doesn't matter. We will stnad firm, whatever comes, whoever helps us. I wish that idiot Jadis was here, but I guess I'll have to do without him. At least you came back, I appreciate that. I'm more than certain I'll need your help before all's said and done. Which reminds me, I wanted to ask you..." he fixed a firm eye on Shaddoc. "Who were those people with you, back when Jadis was trying to help me stand? Did they have anything to do with his decision?"
Jadis raised an eyebrow, but Talos' question made him hold his toungue. He gave Arren a grim look, clearly telling him they would continue this discussion later, and he turned to Talos. "I think, if we're cautious, we stand a 14% chance," he said with a straight face, then relented at the man's striken look. "I'm kidding, though not by much. The odds were close to the same when I regained Fort Neram for the Light, and I've got two other guys with me, so I think it raises the odds a little. Wishful thinking...Its probably worse... I think you'll be fine. But if it bothers you, stay close to us. Now lets get moving." and he started walking, glancing around cautiously.