Time had been lost and with it opportunity. The hollowed room inside the great oak stood empty of motion. Shards of moon light split the darkness as dusty milky waves bent towards the light source, small crevices in-between the branching veins of the mighty oak. The shafts reflected upon the silver dais made for meditation. They bounced against an immaculate desk holding strange scripts in dead tongues. Resting in the corner, a large beast laid, its heartbeat filling the chamber with a steady dull thump. The oak room seemed a calm from the secret combinations outside, save the slender shape beginning to take effect on an inside wall. Split between hiss and crackle of wood breaking through stone, the shape slowly manifested. First a leg then arms outstretched swimming through the air. The wooden being became flesh and gasped into life once more. The large feline awoke to the sound and loyally arose to greet the woman. She acknowledges the furry creature with a soft rub underneath the chin and hug. It was good to be home. But she was too preoccupied with events at hand.
She felt lost and defeated in her attempt for revenge. Her time spent in the forest proved fruitless. It is as if she had disappeared from existence. But as she searched she found only more secrets. She heard the stories. The object of her revenge only became crueler after time, after her fleeing. What can only be said as some magic taking hold to her, some insidious deterioration of the soul from the inside? Now fey beasts and strangers began feeding from the depths of the Narlmarches. What sort of machination was set in motion here. The Norn, protector of all that was once good, that had once banished her, tried to kill her, was no more than a shadow to time. And in her place, vengeance that will never be quelled and a hole in the world where there should not be one.
Still rubbing the felines belly she became aware of her meditations and awoke. Taking quick survey of the room, she instantly spotted the letter from the Mistborn rangers. Typical was their correspondence spent this way, transporting in through the bare patch of earth that was available to leave messages on whereabouts and the sort. It was peculiar today. It was written in druidic. She quietly open the note. An unexpected gasp, regret, and fear filled her with its words. These were the mechanizations coming too close to home. She knew who she had to see. The note dropped from her hand and quickly grabbed her companion as they vanished into oaken wall through a splash of magic and bending wood.
Standing at a distance, he could see the festering wounds Misthaven beginning to take shape. Two shadows, too afraid of the light, silently locked up the warehouse door and took flight into the shrouded fog banks of the ports. He waited sometime after they had left. Deftly he moved across the street and through the broken window into the warehouse. Damp and dark, he could see the mold as much as smell it across the wooden trusses. Dropping down to the floor, he strode quietly across the large room to the staircase down. Below and between the creak of the steps he could hear the sniffling of some poor creature through a door. Knowing who it was, he held no compassion as he advanced in blurred speed, hushing the only light in the room, to strike the young man.
A loud and broken cry ensued as the young man was snapped back into his nightmare. “Trust is a fragile thing, once broken you are never the same. I am never the same!” exclaimed the Caretaker at the restrained Saul of Mistmarch. A wet sniffle, a silent plea escaped the beaten man. “We are all weak Saul but we do not give in to that weakness with the empty promises of those who would destroy us,” his large paws upon the captive’s chest, pressing down with immense pressure. Saul could not breath, his lungs burned under the pressure for air, if he could just speak. “I know you understand what has happened. I know you will know one day what risk you have placed upon those you once claimed to love. I know you think you can escape this but the secrets are already breaking. They will know you were the source. I have made plans already and there will be a new master.” Releasing the pressure, the Caretaker turned to go. Struggling for words, “Wait… no… do not leave… me!” Saul laid his last desperate cry for forgiveness. Half turning the Caretaker simply said, “We shall kill no one.” And as fast as he was at Saul’s throat, the large creature was gone leaving the human to his thoughts of pain, shame, and hopelessness.
As he was held in straps, too weak to escape or pick at the locks, Saul felt the dreams he had at ambition slip into the shards of tears upon his wounds. There truly was no one to help as his withdrawal took him deeper into delirium. He could feel the soft touch of a dog, once like when he was young, approach his hand and face to comfort and lick the dried blood away. The last smile of youth flashed across his face before the darkness in his soul. Suddenly the dog was startled and fled. Or so he thought, as a large tiger, snarling approached him in the bleakness of the warehouse. “The nightmare had come to stay,” he thought to himself. As his mouth stood agape is silent scream and his body twisted. His last thoughts coursing through his body, the vision of a woman came to stand before him and hold him. Once like his mother did before she died. Once like an angel spirit had watched over him all this time.
Entering into the great hall with the half dead Saul upon Lupo’s back, Tessara stepped forward to the Kings with a newfound purpose to bring things out of the dark and into the light.
“I know how they found Pik. I led them there. I told the Caretaker to keep him safe and we both failed in trusting this urchin of a master thief.” Tessara pointed to the limp body upon the tiger’s back. “We should forgive him for being weak to his addictions.” “I believed we could keep the city safe from these things but no.”
Striking her staff on the hard stone floor, commanding the attention of the kings, “I know we have been reactive to these threats every time. We have been dancing with kingdom trivialities too long. Now we are told to attack each other with no thought to truly why. It is not Pitax but we are dancing again to someone else’s game. Dancing to who’s music? We are being played for fools!”_