Tyrael raced through the forest but slowed to a stop as a tingling sensation on the back of his neck alerted him. He stopped and raised a hand to his visored helm. He continued to feel it, and knew someone was watching him. After a moment, the visor glowed slightly and he looked around him with enhanced vision. If anything magically cloaked was trying to sneak up on him, now he would see it.
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The king noticed a flying disembodied eye floating high above him. It winked out of existence and Tyrael recognized the spell. It was mostly for scrying and reconnaissance. Now that it was gone, he had no idea who was watching him.
Tyrael bit his lip. It could be Xzealor or even the Vice-Roy Torrcainan. Do I stay and wait?
Again, a decision was taken out of his hands as a blue portal opened up twenty yards away from him between two trees. A familiar figure stepped out from it and the portal winked out of existence.
“Korrin?” Tyrael turned his head slightly in confusion. At least it wasn’t another one of Talamius’s pets he thought grimly.
“Tyrael! Yes, that was me scrying you, no worries. I didn’t detect anyone else in the area so we are safe. I have to ask, by all that’s holy, what are you doing running around by yourself in a remote part of the Bronzewood?” Korrin approached him and scratched his dark hair.
“Too long a story my friend. Actually, I could really use your help. Can you teleport us?”
Korrin smiled and ran a hand through his hair, “Well of course. I have much to tell you as well. Where to? The palace? Your summer home?”
“Neither just yet. I need to get to the south end of the Bronzewood, it’s quite a long run on foot,” Tyrael pointed southward, behind Korrin.
“What for?” the Bladesinger asked even as he reached into his many pocketed robe to produce a tiny crystal ball.
“A battle is going on. We have to make sure it’s going favorably,” Tyrael raised a hand to activate another power from his visor, and the bright light from the rising sun was filtered comfortably, even if he looked directly at it.
“Well in that case, sure thing,” Korrin moved so his back was to the sun and began gazing into the crystal ball. “I want to make sure we don’t end up in a tree or something, it’s been awhile since I teleported to the front lines of the Bronzewood.”
Tyrael nodded and moved to peer into the palm sized crystal ball. “Where is your dragon winged helm? Without your visor, you can’t precog.”
Korrin smiled while gazing into the crystal, “Sometimes staring a few minutes into the future all the time makes reality seem…strange. As Xzealor suggested, I am giving myself a break every once in awhile to keep myself sane.”
Tyrael nodded as he understood the sound thinking. The Arch-Mage was a good friend.
“Aha! There we go. Oh yeah, there was battle. I chose a spot with higher elevation so we can look down. Ready?” Korrin smiled as he palmed the crystal ball and put it back into his robe. Tyrael nodded and his nephew that was a century older than him produced a long staff from a short quiver on his belt. Shaking his head in amazement, the king watched as Korrin tapped him on the shoulder with the staff and the world around them shimmered out of existence.
Tyrael’s stomach protested as his feet touched the ground like he had fell a long distance but felt no pain. He shook his head and Korrin stepped out from the cover of the forest line. He stepped beside his long time friend and searched the battlefield for answers.
It looked like the elven forces had decimated the sleeping army. Bodies upon countless bodies littered the field. There were many more bodies wearing armor emblazoned with the symbol of the Great Kingdom. Tyrael noticed that were more than a few elves that would never see another sunrise.
The king uttered a prayer for the lost souls and hoped the Seldarine would guide them peacefully to Arvandor.
Korrin nodded in agreement of the prayer and thanked his people for their courage. He pointed to the distance, “Isn’t that the Great Kingdom’s camp?”
“Yes. I gave the order to take the offensive, and we attacked them before sunrise when most of them would be sleeping,” Tyrael nodded.
“Sound plan, looks like it worked. It could be a tenday before the Great
Kingdom can manage to move another army to your doorstep.”
“I gave the order in the hopes it would free our front lines. I know Safehaven is still under siege by multiple armies. I’d like to help,” Tyrael smiled and turned to his companion.
Korrin laughed in surprise, “I didn’t see this coming. I’ll gladly accept your help, I actually wanted to talk to you about Safehaven anyway.”
“What about?” Tyrael asked as he overlooked the battlefield and saw the elven soldiers move across the battlefield.
“Let’s do this in private. “Your palace? My home?” Korrin grinned.
Tyrael sighed, “Let’s go down and get a full report of the battle. Eliwood and Janice were in charge. Either will do.”
“Competent generals,” Korrin nodded.
The king motioned downwards and activated his boots. He didn’t see Korrin make any effort to cast a spell but figured he had some item of flight as well as his friend followed. They floated down together as a female knight jogged by.
The maiden was short and had long black hair. Her pale skin told the two friends that she was a moon elf. As they reached the ground, the figure turned and assessed them.
“Greetings,” Tyrael waved and smiled. “Could you tell us where Eliwood Greenarrow or Janice Sureshot is hiding?”
Recognizing two legendary elven warriors, the women stuttered and bowed. Korrin chuckled and smirked. The king rolled his eyes at the unneeded gesture of respect.
“Arise knight. You have fought well this day,” Tyrael smiled as he observed her mace on her belt. Her once shiny elven plate mail was covered in blood. It didn’t look as though any of it was hers.
The female smiled and Tyrael was taken aback by the beauty of a smile of such hardened veteran. “My king, and lord Korrin; the two generals have setup a tent that way,” she pointed to her left.
Tyrael met her green orbs with his blue ones and the female giggled. “What is your name beautiful knight?” the king asked.
“Tarall. My close friends call me Tara,” she smiled again, affording them a view of her white teeth.
“Thank you for the help. You must be quite the warrior,” the king examined her armor for signs of impact or dents. He noticed one by her left rib, but that was it.
Korrin Moonblade elbowed his friend. “Stop admiring the view,” he whispered.
Tyrael protested and stuttered and the female laughed. He gave up trying to convince his friend otherwise and embarrassingly shook his head.
Korrin stepped forward and kissed the women’s hand. “Come to Safehaven sometime, and I’d love to treat you to dinner.”
The king shook his head and rolled his eyes. He removed his stuffy helmet and began walking towards the designated tent. Korrin laughed and hurried after his friend leaving a blushing female in the dust.
“Oh come now, I was only teasing,” Korrin smiled and ran a hand through his long dark hair.
Tyrael laughed at his friend’s antics. “Sometimes, I forget that we are kings.”
“We? So you know?”
“What? I have quite a few friends that live in Safehaven. How could I not know that you stepped down as mayor and was crowned king?”
“And I was going to surprise you!” his companion smiled.
“Swift winds carry even swifter words my friend,” Tyrael grinned.
“Where did you hear that? It has a nice flow to it.”
Tyrael laughed as he saw Korrin’s face bunch up in disgust and his nose twinkled slightly.
His friend rolled his eyes, “I don’t know how you get along with that human. He is so arrogant.”
“It is that kind of superior elf attitude that I try to stay away from. Racial limits shouldn’t keep our kingdoms from bonding.”
“It doesn’t in Safehaven, and you know that’s not the problem. He doesn’t like me as much as I don’t like him.”
“Well there could be many reasons for that,” Tyrael sighed.
“That’s comforting,” Korrin snorted.
Tyrael shook his head. “Just promise to be civil. We can’t do this alone.”
Korrin sighed loudly, “Alright. The meeting will not see me provoking anyone.”
The elven king smiled gleefully. “So what will you do if that woman shows up at your doorstep expecting a dinner?”
“I take her out of course!” Korrin shrugged nonchalantly.
“And then oh mighty Bladesinger?”
“I think that is between me, her, and the potent elven wine dear friend,” the new king of Safehaven grinned and his green eyes gleamed.
“Your teasing right?” Tyrael laughed.
“Yeah, I don’t have enough time for such lover antics anymore,” Korrin shook his head in mock disappointment. “Speaking of which, what about you?” his head jumped suddenly and looked at Tyrael.
“Yes, no one else has approached us. What about your romantic activities?”
“Well, uh..,” Tyrael stuttered, searching for an answer.
Korrin smiled knowingly, “That means there is something. Is my friend planning a wedding?”
Tyrael laughed. “Not for some time. Truthfully, I don’t know.”
The cavalier shook his head in amazement at how much his friend always knew. “How did you know?”
“What was it that you said earlier? Swift winds carry even swifter words?” Korrin answered with a dashing smile.
“There won’t be a queen for awhile. I have been gone for ten years,” Tyrael looked down and fiddled with his winged helmet as they continued walking. The otherworldly trials his father put him through had taken ten years from him. He had been prepared to do what it took to be worthy of his new station, but he never foresaw how the ones around him would feel because of his absence.
“And what of it? That’s not a long time for elves like us.”
“Before that, we were close but not quite…close,” Tyrael struggled to explain.
“You are as articulate as ever Tyrael,” Korrin chuckled.
Their conversation stopped as they reached the tent and a soldier guarding approached them. When the lad recognized the king’s signature armor and face, he blanched and stuttered.
Tyrael put a hand on his shoulder to calm the soldier and they walked by, entering the tent. Eliwood and Janice sat comfortably at a table with maps and battle plans. In the large tent were ten others: six commanders and four lieutenants.
Everyone stood up at the newcomers and bowed. Tyrael shook his head, this had to stop. Before he could say anything, they were showered with greetings and shouts of compliments. He sighed but it did feel good to be recognized. He laughed and was handed a glass of wine. It was time he started relaxing, just a bit.