Tyrael groaned and wiped his eyes. He was in one of his simple clean silk red t-shirts. Through squinted eyes he saw the looming specter of Korrin and then he was out again. His pointed ears heard talking, but he just couldn’t make out the words.
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Much later, he awoke feeling better. He yawned and sat up. Again he was wearing one of his undershirts, yet this one was green and cotton. He was in his bed, in his room in the palace.
How did I get back here? Back to Fellfaril?
His question was answered as someone knocked on his door politely. Tyrael cleared his throat and croaked, “Come on in!”
The oak door opened and two figures walked in, first was Cylvannia Winterstorm and behind her was Korrin Moonblade. She was wearing silk white priestess robes that did nothing to hide her curves. The white complimented her hair and eyes.
Korrin was wearing blue mage’s robes and a golden vest which told him the new king did not expect any battle anytime soon. The fact was reinforced when Tyrael saw their smiling faces and noticed Korrin wasn’t wearing his signature helm and visor.
“My king,” Cylvannia smiled warmly.
“Tyrael your back! How are you feeling?” Korrin laughed.
“I’ll live. How did I get here?”
“I took you to Cylvannia after the battle. The sword was poisoned,” Korrin answered.
“It was a wise move. The type of poison was rare and deadly, from a specific plant that grows in the Bronzewood. Corellon banished it from your veins,” Cylvannia moved to the side of his bed.
“Thank you for keeping me safe,” Tyrael smiled. “Wait! What about our soldiers? Did they all get turned to ash?”
Korrin shook his head, Tyrael was always more worried about others than himself. “Be at ease, I gave the order to retreat back into the city. Eliwood particularly didn’t want to leave the field of battle but I convinced him it was safer. The higher ranking officers gathered as many as they could before making a fighting retreat back into the walls.”
“How did you know?” Tyrael asked as Cylvannia moved to the other side of the bed. She gently grabbed his hand and the king blushed.
Korrin pretended not to notice. “I precogged of course! I saw Zaxin move in to finish you off after you were weakened by our black dragon friend,” Korrin winked. Even with his efforts, far too many good soldiers had been lost in the gigantic meteor swarm. Korrin decided not to worry his friend with all of the details just yet.
Tyrael sighed and smiled. Of course! I can always count on Korrin.
“Well, how did I get here?” he asked.
“After you were stable I brought you here and took care of you,” blushed Cylvannia.
Tyrael laughed nervously. So she dressed him every day?
Korrin smiled and patted his friend on the back, “You gave us quite a scare.”
Tyrael grinned, “I won’t go down that easy. How many days has it been?”
“Three,” Korrin answered. “Are you ok now Tyrael? I am sorry but I have quite the busy schedule nowadays,” he grinned.
“Yes, I understand. I am just glad there wasn’t as many casualties as I thought. Take care dear friend,” Tyrael smiled and Korrin nodded, exiting the room with a smile.
Tyrael turned to his female companion. They smiled and Tyrael felt a little warm under the sheets. “He is a good friend,” Cylvannia broke the silence.
He nodded, “How long has he been here?”
“Almost as much as I have. He has been in and out, much like you. He said you were awake for a short time yesterday but passed out again.”
“Yeah, I think I remember. I was so tired. Did you really take care of me all this time?” Tyrael asked as he adjusted on the bed. She scooted closer a bit and nodded, her green eyes shined as she smiled.
It seemed to get a little bit hotter. She looked into his blue orbs. “Are you sure you are alright now?”
Tyrael just couldn’t resist. Maybe she was the right woman for him. His future queen. He met her gaze and stared into her sweet caring eyes. “Actually I feel
a little stiff,” he laughed.
“I was quite worried about you,” Korrin said. He took a sip of his wine.
Tyrael smiled and motioned for the barmaid to refill his glass. The human lass smiled and brushed the golden locks out of her hair. She poured him more wine and Tyrael winked, causing the female to blush.
Korrin watched the exchange with an amused expression on his face. “I thought you and the High Priestess Cylvannia were an item?”
Now it was Tyrael’s turn to blush. He rolled his eyes, “Oh there’s no harm in being friendly.”
Korrin laughed. “So, are you ready for the meeting?”
“Yeah, I think so. Do you think it will go well?
“Let’s hope. The Great Kingdom sure isn’t making this fight easy. They fight on more than a dozen fronts but still they press and are slowly gaining a foothold no matter how much damage we do,” he shook his head.
Tyrael took a sip of his wine and nodded. “I know how you feel. Talamius has boundless reach.”
Korrin laughed. “We will win. Eventually we will. I have been thinking about an old tale of a fighter in a battle with a beholder.”
Interested, Tyrael motioned for his friend to continue. Korrin paused and put a finger to his chin. “Well in the tale, the human kept cutting off the eye stalks of the beholder, but as we both know there are so many. The point is, that if he just focused on stabbing his sword through the large eye, it would have been dead instantly.”
“And how exactly does this relate oh mighty Korrin?” Tyrael smiled.
“It means that we are just fighting the eye stalks. Sure we hurt the Great Kingdom every time we kill another soldier or win another battle, but we are not attacking the source of the problem. We need to stab the eye,” Korrin answered exasperated.
Tyrael leaned back in his chair for a moment to think. A particularly loud group of dwarves at the table behind them made it hard to concentrate. “You are saying that we destroy Talamius?”
“Yes!” Korrin slammed a hand down onto the table with a triumphant smile.
“Are you mad? He is a demigod! How in the nine hells would we destroy him?” Tyrael shook his head. Had Korrin gone finally crazy?
“We can do it! You once told me you defeated Lolth in the abyss! Was it a lie?” Korrin raised his black eyebrows in a questioning stare.
“Of course not! I wouldn’t lie to you,” Tyrael sighed and knew a well rehearsed speech with irrefutable logic would follow.
“Well, look at it this way. Lolth is a lesser power in the rank structure of the gods. Talamius is at the very bottom rung of that ladder, only a demigod. In a sense, if you can defeat a lesser power than you can fight a demipower and win. Surely together we can defeat him!” Korrin smirked. Tyrael sighed, knowing that smirk was Korrin’s planning face. It made sense, but could they really do it? The fight with Lolth was a fluke, there was no way he could have continued fighting if she had not fled.
After a moment the elven king sighed in defeat. “Well, how are you planning on executing this assassination?” Tyrael rolled his eyes and took another sip of his wine. Talamius was a demigod! How many divine powers have actually perished? Was it even possible to accomplish such a thing?
“Well I have yet to work out the details, but think of what we can do. We can save thousands of innocent lives if we kill Talamius. We can end this war. Our blood for their blood,” Korrin quoted a line from the Bladesinger oath. A thin smile appeared across the mage’s angular face. He knew his friend well, appealing to his chivalric code and sense of duty was the best way to convince him.
Tyrael looked down at the remaining wine in his glass. This was crazy! But hadn’t it been the same when the idea of freeing Allistar from the clutches of the very same Talamius entered their heads? Can this really be the best way to defeat the Great Kingdom? Saving thousands of lives, elven lives that he had become responsible for when he was granted the mantle of king…it was logic that he couldn’t turn away from.
Korrin just knew him too well. “I’ll go if Kelanen comes with us,” Tyrael said after a minute of consideration.
“What? Why do we need Kel?” protested Korrin with a scrunched up face and an upturned nose.
“You have gone mad if you think we can do this ourselves! Going after a demigod is just plain ridiculous, but going without the help of Kelanen is insane!” Tyrael shook his head. “There are easier ways to get to Arvandor without dying.”
Korrin moaned but he knew Tyrael was right. Kel was the only reason they even got anywhere near the lantern that contained Allistar, trapped within. That thought gave him another idea.
“Wait! Allistar is Talamius’s archenemy. Surely he will want to be a part of this. Two demigods and the two of us? How does that look for our chances?”
Tyrael brightened at the idea. It would be hard to convince Allistar to start such a quest though. The paladin of Heironeous had been gone from his kingdom so long; having being tricked by Talamius into captivity. How can I get him to leave his kingdom unguarded even for such a small amount of time? Would I leave the Bronzewood to help Allistar with some suicidal mission? The paladin did not have Lord Torrcainan to act in his stead…
After a few minutes of silence with Korrin staring intently at him he gave in. “Alright, let’s start planning this insane mission,” Tyrael smiled as Korrin’s face brightened.
“Ok, do you want to talk to Kel and I’ll contact Allistar?” he asked.
Tyrael finished his second glass and shook his head. “No offense, but I’ll talk to both of them and try to get us all together. I am very good friends with Kelanen and Allistar and I understand each other.”
“Ah of course, cavalier and paladin huh?” Korrin smiled and nodded in agreement. The wise elf knew the two had a very similar moral code of right and wrong. The fact that Tyrael used to be a star knight only solidified a growing friendship beyond the initial gratitude Allistar had felt after being freed.
Tyrael almost stood up as a realization struck him. “Wait! Whatever happened to Deathwing Blackspitter? Did you destroy him? Did Zaxin move him to safety once again?”
Korrin bit his lip, torn between the truth and comforting his friend. The Bladesinger sighed, “I don’t know. I had the mind to go back as soon as I got you within the walls to safety. Zaxin pulled back his remaining troops and is waiting for reinforcements before he advances again. All I found where Deathwing fell was black blood.”
Tyrael sighed. It meant he was still out there, healing, growing stronger. His hatred and anger had likely doubled after being bested yet again.
“Worry on the matter no more. We have bigger game to catch,” Korrin interrupted with a strained smile. Seeing a troubled look on Tyrael made him think twice about what he was proposing.
Tyrael set his glass down and rubbed his face, clearing his head of doubts. He still had Corellon’s favor and his deity had yet to lead him on the wrong path. The elven king blinked as he felt a whisper caress his ears, quiet and gentle like the wind.
Your trials will continue, as long as you desire to serve me, my son.
Korrin hailed a busty dark haired barmaid and ordered two more glasses of elven wine. She hurried away to help the table of drunken dwarves. The Bladesinger focused his green eyes on his friend who seemed lost in thought.
“Kalanaar’s bar does have some exquisite wine and food. Very surprising that a drow would have such good taste. You agree?” Korrin watched as the elven warrior snapped out of it with a determined look.
Corellon will not lead me astray. I will serve until the last breath of air leaves my body. Tyrael grinned and shook his head clear of doubts once more. “You know, when I came back I thought my adventuring days were over, yet here we are planning some ridiculous scheme. I cannot refute the logic, I
think this is the correct path.”
“And we will continue these foolish endeavors as long as I’m around,” Korrin laughed warmly. His bright green eyes shinnied as the human barmaid brought them two more goblets of wine and busily hurried away again.
Tyrael joined him in laughter. “Indeed. Our adventures are getting more dangerous and foolhardy by the day.”
“That is why the bards sing songs about us and how the tales of tavern legend are born,” Korrin winked. More shouts from the intoxicated dwarves at the table behind them filled the bar as they continued their drinking game.
Tyrael leaned back in his chair and smiled, “Indeed.”