Chapter 18: Betrayal Undone
“This wraith is Yullris, we needed her bound, because I don’t want to kill her.” Aira said, as if that meant anything to Fram.
“Yullris? Not familiar I’m afraid” Fram answered.
So of course Aira told Fram of what she had seen, of the mysteries of Tavarn, and the events they had encountered related to Tavarn. After she had told him, he stood, holding his head for a while.
“Are you all right Fram?” Aira questioned.
Fram shook his head.
“I can remember a few things, I was an imp under the service to Boskail, however since I was an imp the memories are vague and fuzzy. He had sent me away on some errand, and when I came back, I lost my memories of Tavarn. He moulded my creation himself, he was particularly proud of me, what with my power over time”
Fram looked wistfully into the distance. “He was as much a father as a master, I’m sad to learn he is gone, I’m afraid I can’t pull back the veil of mystery that covers the fall of Tavarn. I know nothing of these other people in your visions. I would tell you that Boskail was a good man, but even a murderer can treat his child well, for all I know he did something monstrous.”
“It does seem that as much as Yullris did wrong, she also was wronged, she mistook me for her child, and when Phule tried to wake me, she raved about her not being taken from her again”
“I suppose that means Yullris’ descent into madness had something to do with her child”
It was a dark thought.
Fram sighed, then frowned at Yullris. It seemed that she had slowly managed to move an inch.
“I guess I’ll take her back to Talvharn, place some more powerful bindings, hope that a redeemer comes along”
Redeemers are beings of mystery. Nobody knows who they are or how they come to be. The redeemer all look vaguely similar, a fierce figure in grand armour and flowing white robes. After seeing the blazing white eyes of a redeemer many do not wish to know what the redeemers are. Some do not believe redeemers even exist. Redeemers are known for wandering Awarth and Kigan, turning wraiths into hithraw, and destroying the chlan they cannot redeem. Indeed, all chlan fear redeemers, as the strange wanderers are as salt to slugs to chlan.
It is said that they do not sleep, eat, drink or ever tire. Many believe that redeemers are a kind of powerful spirit, as all attempts to capture or uncover their mystery have failed. Some even worship the redeemers. No one but hithraw have heard redeemers speak, and few are the hithraw that wish to speak of their experience as a wraith.
However, it is said that they have a voice that pierces the spirit.
Regardless, the majority of hithraw owe their ex-wraith status to redeemers.
“Thank you Fram” Aira said.
“No need, I have a great debt towards you, though, you are doing well in finding ways for me to pay it, that you for all those refugees from that shadow town, by the way.”
“Are they settling well? Not causing problems for the gnomes are they?”
“There was a few incidents, but I didn’t even have to lend aid, the gnomes banded together and many of the refugees are much enamoured of the kindness the gnomes have shown them”
“I am glad, I am sorry too, I didn’t know what else to do with them, and it all happened so suddenly”
“Well, after hearing your tale of Tavarn, I have another way in which I can pay my debt to you, I shall investigate the ruins of Tavarn, not only that, but I’ll make an effort in subjugating that shadow lord, I was planning on dealing with it after you sent those poor victims anyway, can’t allow something like that to freely cause misery” Fram said grandly.
“So the nation of Talvharn, successor to Tavarn grows eh?” Bab-Lin commented.
Fram gave a toothy smile.
“Progress that helps the self and others is among the best kinds of progress, well, I should probably get going, as good as it is to have the refugees, it does mean I need to keep a closer eye on things… hmm”
Fram abruptly tore one of his ears off, surprising Bab-Lin and Aira.
“I cannot give you another summoning device I’m afraid, but I can do this”
There was a crackle of Fram’s lightning, and the ear he held turned into ruby!
“If you speak into this ear, I will hear you, though, I am not sure of the range, I think it may be fine as long as you stay in Awarth.”
He handed the ear to Aira and then grabbed Yullris.
“Well, be well my friends, also don’t be alarmed if the ear changes into a mouth, that’ll just mean I’m going to talk”
A pair of ruby cogs appeared, and he suddenly vanished down the tunnels.
Aira felt at ease. She had by no means uncovered the whole truth of the events at Tavarn, but it seemed a matter of time now, she felt like she could focus of meeting her makers and learning why they had made her.
“Ah, Phule has vanished again” Bab-Lin realized.
Aira noticed this too, they were beginning to worry and search when Phule called out.
“Phule decided lookings for Zalark while youse talkings to creepy machineman”
Phule had appeared from behind some large rocky looking mushrooms. She was holding up an extremely sad and depressed looking Zalark.
Aira rushed over to them.
“Ah, Zalark, are you ok?”
“Why do you ask me, I’m fine” Zalark snapped bitterly “I would have been fine, even if you hadn’t survived the wraith”
“So, you are not hurt or anything, that is a relief”
Zalark gazed at Aira, beak open in shock.
“Do you not hold a bit of ill will for me for betraying you?”
“Why should I, you didn’t have a choice in the matter did you?” Aira answered
“Besides, you did warn us” Bab-Lin added.
“Actually, you did havings choice, you choosings tellings us, not stayings silent” Phule concluded.
“Thank you, thank you for suriving, thank you so…ah, what is this, what is this feeling?”
Zalark began to shine bright than before, so bright that Phule, Bab-Lin and even Aira had to avert their eyes.
When they could see again, Zalark was before them changed. His body no longer shone, but was adorned with lustrous black feathers, and within his lantern like body was a bright shining light, one too bright to look at directly.
Zalark was no longer a shining bird of dark direction, but a dark bird of shining direction.
“FREE I AM FREE” Zalark crowed.
“I need never betray again, my will is complete!” Zalark rejoiced and in short order, everyone else did too.
After they had calmed down, Aira asked Zalark a question.
“So, now that you have a choice, do you wish to lead me to my makers?”
“Yes! It isn’t far from here either! Just about less than a day’s travel.”
They set up camp one last time, tomorrow, Aira would meet her makers.