10 May 2019

The Elf's Prisoner - Chapter 29

Chapter 29

Investigating in the marketplace
Inn of the Foxes, Silver Trailings, outside the Realm Below the Mountain
Nyssa paced from one side of her room to the other and back.  On Leomund's bed, Kazimier watched the knight with amusement, not helping Nyssa's mood.  "Waiting is torture, lad," the knight said.  "How does your dark elf cope with being alone?"

"Jyslyn isn't mine," Kazimier said.  "And I don't know if she is coping.  It's hard to tell with her."

"Keep an eye on her, lad.  I've never heard of an Accursed woman dabbling in magic.  Nor have I heard of one living in an elven city."

"One needs to be the first."  Kazimier stretched.  "There is a prophecy from about a thousand years after the War of Splintering that said that the dark elves would return to the light.'

Nyssa stopped her pacing.  "Prophecies are fickle beasts, always just out of reach."

"There aren't many records from the War of Splintering.  Depends on who you ask, either those who would become dark elves rebelled to take power but were thwarted or they were being oppressed and were fighting for their survival.  Either way, they lost the war and were driven out, cursed for their actions."  Kazimier shrugged.  "The prophecy could very well be a dream by someone who lost family to the curse.  Or it could be a glimpse into a possible future.  If Jyslyn is the first to return, others could follow."

"If you can trust her."  Nyssa sat on her bed.  "It's been hard to tell with her.  She keeps her own council.  She hides in her room."

"You know the reputation dark elves have," Kazimier said.  "She would've been lynched at the first inn we stayed in one our way here.  And yes, it is hard to tell with her, but she's not one of my people or one of yours.  Jyslyn has her own culture.  Even if she's left it behind, she still brings some of it with her."

Nyssa leaned forward.  "Tell me, lad, why do you trust her?"

"Wren's the sole survivor of the massacre at Two Creeks.  The entire village was destroyed."

"Except the dark elf spared Wren.  I remember.  The lass was a girl then, lad.  She could be remembering the wrong details."

"Tell me this, Dame Knight.  What sort of nefarious plan involves being executed?"  Kazimier paused to let Nyssa take in the information.  "Jyslyn surrendered to me and admitted to being at the massacre.  She was willing to die despite having no elven blood on her hands."  Seeing the knight's puzzled expression, Kazimier added, "Jyslyn had a chance to escape, but remained with my patrol.  She only admitted to sparing the one elf she was supposed to kill after Wren came to her defense.  I trust Jyslyn, at least when it comes to keeping Wren safe.  I do keep in mind that she was raised differently from me and from you."

"And the prophecy?"

Kazimier shrugged.  "Perhaps it is nothing.  But Jyslyn may show that even the dark elves have those who regret the direction their society has taken.  They would just need a light to show  them the way."

A knock came from the door.  Nyssa got up to answer it.  "You should hope that your light doesn't show the types who want to see you and yours destroyed the way to your home."  The knight opened the door to a tanned and dark-haired man in simple red robes standing in the hall.  "Good day!"

The man bowed his head.  "I am looking for Dame Kellus of the Seven Dominions."

"You found her."

"I am Iskander, from the Nicean embassy.  May I come in?"

Nyssa stepped aside to let Iskander enter the room.  "I see that my message arrived safely."

"Indeed, Dame Kellus."  Iskander stopped upon seeing Kazimier.  "I was not expecting a second here."

"Iskander, this is Kazimier Starpetal, from Wildwood.  He's the one who found the body."

Kazimier stood up to greeet the Nicean.  "Greetings."  The elf set out the room's chair for the Nicean messenger.  "Please, rest."

Iskander ignored the chair.  "The embassy sent me to verify that the body you found is our ambassador.  Do you have the body with you?"

"The body was badly burned in a fire," Nyssa said.  "We did retrieve an object from him, though.  Kazimier?"

Kazimier retrieved the metal plate he had found on the charred body's remains.  "It was cool to the touch despite being in the heart of the fire," he said as he handed the plate to Iskander.

Iskander whispered a word on the plate.  The metal glowed purple.  "This is Ambassador Cahya's.  Tell me, did you find the killer?"

"We may have," Nyssa answered.  "It was a group of goblins.  We doubt that they were capable of getting your ambassador out of Silver Trailings.  There may still be someone in the city who kidnapped the ambassador."

"I see."  Iskander closed his eyes for a moment.  "This conversation will continue at the embassy.  You will both be there tomorrow, mid-afternoon."

Nyssa escorted the messenger to the door.  "We'll be there," she promised.  "Farewell."  Iskander's answer was just a grunt.  He walked down the hallway.  Nyssa closed the door.  "Pleasant fellow."

Kazimier sat on a chair.  "I wouldn't say that.  I find it rude to have a divination spell cast while speaking to us."

"You don't say.  Perchance, would it have been a spell to detect lies?"

"I wouldn't have expected a wizard to have such spells."

"From what I understand, lad, Nicean magic isn't quite wizardly.  Not divine, but it's own style of magic.  His Majesty has sent wizards from the Seven Domains to the Nicean Islands to try to find out how their magic works, but none were successful."

Kazimier leaned back in his chair.  "They did lose their ambassador.  I'd be wary of someone offering information, too."

"If you have anything to do, lad, get it done now.  We're likely to be speaking with the Niceans for some time."

"Right.  I should make sure the finery is clean and in good shape."  Kazimier got back to his feet.  "I'll ask Berach if he knows anyone who can get my clothes laundered.  Need anything washed?"

"Leomund already has my finery prepared."  Nyssa patted her plate armour.

Next Week:
Murder most foul.

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