Kerf smiles, glad his clan will have a home.
He raises his hand again to the Elder next to him.
The elders join hands once more in what Hawkson now knows is likely an intense deliberation, a flurry of emotions and images.
Hawkson, too, smiles, excited at the prospect of having these interesting folk living in his domain. There is much they can share with Obrexia.
Kerf's eyes open, and he claps his hands, beaming.
"Friend Hawkson, Clan Bright-eye is most humbled and overjoyed at your gracious offers.
We, with utmost gratitude, accept stewardship of the location in the remote Artaire forest.
With that, let us enjoy this bountiful harvest and be merry."
Kerf places his hand briefly on Hawkson's arm again, projecting to him the overwhelming gratitude, relief, and hope he now has for Clan Bright-eye.
Too, though, he projects words of caution, "The Spark consumes. Tread lightly. Kerf will tutor, if you desire."
The merriment and celebrations continue.
Jokes, laughter, conversations, thought this time of a much lighter tone continue into the night.
At one point, Kerf produces a wooden flute from his vest and begins a playing a joyous song.
Several other elders now also have instruments: bells, small drums, another flute but this one with a deeper sound.
It's quite dark out now. The food is gone, and the mood is high.
Kerf begins playing his flute again, a single note held long.
A quiet sets over the room as everyone turns to look at Kerf, his eyes closed.
The note ends, a brief pause, and Kerf plays.
The tune is slow and soft, a crisp, melancholic melody invested heavily with emotion.
Soon the others join in, the music becomes full and detailed, as if an entire orchestra had entered the dining hall.
Hawkson can tell that this is a special moment, the very air thick with emotion, a static just waiting to discharge.
He can feel their sadness, their pain. He can feel their hopelessness.
And then, flashes of hopes, sparks of joy. The music brightens, the melody swift.
And then it's over, the instruments disappear.
The Elders stand, each a brief bow to Hawkson.
Farewells are said, and they collect their daggers from Caspien, who seems to be at a loss for words.
He leads the Elders back toward the inns in Hawk's Landing.
It may be dark now, but tomorrow is a bright new day for Clan Bright-eye.
[This concludes the living post]