To the Monsieur le Fils d’Oiseau, Sovereign of the Northern Coast and Valued Ally:
I am glad to hear this news, and allow me to express my gratitude for your generous gift. I shall take this opportunity as well to reaffirm your desires for our relations; it is my hope to be as agreeable to you and your people as, it seems, my father was. If you ever find yourself passing through Martoise, I hope you will visit my estate, that we may meet in person and not merely through the exchange of words on a page.
As you seem to be assembling quite a coalition of nations for our common task, I believe it would be prudent to hold a diplomatic summit, by means of which we all may speak in person and discuss our tactical and diplomatic strategy. If you think this would be wise, I urge you to invite all participants to a suitable meeting ground of your choice.
May this letter find you in good health and glad spirits. May the light of Ántou shine eternally on the lands of the Obrex.
Jean-Pierre Challant, le Comte du Martoise
Postscript: As for your clergy, they are welcome in our lands, but I must advise them to refrain from public displays of worship -- lest they seek to be hung as heretics by an incensed mob.
Indignation filled my veins, and I lashed out back at Veselin, “You have to come! You abducted me from where I was, and now you won’t even come explain what is going on!” The tears continued to stream down my face, but I was long past the point of caring.
Veselin sputtered for a bit before saying, “You would have fucking died! I saved you from drowning with your stupid human lungs, and I don’t get any thanks for it?” He just threw up his hands at that point, while shaking his head.
This damn fish, the thought alone enough to draw out a growl of frustration from Veselin, wasn’t going to help me!
“I told you not to call me a fish! You ignorant imbecile, why the hell would I want to help an asshole like you? Fix your attitude and then maybe I’ll help you!” At that Veselin rushes over to the hole filled with water and jumps straight in, leaving me all alone.
“Great, now he has just gone and left me alone too…” I mutter to myself, the fleeting thought that I could be wrong was gone as soon as it came, of course I wasn’t wrong, these people were.
I grabbed what I could before moving it over to the corner to huddle in. They seemed to be right about me needing to rest though, as doing that much was enough to tax me to the point of exhaustion. I fell back into the dark embrace of the void, tears still flowing down my face.
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.