Steven never liked coming to the cottage on the hill, but here he was walking up the pathway. The aged orc he had seen countless times before stared at him, as if seeing through him and grunted as he approached the door. Steven stood there, knowing he need not knock. Within a few moments, the door swung open of its own accord and a gust of wind hit him in the face. The inside of the cottage wasn't very remarkable. Photos of the owner's family and friends lined the mantle of the fireplace, which was roaring with a brilliant white flame.
Brilliant white flame? "Ah Steven, how nice of you to join us finally." the melodic voice of Kyah Averly met his ears. Us? Pulling his gaze away from the fireplace, it was then that he noticed that Kyah was not alone. Her husband was there, as was a woman adorned in wyrmm's teeth and a headdress made of the horns of a smaller dragon. Steven fixed his tie nervously, he knew he was in trouble. "Come. Sit with us." Kyah beckoned. He obliged her.
"Look, I am sorry that I…" Kyah shook her head and cut him off "No. You don't get to be sorry. We know the truth Steven." He lurched forward. How could she know? Who told her? He ran his fingers through his hair and looked up at her with his piercing gray eyes inquisitively. "The truth? The truth of what? My failure as a defense attorney? I am sorry you did not get to keep you powers due to the untimely demise of my client?" Kyah scoffed. Mordrin looked down at a cup of tea with a look of pity over the incoming tirade he was sure to hear. The dragon lady was reclined in her chair looking rather bored with the situation she found herself in.
"POWER?!" she said laughing. "It had nothing to do with POWER, at least for me…" she trailed off. "Zanah was the one who thought it would be a great idea to get some innocent nobodies she found wandering around Ithlyn involved and send them to Kithrana and all over Coresca on a hunt for the things it took to fix the problem SHE, ROMERO AND FAHREN CREATED by bringing Ventnal's biggest regret to their new home. Then, she had the audacity to lure out Ventnal and capture him using some device that managed to hold a being of pure aether and forced him to watch as the necrolyse obliterated thousands of people. Then you come along the "Best defense attorney in the multiverse." with promises of getting our contracts absolved, WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITHOUT DRAGGING ASCENDANCY POLITICAL STRUGGLES INTO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. I am NOT the one who was worried about power.
You were a real sweet talker though. Had me convinced you didn't give a damn about Zanah or the poloitics or anything else going on with what SHE wanted to happen. Then you went and used all the guilt and shame that Ventnal felt and used it to convince him to off himself. You knew he had been hiding out of shame for allowing that necrolyse experiment to exist for as long as it had. Mordrin and I told you as much. I didn't find out until the day before he killed himself that it was Zanah that had assured Ventnal that things were not out of control at all, and that he need not worry. What did you tell him? "Zanah never REALLY had it under control like she had said she did and now look what your inaction has caused." Something like that? Some defending you did for Vental indeed…"
Good, she didn't know. Steven played with his tie and stared directly at her. "If you are done ranting like a mad woman I would like to speak. Now it is true, I did in fact tell Ventnal he should off himself, but not for the reasons you might think." He produced a folded sheaf of paper from his jacket. He would have to be clever in what he told her from this point forward. "This copy of the Aspect and Ascended contract was made by Icthalyn Tarbit himself in good faith that I would help bring some things to light. I was alerted to an anomaly that occured two evenings prior to the trial that jeopardized whatever sentence we would give him at trial. After an in depth discussion regarding this anomaly, Vental suggested he should go "off himself" as you so eloquently put it. He had every intention of trying to live on after the trial was over, but if you turn to the section regarding alleviation of contracts you will see what made him change his mind ultimately. Both parties wanted to absolve their contracts, I alerted him to the only method in which to do so. I did my job."
Kyah snatched the papers from Steven and flipped through to the section he spoke of. He watched as her indignation turned to confusion. He stared at the white flames in the fireplace as everything sunk in for her. He knew she was not dumb. This was not his first time interacting with her. Probably wouldn't be the last. Why white flames? Were they from the dragon lady? He had never seen anything like these flames before, which was saying something. "Okay Steven, this raises just as many questions as it answers. Are you implying Andros attacked Fahren with knowledge of this anomaly you have pointed out?" she seemed annoyed now. The dragon lady stared at him expectantly, as if she knew something. I hope she doesn't know anything. The white flames danced in her eyes.
"Andros had absolutely no idea. I looked into it. It would appear he attacked Fahren for an entirely different reason." I should impart some vital knowledge to gain some of Kyah's trust back. He got a bad vibe from this dragon lady, and if they were friends… Why that color white? "It appears that Fahren left Ventnal without a great dragon prior to the trial of his own accord. I was told by one of my sources that there was a transference prior to his death that took place on that little island of his. He took up the mantle of great dragon of Temaya again leaving Ventnal without a great dragon. I believe Andros caught wind of Fahren's intentions somehow and wanted him to die before he had a chance to make a transference. Zanah wanted Fahren alive again which is why she had someone get the lute from your friend Milo. I do not think she hired those people you mentioned without any forethought. Look, I deeply regret making it seem like there was foul play when I told Ventnal that removing himself was the only solution. I realize I should have come to you sooner but you had already left Rimilia by the time I wanted to speak with you. There may be some unforeseen consequences and I have a favor to ask since you are still one of the most powerful people in this section of the galaxy, what with you being a Child of Aether…" I hope she believes me.
The flames spit off some sparks as silence fell over the house. Dragon lady stared at him, making him more uncomfortable by the minute. "Unforeseen consequences…" Kyah trailed off. Her tattoos began to glow in the same color as the white flames. "Child of Aether… That is an odd term for my race. Makes it seem like some mystical thing when in reality it means almost nothing. The flames seemed to grow in strength a bit and Kyah watched as he shifted in his chair. "The politics game really DOES grow tiresome. I don't know who you answer to Steven, but tell whoever is in charge of you right now that I am not interested in doing any favors for you or THEM." Steven tried to put on a winning smile despite his growing discomfort. The unshifting and silent dragon lady continued to stare blankly at him. "Very well then I uh…" A spark hit him and he let out a yelp. Wait a minute that actually hurt. "I see that there is no convincing you. I really must be going as I am expected to be back to Xyl for a big meeting." He got up swiftly, perturbed by the flames. and showed himself out. Kyah and the Dragon Lady followed him to the door. "Steven you don't want to lose this." Kyah said handing the contract back to him. "Oh, thanks." he said as he straightened his tie again and descended the hill, returning to Rimilia as he exited the fenced area.
Kyah turned to the dragon lady, her tattoos turning back to their normal color. "Think he knows?" "I bloody well hope so." she replied. "He is a right idiot for a man with so much knowledge if he doesn't figure it out sooner rather than later." Kyah leaned against the door frame and stared at the orc on her porch. "Can you mind the fort while Mordrin, Ember and I go to Rimilia for a bit?"
"Dont I always?" he said bowing his head at her. "You might want to let the others know we will be leaving control of the situation here on Gateway in their hands as well." Kyah went on before going back inside. Ember lingered in the doorway staring at the spot where Steven had just left from. "See you soon Mr. Wentworth." she said out loud before following Kyah inside again.