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Tezzeret Verdile: Tezz led Greg and the Warden the small distance back to his cottage, knocking and saying the phrase “I’d catch you falling from any tree.” It was their way of letting Clover know that it was safe. She was surprised to see the addition of company, to say the least. But it was late and she would have time for questions in the morning.

Tezz brought out some blankets from a shelf near the hearth making a makeshift bed for Greg. “It’s not much, but, it’s better than the ground outside.” He gave a weak smile before retrieving a kettle to hang over the dwindling fire.

Greg Ericson: “Thank you for your hospitality Tezz.” Seeing him and Clover together had finally caused him to remember where he knew Tezz from. “I know where I remember you from now.” Greg said as he began to set up his bed. “I was at your wedding, probably don’t remember.”

The Warden: The Warden hung invisible in the corner, scowling and attempting to ignore the conversation.

Tezzeret Verdile: Tezz smiled, remembering the simple ceremony. “Get some rest Greg, you’ve still got a fair trek ahead of you.” He turned to address the other presence in the room. “And you’ve got some explaining to do while he sleeps, demon.”

The Warden: I see nothing of interest you would have me explain, she muttered stoutly, as she watched Greg settle down and grow still. He’d fallen asleep almost immediately. She coalesced in front of Tezz, hopping up to sit cross-legged in the air next to Greg’s bedside. Her tail swung languidly back and forth. Actually, I could say the same of you.

Tezzeret Verdile: “Oh? Alright then, you shoot first.” He sat across from her in one of his overstuffed chairs. It’d been a while since he’d talked to anyone other than his wife and daughter.

The Warden: Nalaagura blinked in surprise. That was easy. Your abilities, she said simply. I couldn’t tell who you were. You have been instructed and I believe I have a good idea of who was your teacher. She lifted an eyebrow. Am I correct?

Tezzeret Verdile: “You already know of my relationship with Kiaama, so you would be correct in assuming so.” He sat himself forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Are you always so blunt when you’re gathering information? I figured you to be one to toy around with verbal exchanges.”

The Warden: I used to be, but mortals are hardly ever eager to engage in a battle of wits, she said dryly, and perhaps a little bit wistfully. A habit I have picked up, nothing more. Human egos are easily bruised by verbal spars. Or so experience has taught me.

Tezzeret Verdile: Tezz gave a quiet laugh, glancing at the slumbering Greg. “I suppose I could understand that, we haven’t had as long as your kind to sharpen our wits and tongue. So a good verbal battering could be quite scarring. But I assume you want to know more than who was teaching me?”

The Warden: Nala shrugged. Not particularly. She thought for a moment and amended her statement. Well…he did something more than merely teach you, did he not? Mortals cannot simply learn to separate from their bodies.

Tezzeret Verdile: “I’m not certain what he did, but the result is my ability to separate my body and spirit. But it’s not perfect, we’ve come to realize it’s unstable to drift too far away. That and I can’t inhabit another body, at least not yet. For all of those limitations though, I think I’m stronger than most of the conventional mind mages.” His voice swelled up with a bit of pride.

The Warden: She wrinkled her nose and unfolded her legs, tucking them beneath her in a much more reserved, childlike pose.This experiment does not bode well, but perhaps he sees something in you that I do not. Nala cocked her head. Can you show me again?

Tezzeret Verdile: “I can try, I’m not very good at holding a form away from my body..” He relaxed back into the chair before willing his soul forward, a light wispy grey form emerged. His spirit shimmered from the strain of maintaining a shape.”H..Here I am-m-m am.” The shape collapsed to a mote of light, hovering by his body.

The Warden: Hmm. She dropped to her feet, stepping forward and gently guiding the light back to his body with cautious hands so it did not become lost. Warmth suffused her fingertips and started flooding her essence before she redirected it back into the center of his chest. Careful with that. She was surprised at the sudden rush of concern she felt. For all of her misgivings, though, she had to admit it was a useful skill. A mortal with the magical capabilities of a demon.

Tezzeret Verdile: “It’s hard to maintain a complete severance, but, while I’m still connected to my body I can do all sorts of… tricks.” He gave a devious smile. “Now then, demon, do you have any tales of the outside world? I’ve been playing the role of a hermit for the past couple weeks.”

The Warden: She huffed with a slight laugh, but then she thought more of what had happened since the man had receded from the rebellion and she looked away, slowly sinking to her knees and sitting beside Greg.

Many, she murmured. Most of which are…not pleasant, to say the least. Her mind brushed up against his and he caught a glimpse of many memories, roiling indecisively within her. She wasn’t sure where to begin.

Tezzeret Verdile: “Then perhaps you can show me what you remember? Start where you see fit.” He got up and walked to the kettle over the fire and began pouring a cup of the tea he was brewing.

The Warden: She sighed shakily and then reached out once more, projecting her own memories into his mind’s eye. She was looking down at her porcelain body lying on the floor of the library, exchanging last words with Stonegit, though she removed the mention of her full name, then she slipped inside her body and headed out into the wilderness. Orskaf’s camp came into view and she had heated words with the man, learning of his terrible deeds done towards Haddock and Stonegit. Traces of her terrible rage still broke out over the recollection. Pain lanced through her, then healing and the deal with her grandmother passed, and then days and days of traveling, convincing one after another to sink down into the watery depths of Hel. Akkey’s surprised face, her yelp as the Warden forced her to procure a portal that led straight into the pit where the rebels were trapped. Transitioning to Greg’s mind. Warning him of her name, promising she would not harm his memories. The chief forcing them into the cold north, the encounter with the Central guards, Greg’s newfound fire, and the long trek back down south, to the fortress.

Releasing the flow of images, she sat back against one of the thick wooden posts holding the house up, closing her eyes. It’s been…quite a lot.

Tezzeret Verdile: He watched, his vision flooded with her memories, processing days in hours. By the time the vision was over, the first rays of sunlight were washing over the trees in the direction of the camp. “That is… I fear I have been away too long.” The concern was awash on his face.

The Warden: None of it was your fault. She shook her head slowly. But…I believe they could use your assistance, yes. Nala twitched slightly as she noticed the sky growing lighter. Has he slept? I fear I’ve kept him awake…

Tezzeret Verdile: “Thank you, Nalaagura. It was… nice… spending some time with you.” He stood again from his chair, the tea was cold in his cup. “I think I’ll follow the two of you in a couple of days time, but I should sleep. The birds have awoken.” He gave another smile to the luminescent demon.

The Warden: She inclined her head. I will wait for him to wake, she said quietly, rising as well, easily a head and a half taller than him. After a moment, she extended a hand out to him, feeling as though a hug would be too forward. Thank you, Tezzeret, for speaking with me.

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