The room had been cleared of all furniture, save a small cot. Kalimè watched quietly as the family gathered about her. Ælithil knelt beside her, grasping her hand firmly while Estelæth held the other. “An’da knows what he is doing Nésa. It will be all right.” He did his best to sound reassuring in the face of her fears. She nodded slowly, her swollen face unreadable. “It’s different than a portal. And An’da has us stable, remember?”
“I remember,” she answered softly, not entirely convinced. Her pale face turned its gaze to the window, watching the evening light. “Este? Is there water?” Anything to keep her mind from the teleport. If it were even possible. The ancient woman at her side reached down and retrieved a wine skin.
“Here, little one.” Estelæth brought the open end to Kali’s lips as Æl helped his twin sit up slightly. “Not too much at once,” Este reminded her as she tipped it. Kali nodded and took a mouthful, whimpering at the struggle to do something so very basic. After another, Æl lowered her back down, concern filling his face.
From across the room, Tindomiel’s not-so-quiet snores could be heard. Having finally lost the battle to remain awake, she was curled up in the corner, a blanket folded and tucked behind her head. Niquisse gaped at her, somewhat surprised by the depth and volume of the sound. Silannah laughed aloud, causing Niqi to jump. “She can snore louder than that, child,” Sil joked. “She’s not fully asleep or you’d really hear something.” Niqi gave Sil an incredulous look, to which Sil shrugged. “Trust me, I listened to it many times. This is nothing.”
Leaned against the doorframe, Eli picked at her nails with the tip of her dagger. Her eyes moved from the preparations in the room, out into the walkway and back again. Despite the casual position, she was very much on alert. “How much longer,” she questioned. This is taking entirely too long, she thought, but kept it to herself.
“Ask the question again, Bandu, and the answer will come in a much more painful manner than words.” Kalithil’s eyes flared at her. “It takes preparation and concentration. We are moving everyone to another planet, not the next room,” he barked. Eli quietly moved herself out of the room. Returning his attention to Gilræn, they finished their discussion on the mechanics of the spell. “Remember, balance the flow through Lily. Do not attempt to fight it. Trust me, her raw power is…uncomfortable if you pull too hard.”
The Ren’dorei man inclined his head towards his father. “I will attempt to simply focus it. Alert me if the rotation feels off. I’ve not done this in some time.” He turned to gather his things.
Niqi, seeing this, did the same. She moved quietly into position next to Ælithil. Placing her small hand on Kali’s shoulder, she offered a gentle smile. “It’ll be all right. Æl’s not going to let anything happen to his sister.“ Kali smiled faintly.
Kalithil turned to the large Draenei man standing off to the side. He offered a curt nod and the Sutrakarre crossed to the cot. His large white hand came down very gently over Kalime’s eyes as a golden glow suffused his fingers. “Buros,” he commanded quietly. The girl’s body relaxed immediately and her breathing became steady and deep. “She is ready.” He lifted his hand away, revealing a peaceful expression on Kali’s damaged face. He stepped out of the way and looked toward Tindomiel’s sleeping form. “You want for me to do the same?” Forosuul sighed heavily, but nodded his assent. The large man repeated the process and carried the sleeping Priestess over to the center of the room. He gently laid her beside Kalimè and moved back to the side.
Lilybeth closed her eyes a moment and took a slow breath. She brought her hands out, her fingers outstretched as a series of runes began to appear on the floor around them. The others watched with rapt attention as Kalithil and Gilræn began to move in concert. The air crackled as their hands glowed with violet energy.
Gilræn took in a sharp breath suddenly, causing Lily to snap her head to him. His eyes were wide, his face lit by the vibrant arcane power wrapping up his arms. “Slow it down! You’re getting too much. You have to control it, Gilræn. She cannot,” Kalithil guided him. “Concentrate on the spell, taking only what you must. Counter turn the fourth position.” Gilræn nodded and focused his attention more throughly.
Circles began to appear under each of them, rotating runes moving it opposing directions, filling the room with brilliant violet light. Kalithil spoke a word, archaic to most and Gilræn echoed with another. Together they spoke the final three and with a flash, the room was empty save a few bits of dust and papers that slowly drifted down to the floor.
A hour later, everyone had been assigned a room, or a cottage to sleep in. Kalimè and Estelæth taking the small cottage nearest the pond allowed for Kali to be moved and walked easily without steps. The others were placed as was best for their situations.
After checking that her daughter slept, Lily lowered herself quietly on the edge of the pond and draped her feet into the water. Moments later, Gilræn settled nearby, studying her quietly. “You can ask, if you want to,” she offered. “I saw the look on your face. You want to know why. Or how, either way. Maybe both?”
The Ren’dorei man stared at her, bemused. “I have been referred to as overly loquacious, but I think perhaps you surpass me.”
Lily pushed her hair back behind her shoulder and chuckled. “That wasn’t much of anything, really. Just ask your An’da some time.”
“I have been informed. No need,” he waved it off. “But you are correct. I did want to ask why you were not the one to cast the teleport. It would have been effortless for one with such a depth of raw power.”
“Do you fancy the idea of being dropped into the Maelstrom? Or perhaps on the Blue Child?” Gilræn laughed, but stopped as he realized she wasn’t joking. Her face was, in fact, quite serious. “While the power is there, and the knowledge is there, I simply lack the finesse for something like that. Minor things, research, are my specialty. But when I attempt something with that enormity, that much minute detail of crafting to the spell, it goes awry. Every time. For something so important, it is better if I lend the power to those who can weave the spells properly.”
“Why does my father not teach you?”
Lily laughed brightly. “Such a simple question. With a short answer. He has tried. Elune bless him, he has. But some people have the gift to do it, and others do not. The beautiful thing is, together, we do make quite the combination.”
Gilræn nodded and looked around. An unusual choice, this place. For the man who demanded solitude, he seems to have surrounded himself with activity. His face must have betrayed him, as a silent laugh could be seen behind the woman’s eyes.
“He’s changed, Gilræn. He still has his Sanctum, well, three that I know of. But he tolerates a lot for my sake. And our children. Your siblings were born just over there.” She indicated a deeper area of the pond, glowing lilies adrift in its waters. “This place is special to him now, as it is for me. And from here, our House can gather strength and maintain safety, while we plan how to care for our own.”
The older man inclined his head to her. “I hope you are correct. If it is so, it is a pleasant change for all of us.” He rose and bowed. “I will let you rest. I imagine that took quite a lot out of you.”
“Not at all. But I thank you for the thought. I am going to stay here and read for a bit. Then check on my daughter before dinner. There should be plenty to eat at the inn near the fountain, if you are hungry.” She smiled at him gently. He studied her for a moment before nodding. Turning quietly, he moved away in search of Silannah and a cup of coffee.
Lily watched him leave before looking back towards the cottage. You are safe here, my little dancer. We all are, her thoughts wandered as she turned her attention to the leaves gently swaying above the water. We all are.