Despite the exhaustion he felt after addressing The Council of Seven and the Elder, the brief spurt of fear at their encounter with Flint and his shifter pack, and the grim shadow that hung over everyone from the encroaching Goblin threat, Leonis couldn’t help but feel a bit of awe as he left the House Cionaoith keep just as dawn began to break through the trees, bathing the city in golden light.
“Well, we made it…an Elven city! ” What a simple goal it had been…come to the city and protect it. How complex it had become, now.
Leonis was distracted from his thoughts in the early dawn by the gentle rustle of bridled horses. Turning, he walked back towards the keep as Alain and Hannah rode out, dressed for travel.
“So, this is it, then?”
Alain nodded, his voice quiet. “For now, at least. We’ll make our best way to Sebohin, and from there, we’ll see where Aerie and Alaric guide us.”
Leonis nodded, a sad smile crossing his face. “I’m sure that Father Brendan will be able to help with restoring the monastery. Maybe when this is over, I’ll have the chance to come see it.”
Hannah smiled back at this. “I hope so.”
“Alain…I’m sorry that it’s gone on like this, and that there’s been so much death and loss. But I am glad that you came with me, and that you’ve been by my side.”
The Alarite reached down, and the two priests clasped hands tightly.
“You, too, Leonis. May Alaric protect you, even as Andrikos guides your sword and shield. I’ve no doubt that the journey up to Girithin is going to be a dangerous one. Keep yourself in one piece!”
“Don’t worry – I will!” As they broke their clasp, Leonis suddenly looked thoughtful. “But, can I ask you a favor?”
“Of course. What?”
“After you reach Sebohin, can you take a message to Gutrod for me?”
“Tell him that The Harbingers will be needed again.”
”...the Harbingers…” Alain’s face creased in puzzlement, but he nodded. “I will. Anything else?”
“Only that if he should ask where we’re headed, let him know that we’re bound for Girithin. I suspect he’ll know what to do, after that.”
They said a final goodbye, and as the priest and priestess road for the city gates, Leonis’ hand drifted to the spear and sun at his neck. “May the Light shine down upon you, and guide your path. May the Wind blow gentle upon your brow, and may the Blessing of Andrikos ease your burdens and speed your journey.”
His prayer complete, he bowed to the sun as it rose higher into the skies, the sounds of Dimlain awakening to a new day reaching his ears. Turning back to the keep, he returned to the room that Ainerun’s father had granted him for their stay. Alain and Hannah were not the only ones leaving Dimlain today, and he had his own preparations to look to before they set off for the North.