Pale, gray nails stroked the dawn sky across Daverne’s horizon. The buildings were precariously stacked on the hillside, their shadows hovering over the bay. A fog hung low over the riverbed dousing the trees in darkness as if they were black soldiers waiting to take their prey.
Senior Tevkin sat in the brow of the boat fiddling with a peculiar device. It looked like an oddly shaped pocket watch. The body was elongated to appear as an oval with a very flat surface.
Upon departing, the ferryman presented Elliera and Tevkin with a cart and supply box. Tevkin insisted that they would get along just fine. The man did not give ground.
“You are a scholar, your bring peace to a disturbed land,” he whispered and shook his finger towards Daverne, “There are those there that will not be so kind. Please, take it, peace be with you.”
The pair offered their gratitude then started down the path towards the city. Elliera had offered to pull the small cart, it’s weight surprisingly heavy for its size. Senior Tevkin pushed up his glasses and peered once again at his device. He stood in place for a long moment.
“What’s wrong?” She ventured after a good minute of silence.
Tevkin did not look up from his device, “Oh, it’s nothing. Shall we?” He gestured to the path before them. He shifted quickly in the direction of the city, his device safely stowed in his robes and his hands swinging innocently at his sides.
She had never seen Tevkin so secretive before and it worried her. Then again, she had a secret of her own. Elliera glanced briefly at the box. She wondered how long she could hide that secret. And what it would really amount to. She was sure that Tevkin would be okay with the man’s presence.
She paused. Would he really be okay with this? She thought. What were his thoughts on the disruption of the trial and the Council of Night which he admitted he had never heard of? And what was with this secretive device suddenly? Elliera kicked at a twig on the path. There was something really strange about that device, something she could sense through the fourth plane, a technique she had learned through intense meditation . She could not pin point its energy but it was there. A small spark. Perhaps it was a detection device, she speculated, to keep the safe and located any obstacles. That could be, she thought encouragingly to herself hoping to shake the weird feeling.
The lucien had been loping along in front of Senior Tevkin when the fur on his haunches stood up. He barred his teeth and slinked to the right.
“You, ah, mind calling that thing off there,” one of the trees said, “Would prefer not to lose a hand.”
Elliera blinked. She whipped out her bow and slotted an arrow pointing at the tree that had spoken. “Show yourself.”
“Alright, alright, don’t mean no harm, yeah? Seriously, though, could you ask that thing to step back just a hair?”
She considered his request watching the lucien closely. Finally, she let out a low whistle. The creature stepped back reluctantly. She glanced sidelong at Senior Tevkin who seemed to regard this as nothing more than a distraction to a morning walk, his eyebrow cocked only slightly. Perhaps I’m overreacting, she thought to herself, but then again what was a stranger doing lurking in the bushes?
Elliera watched wearily behind her arrow as the figure stepped out behind the tree. Then, her mouth dropped open in awe.