Chapter Seventeen -The Island Change
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter. My weekend was quite busy (hence the fact this is posted today). I hope you enjoy it.
The next day, Mithrilanna had to return to Damla, and it provided the best time for Luna to visit the island. Mederei, however, was going to remain on the mainland. "Why aren't you going to return?" Mithrilanna inquired over breakfast.
"Those tapestries were made by our ancestors," Mederei answered, motioning between herself and Caradoc. "We need to figure out what makes them work beyond our own magic. Something is connected to them, but we don’t know what."
"Besides, my magic might work better there," Luna explained. "I tend to do history better than Medi does when it comes to anyone besides the Gwion. Her magic can be showy, mine is more book related."
Mithrilanna shrugged in agreement but said nothing else as she ate her toast. She swallowed the bite of toast back with coffee before asking, "Will it be safe here if she remains?"
Caradoc snorted then started coughing as his coffee missed the right track.
Ramses took Caradoc's mug and set it on the table as Hugh whacked Caradoc's back.
"It'll be as safe here as anywhere else," Ramses said. "I will keep them out of trouble."
Caradoc glared at him. "Who says I'll cause trouble."
"I just accept the fact that everyone assumes I'll cause trouble," Mederei said, leaning back in her chair. "You should do the same so that when you don't cause trouble everyone is proud of you." She pointed her finger between the other two men. "Mind you, only you two think this, because my family knows better."
"Yeah, we do." Caradoc groused. He stopped talking to cough again, but finished his complaint, "How is it that we're the troublemakers in this group, but back home we're the poster children?"
Mederei shrugged. "Luna and Ramses have never met the family, but him," she glared at Hugh. "He has and continues to make us the bad ones."
"You are the bad ones out of the five of us," Hugh reminded her. "Who is the one who has fights in libraries?"
The Gwion ignored answering and turned back to Mithrilanna. "We have work here, and everyone will be safe," one began and the other ended.
"Hugh? Are you going to fly us out there?"
He nodded his head. "It'll be easier ... and safer out there. When do you want to leave?"
"Whenever you're ready," Luna answered. "Maybe an hour?"
Hugh nodded his head in agreement.
Luna turned to Ramses. "You coming as well? I could use your help out there."
Ramses shook his head. "I don't know if I can last - it's hard to explain, but there's some strange magic on that island."
"I had to pool it off him," Mederei explained. "It swamped him as though it needed a place to escape. It's almost as if there's an excess of magic there just waiting to be used for something." She crossed her arms. "Wish we could use it here to shore up the tapestries' magic."
"As if that's possible," Caradoc muttered.
"If there is a way to do something, we could rig it, I suppose," Mederei answered. "Might take a little time, but it might work. After all, fae have unquenchable magic reservoirs."
"But how would you manage to connect it?"
"There's the problem. Since the isle is floating in the air, we can't harness the energy in any through normal means. It needs to be connected to the earth below in the ocean, but it’s there, in the air, not doing anything.” Mederei blew out her breath. “It would be a lot easier if we could just push it down or connect them some other way.”
"But, I thought fae magic was connected to the elements," Luna interjected as she rose to pack a bag to take with her to the isle. "It's similar to mage magic, isn't it ...? Or mage magic is similar to fae magic."
"In theory, yes," Mederei answered, drawing her legs to her chest. "In theory, anything is possible, but fae magic always needs something to ground it. That's why they can't use it when they're flying."
"I don't have wings," Mithrilanna reminded them.
"The fae that do can't," Mederei concurred. She lowered her legs and leaned forward. "If there was a way we could connect their magic to the water at least, I bet we could manage."
"Now, that's where I like to work," Caradoc muttered. "What shall we weave?"
"It's best to let them do their thing at this point," Ramses informed Mithrilanna.
From the entrance of her room, Luna had to agree. The Gwion always plotted, and whenever they needed a plan, they would say, 'let's weave something up' or 'what shall we weave'. Everything in their world was connected to their weaving to the point that there were certain sayings which marked the Gwion from all others. They never said, 'make a plan' always 'weave a plan', and it was something universal to the Gwion.
While the Gwion wove plans, Luna considered what she would need for a night out on an island? Clothing and books, primarily. It would be her first time to meet any of the fae, and while Mithrilanna was nice, her people were still fae, and fae were still intimidating. How could Mederei, Hugh and Ramses just meet with them? Surely, they were braver than … than … what? Dragons? Hugh was one. Mederei was a Gwion, and everyone knew they were intimidated by no one. What about Ramses, though? There was little of his family background that anyone knew, other than that he was a magical orphan.
“What bothers you?” Mithrilanna asked, stepping into the room she had shared with Luna. “You appear to be concerned about something?”
“Nothing, just thinking,” Luna answered. “What are your people like?”
“Like normal people. We eat, drink and sleep. We fight with our siblings and quarrel with our friends. We roll our eyes when are parents annoy us, but we don’t let them see it.” Mithrilanna sat on the edge of the bed. “Despite our different appearances, I doubt if we are much different. What do you do with your parents?”
“My parents died when I was twelve,” Luna answered. “My brothers, sister and I came home from school to find a lot of people at our home. We fled north that very same night.”
“Father always told us to go north if we needed to flee. My brothers had heard about Fire Shadow, and we went there.”
“Do you know why your parents died?”
Luna shook her head. “Anyway. I’m about packed. You?”
“I am packed.”
Ramses knocked on the door jam. “Need help?”
“No, we have everything. Did the others leave?”
“Caradoc and Mederei went downstairs to check something.” He leaned back to look out into the main area. “Hugh sent them after a tapestry or a plant, I think.”
If one ever needed to escape the Gwion, it was best to send them after a tapestry or a plant, and they would instantly trek out to observe. Worse than a puppy with a treat, they were. “We’ll leave, then,” Luna said sliding past Ramses. “Stay safe, would you?”
“I’ll be fine,” he assured her. “Here on the mainland, I feel better.”
Hugh waited for them then followed them outside.
The flight out was uneventful, and the isle did appear to be much like teardrop hung in the air. As Hugh’s slow undulation circled them around the island, it was clear that the island was in no way connected to the ocean. Much like Mederei had said – there was nothing to connect the island, and most likely, the energy was stored to overflowing. There were stories from the books that her parents sold when she was a child. Stories of wizards who fought deep sea monsters from eating teardrop islands, but all that was myth ... Wasn't it?
If anything was a myth, it should have been this, but what if it wasn't a myth, but reality that had been forgotten about many years ago?
The information that Mithrilanna and Mederei had provided gave precious little in ascertaining the actual events of the island, but there was enough to indicate that magic had been involved. If what Thuweni suggested was true, then maybe there was something else going on, but how were they to discover it if Ramses couldn’t come to the island? The fae had lived on the island for generations, and they couldn’t find their own answers. Earth mages were the best options at that point, but …
"Is there something the matter?" Mithrilanna inquired, turning to look over her shoulder at Luna. "The isle looks the same as when I left."
"No; it's just that I've never seen anything like this, only read about it in books."
"It is all that I've ever known," Mithrilanna answered.
Once on the isle, Mithrilanna led them to the village where the fae were gathered around the central fire. All those gathered stared at Luna and Hugh as they followed behind Mithrilanna who had started to run in to great her family, but slowed as the expressions remained unchanged. She spoke in their dialect, which like all fae languages sounded like a cross between music and spoken word.
No one answered Mithrilanna, and her words faded until there was no sound whatsoever.
Something's changed, Hugh said through a telepathic connection. He must have switched the hand on her back into a dragon's hand for the magic to work. In his human form, he was unable to communicate.
Like what? Luna answered.
Don't know, but it's definitely not good for anyone here. Hugh dropped his hand. "Greetings," he called out to the village.
The fae shifted their gaze to him.
"We have brought Mithrilanna back to you," Hugh continued. "But, we wish ..."
"You will no longer be permitted on this isle," Eunibai announced.
"For what purpose?" Mithrilanna demanded. "What reason have you for this rule?"
"They have broken the sacred lines."
Sacred lines? Those were the things that kept the island history, weren't they? The very items that Mederei and Ramses had been ... exploring when ... his magic was attacked. Magic attracted magic, but if magic was puddling in a place, as Mederei suggested, could it be enough to change the lines? Could Ramses' arrival and the overabundance of magic in this place had conspired to shift the lines around? If it had, how would that affect the magic of the fae who were connect intimately to the magic of their homeland. It was the very reason that the fae rarely left their own lands - their magic was a part of the magic of their land. Not unlike when the Gwion added blood to a dye to secure a non-Gwion's protection.
Some fae were known even to travel with Gwion tapestries woven from elements of their land specifically to aide their magic while far from home.
Could Mederei or Caradoc weave something? Hugh asked, his hand having returned to Luna's back.
"We can help you repair ..." Hugh began.
Eunibai held up a hand. "Enough. You are banned from this isle." He pushed his hand forward and a strong gust of wind pushed Luna and Hugh back.
Hugh shifted to give himself wings as he wrapped his arms around Luna. "It is better for us to leave," he whispered.
Luna reached to her ear and tugged once.
Below Mithrilanna mirrored the motion. She had been given an earring as well, connected to the ones that Mederei and Luna had. They could at least remain in contact with one another.
"I'm going to go up high then drop you so I can change," Hugh informed her.
"Right. Falling." Luna closed her eyes when Hugh released her. She hated falling, and even though she trusted Hugh to catch her, the wind whipping past her face and the sudden stop of sound as she hit that magic level was frightening. But moments later, she felt warm reptilian skin beneath her face, and the low hum of an annoyed lizard reverberated down her spine.
"What do you think happened?"
No idea, but they were not happy to see us there. Mithrilanna will survive, but we needed to leave. Hugh banked to take them back to the hotel. What do you know about their lines?
"Precious little. I'll have to do some research when we get back." She rubbed her forehead. "You think it's connected to Ramses?"
Possibly, but I don't think it's anything to worry about.
Hopefully it wasn't. Ramses' magic was connected to the land. He was visibly ill when he returned from the island, but now appeared better. Magic sickness was nothing to laugh at when it happened.
With a sigh, Luna stretched out on Hugh's back, in the closest form of a hug she could manage.