I’ve learned my first important lesson in the political arena. Always know who your giving information to. And the follow up would be always confirm your story. I did neither and my sister Rabbit paid for it.
I just wanted to prove to Anglerond that Rabbit was loyal and can be trusted with all of our lives. So I told him all about what Rabbit did in Arborlon to stop the alliance between the elven houses and those of the drow. I had forgotten what group that he belonged to. The one group that could pull my new adopted family from power and kill my new siblings. Even if I screamed to anyone who would listen that it was all my idea and they were all just pawns it would make it worse. From where I sat my choices were kill Nestrim and Alluvian, or kill Rabbit. Two impossible decisions.
Enter Luke. The version of events that he gave to Anglerond was different to what I remembered. Rabbit was sent out to kill just the drow, and she never touched the elves. I was drawing conclusions based off of only half the information. Anglerond, who believed both versions of events told us to come back to Arborlon and talk with Veronwe, who could sort everything out before Anglerond had to file anything official. Luke and Jack fought that but in the end we were all headed to Arborlon the next day.
From this point forward it was made clear to me there are some things that has to happen without my knowledge. So I was asked to leave the room… a lot… I did so because Luke and Jack seemed to be the only ones that could pull me out of the hole I had put myself in and save both parts of my family.
Alluvian was excited to see us and went with us to our audience with Veronwe. I was asked to leave so that Luke and Jack could talk to him in private. When I came back it was decided that Rabbit would need to undergo something called a Sun Ritual. They would hang her from hooks in a clearing under intense sunlight. At night they brought in hot rocks and an awning that simulated noonday sun.
It was the worst thing I have ever had to witness. I deserved every second. If she underwent the torture then she would be free from further persecution. No one could come at her ever. Commoners and nobles alike came out to taunt her and throw things. When the nobles came the Rangers wrote their names down. The nobles threw these little star shaped pieces of stone that burst into flame. We all stayed with her the whole time. Veronwe would come out periodically check on the proceedings. And Alluvian insisted on being there because Nestrim had stepped out of the line of succession. We would need to talk to him about that when this was all over and Rabbit was free.
As it turned out, Veronwe asked us to track down Nestrim sooner rather than later. Luke and I went to find him. On one of the city streets on our way to the keep we were the recipients of an assassination attempt. Luke was stabbed twice and I was stabbed once. We would find out later that the daggers were laced with poison. I was able to grab one and Luke sent his tiger after the other. We released them into the custody of the house guard and they were taken to the dungeons.
We found Nestrim in the keep. He told Luke why he stepped down, but that was a story that my ears weren’t allowed to hear. We went back to sit with Rabbit and wait for her to tear herself off the hooks.
More nobles came, and Jack and Luke put themselves in between Rabbit and their projectiles. I could not do the same due to my status, just one more part of my punishment. While Luke and I were gone, Jack was challenged to a duel with one of the elven nobles. We were all looking forward to watching Jack kick his ass.
Veronwe finally came out and told us that we could cut Rabbit down. He also told us that he and Rabbit had done this to flush out the traitors in the city. My love for my sister knows no bounds. I will spend the rest of my life ensuring she lives a happy life filled with comfort. We took her back to Luke’s rooms and tucked her in. Luke and Nestrim wanted a few hours alone so I sat with Rabbit and she curled herself around me in the bed. I slept…. Luke woke me up when he came back into his room to crawl in bed with Rabbit. I was very disconcerted. I called for Veronwe and he explained to us that this had been happening more and more to elves. I think this is another way that the evil is manifesting on this plane from the other. The darkness is sleeping through. We need to close those gates.
The next day we all went with Jack to face the noble that had challenged him. He had at least 20 of his sycophants in the crowd. I let the Rangers know how many and where they were as Jack started the duel. It devolved quickly. After a few moments the coward sent out a spell that started attacking innocent bystanders and I couldn’t stay out of it any longer. I jumped in and pulled out my sword and took his head. Everything fell apart after that.
Glorian showed up. He was in control of the rest of the enemy elves in the crowd. We charged at him. It was a hard fight and by the end he disappeared into a cloud of ash. We were all spent. Veronwe we told us later that he was a hell knight. He had tied himself to the darkness. The one good thing that came out of this fight for me is that it killed every lingering feeling I had for him. He is the enemy and must be destroyed.
We decided to stay in Arborlon for a few days to rest. That would give us all a bit of time to tie things up before we went home. Lessons learned.