Faron explained her statement, “Of course, the Mage-King has had many daughters and granddaughters among his children. In that respect, he is no different from any other. Most, however, do not live long beyond childbearing age- like any of the others used as concubines of the princes.” Faron crossed her arms, looking over at Cletus. “Some live a bit longer, if they stop bearing children… though only if the cause cannot be found. But most of us Sisters were hidden as princes. A bribe or magic to fool the royal physicians followed by a lifetime of hiding.” Faron sighed, “And then I got found out by…” Faron seemed unsure what to call those around her, “Foreigners.”
Cletus took some time of silence to ask, “These Sisters, are they your informants?”
Cletus nodded. “We’ll have to thank them for our lives, if we get the chance.” He looked at the wizards around them. “I’m sure those who dislike Scoubar could benefit greatly from your help.”
Sarah smiled, “We would certainly be interested in learning more. What could they tell us?”
“The Sisters know many things. We have connections throughout Scoubar’s territories. Some information could be traded from a distance, but to know more… I would have to go in person.” Faron stood tall and proud.
“It does seem like we would need you alive,” Sarah said. “We might need some proof of your claims later. I still find myself more confused at how you would be a Mage-Hunter.”
Faron shook her head. “It was all approved by the Sisters. Ultimately it would be for the best, if we got an opportunity to kill the Mage-King. Unfortunately, even meeting him is hard… overcoming his guards and personal power would be much harder.”
“So you intend to kill the Mage-King, then?” Sarah asked.
“Of course. I think nearly everyone except the man himself would like that. It’s just the princes are all concerned with their lesser grabs for power to work their way up. No one has a chance to replace him, so they prefer to work under him. I’m quite certain it’s on purpose.”
Sarah looked around at the others. “This is quite important information. We will have more questions later, but we’ll need to convene to discuss.” She turned to Cletus, “Do you have any helpful information to volunteer?”
Cletus sighed, “Not in a general sense. If you’re looking for weaknesses of particular princes I might be able to help. Otherwise, I have no access to the great libraries of Scoubar, so I-” Douglas began gesturing emphatically. “What is he…?”
Sarah smiled and grabbed Douglas by the shoulder, “Don’t mind him. He was just asking some questions.”
Faron caught Cletus’ eye and held up her right hand, waggling her fingers. He raised his eyebrows and watched as they took Douglas away… and then separately himself.
Hands and arms waved back and forth eventually forming a coherent thought from Douglas. “They might be connected to the Endless Library!” Douglas exclaimed with his whole body when they were away from the prisoners.
“Do you have any evidence for this?” Hagen asked. Douglas shrugged. “I’m not saying you’re wrong… but I’m not sure what that would change. Our section is cut off from there, and I imagine the Scoubarrans would jealously guard their area.”
Douglas calmed down slightly, forming more comprehensible words. “They almost certainly have some of it. They might have been intending to conquer Vospia to control all of it. And then… no wizards outside of Scoubar.” Douglas waggled his hand, “No powerful ones, anyway.”
“Not many, at least…” Hagen frowned. “It’s not necessarily true that Vospia would be the last. Most of the former locations are unknown. Still, that is likely one of their eventual goals, and dangerous regardless. Dalgare might be out of their hands for now, but Scoubar always has more people. They’ve expanded quite significantly over the past half century.” Hagen shook his head. “We are much too small here to have an impact on what might happen.” He held up his hand to stop Douglas, “And yes, I did include our magical ability in that thought.”
Douglas lowered his hands and then raised them back up. “My father is popular in Dalare, and Lucy basically runs the mage’s guild in Bryria. We might be able to coordinate… something with them.”
“We might,” Hagen agreed. “That will certainly take some time. Just don’t be in a rush.”
In Dalgare, Xavier found himself in an awkward situation. He was an esteemed member of The Resistance and included in the structures of their new government, but he found himself not really suited for the task. Over the past decade he’d molded himself into an assassin- finding Scoubar well and truly removed from the region left him without a real cause.
He was the most qualified to lead the new wizard’s guild in the region. The only current wizards in the country who hadn’t learned silent casting from him had been hiding out in the wilderness and weren’t going to be given positions of honor. Not that many of them had been successful regardless.
Still, being the best speechless wizard in a country of speechless wizards wasn’t that much of an accomplishment. Xavier knew he had talent, but that didn’t mean he could imbue all that he knew on others. He had mostly taught his children… and honestly that barely involved any work on his end. They hadn’t exactly learned on their own, but they had gone far beyond the abilities a typical wizard would exhibit.
Besides, he didn’t want the next generation of wizards in Dalgare to be led by someone not from their country… who couldn’t even speak. Unfortunately, the next best candidate was otherwise occupied and a sorceress. Janette Allegri had been the chosen concubine of the governor-prince of Dalgare, and was half the reason Xavier was alive. They both agreed that they owed each other and planned to let it rest at that. She was quite capable of speech, but as a sorceress she never really learned magic. Still, the next generation in Dalagare should grow up learning magic the normal way… though with the option to have silent spells. That wouldn’t be good for their eventual future if Scoubar came back- they wouldn’t likely leave such threats alive.
Lucy held her head in her hands. Why did everything have to happen all at once? It was honestly enough dealing with the aftermath of a war and Bryria already wanted to start another one. It wasn’t even unjustified. Vospia had come in and left all of their own accord, and the leaders of Bryria wanted to make them pay reparations. That was all well and good, but they had to consider their own costs. In particular the mages needed to fortify the border first- or regardless of what they did. Currently her days were filled with convincing people to wait. Bryria had already suffered enough damage.
Dalgare and Othius had suddenly had turnovers in their situation- one leading to the other quite directly. She’d been vaguely aware of momentum in that direction, but being occupied with the war with Vospia she hadn’t known it would be so close. Trying to forge an alliance with Dalgare would likely be beneficial to both, but what Lucy could do about it involved mages… and her father. The countries might feel at ease with leaders being related, or they might feel that one family was gaining too much power. They didn’t even know about Douglas… and eventually people would find out. Dalgare wouldn’t care, but Bryria would ask why she didn’t say anything about her brother being alive when he was supposed to be dead or how she didn’t know. Most people would congratulate her, but doubtless some would try to weaken her position with such knowledge… even if it hurt the country as a whole.
And Douglas… had sent the most infuriating messages. “Captured someone who is probably important,” “Captured someone else who is probably equally important,” “Unable to say who they are.”
Why couldn’t he say? Did he not know or did he not trust her? That second thought was… laughable. Douglas trusted her with everything. He probably shouldn’t have technically told her about whoever those people were. Why wouldn’t he say, then? Was it dangerous for her to know? Why would that be? The easy answer came with another request. “Don’t tell father.”
Scoubarrans. Princes, maybe? She would certainly be quite interested in killing some of them. Their father… would be even more willing to do it. But they wanted them alive for information. Lucy had no problem with that, but something felt weird. It had been a while since the last update. Then Douglas sent one more message. “Need to talk. In person. Meet up when?”
At least Douglas would be the one sneaking about to meet her. She just needed to go somewhere away from others. Finding the right place was difficult. Countess Irieby would be quite discreet, and would certainly be willing to host the siblings, but if she knew about Douglas… that would be one more. Lucy was actually quite glad that Countess Irieby had started calling in favors for magical enchantments and the like. It took Lucy away from monotony and eased Lucy’s worries about what the Countess wanted. She wasn’t some sort of selfless hero… but understood that helping those with potential could benefit her. That wasn’t an awful sort of exchange to be in. Just meeting in a random village would be more anonymous, but getting an excuse to go there would be harder. Lucy shook her head. They’d work it out somehow.