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RP:Alpaca-Lypse Now

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Summary: Khitti sends a letter to Lanara, asking her to investigate some strange happenings in Xalious, regarding alpaca's that are terrorizing those that dare cross their path. Being that this adventure comes shortly after leaving the healing center due to a severed achilles tendon, the witch is unable to make the journey on her own. Plus, she's still terrified that the witch hunters that abducted and tortured her may be lurking, so she calls on her brother, Scandal, to meet her at the halfway point. Together, they encounter and kill the undead alpaca's, remove a cursed object from a stream, and provide healing for a brother and sister that had been too fearful to leave their hut. Lana takes some notes on a presumed cult that may have placed the cursed talisman in the water, and delivers it to the Devout's Guild, so they can follow up on the matter.

Part of the Magic, Madness, and Mayhem Arc

Lanara :: It had been nearly two weeks since the incident and the witch looked worse with each passing day. Lanara’s long locks hung limp, as though they hadn’t been washed or combed in several days, and there were dark circles beneath her eyes, an obvious indicator that she hadn’t been sleeping. Every time she has been spotted in public, passersby refer to her expression as haunted, as though she were afraid of her own shadow. Lana –had- been fearful since the attack on the sanctuary, the abduction by the witch killers, and seeing the pain that was inflicted on her little sister, Talyara. So, it’s no wonder that she continuously glances over her shoulder as she ambles nearer to the Kelay Tavern.

Rarely, if ever, had Lana ventured so far from the home she shared with Eli in Cenril, since being held prisoner by Cramer and his lackeys. Riddled with anxiety, her armpits aching from the prolonged use of wooden crutches, she hobbles before the tavern and rests with her back against the building. She needed air, a stiff drink, and to rest her left ankle. After having her Achilles tendon sliced and nearly dying from blood loss, the healers said that Lana would never dance again, and it was unlikely that she’d ever lose the obvious limp in her step. Each day she physically grew stronger, yet, she was emotionally unhinged, and each day that thread that maintained sanity grew more and more strained. She was close to snapping, entirely.

The letter that arrived that morning, as she was packing her scant belongings that remained at Elioyahazer’s, had been unexpected. Khitti, her dear friend, had asked the Advocate of Nature to head to the mountain pass in Xalious, and to investigate the alpaca’s that roamed and terrorized the area. Apparently, they were suffering from some sort of disease that made them appear undead and they were biting and attacking any that dared cross their path. Lana, being a member of the Devout’s Guild, and an animal empath, agreed to fulfill this mission for Khitti, and so she waits for her brother to arrive. She didn’t like traveling alone, especially after the incident, and so she thought Scandal, a dragon, would be the best form of support and protection for this long journey.

After waiting for several moments, the witch lifts her hand and gives a small greeting to Scandal, offering a smile that doesn’t quite meet her eyes. Every semblance of sanity was forced these days, it seemed, but at least she was getting some fresh air and spending the day with kin. “Hello, Brother! How are you doing? We have to head to Xalious… There are some alpaca’s that I have to examine and report back to Khitti… I hope they can be saved. I appreciate you coming along on such short notice.” Another feigned grin is given, as she adjusts the backpack between her shoulders, and carefully walks along the road that leads to the west.

Scandal's step was more forced than anything else. Three weeks of avoiding to leave his own house, partially had been for reason of him punishing himself for not having been able to save his family when they may have needed him. The other, well suffice to say aside from grinding an axe against some ex of one his sisters, Scandal had had another growth spurt. As the immense draconian walked the air twisted around him warping and as the air moved around him, his eyes glowing energy seemingly blazing from his eyes like two red fire blast furnaces. His scales seem to absorb the very light around him. And his height rose well past that of five men high. Clad from head to toe, in heavy black armor that seemed to draw the very essence of the air and that of the light around him, Scandal’s eyes briefly locked with the large rubbish heap of dead rats. He growled in tone that seemed to cause the air around him to shiver. He spat at the pile and from it rose a glistening sulfuric blue flame, as the mass oozed into a bluish blackish mess that stained the road, until what didn't melt away was blown into ash.

When he was able and the eyes of his sister and the lifting of her hand is raised, his lipless jaw and ferocious teeth exposed. The only response he raises is first a massive clawed hand, and then, his voice rumbled metallic tone. He would cross his arms before he spoke, "Fine, sister, fine." His eyes searching her. Any emotion he might have previously been able to show, seemingly was at loss for him to give, not because he didn't desire it, but simply his form no longer allowed it. He was inexplicitly at his adult form. "Xalious, alpaca's, and Khitti. Nothing would have kept me away." He said turning as he had come previously from direction of Xailous, and then began to walk with her, slower than her, only because each step he cross the same distance as it was for ten of her steps, or perhaps what would have been when she had been able to walk without crutches.

Thoughts that ran through Scandal's head seemed to be in combat with each other, one thought was to hug her and hold her, and comfort her, the other was speak to her mind, let the emotions flow between them, he had bore great grief before, but the third and most rational voice in him told him, if you hug her, you might injure her more, and if you speak to her by thought, she will get mad, as you promised not to do that with her. In the end the third voice won. "Your healer was gracious enough to have allowed me a single visit, I am sorry that I could not have convinced him for more."

The witch isn’t all that surprised to see her brother in his adult form, as the last time she had laid eyes upon him; he was nearly through his juvenile phase. If anything, he looks more menacing than before, and was she not his sibling; she may have even dared to fear the usually friendly dragon. Scandal would never harm a hair upon Lana’s head, and there were quite a few times when the witch had deliberately pushed his buttons! Wincing as she takes another step, she nearly curses, as she’s uncertain which pain was more unbearable. The ankle from the damaged Achilles tendon, or the armpits from the damned crutches?! The amalgamation of sulfur disposed rats is noted, and she shakes her head, the lost look in her dark eyes gone with the taste of adventure coating her mind. “Where the hell did all these rats come from? And where are they going? Watch… Next there will be a freaking plague roaming the lands!” She joins his side and matches his pace, grateful that Scandal was walking at a near snail’s pace, so that she could keep up and not push her body past its limits. She did –not- want to end up at the healers again, nor did she want to relive the nightmares that would threaten if she stepped back into the hospital.

As they near the mountain pass where the investigation would begin, her brother offers an apology, and she nips her lower lip. For once, Lanara is at a loss of words, and she’s uncertain how to proceed. Eventually, she sighs, “I declined any visitors… Eli didn’t come to rescue me, after Sigrid and Venin both reached out the night I was abducted. Nor did he come and visit me at the healer, though his butler did send me some flowers and signed his name… And when I was released, I returned home to find that all of my things had been moved into the guest room. So, I’m in the process of moving out. I don’t know what went wrong, or why Eli is doing this to me… We didn’t fight; neither of us was unfaithful… It’s like he lost interest in me, overnight.” Tears threaten to spill, so Lana steers the conversation away from the embarrassment and loss she felt, from losing her fiancé, and for the wedding being cancelled. “I wasn’t in a good place with my injury… I was mostly concerned about Taly. They had tortured her for –days- for information about witches and Valrae’s whereabouts, and when she wouldn’t give anything up, they captured me, in hopes that torturing me would make her talk. She endured a lot…” Their little sister was a heroine in her own right, and was Lana not so melancholy; she’d have spoken with pride, “It was Taly and her lover, Krice that saved my life… So, please, don’t be upset, Scandal. I wasn’t in a good mindset to have visitors, but I appreciate that you made the effort. And I loved the flowers and the paw print card you had the animals at the sanctuary design for me. Maybe…. I could stay with you a little while? Until I find a new place to live?” Not all of her sanity was severed at this point, and bits and pieces of Lana surfaced here and there. Now is one of those moments of clarity, as she tries to figure out what to do with her life. The little that remains.

About two hours later, which would have been a third of the time, had they not been traveling at such a slow pace and making frequent stops so the witch could rest her arms, they arrive long last at the mountain pass. Several herds of rats loitered around the pass, screeching and baring their needle teeth at the dragon and witch that dared interrupt their lunch. They are gnawing on the remains of a flea ridden alpaca that had met his demise, seemingly by a trio of arrows that are stuck into its side. Lana pales, surveying the scene but not daring to get any closer, and she rests her palm upon Scandal’s forearm, as though telling him to stand back. “I want to observe, first and foremost… If we can save any of the alpaca’s, I’d like to at least try. We have to find the source of their infection, rescue any mountain people that live along the pass, and save whatever animals we can. The rest we will have to euthanize.” She’d make it quick and as painless as possible, and hopefully this would all go smoothly. The rats pause in their dining, and the dead alpaca seem to spring to life! Black eyes that were filled with the fog of death are again lifelike, as it lifts its head, and spits a venomous substance all over the rats. Their death is instantaneous and bile rises in Lana’s throat, as the stench of death all around them is unbearable. The alpaca rises steadily to its hooves and charges for the duo that stare in awe, only for Lana to lift her crutch as a means of defense and whack the animal on the side of the head. It falters for a moment, and lifts its head to advance on Scandal, “Kill it!” She screams, knowing they had a lot of work to do, and that this one’s –second- death would be unavoidable.

Scandal’s heart burned. With what, rage, sadness, heartache, the list was so long. He had seen her in the hospital bed, and now he was seeing how she physically was being forced to adjust to the wounds that had been inflicted on her body. But he sensed that there was more than physical wounds, psychological wounds were so much harder to treat. Powerless. That was the word that defined Scandal’s own psychological trauma inflicted so long ago when diamonds were still coal beneath their feet. Powerless to stop the pain that was being inflicted then, and now being powerless or rather ignorant of his sisters peril. The bitterness of that defeating repeat in of itself was immense burden for the dragon, far outweighed his inability to shift on his own, or to be able to mask his fierceness, or his instinctual impulses. When he had first met his sister, he had remembered that he had felt younger, but even then he had bore much pain and much grief, and she had been at the time in his mind the opposite, so full of joy and gladness, she had been there for him, dragged her sister Taly and their friend Rani all over Kelay and Enchantment, to Frostmaw and back, and into the lands of dark Vailkrin, in all of these things she had not faltered, she had not just been his sister nor just his family, she had been his north star, guiding him in the person he was becoming. Now with what she bore the physical and the psychological, how their positions in life were ever so reversed. It was daunting. It was painful, to see her hurt like this and to feel powerless to heal her, powerless to avenge her, powerless to have saved her, and worse powerless to share with her in her grief and his. For all of his gifts, magical and physical, Scandal felt perpetually powerless.

His eyes while fiery and no longer could display sympathy, but in his heart they poured out like waterfalls. Her voice a moment filled with a hint of sarcasm he had loved and now speaking in terms of rats and plagues. For but a moment his heart was briefly filled with joy listening to this remnant of his sister. Forced to again emerge as she mentions having declined any visitors. He could not speak of Eli, the words to were too harsh to be uttered, much less thought of, and as he had taken note he spoke minimally of what had led her to this moment in her life. “I wish I had known about you, about Taly. To think that no one came when I could have, had I known. My admiration for Krice is blooming, I am glad he was able to save you both.” His heart grieved. He couldn’t be upset, he just was, not that she didn’t let him in, but simply in himself for not being there. He kept his voice free from as much emotion as he could. But his heart melted as he heard her following words. And his words that spoke in reply resounded with bottled up heart melting emotion. “It would be my greatest pleasure, to have my sister live with me, until she finds her new home.” Loneliness, that was his second grievance, when he wasn’t powerless he was lonely.

He spoke privately with her over the course of the following two hours, their conversation for the two of them alone to know, or with their silent walking. When the swarm of rats were present and Lanara’s decision to euthanize what ones they could not save, he watched with no manner of surprise as the rats were slain and the undead alpaca rose and charged them. He barely heard his sister’s scream to kill it, when he reached as it came about. A sickening sound like sharp object being thrusted through soft and squishy meat, the sound of pop, much like that of gas escaping rotten meat, as the undead alpaca had extended itself beyond the side of Scandal, its body rapidly collapsing in on itself, as it collapsed into a meaty messy mound of flesh. Its blood coating the draconian’s arm and hand, for with those talon grip in whole disturbing and disgusting display, as if the alpaca had been a fish, and filleted by a fisherman, so was its backbone, ribs and tail bones of its framework, held in the grip of the draconian. Scandal opened his hand and the bones fell to the ground cluttering a mixing without form as their ligaments and cartilage collapse from the sudden, loss of grasp that had held them in their place. Scandal raised his right bloody disgusting arm, thick with gore, looked at it with head cocked to his right side. His words forming as easily as the gore continued to slip down his arm falling down on to the mountain path below him. “I believe you said there was more?”

Lanara’s shoulder sag in relief as Scandal confirms that she can stay at his residence in Venturil, until she’s capable of being on her own, again. She’s physically and mentally struggling, severely, and wanting nothing more than a place to curl up and live out the rest of her days, behind closed doors and far from society. She even stopped answering Taly’s letters, and this would be her first and last adventure for some time to come. She was dealing with mending a broken heart, insomnia, nightmares when she rarely found sleep, a plethora of injuries to her petite form, and of course, the mental anguish with each breath she took. For a fraction of a moment, it looked as though Lana was about to open up to her brother, and tell him about the visions she was having, the moments of obscurity, and the voices that were coaxing her to slice into her own flesh, to end it all… But the near attack from the undead alpaca broke her line of thought, and so she swallows hard and sways on her feet, before righting the crutch beneath her arm once more. “Are you alright? I think if we head into the small clearing in the woods up north, I can talk to some of the villagers… Maybe learn how they are becoming infected? This didn’t just come out of nowhere…” The blood and gore drips from his talons and coats the ground, causing the remaining rats to scatter in search of a new meal.

As they continue along their way, they find carcasses of several more alpacas, so they move hastily out of the way, before they awaken in their undead forms. An animal that lived and breathed was somewhat capable of reasoning with, and Lana had her empathic abilities to rely on, however, an undead was unlike anything she had dealt with in the past. There was no mind or emotions to counter, as they were riddled with infection, spreading their unique disease, and thirsted for blood. The witch hears the sound of a branch snapping up ahead, and she lifts her finger to her lips, exchanging a look with Scandal, in hopes that he would know to approach slowly and silently. Soft footfalls bring the siblings to a giant oak tree and peering at the treetops, they spy an elven male, in his late teens, with a bow in his hand, and the arrow trained on the space between Lana’s brows. Realizing that they aren’t a threat, he lowers the weapon, drops to the ground with a thud, and offers an apology to the pair.

“I’m awful sorry about that, but one can’t take any chances with all that is going on in these parts! My name is Nelron and I live in the hut to the south… I was keeping guard, while the rest of my team went to the spring to look at the water. We think there’s something foul, which is poisoning our herd of alpaca… One day they broke out of their pens after a thunderstorm, and a few returned, well… Dead, but not really. They bite, they kill, and one of them spit acid on my little sister! She lost her leg, and she hasn’t been looking right lately, either… I think she may be infected…” He bows his head in worry, studying the lone arrow that is notched onto his weapon, as though it were a lifeline. “Can you help fair Lady, and kind Sir? Maybe if you come with me to kill the infected animals, my team can look at the water, and this medicine woman can tend Liza? I saw this necklace at the bottom of the water, and it glows this eerie color of green… The animals are awfully protective of it. I bet it’s a curse of some kind! There’s a cult that passes through here every year, and they never brought us trouble in the past, but these days anyone with magic can post a threat...” Clearly, he knew of Lanara, and of the arts she excelled at, for his words are pointed her way.

Lanara looks at Scandal and gives a slow nod of her head. They were to come and investigate, save whatever animals they could, and head home. It was part of the plan that Khitti had outlined in her letter, and there was no way that the witch would turn down an injured party. Plus, it was obvious that dark magic was afoot, and as long as she could remove the object and bless the water, all should end well. She’d also have to alert the Devout’s Guild about this cult, as they’d have to hunt them down in the future and see what was going on. “That will be fine… Why don’t I check on your sister, first? You two can kill the infected alpacas and make a safe path to the spring, while rescuing the team that is already there… And, Scandal… If any of the alpaca’s are babies that haven’t died just yet, please, try to spare them. Maybe round them up in a pen, with their mouths held shut? After the water is cleansed and the curse is gone, it’s possible that their infection may lift or that I can make a potion to counteract what’s occurred.” To Nelron, her next statement is delivered, “I’m Lanara, and this is my brother, Scandal. We can’t make any promises, but we are here to help. Please, show me the way to your sister and best of luck to you both in dealing with the alpaca’s…”

Scandal locked eyes with Lanara as she made the request for him to spare the uninfected babies. His wordless reply of his eyes, said I will do what i can. "Which way is the spring?" Scandal asked Nelron before departing with him in the direction of the spring. As Nelron led him around the hill and northward to the spring, Scandal took note of several dead alpaca, some were dead while others were immobilized but also nearly dead. Worse the air stunk with the smell of rotting flesh, but that was becoming an all too familiar smell what with all the dead rats he kept finding everywhere. Thankfully none in his house, yet, he supposed that was due to some magical protections his house had. "So how does a Dragon and such a beautiful Elf, be siblings?" Nelron asked.

Scandal paused as he continued to walk having to answer that. "Part of it was luck, part of it was love, and part of it was common ground but mostly, I have to say it was our openness and closeness." He said thinking back. "It was a magical experience, and joy to be a part of, it still is, but I fear that it might never be the same as it once was, if ever, so I treasure what is present, for how much longer I can enjoy it."

As he was finishing the thought, Scandal overheard a moaning sound. "Sounds like moaning." Nelron drew his bow, "The team, they are infected." Sure enough they were coming out moaning the flesh already having grown clammy and grey over their bodies, they would slouch forward, and crawl and such.

Scandal groaned flexing his wings as Nelron shot an arrow at the center of one of the infected members brows. No sooner than the arrow met its mark and sank in, that walking corpse keeled over and collapsed. "Zombies," Scandal rolled his eyes to the sky, "Nostaliga'd'necromancer, when will they ever get creative?" Reaching down he picked up a stone as Nelron, took aim and shot another member of the infected. Entering via its broken jaw, and piercing its brain, crumpling to the ground. Heaving the small stone as if he were planning a fast ball, the dragon took aim and focused at the head of the two undead alpaca's running towards, him. Aiming for their heads just so, he threw the flat stone as they spit at him. The sickening sound 'slihiclup'. The two undead alpaca's heads slid off their necks and as the bodies galloped themselves into a ditch. Scandal looked down at himself and the spray of acid already eating at the black cloth of his clothing. "Great, another 250 gold poorly spent." He sighed. At least he was immune, at least he assumed he was, dragons already had many natural resistances, so it wouldn't have surprised him in the least. Or maybe it had something to do about taking seven years to reanimate a dead dragon. He didn't know and frankly he didn't care. Nelron meanwhile was now aiming at him. "You’re infected. It got on you."

Scandal grimaced. "Fine lets go with it did, and how would you stop a dragon pray tell?" Nelron paused. Scandal added, "How about instead we go with it didn't and we go remove this amulet thing wah wah, okay?" Nelron slowly but surely nodded, relaxing his grip on the draw string. As they made their way to the pool Scandal could already see a pair of alpaca infants trying to move to the pool to drink the water. He motioned to Nelron that he would get the infants, if he got the amulet. As he reached the infants he pulled them away from the water, so that Nelron could wade in and remove the amulet.

"Aaagh!" Nelron screamed as he touched the amulet suddenly causing the flesh on his hand to decay rapidly. Pulling away the amulet was now in shallow water but it seemed to pulsate with that same hellish green glow. Nelron limped back clutching his hand which at least to Scandal looked like he could recover. Pushing the little ones towards Nelron, he reached his hand forward and grabbed the amulet. He felt his hand grow warm, as he pulled it from the water. The scales on his hand were slightly a more gray color but not significantly so. As he pulled himself free of the spring he placed the object in the money sack he was using and closed it up. Offering his other hand to Nelron he helped the figure up. "Come on, let’s go see how my and your sister is doing, perhaps she can bandage your hand. As he moved he picked up with his tail the two infants, and carried them with Nelron back to the homestead.

Lanara studies the unconscious woman that lies on her back, with her left leg missing up to her thigh, and the stench of gangrene heavy in the room. The hut consists of two rooms, and it looks as though the brother and sister had to take turns, one resting, while the other kept watch. The alpaca’s had done a number on the village, though they weren’t entirely to blame, as the cultist were the real culprits. Lana limps over to a basin filled with tepid water, and she sprinkles some salt, before closing her eyes and holding a hand over the water. Speaking in sylvan, she asks the Goddess to bless the water, ridding it of any impurities, before her fingertips begin to glow and the water swirls on its own accord. Her ankle is starting to throb, from all the walking, and so she pulls a chair to the young woman’s bedside and begins to unwrap the bandages from the remains of her leg. The flesh is turning green, the muscles are deteriorating, and had Lana come an hour later, the infection would have entered the blood stream and killed the girl. “Just in the nick of time…” She mutters, before getting to work on the wound. Once it’s cleansed with water, she packs the thigh with an herbal mixture, and carefully wraps it with seaweed, before applying a second coating of bandages. Better safe than sorry, and once completed, she checks the woman for fever, and administers a drop of pain medication between her lips.

Upon feeling the liquid on her tongue, the woman’s eyes slowly open, and she obediently swallows the bitter medicine, studying Lana with a feverish gaze. “Th-thank you.” That is all she says, before she falls back to sleep. It’s a good thing she passes out again, for the witch isn’t kind at all in her reply, “Don’t thank me, you should be thanking your brother. I’d have sooner left you to die. No one will marry you with one leg, and your life isn’t worth living. You’ll never dance again.” Neither would she, thanks to the witch hunters. Biting her tongue to keep from saying anything else, she wonders what is wrong with her, and why she’s being such a vile bitch. Lanara hasn’t been herself lately. Maybe living with Scandal in Venturil would help her to enjoy life again… Or it would push her further towards insanity.

Nelron and Scandal return a few hours later, and Lana greets them at the door to the hut, addressing them both. The acid that has burned through her brother’s cloak is noted, and she carefully removes it from his form and tosses it into the trash. “We’ll get you a new one. You are immune to such things, being the blood of a dragon.” Her dark gaze shifts to Nelron, and she inclines her head in the direction of his sister’s room, “She will live. I’ve cleansed the wound, removed some of the dead skin, and bandaged it the correct way. Be sure to check her for a fever, and I’ve left some pain medication and fresh wrappings for the rest of the week. She really should be moved to a healing center soon.” The amulet continues to faintly glow and she reaches out to inspect it, though it doesn’t react as viciously to Lana as it had to Scandal or Nelron. Perhaps it recognized a fellow magic user? She was able to cast hexes and curse objects, or perhaps the cultist that had possessed the talisman was a son or daughter of the Goddess? Maybe Nelron was misinformed and the ‘cult’ was truly a coven? It’s boggling her mind and she’s not an expert on religion, so she tries not to think too much about what was happening here. Her job was to get in and get out, nothing more. “I’ll tend to your hand. And in turn, you will write down everything you can remember about the cult that traveled through here… Don’t leave out any details. The leader of the Devout’s Guild will want to hear about this, and we’ll further investigate, so it doesn’t happen again.”

After tending to Nelron’s hand, receiving several parchments listing the details of the presumed cult, and cleansing the talisman with holy water and an old Kelvarian chant she learned many years ago, they were ready to leave. Scandal waits for his sister, pointing to the two young alpaca’s that he was able to salvage, and Lana wraps a thin rope around each of their necks. “We will bring them back to the sanctuary. They are too young to be left in the wild on their own, with all of their kin slaughtered. On the way, I will stop at the inner sanctum and leave word with Khitti about what transpired here, and how we dealt with everything. She’ll want to hear about this ‘cult’ and I’d appreciate it if you assisted her in any future dealings, Scandal. I… I may not remain with the Devout’s Guild much longer. I fear I’m losing my way with my faith, my heart, and my life, as of late…” This confession is unprecedented, and Lana’s eyes brim with tears. “Would you mind burying the team that turned into zombies? I don’t think Nelron or his sister will be up for that, and I don’t need infection spreading through the lands, again. While you tend to that, I will go and bless the stream. Then we can head back.” Without waiting for his reply, Lana heads north towards the stream, with a rogue tear staining her pale cheek.

Scandal waited and watched his eyes ever weary as he listened to Lanara's instructions. He didn't let it bother him too much that Lanara was going to leave the guild. She had been through hell, both physically, and mentally, and who could have comforted her had abandoned her, tossed her away like used property, and now she was broken. A different person. In some ways it made him realize that he too was getting used to the good things of life, and that should it ever be stripped from him, he too may be left in the same state. But then he remembered, what he had been through, that tough had been life, mistreatment had been common, and deaths of friends, some even by him against his will. These had not made him resistant to the loss, but they had made him bear the pain better. He realized that with Lana, she was feeling as he did so long ago, without hope to go on. Her optimism was gone.

Scandal buried the bodies. He awaited his sister to take her home. He flew her there himself. He would provide a room for her a place to stay. If she needed to leave he would take her there himself, and then return. Family ought to do certain things for family. But during the flight with his heart heavy realizing his sister may be lost to him, he formed something with his magic and love and instinct. Something that would be for her thoughts alone, and only when she herself opened her mind to it. So that in the end it was her choice and her choice alone.

Dearest sister,

I know this sounds like a letter, forgive your brother, he has not attempted this before. Sister, I can feel your pain, I have been where you have stood, full of pain and lack of hope. While the circumstances of our coming to this point in our lives are different, I feel as if that perhaps, when all the world is right again for you. You will know what I have spoken in my thoughts to you, I know you said no more, but I feel in my heart that this is best choice. You would not be able to access this if you did not feel more at ease with your life and your willingness to move forward. You, me, and your sister, are ageless are we not, be it be a hundred years, and your family will await your return. Dearest sister, my closest friend, come home sister, your family's awaits you, our love, our home, it awaits your warmth. Come home sister, be it hundred years or more, we still wait for you.

With his thoughts and flash of magic, unsure how he accomplished it, nor sure how he could do so again, this message of hope would lurk at the borders of her mind, so that when the day came that she was ready to move on, and she no longer bore such pain, it would be available to her. So that they be reunited again. But for now Scandal settled for the long flight home, He and his sister, once more.