It was cold and dark inside the barn of his farmstead. Klarington unlatched the buckles on his gambeson, slipping back into his plain tweed shirt and dull grey robe. The confrontation with Maja had accelerated his energy, but it was wearing off now and he was so very tired. Inevitably he knew this encounter would take place and everything happened as he had written it, except for the curious fact that Verrill chose to stay behind. The false trail he created for Maja to follow would occupy the Lorestri for a while, so perhaps tomorrow, after some much needed rest, he would check in and make sure things where alright. He carefully stashed his more adventurous clothes and devices benieth a loose floorboard sitting undernieth a bale of hay.
Klarington, moved from the barn to his modest thatch roof house nestled up againt a cliff face. Quickly and quietly he reloaded and stoked the main fireplace that heated his rooms. Stoking the fire, his thoughts lingered on Maja’s agressive atitude towards him. A long laid plan Klarington enacted to change Maja's demenor, but still it did not work. He save his life. If not for his interference Maja would be still dead in place of Rowanna’s daughter. Still Maja hunts him; still Maja threatens his wife, and Klarington sighed with frustration and wondered if he would have to try to kill the Lorestri, afterall, there were only few left in the world. They had him on the run because they hold the upper hand, but with every such confrontation that he survives, he grows stronger, more cunning. He shuddered to think of that terrible scenario and truly hoped that this was not the answer. "The answer"... he whispered. The answer is somewhere, hidden out there within a complex web of possibilities; a swirling mirade of pasts, presents and futures, and in those tangled knots the answer lay hidden somewere. The journey was tiring, but he knew he would never stop until the answer was found.
Now in his bedroom, he stepped ever so carefully as to not wake his wife. As he shifted to his nightshirt, his thoughts also shifted to his own words spoken to Maja. “I’m not damaging time, I’m helping!” in Klaringtons mind the thought of damaging time was a matter of perspective. To him it was not set, to him it was malleable like dough. He saw time differently, he perceived it differently, and why could they claim that their way was the right way? “I’m doing it to help them!” he had said, but was that true or was it really for her? He looked down at his wife, sleeping so peacefully in their bed. He wondered if in her darker, former life she ever slept with anything but torment. He was her miracle, her redeption and in some ways he wondered if she was his; and he would disrupt the beginning and the end of days to save her. He would erode mountains with the sands of time and raise the seas to drown his enemies; if that is what it came too. If ever they dared to take her life, his pain would be legendary and he would force the world to share in it… “No”, he realized. “Everything I do, I do for her”…
* * * * *
The field looked different after the sun started to show through the thinning tree tops. Their green, gold, red and brown leaves were everywhere on the October morning. Old fence posts stood listing in the morning chill. Remains of Fallows lesser constructs lay splayed across the broken corn stalks and the bodies of his traitorous conscripts were now evident to the town militia by the swarms of crows and vultures feeding on them. The banners of gold and black swayed in the morning breezes and the rampant unicorn stood as a symbol to the onlookers that the heroes of Travance had saved the day once again.
Corporal Lasar was there on behalf of the guard to oversee the official sweep of the battle field to look for survivors or anything suspicious that might have been left behind by the enemies of the proper. As the peasants and enlisted men searched through the ruins of an old farmhouse, a militia man came to Lasar with a report. "Sir, the farmhouse is being searched now and the ruins of the old barn revealed nothing. There was evidence of some kind of ritual up the path from the field. It looked magical in nature, but we did find this." The man held up a silver snake talisman on a leather cord. "Thank you soldier. I will take it to my superiors. Is there anything else to report? Were there any survivors?" he asked. "Well sir, there was one person near the southern side of the field. A man of average build with red hair and a beard. He said he had come to see what was going on." The corporal looked away from the talisman." "Did you get his name" "No," said the soldier. "I just told him to leave the field and he just said that he had seen enough and he would be heading to the proper to thank the Lords of Travance for their sacrifice soon enough." The corporal looked back to the snake talisman and stood quietly for a moment. "Sir?" said the soldier. Lasar looked back to him as he placed the talisman in his pouch and spoke. "Where did this man say he was from soldier?" "Alisandria sir. He said he was a journeyman mage and apothecary looking to make a name for himself. Said he was a friend of someone named Rodney."