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part five

The Castle

“I’m actually not sure what they are,” Tsi admitted, watching the little spark of light swim lazily through the air in Arthur’s office; it illuminated the faces of those gathered to discuss their arrival, and purpose, at Shaman. Tsi's dark eyes turned to focus on the king's sister, Lady Morgana, as she replied.

“The ancient creature said they were remnants of magic,” Morgana explained, leaning in a bit closer to get a better look at the gleaming orb of light. “Generated when it expelled our magic. It said they were harmless, and would fade eventually.”

She reached out and touched it curiously, but pulled her hand back when it abruptly glowed brighter. On the floor, directly under where the light was now hovering, twin green stems sprouted from the carpet and cheerfully unfurled a pair of leaves, apparently oblivious to (or perhaps unbothered by) the fact it most certainly did not belong there.

“Thank you, Morgana,” Arthur said dryly, earning an unrepentant grin from his sister as she bent to study the new growth.

“Remnants are alright,” Tsi smiled wearily down at the little carpet-plant. “They’ll be relatively harmless. I’m guessing these are remnants of Aura’s protective enchantments which the ancient creature broke down… in which case they should all be positive. They’ll do small, constructive magical things, like cleansing water or helping plants grow.”

Arthur nodded. That, at least, was a little good news, and they all knew Shaman could use some after all it had been through these past few years. Hopefully, with the help of the remnants such as this one healing the land, and the people with it, Shaman would be able to recover from its most recent ordeal more quickly than it might have without their help.

“What about the magic?” He pressed as he uncorked the wine bottle to fill Tsi’s glass. Arthur knew that this was one of the most pressing thoughts on everyone's mind now that the ancient creature had been defeated, and was particularly urgent for those who relied on their magic to support their families. The spark, he noticed, had paused now at the far edge of the office and seemed to be contemplating something; he could only hope it wasn't trying to decide what plant would go best in that particular corner. After a moment of frowning suspiciously at the spark, he turned his attention back to Tsi as the deity answered his question.

“It won’t all return at once.” The deity accepted the glass he was offered. “It will return at different times, for different people. Some people will get all their powers back instantly; others will get them back one at a time over the course of several weeks. All the magic was released back into Shaman, but it still has to find its proper owner. Some of these,” he gestured to the glowing thing as it passed by on its way to the other corner of the room, “might even be someone's magic. If one comes toward you, I suggest you let it. Could be your powers returning to you.”

He swilled the glass and took a sip. “The originals will leave one by one, as soon as divinity is restored to each. Charlton’s magic came back first. He’s going to stay until all divinity has returned, to make sure certain characters aren’t left alone here together. I’ll leave you with a way to contact me too, in case there’s any trouble.”

“Thank you,” Arthur said again, although in a somewhat different tone this time. His mind had already turned to the public announcement he would have to make, for surely someone would have to reassure the public about the strange orbs of light, and already the general public was starting to mutter about the return of magic. As if hearing his thoughts, the little spark spun cheerfully in place before floating towards Arthur. Deciding it would be in his best interest to release the remnant before his office became a jungle, he hurried for the window and opened it wide. The spark ambled towards him, pausing a moment until the king made a shooing motion. Then, apparently deciding it had other things to do, the remnant tumbled into the airstream and drifted away. Arthur watched it as it began to disappear into the shadows of the castle's courtyard. It gleamed once, depositing what could only be a young tree there, before he lost sight of it. Shaking his head, Arthur closed the window against any further intrusion. It was certainly an interesting time to be alive.

Written by Fennic & Aspelta

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