Sons of Destiny
After The Mage
|Note: These thoughts contain spoilers if you have not already read "The Master".
Click on the person's name for their thoughts.
|Saber & Kelly||Wolfer & Alys|
|Dominor & Serina||Evanor & Mariel|
|Trevan & Amara||Rydan & Rora|
|Koranen & Danau||Morganen & Hope|
Saber: This last year has felt something like a trip downhill in a cart with a sputtering locomotion spell and sometimes unreliable brakes...but their sometimes wild ride has also brought his brothers and him unanticipated joy. From the lowest of lows, exiled for simply being born, to the greatest of heights, resurrecting the Convocation of the Gods, they've come a very long way. Now the real work begins, but at least it's familiar work. Land-wise, Nightfall is a little larger than the County of Corvis; population-wise, it's a little smaller. And future-wise, it's just right. Except he doesn't know why Kelly giggles whenever he puts it like that. She did say she'd share it when their first born child was old enough to hear the tale, though...
Kelly: Wow. Real Gods. Just…wow. And it is very much like hosting a convention, if one crossed the convention with a town meeting, and added fistfuls of otherworldly—or rather, this-worldly—things like Magic and Deities and Prophecies, oh my! Plus there's the chocolate thing. Between her best friend's obsession and the local cinnin spice, Kelly and Saber can have all the kids they can handle. So long as they stop at two or three; eight would be way too many to handle. She figures the others can add their own kids to the total count. Indeed, it would be hard to have gotten this far without the support of her brothers-in-law and their wives. After struggling so long on her own in the other world, she isn't alone anymore, and it isn't a struggle. Building a new kingdom is hard work, but it's more interesting than aggravating, and even fun at times. With her husband at her side and their family surrounding them, they can do just about anything.
Wolfer: He needs to talk to his first sister-in-law about creating preserves of untouched forest on the island. Someone wants to build a house and revive an overgrown orchard right next to where his favorite stream and moss-filled meadow are located. It's not just for personal reasons, either, though those are part of his concern. One of the greatest beauties of Nightfall Isle is how lush and varied its vegetation is; if they build too far, too quickly, too much of that beauty will vanish, leaving nothing wild enough for their children to inherit, learn to appreciate, and pass on to their own children in turn. That, and he really does want to keep his favorite meadow pristine and unvisited so that he and his wife can still enjoy it in private from time to time.
Alys: Why did the Goddess of Birds smirk at her? Was She actually smirking at Alys? Or was it just a random bit of Goddess-ness? This doesn't have anything to do with the infamous Nightfall chickens, does it? ...Why is she even worrying about this? Alys should instead be finding a way to tell Wolfer she's ready for children, now. That is, if he is. She thinks he is... Maybe she should just take off the contraception anklet in front of him and then pounce on him. She is getting better at being bold these days, and that'd be a blatantly bold thing to do... Ever since her parents died, Alys has longed to build a close, loving family of her own, to rebuild what she had known as a young girl. And if nothing else, she'll have fun practicing her bold pouncing moves on her poor, unsuspecting, undoubtedly willing husband...
Dominor: A genius wife to chase after, two precious children to love and raise, and two stimulating jobs to manage, being both the Lord Chancellor and the Guardian of Nightfall. Dominor doesn't care about anything else anymore, least of all looking for new ways to compete. Well, he did get to have the first daughter of all his brothers, though he'll concede that his twin won the privilege of having the first son. And Dom did get to have the first set of twins in the family, though he suspects that was more his wife's fault, thanks to the exact wording she chose to fix that problem with the Natallian Fountain. But he has enough to challenge him for the rest of his life, and enough love to inspire him. Life is good.
Serina: Between Dominor and the twins, Serina can only find a few hours each day to work on her Arithmancy projects. But that's fine, really. Her formulae all point to the Koral-tai Font problem being suitably fixed, and with the return of the Gods via the Convocation, the aether surrounding Nightfall has been smoothed to a degree not seen in her calculations outside of the data she's culled from her contacts in the Fortuna Empire. With a few curses and warped Portal points fixed on the east coast of the Katan Empire—which will cooperate, thanks to Morganen's magnificent meddling in the mainland's political situation—her calculations project a return to functional permanent Portals across the length and breadth of the mainland, and even some stretching overseas to a few select locations. But the task of soothing those magical hotspots will have to go to other people. She has a loving husband and two adorable babies to focus most of her energies on these days.
Evanor: Unbelievable. Kelly had warned him, but he just hadn't believed it was possible. The reaction to his music boxes from all those overseas visitors during the Convocation has given him near-instant fame. Everyone wants a music box—and not just the listeners who can afford the enchanted boxes and their enspelled song-discs. Musicians and minstrels of all walks want them, too! He's going to have to train an official, professional Chamberlain to take his place managing the needs of their palace home, and hire a number of mages from the mainland for basic assembly-line enchanting just to keep up with the demands for the music boxes and the clever sound-recording wands his next-youngest brother helped him develop. Not to mention everyone wants discs of him and his wife singing. Somehow, he'll need to balance the demands of his work, the upkeep of the castle, and the all-important task of being a husband to his wife and a father to his next-son, and any other children which he and Mariel might be blessed to have.
Mariel: Finally, there are enough Healers and herbalism-trained assistants running around on the Island for her tastes. No longer will she be run off her feet at moment's notice, having to cover for the other Healers whenever too many people fall ill or get injured all at once. Which is a very good thing, because she's not getting any younger, and she doesn't want to present Mikor with a baby sister or brother before he's too old to adjust to an addition to their family. She has her Evanor, and a prophetic promise that she'll have him for a good, long time, but biology is biology. Then again, she knows some of the other wives in this overgrown but wonderful family are thinking along the same lines. Maybe she should call the other girls together for a "hen talk" session and cover the important topic of family planning. Such as staggering the ages of their future nieces and nephews so no one feels overwhelmed by too many babies all at once in their little but growing clan.
Trevan: There are so many things to do, now! Trev is beginning to feel like his sister-in-law Serina, scatterbrained by all the projects lining up. New inventions for the city, based on things from Kelly's old world. The chocolate factory equipment for his newest sister-in-law, Hope. Ideas gleaned from conversations with all those visiting clergy. The only thing more important on his schedule than his invention ideas is his wife; though his brothers are finally taking his Artifact-crafting more seriously these days, Trevan is determined to remain the acknowledged lover of his family, even if he's a lover of one woman only, these days. Plus there are ways to combine romance and invention: the first of his sisters-in-law once mentioned something about a special holy-day reserved for lovers back in the other world, and that's a non-denominational holy-day idea which Trevan can fully support...
Amara: Now that word of Arora's and her survival has been sent back to the Plains with that hearth priestess who came for the Convocation, Amara can relax a little more. Part of her still regrets being forced to flee the Shifting Plains, and part of her is still annoyed that she had to give up her future as an apprentice to her former queen...but life here on the Isle is just about perfect. Yes, there's the occasional clash of wills with that annoying redheaded ruler of their new nation, but there's also the wonderful redheaded ruler of her private life. Never in a thousand years would she have guessed she would marry a non-shifter, and a mage at that, but Trevan is perfect for her. Sweet, calm, focused, and exciting. Very exciting. Atrevan may have found his prophesied home in marrying her, but she has found her own sense of home in him, too.
Rydan: The pressure of all those people still bothers him some days, and he still prefers the quieter hours of the night over the bustling throngs of midday. But it's a better life than he had before. A better one for his family, overall. Though he's no longer the Guardian of the Nightfall Fountain, he is still a co-Guardian with an important Fountain to protect. Sort of a secular high-priest, as it were. Plus there are still plenty of buildings to raise—including one in Menomon so his next-youngest brother can have a home above the ocean as well as below—water-pipes to re-establish and connect, stone to quarry, gems to prospect, Artifacts to make, and a wife—his blessed, still living wife—to love. A wife who still loves him even after doing what he had to do to free her from her magical burden. A wife he will continue to love as long as he can. And if the Gods should bless them with any children, Rydan will love them, too.
Rora: Being held in the arms of a competent, trained ghost had been somewhat reassuring during her ordeal. And being relieved of that massive burden had made her feel like she had been given wings inside.. But it was the arms of her husband which convinced her she was still alive by the end of the task of separating herself from her Fountain. She can still feel it, and knows she will always be tied to it, but no longer is it a near-useless millstone chained to her neck. Between Morganen and her husband, Rora knows she'll finally learn how to be a real mage. Finally, she'll be able to contribute more to this new nation than just raw energy. And perhaps in time, she and Rydan will be able to contribute more to the growth of their new family, too. In the meanwhile, she has classes to attend, a crystal to walk, a husband to love, and no more enemies chasing her halfway around the world. In the end, all of it has been worthwhile.
Koranen: Life in Menomon is definitely different. The city is beautiful, the people curious, the hair colors decidedly unnatural, and the task ahead enormous. He and Danau had the chance to find and make copies of the original blueprints and grimoires for the Desalinator before the end of the Convocation and their departure, thanks to the resourcefulness of his newest sister-in-law. That will speed up the process of building their own freshwater treatment facility. Plus Rydan has offered him a magnificent wedding-gift, his own surface-breaching stone tower so that Kor doesn't have to live the rest of his life constantly, unnaturally below the waves. Of course, the Menomon City Council has insisted on the structure being given the same distance-camouflaging spells he and his brothers have installed over their own palace home, but they're allowing it to be built. Not to mention Mariel gave him and Danau some good advice on how to handle their own children, once they get around to having some...but not until after the Desalinator is built, and not until both he and his wife have had plenty of practice in how to go about making them...
Danau: She may have left her home city in a perpetual cloud of social disgrace, but Danau will be returning with three triumphs no one will be able to refute: An actual husband of her own, one she can touch safely, and who can safely touch her. A full copy of all the blueprints and instructional grimoires detailing how to erect and enchant their very own desalination plant, not just whatever she and her fellow Aquamancers could infer and reason out through observing the Nightfall buildings. And whole bolts of real velvet, silk, linen, and bundles of the most exquisite lace she has ever seen. Of all the wedding-gifts anyone could have bestowed on her and Koranen, this was a wealth of fabric beyond compare. But the real wealth in her life is Koranen. She has a future where she can finally be happy with the best man in the world for her mate. Anyone who has a problem with that can go soak themselves until they're sodden; Danau deserves happiness just as much as anyone else, and she's going to revel in it.
Morganen: His turn. Finally. Now Morg can relax...somewhat. The Empire of Katan is still being a headache to keep an eye upon, though he's getting better at managing them when they get out of hand. And there will be inevitable unpleasant visits from those nations thinking they can snatch the unanchored Fountain to take and use for their own Convocation summoning attempts. Plus the aether of their world is still shattered, and Serina is going to want his help in tracking down the means to fix the other cursed corners of the world. Morg still has classes of students waiting to be taught how to safely and successfully wield magic, the island's defensive perimeters to monitor, and all those books waiting to be read which his wife brought over.
His wife. Finally. As much as her true identity shook him for a while, Morg is deeply grateful he met her, and humbled she agreed to be his wife. Hope is everything her namesake stands for. His hope, his blessing, his aspirations, his dreams. His best friend in a thousand worlds, and his best prophetic match. A beautiful body hosting a divine heart and a heavenly mind. To have the witness of the Gods Themselves joining the two of them, well, it only made sense, for the Gods Themselves had a hand in plucking his Hope from her era and her world, and setting her down in a time and a place where he would find and love her. She is his Hope, and he will treasure her forever.
As for this chocolate thing, Hope will acknowledge him as far superior, and turn to him whenever she needs something sweet to nibble upon. Morganen is the true love of her life. Hopefully she'll prove it to him often...
Hope: Gods bless Themselves... It's a good thing that the Gods had decreed long ago that the Past was viewable but otherwise immutable, because there is no way she would ever want to go through all of that again. Losing her family, her people, and her home was bad enough. Being dumped into a very strange world and having to pretend to be someone else was worse, though she did figure out how to survive, and even learned how to thrive. Her kidnapping and incarceration were beyond alarming...but for no one else would she have slit her own wrist. And she hopes she never, ever, ever has to do that again. Morg is beyond worth it; no one else would be.
Hope also has her own Goddess back. More than back: within a day or two of her rescue, someone stealthily carved a credible wooden likeness of the Goddess of Dreaming and left it on a fountain-backed platform in one of the rebuilt city squares. Others brought flowers and feathers, beads and trinkets, even a grass-woven horse, imaginative offerings of thanks for giving them the means to their independence and freedom through Her lost-and-found Seer. Hope can tell Nauvea and all that She represents is strengthened by these things. It won't be long before She taps her to begin a new round of Prophecies. This time, at least, Hope knows she doesn't have to fear being taken away from all she loves ever again; both her husband and her newly made sister would have strong things to say about that. Which means her future happiness is secured.
As for the chocolate thing, Hope does acknowledge that Morg is superior to her favorite treat, but she's going to make sure he keeps proving it anyway, just because it's so much fun. Hopefully he'll prove it to her often...