Kanes felt embarrassed by his reaction when Lillianna had first gone into labor. He had pulled himself together though by the time Lilianna was holding the little girl in her arms. Her little hand gripped his finger and every worry went away.
“So will you teach her the ways of a voodoo priestess, or the ways of a golden dragon?” Tahlmus asked.
Lillianna’s eyes went wide, and she smiled. Their little darling had magic. Kanes just gaped at his brother. They hadn’t expected their child to have magic, so they hadn’t given any thought to the type of teaching their little one would get. Tahlmus couldn’t help but smile at how indecisive and fearful Kanes looked. He was sure he had looked the same way when Urytemil had spoken to him.
Kanes just watched his brother start to leave as Lillianna started to talk to him. “Should we name her Genevieve? Or maybe we should go with Fay?”
“Fay makes me think of fairies,” Kanes replied. He had met a couple Fae on his travels, they were extremely rare and weren’t the nicest of beings.
“So Genevieve, then?” Lillianna asked.
Kanes nodded. “I think that will be best.”
As Tahlmus sat there with Coral and Kavan, he felt a warmth in his chest. He focused on it and could see Laguna lying in bed crying and in pain. “I’m going to have to leave for a little bit,” he said softly.
“But you just got back from delivering Lillianna’s baby girl,” Coral sighed. “You never did tell me what Lillianna and Kanes decided to name her.”
“They were still deciding between Genevieve and Fay when I left them.”
“Those are both beautiful names,” Coral replied smiling and leaning on him. Tahlmus knew what Coral was doing. He knew she didn’t want him to leave, but Laguna needed help.
“Listen love, Laguna is having troubles. I need to go check on her. I promise I will be back soon.”
Coral sighed and maneuvered herself so Tahlmus could get up. She still cared for Laguna, and knew Tahlmus did too. She did not want any harm to befall Laguna, so she silently watched Tahlmus disappear from sight. A few seconds later Kavan started crying. “Oh, I know,” Coral whispered to him. “I miss dad already too, but he’ll be back soon. He promised, and your dad always keeps his promise.”
Laguna was about ready to try the ring again when Tahlmus appeared by her side. She reached for his good hand, which he let her hold, while he used the other one to make sure the door was locked. He didn’t need any of the Sirens coming in and discovering he was alive. “Are you…” Tahlmus didn’t get to anymore out when Laguna screamed and squeezed his hand. “Apparently everyone wants to deliver on the same day,” Tahlmus thought as he grit his teeth through the pain shooting through his hand.
Once Laguna loosened her grip, Tahlmus moved around to help her deliver the baby. He also cast a spell to make sure none of the other Sirens heard the screams. He didn’t need them to start knocking on the door either. Soon Laguna was holding a tiny, but healthy, baby boy, and Tahlmus was sitting next to her. “What will you name him?” Tahlmus asked.
Laguna looked sadly at Tahlmus. “I was thinking Firmil.”
“Dark promise,” Tahlmus whispered as Laguna nodded. “It’s actually kind of fitting all things considered,” he said softly.
“I wish you could stay,” she whispered.
“Me too,” Tahlmus said giving her a kiss on the forehead. “You’ll have to find a good teacher for him. His magic will be powerful. Not quite like mine, but more than the other students.” Laguna nodded as Tahlmus placed another kiss on her forehead. Then he was gone and she heard knocking on her door.
After finishing up lessons with Anders and his mom, Solas went for a walk. He was still troubled by his dream. He wished he could remember more of it. It felt like the last one that had come true. He hadn’t told anyone about that, and he hadn’t told anyone yet about this one.
He wanted to tell someone, but he didn’t know who he could talk to. Thalixen and Urytemil were nice and all, but he didn’t really know them all that well. There was his mother, but he was still learning about her. She was very different from how he had imagined her. Solas had asked his brother about dreams, without being specific. Anders hadn’t had any dreams. Uncle Kanes came to mind as he walked, but he had been spending a lot more time with Lillianna, and they’d just had their baby. Solas liked Lillianna, but he wasn’t sure about sharing his dreams with her around.
“There’s always Uncle Tahlmus,” Solas whispered. “He’s different from everyone else. Maybe he will understand.” Solas had noticed right away how different his Uncle Tahlmus was compared to everyone else. He thought that maybe it was that difference that made it so easy to be around him. Deciding he would try to talk with Tahlmus, Solas changed the direction he was heading to the direction of the part of camp where Coral and Tahlmus resided.
“Hi Aunt Coral,” Solas said walking up to where Coral sat with her baby.
“Hey Solas, how are you?”
“I’m good. Is Uncle Tahlmus around?”
Coral opened her mouth to speak when she saw Tahlmus appear behind Solas. She smiled. “He just got back,” she said as Tahlmus walked up and clasped Solas on the shoulder.
“Solas, nice of you to come visit.”
“Oh… uh… hi Uncle Tahlmus,” Solas stuttered, surprised by Tahlmus’s sudden appearance. He couldn’t seem to get used to his uncle just popping up at any time. “Do you… do you have a minute to talk?”
Tahlmus looked to Coral who nodded. As much as she wished Tahlmus to stay there with her, she could see that Solas really needed to talk to him. “Sure thing,” he replied. “Let’s take a walk.” Solas nodded and followed Tahlmus as they walked into the forest and away from camp. They walked in silence until they were a good ways away. “What’s on your mind Solas?”
“Do you have dreams?”
Tahlmus nodded. “I do,” he said softly.
“Do they ever come true?”
“If I let them,” Tahlmus replied in the same soft voice as he magicked up a log for him and Solas to sit on. He saw the questions forming in Solas’s eyes. As they sat, Tahlmus started explaining the dream he’d had the night before he was to bond with Winky. He told Solas what the dream had showed and how it had given him the option. He finished by explaining how no matter how much he wanted to just run away with Winky, he’d had to do what was right for everyone.
“My first one wasn’t like that,” Solas replied staring at the ground.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Tahlmus asked. Solas started to shake his head no, as thinking about it still upset him. But as he sat there staring at the ground shaking his head, he realized if he didn’t answer Tahlmus’s questions he may never understand his dreams when he had them.
Solas started describing the dream he’d had the night before the school outing, and then how things played out the next day. He felt Tahlmus’s arm wrap around him as he started shaking. “I understand now that it was best to happen that way… but…” Solas trailed off as he couldn’t find the right words to describe the feeling he had.
Tahlmus kept his arm around Solas. It was the only comforting thing he could do. After having listened to Solas, Tahlmus realized that he’d actually started having the visions around Solas’s age. He had actually had a dream about his adoptive parents not visiting him anymore. “I never made the connection,” he thought to himself.
“I think the dreams, like the one I had, will let you start making choices when you reach sixteen. Until then, they are just helping you prepare for what is to come,” Tahlmus stated surprised by his own words. He hadn’t had anything to say, and then the words were just there.
“Does it happen to everyone?”
Tahlmus shook his head. “Until I met Urytemil, I didn’t know it happened to anyone else, but I think it affects him differently.”
Solas sat there in thought. He wasn’t ready to tell Tahlmus about his latest dream. He still had so many questions. After a few minutes of silence, Solas spoke again. “It makes sense for you and grandpa,” he started hesitantly. “You’re both very powerful, but… why me? I can’t do proper magic without my brother.”
“I don’t know,” Tahlmus replied. “Kanes only ever gets uneasy feelings. The one time he had a dream it was one we shared.” He sat in thought for a minute. “Do you mind if I use magic on you?”
Solas shook his head. He just wanted answers. He felt his uncle’s grip tighten on his shoulder and felt magic start flowing through him. It was a strange feeling. It unnerved him and calmed him all at once. When the feeling stopped he turned to look at Tahlmus.
“That’s so strange,” Tahlmus whispered.
“Is something wrong with me?”
Tahlmus shook his head. What his magic had detected didn’t make sense to him, not the way it should have. “I don’t think it’s something we need to worry about now, but… you do have a source. It’s just not compatible with the magic you have.”
“We don’t need to worry about that?” Solas asked confused. He thought it sounded like a problem.
“You were born of parents who each had a different source of magic, so… it kind of makes sense, but I will have to do some research before I know if it’s good or bad. Though it is why you can have those dreams.”
Solas sat there thinking over his uncle’s words. It still didn’t make complete sense to him, but it sounded like his uncle wasn’t sure about it either. “I… uh… I had another one,” Solas stuttered. He felt he needed to tell Tahlmus, but he didn’t know if he should.
“You don’t have to tell me,” Tahlmus stated having heard Solas’s hesitation. Solas turned to look his uncle in the eye, unable to form any words. “It involves me doesn’t it?” Solas just nodded and watched Tahlmus stare off into the forest. “Will telling me change the outcome?”
Solas opened his mouth then closed it. “I… I don’t know,” he replied. “I…” He closed his eyes and held onto his head as it started to ache. Images played across his mind. First him and Tahlmus were talking in the forest; then Tahlmus was sneaking away from camp in the middle of the night with Coral and Kavan. The final image showed the rest of the group chained to a wall in a dungeon, and then the images were gone along with the headache. “I … I don’t think I can tell you,” he said as he noticed Tahlmus’s gaze on him. By the gaze he knew his uncle understood what had just happened.
“Let’s go back to camp,” Tahlmus stated as he stood. “It will be supper soon.
Thalixen stood with Urytemil at the edge of the forest near a large meadow. Thalixen had gone to the clearing because she was feeling uneasy about what they had to do. After speaking with Tahlmus, Urytemil had gone to find Thalixen. Since she had not been in camp this had been the only other place she could have been.
“It’s a lot to ask of him,” Thalixen said, finally breaking the silence. “He’s already had to go through so much.”
“I know,” Urytemil replied, “but he’s the only one who can do it. Even by himself he’s more powerful than you or me”
Thalixen just sighed. She knew her beloved was right. The first prophecy had been fulfilled. Tahlmus broke the curse. The second prophecy had been revealed to them the first night they slept at the King’s castle. Thalixen knew it was wrong to question the words of Bahamut, but she had just gotten to know her oldest elven son. She didn’t want to subject him to more pain.
Urytemil wrapped his arms around Thalixen. He could feel her guilt and unease. He too had felt a pang of guilt when he had requested Tahlmus speak with them after supper. “It is Bahamut’s will for things to go this way. He did promise that no harm would come to Tahlmus.”
“Not dying and no harm are two different things,” Thalixen replied. “And he just became a father,” she sighed. “I don’t understand why Bahamut must ask so much of him.
“Who else can he ask, love?”
“I don’t know. Why couldn’t it be one of us?” Thalixen sighed as she read the look on Urytemil’s face. “I know, he belongs …” Thalixen couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence. “I know it needs to happen, but I still don’t like it.”
“Let’s go back to camp. You can visit with Solas and Anders before supper. That always leaves you feeling good.” Thalixen just nodded as she bowed her head, and walked with Urytemil back to camp.
Read on, The Next Generation: Pt. 3