Thalixen and Urytemil walked back into camp hand in hand. They went to Ardeszeld’s tent where they found their daughter talking with Anders. The two sat there talking with Anders as Ardeszeld went to the main part of camp to start supper. She enjoyed this part of her evening. It was usually quiet and time she got to spend by herself. It was generally a good time for her to think over her past life and how things were shaping up for the future.
Since no one normally bothered her, she was startled when Tahlmus came over to talk. “Sorry,” Tahlmus said. “I know this is your time to yourself, but I want to talk to you about Solas.”
Ardeszeld felt herself start to panic. She was doing the best she could with the boys, but sometimes she felt like she was missing something. “Is something wrong with him? Is he hurt?”
“No… not exactly,” Tahlmus replied putting an arm around his half-sister and gently guiding her to sit down. “He came to me wanting to talk about something he’s been experiencing.” Ardeszeld nodded. “It… it didn’t make sense as to why he was experiencing it… so with his permission, I used some magic on him.” Tahlmus saw Ardeszeld’s eyes change. She was in her human form, but still flames sparked in her eyes.
“He has a source,” Tahlmus started softly before Ardeszeld could yell at him. Her eyes went wide. “It’s not compatible with Gold Dragon magic.”
Ardeszeld tilted her head in thought. “I guess that makes sense. Mystic didn’t have draconic magic.” She watched as Tahlmus shook his head.
“The source comes from a Platinum Dragon, but it won’t work with the gold dragon magic which is more dominant in him.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Ardeszeld whispered.
“It’s why I came to talk to you. It could have only been passed on by you.” Ardeszeld looked even more confused. “Can I use my magic on you?” Ardeszeld nodded. What her elven brother was suggesting didn’t make any sense. Gold Dragons didn’t normally associate with other dragons. She felt Tahlmus’s hand on her shoulder then felt his magic flowing through her. It was an old spell that she knew of, but had never used.
When she felt the magic stop, she turned to look at her half-brother. He was shaking his head in disbelief. “You have a Platinum Dragon source too, but no magic to go with it.” Ardeszeld just stared at him, as he started whispering to himself. “Ardeszeld… do you know the spell I just used well enough to use it on me?”
Ardeszeld nodded. “I think I can make it work,” she replied placing her hand on Tahlmus’s shoulder. She weaved the spell, and her magic started flowing through him. What she felt and saw startled her. “That’s impossible,” she whispered as the magic stopped flowing. Tahlmus looked at her. “You have both sources… gold and platinum… and the magic to go with each.”
“That’s unheard of,” Tahlmus whispered.
Ardeszeld nodded. “But that’s not all… your sources are fused together.”
“What does that mean?”
Ardeszeld shook her head. “I don’t know, but you’re a lot more powerful than what any of us originally believed.”
Tahlmus sat there trying to puzzle through everything he had learned. Something was going on, and he didn’t know where to start trying to dissect things. He went back to Coral and Kavan while Ardeszeld went back to making supper. Ardeszeld was perplexed too. Other dragons had never been common in this area. The only other thing that bothered her was that, to her knowledge, there had only ever been one platinum dragon, and he was a God.
A short time later, everyone was gathered around the fire to eat. There was a lot of chatter about the two newest members of the family. Even Kanes was more talkative than normal. Despite his earlier fear, he was very proud to now have a baby girl. Whatever had been bothering Solas had been pushed aside as him and Anders kept whispering and glancing around. Tahlmus and Ardeszeld stayed silent, which wasn’t completely out of place. As Urytemil started to tell them all of their stay with the King, Thalixen fell out of the conversation. No one really noticed though, as they were all focused on Urytemil’s words. No one that is, except Tahlmus.
After everyone was done eating and starting to go their separate ways. Tahlmus approached Thalixen. “Uh… m… mom,” Tahlmus started. He still struggled with accepting that Thalixen was his mom, so calling her by that title was sometimes difficult. “Are you ok?” he asked as he watched her change into her elven form.
Thalixen opened her mouth to answer, but Urytemil approached changing into his human form and clasping Tahlmus on the shoulder. “Ready for that conversation?” he asked. Tahlmus thought Urytemil sounded a bit too cheerful, but he just nodded as he kept his eyes on Thalixen. Her eyes turned sad, though the rest of her face had not changed. “Good,” Urytemil said. “Come with us.”
Tahlmus did as he was told; following Urytemil and Thalixen away from the camp. They walked until they found a small private clearing. Once there, Urytemil turned to face Tahlmus. Thalixen was slower in her movements. “The King has requested our presence at the Palace again this next week. He wants to discuss political things, but he has requested that we bring you as well,” Urytemil said in an unusually chipper voice.
Tahlmus looked from Urytemil to Thalixen. His gaze paused on his mother. She had silent tears running down her face. “Why me?” Tahlmus finally asked as he looked back at Urytemil. He knew Urytemil was lying about something. Gold dragons couldn’t lie, at least not very well. He wasn’t however, going to accuse Urytemil of lying. Despite what Ardeszeld had told him earlier, he felt like his magic was no match for the Gold Dragon.
“We told him about our little family,” Urytemil responded. “He was really impressed with you, and wanted to meet our powerful elven son.”
Tahlmus looked sideways at Urytemil. “I’m not your son,” he said directly to the Urytemil, “and I’m supposed to be dead. You forbade me from going into town so that news of me didn’t get back to Tevinter and the Sirens.” Tahlmus felt an anger rising up in him. “What’s really going on?”
Thalixen wiped the tears from her eyes, approached Tahlmus and took his hands in hers. “You, my son, have been chosen for a very important task. To fulfill that task, we need you to come with us, when we go back to visit the King tomorrow evening.”
Tahlmus studied her eyes. His mom was not lying to him. “Ok,” he said softly. “I will go with you.”
“Great,” Urytemil replied. “We will leave mid-afternoon. The King doesn’t like it if you’re late for supper.” Tahlmus looked at Urytemil. He wanted to say something, but just looked back at Thalixen as he felt her grip on his hands tighten. “Why don’t we get back to the camp,” Urytemil stated with a smile that made Tahlmus cringe.
Tahlmus shook his head. “I want to talk to my mom… alone,” he finished when it looked like Urytemil wouldn’t leave. He watched as Urytemil reluctantly left. Having lost his trust in the golden dragon, he cast a spell around him and Thalixen. Anyone trying to listen in on their conversation wouldn’t be able to hear it.
“Mom…” his words trailed off as she gave his hands a squeeze.
“Please don’t ask me to explain,” she whispered as a tear ran down her elven cheek.
Tahlmus stood there quietly for a few minutes. He hadn’t known Thalixen all that long and it was hard to think of her as his real mother, but it still hurt him to see her so upset. “I… I spoke with Solas today. He was worried about something. I… I used some magic on him.” Tahlmus paused. Thalixen’s expression had not changed. “He has a Platinum Dragon source, but no magic,” he said slowly. “Ardeszeld is the same way.” Thalixen’s eyes started to show fear, as tears gathered in the corners. “Ardeszeld performed the magic on me. She said I had the Platinum Dragon source too… that it was fused with my Gold Dragon source and… and that I had the magic to go with it.”
“Please,” Thalixen begged. “Please don’t make me explain… not now.”
“Mom… I…” Tahlmus didn’t get to say anymore as Thalixen let go of his hands and started running. He watched as she turned back into her dragon form and flew off.
Tahlmus stood there staring in the direction his mother had gone off in. So many questions circled through his mind. As he walked back to the camp, he gave some thought to just taking Coral and Kavan, and leaving after everyone had gone to sleep.
Back in camp he found Aesop waiting for him outside his tent. Ardeszeld was also there in her human form. She looked concerned. “I think we need to talk,” she said nervously.
Tahlmus nodded absently as he took the note from Atargatis off of Aesop’s leg. “Can we talk in the morning?” he asked.
Ardeszeld shook her head. “I don’t think it should wait.” Tahlmus just sighed as he read Atargatis’s note.
Congratulations! You and Coral must be so happy with the new addition to your family. Everything is good here. I get to help at the local school several times a week, and Mystic is now a trusted advisor to the town’s Mayor. Mystic wishes to converse with you and Kanes. He wants to set things right. Also, if it’s ok with Ardeszeld he’d like to speak with Anders… and Solas, if Solas will allow it. Hope to hear from you soon.
As he finished reading, he heard Kavan crying. “Can we talk in the tent?” he asked. Ardeszeld hesitated. What she had to say wasn’t going to be easy to hear, but she wasn’t sure if she should mention it with Coral present. “I’m going to tell Coral anyway,” Tahlmus stated as if reading her mind. So she nodded and followed Tahlmus into the tent.
Coral smiled when she saw Tahlmus. She wasn’t happy that Ardeszeld was there too, but she was relieved when Tahlmus took Kavan into his arms and settled in next to her, so she could rest her head on his shoulder. She hadn’t realized how tired she was, until that point. Soon she was fast asleep.
“What did you want to talk about?” Tahlmus asked softly as he cradled Kavan in his arms.
“I don’t think you should go with mom and dad tomorrow to the King’s Palace. I don’t think it’s going to end well for you.”
“I don’t think so either,” Tahlmus replied. “Urytemil was lying to me, and mom was clearly upset when talking to me… but… how did you find out that they wanted me to go with them?”
Ardeszeld explained how she had seen Thalixen come back into camp, and knew she was upset. Ardeszeld had gone to talk to her, but had hid nearby when she had seen Urytemil. “Mom was crying. She said she couldn’t follow what Bahamut wanted… that she couldn’t put her son through it.” Ardeszeld paused. She wasn’t sure if she could tell her brother the rest of the conversation. She wasn’t sure if she believed it.
“Who is Bahamut?” Tahlmus asked softly looking up from Kavan.
“He… He’s a Draconic God,” Ardeszeld said surprised, before her palm met her forehead. “Right… you grew up completely elven. You know the Elven Pantheon, not the Draconic one,” she whispered. “Bahamut, is said to be a Platinum Dragon, the only one of his kind. It’s said when he travels the Earth, he does it in the guise of an old man accompanied by seven gold Dragons who are morphed into some sort of small animal.” Even in the dim light Ardeszeld noticed a change come over her elven brother. He had made some sort of connection. “It… it’s also said that he won’t turn his back on any good creature who is in need… gives them information or advice… almost like prophecy.”
Tahlmus just nodded as Ardeszeld went silent. “So what else did you hear mom and Urytemil say?” he asked.
“I… I heard dad say that they couldn’t defy Bahamut… that they still had me. Mom still had Kanes, but that… that…” Ardeszeld stopped. She found she couldn’t finish the sentence. She got up and tried to leave, but Tahlmus’s magic stopped her. She tried to counter it, but found she couldn’t. Tahlmus’s magic was too strong. Ardeszeld slowly sat back down facing him.
“Finish the sentence Ardeszeld,” he stated softly. She noticed that while his voice was soft there was a fierce anger in his eyes.
“Urytemil said you belonged to Bahamut.”