Laguna woke up to the sound of Firmil crying. As she sat up, she could see the first rays of sunlight sneaking through the curtains. “At least he slept through the night,” Laguna whispered as she went to pick him up. “That’s strange,” she thought a few minutes later. He had a clean diaper, wouldn’t eat, and he wouldn’t stop crying. Laguna left her room, walking down the hall, hoping to calm him. Instead as she entered the dining hall, she found Celestial and Fleur also walking in, carrying their little ones, who were also crying.
“I don’t understand,” Fleur was saying. “Thalvia doesn’t want to eat, she has a clean diaper, holding and carrying her isn’t working…”
“Same with Junior,” Celestial stated. “He woke up a little bit ago crying, and nothing I do works.”
“Firmil is having the same problem,” Laguna stated as the three met in the center of the room.
“Do you think they are sick?” Fleur asked. “Should we call a doctor?”
“What are the odds of them getting sick all at once?” Laguna asked. Fleur shrugged. She didn’t have any other ideas.
“If only Tahlmus were here, maybe he could figure it out,” Celestial whispered as tears stung her eyes. The other two started to nod. As they did the babies started to calm, and quit crying. Celestial, Fleur and Laguna all looked at each other. “What could that mean?” Celestial asked. The other two shrugged. Neither could come up with anything that explained what had just happened.
Atargatis woke up with a start. She wasn’t sure what had woken her until she realized the baby was restless. She could feel it kicking as she placed a hand over her belly. “It’s ok little one,” she whispered hoping not to wake Mystic. The kicking didn’t stop.
“What’s wrong darling?” Mystic’s voice sounded sleepy as he rolled over and put his arm around Atargatis.
“The baby is restless, I think I need to try walking around.”
“Do you want some company?” Mystic asked softly.
“I’ll be alright,” Atargatis replied as she got out of bed. She left the bedroom, and started walking around the house. Usually a couple minutes of pacing calmed the baby, but with her hand on her belly, she could still feel the kicking. It was different than normal, almost frantic. The kicking lasted for several more minutes before it stopped. “That was weird,” Atargatis thought as she went back to the bedroom and crawled back into bed with Mystic.
Tahlmus woke with a start. He knew he’d had a dream, but he couldn’t remember anything. He was just lying there in a cold sweat, heart racing, barely able to breath. He reached for Coral, but realized she wasn’t there. It was then, that he heard Kavan crying. “Oh Kavan, sweetheart, what’s wrong?” Tahlmus heard Coral ask as he sat up.
“I think I will have to take Kavan for a walk,” Coral stated having heard Tahlmus moving around. “He doesn’t need changed and he won’t eat.”
“I’ll… I’ll come with you,” Tahlmus replied, standing and following Coral out of the tent. Despite being in his robes, the cool morning air sent a chill through him. As he walked next to Coral, Tahlmus realized he felt weak, and noticed that his hand was trembling. “What’s going on with me?” he wondered as he found he couldn’t control his breathing, and his adrenaline was still flowing at a high rate.
“Come on Genevieve, everything is ok. There’s no need to cry.” Lillianna’s voice broke through Tahlmus’s thoughts. He hadn’t even noticed that they had run into Kanes and Lillianna.
“Is Genevieve unhappy too?” Coral asked.
“She’s clean, she won’t eat, and this walk isn’t helping,” Lillianna replied in a worried voice.
“It’s the exact same thing with Kavan,” Coral replied. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Kanes said he was feeling a bit off too,” Lillianna said looking from Genevieve to Kanes back to Coral, who turned to look at Tahlmus.
Kanes had been studying his brother. “Tahlmus, are you ok? You look really pale,” he voiced before either woman had a chance to say anything else.
“He’s right Tahl, you don’t look so good,” Coral stated as worry entered her voice.
“I…” Tahlmus wasn’t sure what to say. “Can I hold Kavan?” Coral wanted to question him. He didn’t look like he should be strong enough to be standing, but she carefully placed Kavan in Tahlmus’s arms. “Hey, there,” Tahlmus whispered as he took Kavan into his arms. As soon as Coral let go of him, Tahlmus could sense what was wrong. Kavan was in a panic just as he was.
“That’s weird,” Tahlmus thought as he realized that Kavan’s fear was his own. He closed his eyes and focused on his breathing and then the adrenaline; slowly gaining control of both. As Tahlmus did this, Kavan and Genevieve started to calm down until they both quite crying, going back to sleep.
“What just happened?” Kanes asked as he felt his own unease fade away. He saw his brother starting to gain some color back in his face as he opened his eyes.
“I’m… I’m not sure,” Tahlmus replied forcing himself to remain calm.
Ardeszeld woke up in a cold sweat, which was weird for her dragon form. Sitting up, she changed into her human form, Ardeszeld looked around. She noticed that Solas was also sitting up. “Why do I feel like this?” Solas asked when he noticed his mom sitting up in her human form. He could tell she was feeling the same thing he was.
“I don’t know,” Ardeszeld replied. She heard babies crying in the distance. “Apparently we aren’t the only ones.” She paused. “Let’s go.” Ardeszeld and Solas left their tent and started walking towards the crying. As they got closer she could hear the conversation.
“Tahlmus are you ok? You look really pale.”
“He’s right Tahl, you don’t look so good.”
“I … Can I hold Kavan?”
Ardeszeld stayed at a distance with Solas and watched as Tahlmus took hold of his son. A couple minutes later all the fear and rushing adrenaline stopped. She felt normal again. “Mom, what just happened?” Solas asked.
“I don’t know. We will have to go talk to your uncle,” she replied as she started walking towards the group.
“I’m… I’m not entirely sure,” she heard Tahlmus saying. All eyes turned to her and Solas as they approached. “Ardeszeld… Solas… What are you…?” Tahlmus words stopped short. “You felt it too.”
Ardeszeld and Solas just nodded. As they did Tahlmus felt his head start to ache. Images flashed through his mind as he closed his eyes. Then as quick as it started it was over. Tahlmus felt fear start to creep up on him again, but forced himself to remain calm as he handed Kavan back to Coral. “I… I need a few minutes,” Tahlmus stated. “I’ll be back in time for breakfast.”
Before anyone could argue, Tahlmus disappeared from sight. Coral turned to Ardeszeld. “What’s going on?”
“I don’t know for sure. I think I need to go talk to mom and dad.” The group watched as Ardeszeld turned and left.
“Aunt Coral,” Solas said softly. “I… I think I should tell you something.” The small group walked back to Coral and Tahlmus’s tent. It would provide more privacy than speaking in the middle of camp.
Tahlmus found himself a ways away from camp leaning up against a tree. Thoughts were racing through his head. Going with Thalixen and Urytemil meant something bad would befall him. It was the only conclusion he could draw from the worry both Ardeszeld and Solas had expressed. However, he now knew that if he didn’t go with them the rest of his family would be harmed. “And even if I get them all to safety, the people of the city will suffer,” he whispered to himself as he back slid down the tree until he was in a sitting position. “Why me?” he asked softly.
“Because you were chosen,” a voice stated that made Tahlmus jump. An old man stood in front of him with seven small canaries; six spread across his shoulders and one sitting on his head. Tahlmus opened his mouth to say something, and then closed it. He could feel the magic signatures emanating from the man and the canaries; all draconic, one platinum and seven gold. “Starting to figure it out, are you?”
Tahlmus nodded. “But why?” he asked. “Out of everyone that could have been chosen… why me?”
“That, my elven son, I cannot yet reveal to you, but you know the choice you have to make.” Tahlmus nodded. “Go with Thalixen and Urytemil. You will find you are stronger than you currently understand.” Tahlmus looked down at his twiddling thumbs trying to find the words to the questions he wanted to ask, but when he looked back up to speak the man and his canaries were gone.
He blinked several times, as he got the feeling like he had been asleep. “Did that really just happened?” he whispered, shaking his head. Giving his head a final shake, Tahlmus stood and transported himself back to the camp.