As Sionis finished up his story, dark clouds were gathering on the horizon. He pulled in the last of his fishing lines and started to get his tackle-box organized. Vestria followed suit, rolling up her scrolls and letting the ink dry on this latest chapter.
“So that was it for the Xernia?” she asked, before putting away her pen.
“Indeed,” Sionis replied. “Iliera and I returned to Stonehaven on a Traveler with as many soldiers as we could take. It was wonderful for me to step back off that Traveler and onto the soil of Azirin again. I had started to believe that I would never return. It felt good.”
“I imagine it was hard on Iliera?”
“I don’t think so,” Sionis mused, smiling. “Iliera had trained her whole life to be ready to protect her World. She was riding high by the time we left Xernia. I think she knew she was the greatest hope that my home had for survival, and that empowerment was fuel for her.”
“So the Legion was Keaira’s own army? This would be her second attempt, right?”
“It’s true. Her second invasion of our world was swift, and when we saw the first wave of her army arriving via Traveler, we knew it was going to take the full might of a united Azirin to truly stop them in their tracks. Of course… that’s a story for another day.”
“I assumed as much,” Vestria said, thankful that she had guessed correctly.
“I caught a few good fish. You can come back home and I’ll fry them up if you want.”
“I appreciate the offer, but the storm on the horizon looks a bit foreboding. I wouldn’t want to get caught in that before I’m home and tucked in for the night.”
“Suit yourself,” Sionis said. He leaned forward, picking up his belongings to head back to his farm. “More for me.”
“I do have one question,” Vestria said. “It’s about Kaellax.”
“Is she mortal?”
Sionis contemplated the question for a bit, then seemed to settle on answer. He took a deep breath, then exhaled, then shrugged. “Maybe?”
“Well, how is she in all of these stories? She was an adult when you were a child. Surely she would be getting up in age by now, but you said she looked as youthful as the day you met her?”
“Kaellax is a Shadowspeaker,” Sionis said. “In truth, she’s a particularly powerful one.”
“Shadowspeakers aren’t immortal.”
“No, not if they don’t want to be. Kaellax likes to siphon off a few years worth of life-force from evildoers and whoever else she caught, fought, or otherwise engaged with on unfriendly terms.”
“You’re telling me she sucks the life out of people?”
Sionis nodded, checking the sky and the looming storms. “She steals a few years here or there. She hasn’t directly harmed anyone, at least that I can think about, but she keeps herself alive and well. She always said she’d get bored of it eventually, but she hasn’t so far.”
Vestria contemplated all of this for a moment, then shook her head. “Okay,” she said. “Alright. So we’re back from the alternate timeline and the Legion has come. So then, what—”
“Those storms are getting close,” Sionis said, looking to the horizon.
Vestria sighed internally. She knew that the Flamecaller wasn’t going to reveal anything else about his story, but she also knew they were getting to more recent events. There had to be more to learn about the wand, about how it played into the life of Sionis Sepher, and Vestria was going to hear it.
One way or another.
“I suppose I’ll take my leave,” he said as the wind began to kick up. “Come on down to the farm when the rains let up. We’ll pick up where we left off and I can tell you about the Legion, and the impact it had on my life.”
Reluctantly, Vestria agreed. “I’ll see you soon, Sionis.”
Ominous thunder clapped in the sky above, and the pair went their separate ways.