Fynn stood over a desolate landscape.
This place had once been his home.
This place had not been the victim of the mighty Yunai. It had not fallen to their dire plots. Instead, it had fallen to the Zinji, a superstitious people that had wanted to weaken us so that the Yunai would succeed when they invaded again. The Zenji were fools. Their actions had doomed so many lives, and it had all been for nothing.
Right now, the Academy of Hope was preparing an assault against the greatest threat that our World Ship had ever seen. Fynn had requested Syanna give him a portal to his old home, as he had still not returned since its destruction all those years ago.
He’d never had a chance to search for his home… his family.
Now, here he stood, with ash and dust surrounding him.
As he walked through the charred soil, he made sure to avoid stepping on the seedlings of new life that were sprouting up from the fertile grounds. New life from the old. They would prosper from the death that had come before.
The death caused by the Zinji.
Despite working alongside the reformed Zenji throne, Fynn still felt unsure about their friendship. No doubt, because of this act of villainy, he would never fully trust them. Still, he had met many that helped him during his adventures. They weren’t all bad. He knew that.
It didn’t help him feel better when he arrived at the ruined spot where his home once stood. It had been an older wooded structure, so there was nothing left here to see. No piece of it still remained. Just a pile of ash. As he thought of the destruction, he realized that his mother might have been here, huddled up, trying to survive the enemy attack when her life was cut short.
He turned away and looked at the other ruins. There were still several large stone structures that had somewhat survived the blast. They hardly resembled their former shapes, but the heavy stones hadn’t been obliterated by the bomb.
He started to move around one of the structures, the blacksmith, maybe. It was hard to remember the layout without any other markers around.
Then, Fynn stopped short whe he heard a gentle whisper in the air.
Inaudible words, but words.
He stood still, trying to focus on the sound.
Again, quiet whispers danced on the edge of his hearing.
He turned toward them, or at least where he thought he heard them, and moved back to where his house had been. Slowly, he took careful steps. The whispers grew louder, but no more audible. He couldn’t make out what he was hearing, but he was hearing it for sure.
As it grew louder, he stepped closer.
Then, he caught sight of a yellow glow coming from the soil ahead.
He moved over to it, the whispers building into a solid stream of words. None of them made sense, but he could hear them now. Actual words.
He reached down, brushing the ash away to uncover… a wand.
The moment his finger touched it, however, the whispers ended and the yellow light faded. For a moment there was nothing, but then the wand ignited into a golden flame and from the tip spouted an image, almost like a floating projection.
The golden light took shape and Fynn recognized it to be his mother.
“Hello Fynn, my little boy,” the magical image said with a smile. “If this message reaches you, then it means I didn’t make it. I am leaving this for you, stored within this powerful wand, so that I can give you a proper farewell. First and foremost, my son, I love you so very much. These are dark times in our lands. The Zinji once fought alongside us to stop a terrible foe, but left to our own devices, I fear we are tearing ourselves apart. This is not the world that I want you to live in. Like Lady Evanor, I want peace to be our guiding force. Together we can be strong. I want you to remember that, my son. We must seek peace if we hope to survive. The Zinji that assault this city, they are not the allies I knew, and it does not have to be the ones that you know. There is more at play here. Do not allow my death to darken your heart. Use it to highlight the error of turning on one another when we could be working toward a greater goal…”
Fynn’s heart was breaking.
“This wand,” she continued. “It once belonged to a young mage named Sionis Sepher. Before him, it was held by the powerful mage known as Lady Sonea Everheart. She enchanted it, you see, to locate her young protege when he was a child. In my darkest days, when the undead came to Lederan, this wand guided me to Sionis. In turn, he led me to Vers. While he and I did not always see eye to eye, he has long held true to Evanor’s ideals. I want you to find Sionis Sepher. Give him his wand back. Tell him I said thank you for everything.”
As tears streamed down Fynn’s cheek, he looked down at the wand. If there were such a thing as fate, it was revealing itself to him right now. His mother had wanted him to find Sionis Sepher, but he had never gotten this message. He had never known to seek out the Flamecaller, and yet he had found Sionis nonetheless. Sionis had kept him safe, just as his mother had always wanted. Sionis had introduced him to Iliera, and shown him that there is more than one side to every story.
As always, his mother was right.
“Finally, my son,” his mother added. “Do not mourn for me. I am so thankful that you are not here in this battle. A mother never wants to see her son in danger. I know that such a goal is a lofty one, but I am confident that in time, you will be one of the greatest paladins of the new order. You will keep people safe, and maybe someday, new mothers will sleep in comfort, knowing that their children will not know danger.”
There was a brief pause. She was crying.
“When you’re ready to find Sionis,” she said. “Hold the wand in your hand and simply say his name aloud. It is already enchanted to do the rest. The light will grow stronger as you get closer to him. Never lose sight of the true goal, Fynn. Peace. Safety. I love you, my son.”
The wand’s glow faded, and the image of his mother disappeared.
He stood, alone now, and cried for what felt like an hour.
When his mother had passed, he had taken no time to mourn. He had bottled the pain and used it to focus on his training. He had worked and fought and ignored the rest. It had never been real until now. Deep down he had almost convinced himself that Theramore was still out there across the sea. That his mother wasn’t dead.
There was no avoiding that now.
So he just stood there and let the tears flow.