“Do not hinder the Light, for only those who are in league with the Shadow detest the Light, we know full well of the extent of your power, and we fear not the armies of Esterwynne, but we do not wish to fight some who have proven themselves so well against the Shadow, and upon this ground, we offer help against the enemy at your border, and an agreement of peace between two Nations intent on the destruction of The Shadow.”
The emissary from the Pure stood calmly in the neutral ground that had been chosen for the meeting. I stood with arms folded, my robes swirling in the wind. “You do not fear us. I understand that for we have been severely weakened in the fight against the Shadow.” These words had been spoken calmly and without any trace of emotion but then I strode forward and allowed the magic to flow through me. The Pure emissary took a step back and fear flashed over his previously indifferent face.
“You disgust me,” I said in a voice made unearthly by the power flowing through my veins. “Your nation assaulted the Robualy for no reason; you care not for justifying your actions. You assume you have the right to rule this world simply because you are ruled by a self proclaimed divine being. You claim you have created a perfect society but I know what you do to those who question you. It was my curse to be captured by a Pure crusade when I was seeking knowledge of the Gods or God. When I was a captive of your nation I received a quick a lesson in the nature of religion. It breeds hatred and fanaticism in normal people and leads to nothing but pain. You are unafraid of us? I tell you here and now that we have no fear of you, all I feel for your nation is disgust. Go and tell your immortal lord everything I said here today, tell him it word for word. The Pure will give us justification for their attack on Robualy or you will regret having crossed us. You may win the war that will follow, but you will have opened yourself to the Shadow and believe me, the Liches will not hesitate to strike at the gap in your defence.”
“I have heard the Pure boast of how they held the Shadow for long enough for the Alliance to muster its armies, yet I ask you why it is that you still possess the strength to attack Robualy and conquer a sizable portion of their land within a few days. You do not fear our armies? That is because they were decimated holding back the Shadow. We lost far more than you could ever understand. We have nothing left to lose. Do not threaten us. We cannot be threatened. Do not offer us anything. We cannot be bribed. Esterwynne has suffered enough from our fellow humans. How can you see this as a time to gather new lands? If you are to fight, fight the foe that threatens us all. Fight the Shadow.”
I released the magic then spoke calmly. “The Pure will explain their actions against Robualy; if those actions are unjustified they will withdraw their forces from Robualy lands. As an act of faith we will withdraw our forces also. Attack us if you will but know this, even should you destroy us, the Shadow will destroy you. We will fight the Shadow, with or without you though if you assist us you will have our gratitude and our support if you are ever attacked. You will convey these terms to your ruler.”
“She handled that well don’t you think?” Matrim asked me.
“Better than I would have,” I said grimly. “But I fear the Pure will refuse to justify and will attack us anyway. They are religious fanatics and we are atheists.” I was already counting the casualties we would suffer in a war with the Pure and the result was depressingly high. Matrim rested a hand on my shoulder. “We won’t fight my friend, the Pure may be fanatics but they’re rational fanatics, they know they can’t afford to fight us, that fighting us will weaken them enough for the Shadow to cut through them like a knife through butter.”
“We have done it Moiraire; we have discovered the lost art of flight.”
The words were spoken excitedly and with great haste and I looked around myself, seeing no one. Then I looked up and saw Ran floating above me. I smiled. It had to have been Ran. He was Elven like me, though far older and a slightly less powerful. He had been searching for the art of flight for centuries, since before I was born and to have found it had his face alight with childish glee. “Well?” I asked. “How is it done?”
He smiled to be able to talk about it. “It’s quite simple really, I always tried to increase upwards force but always found downwards force increased at the same time. Our friends in Salthiusar discovered it a few days ago and it appears that it is easier to simply remove the downwards force. I thought that was a bit unreliable though and then it occurred to me that we always focussed air magic towards a target to affect them. I thought that we could simply focus the magic around ourselves. And it works. Try it, try it Moiraire.”
His voice was filled with childish glee. I smiled and tried what he had said. I felt nothing at first and started to tell him. Then my feet lifted off the floor. I smiled and began to laugh...
Sentinels being trained in 49
Training Hall construction begins in 55
Air Bending researched in 56
Emissary from Pure given ultimatum and sent back to the Pure