From their perch at the top of the Tower of Ishal, Morrigan peered down at the destruction then looked sideways at her mother. Flemeth stood even closer to the edge than she, clad in leather and steel and youth instead of homespun cloth and age. Looking back at the room, where the unanswered beacon fire burned amidst the bodies of the dead soldiers, she said, “This is not what you said it would be, Mother.”
“Things have changed. Far more than I expected them too.”
A cold smile turned up the corners of Flemth’s lips and identical golden eyes met as the older woman continued, “There are still, however, elements in play that we may be able to put to use.”
Morrigan nodded and lifted her gaze from the fallow field far below to the higher ground, where remnants of the army were quickly disappearing into the woods. They had managed to rescue their wounded King but it would be to no avail. She had watched that wound be struck as she winged her way above the battlefield and heard Mother’s judgement as soon as she made mention of it. He would die in the forest despite their efforts.
“The Wardens?” she questioned.
Flemeth nodded ever so slightly, the horns her hair was fashioned into the only thing that made the movement evident. “Two live. The war-forged elf and the dwarf with steel in her heart. There is another, perhaps, but he is distant and there is little chance of you finding him.”
Frowning, Morrigan asked, “And what would you have me do, Mother?”
“I would have you see where they go, daughter. Watch them, for now.”
“And what of…”
As Flemeth turned from the edge, Morrigan’s lips closed over the rest of the words as her mother reached out with a clawed gauntlet to caress her chin carefully. She blinked calmly back, the only thing to give her emotions away the slightly increased rate of her heartbeat, and the older woman smiled.
“There are several paths that may be taken, daughter,” she uttered coolly. “One way or another, whether it be the elf or else, you will find a way to do what I have asked of you.”
Flemeth nodded and released her, saying shortly, “I have other pieces to see to their places.”
Morrigan merely nodded in response and, with a rasp of scales against ancient stone, she was alone at the top of the tower. She surveyed the remains of the battlefield again from her high perch then took to the air herself with a high-pitched caw. Mother had her pieces and she her own.
And perhaps, just perhaps, she could subtlety change those pieces to serve her own ends.