After an epic wait, I bring you not one, but TWO new volumes of Stolen Legacy. Here's the sixth volume:
Stolen Legacy, Vol Six
Magnus glared down upon Sentinel by the time Ramma and Marud had returned to Danalione. The priestess saw Marud and immediately brought him inside to the undercroft, tending to his wounds as best as she could. Yet, Ramma knew it wasn’t enough; none of us are safe here any longer. They will come, and their vengeance will be swift. Ramma wanted to remain, but she knew that she stood no chance without any weapons of her own, let alone allies with the political clout she needed that she could trust. She half-imagined a small company of Gada were stationed right outside of her home, awaiting her return.
Amil was already awake and snacking on a pomegranate. Ramma kept her eyes locked upon the amulet of Onsi as it dangled across his chest, waiting for the gem embedded within its pommel to glow again as it had before. She only saw rays from candlelight strike its flaws instead; rather, the grooves formed by the script carved into it. A creed of some sort, a promise to the Boneshaver Himself from the Ansei. Wait... Ramma paused a moment and shook her head.
Since when can I read ancient Yoku?
The “True Yoku” - as the staunchest of her Crown brethren liked to call it - she knew was a language preserved mostly orally. Only a modest amount of literature was dedicated to its written form. Yet, even “True Yoku” was merely one of myriad dialects that the many nations and tribes of Yokuda once spoke; the Dunedwellers of the Alik’r spoke a few variations of them a well.
The Hel-hi-bateki matani she’d kept (how do I even know what they’re called?) were far from ordinary memory stones; it must’ve imparted this knowledge inside of her before she gave it to Saleem, burying its secrets deep within the parts of her mind she never ventured. Speaking of buried... Ramma cast another glance at Amil’s amulet and shuddered to imagine the kind of knowledge hidden inside of it.
Onsi’s wisdom, Marud called it. And now Amil’s been exposed to it. I wonder if... Ramma thought of their battle with Yakkaz’s men and how readily Amil had stabbed the Gada attacking them. He’d seen death before, but Ramma had hoped he’d never have to participate in it himself. Wisdom of that kind is nothing my brother needs. Yet, Ramma sensed that a much different fate awaited Amil. Her heart missed a beat when she realized the feeling wasn’t truly hers.
“So Ramma, how does your arm feel?” Marud asked, wincing as Danalione sewed his shoulder wounds closed.
Ramma raised her arm, still partly mystified by what had transpired. “It’s fine. Doesn’t hurt or anything.”
“I see,” Marud nodded, “I think that is incredible. What do you think it was? I’ve never seen a blade of pure magicka that looked like that before. Sure, maybe a Daedric one conjured by a m’kai, but never one like yours.”
“Well it wasn’t a shehai, if that’s what you want to imply,” Danalione interjected, nicking the string with her teeth as she tied Marud’s wound closed.
“Hey, watch it, Gurleht!” Marud yelped.
“Don’t whine! I’m almost done as it is,” Danalione snapped.
“Why can’t you just heal him as you did me yesterday, Dana?” Ramma asked.
Danalione sighed, wiping her forehead with the back of her palm a moment before washing her hands in the basin next to her. “Those of us skilled in Restoration know that there’s a difference between mending shallow wounds like yours and those of people who’ve experienced,” Danalione frowned at Marud, “repeated physical and mental trauma. There are many ways to scar things, and spells can only heal so much. He’s very lucky, almost blessed I’d wager, to be alive. But his body will certainly take no more abuse.”
“Don’t Dana, or you’ll make that ego of his even greater than it already is.”
“Heh,” Dana snickered, as she stopped tending Marud’s shoulder and covered his wound. “I’m finished now. He’s lucky I’m not charging him for this.”
“Or ‘blessed’, perhaps?” Marud replied, smiling. Danalione sat back, mouth slightly ajar, but halted before she spoke again and chose to wash her hands instead, glaring at him the entire time.
“I warned you, Dana.”
“Any way, I don’t think you used a shehai. Sounds more like an advanced magickal skill. The best Ansei in Skaven haven’t put on more than a light performance ever since the power was lost. Or, if the bluster about the stones is what it’s cracked up to be, I can only hope that it was only the beginning of one.”
“But the legends say that the Ansei could summon them when their need was dire out of pure instinct. Could Ramma not have done the same?” Marud asked, rubbing his shoulder.
“Look, I may sound like an unbeliever–,”
“You most certainly do, doesn’t she Ramma?”
“Quiet it, Marud.”
“However,” Danalione raised her voice, stopping short of a shout, “I show doubt only out of caution. If forming a shehai were as simple as absorbing whatever forbidden knowledge lay inside of that stone, do you imagine the kind of havoc the Oyebras would unleash once they discovered it, and who’s to say they haven’t already?”
“She’s right, Marud,” Ramma massaged her arm, gazing at her palm again. “We already have enough to fear, and Shehai Shen She Ru never was an easy art to learn, let alone master.” Ramma then remembered Yakkaz’s words to Saleem. That’s what he meant by “understand the knowledge I was given”. I have to comprehend what I have before I can use it effectively.
“So have you decided where you’ll be going now? Forgive me for not being able to keep you here any longer, Ramma.”
“No apologies are needed. You’ve risked enough. Marud will take my brother with him and we will meet later on outside of Sentinel. That is, if I’m not killed by the Oyebras this evening,” Ramma showed Danalione the memory stone she’d given to her. “It worked. So did your spell. I think thanks are owed to you now.”
Danalione stood and dried her hands with a towel, tossing it aside. “Thank your father Weywran; those spells came from his work. It’s actually a sealing spell priests of Tu’whacca use.” Danalione then gazed past Ramma, motioning for Amil. “Come, young man,” Danalione waved a giant sack of date palms with a crafty grin. “I’ve got a parting gift for you!” Amil was beside her almost immediately. “I also have this,” Danalione revealed a light brown hooded tunic embroidered with the crest of Arkay, “to protect you from the heat. I enchanted it myself.” Probably with an Illusion spell or two to conceal him to the untrained eye, Ramma thought.
Ramma turned toward Marud and helped him to his feet. “Are you ready, now, no shira?”
“I will have to be.”
“Then, it’s time.”
“Ramma,” Danalione approached her with a small tome within her hands. “Here,” she handed it to Ramma. “Weywran said it was your birthright, and that I was only to give it to you once I knew you were ready.”
Ramma took the book, slim and bound with a strong hide that had been dyed white, and recognized her father’s seal on its cover. “Is this...?”
“Yes, it is. You can learn the spell that I gave you, as well as many other magicks,” Danalione tried to smile again, but failed. “Turns out that for all of the Raga’s contempt of most magick, the Yoku people were once quite adept at it. You’re proof of this.”
“Dana, you don’t have to...”
“I’ll watch over your home and make sure none of those no lo’igri taint a single thing,” Danalione continued, gazing away from them. “You should go now; I’m sure the Oyebras will sic their Gada upon this place soon. Nothing is sacred any more.”
Ramma held Danalione tight within a final hug, and pecked her cheek. “Thank you so much!”
“Just keep making your parents proud. Now get! We both have jobs to do, you know!” Danalione said, playfully shooing Ramma away from her, “And take good care of that mantle! Those things are not cheap!”
Ramma nodded and put the book inside one of her indigo cloak’s inner pockets. “I will. Trangai, Dana.”
“Goodbye,” Danalione replied, as the three disappeared inside a mist of shadow.