And the epilogue…


The Lady Araethe, now Queen Araethe by demand of the fey, sat upon her throne, receiving oaths of allegiance from the fey and Aelfen lords. Alsan shifted impatiently. He didn't want to be here, in the palace at Laastien, a place that Rowan had somehow moved to the new world, as well as Aitlantias. No, the Fire's'guardian would much rather see how the Water's'guardian was recovering.

The man stood up, and a scruffy woman walked up quietly. Her clothes were battered, her face bruised and her boots old, but she held herself proudly. Instead of giving the customary bow, she merely nodded to the Queen, an acknowledgement between equals.

 "I would swear allegiance, Queen," the bandit – it had to be a bandit – said, "but I will not be here to fulfill it. Though my band and I are human, we joined your army, but we must now return. We traveled those lands for generations, and I have no wish to change.

 "We wish to return, Araethe. We will be your eyes and allies in the human world. We will guard the portals between these two realms, and we will shelter your people if they return. But we, we the trayve'lair caids, wish to return."

There was a long silence as the Queen regarded the head of the trayve'lair caids, the renegade humans that had sided with the mythics. "I see no reason why you shouldn't. But you shall never let a human through, not a human like those. You will have to ensure that they are completely trustworthy before you let one through, and if they are not, you shall pay along side them."

The bandit nodded, then softened slightly. "Lady – I mean, Queen? Could – could I see her one more time? Before I leave?" Realization hit Alsan like a blow as the brigand walked over to the twins' open coffin. It was Kestrel, Shadow's teacher.

 "We have another problem," Araethe said as Kestrel left the hall, dry-eyed. "We need to find the next Light' and Dark's'guardians, make sure they don't get into human hands."

 "That won't be a problem," a voice declared from the back. Peregrine-gray cloak swirling around her, the Water's'guardian strode into the court. Old green eyes – eyes that had already seen more in eighteen years than most saw in a lifetime, than had gone on to see things that no mortal ever should – stared into the Queen's, daring her to disagree.

 "You've already found them?" she exclaimed instead. "That's won–"

 "No," Rowan interrupted flatly. "There will never again be another Light or Dark's'guardian, not until a Queen of Fire is born and the worlds start to merge once more." Nobles and peasants alike murmured in panic: the two most powerful Elements, those with few ties in the physical worlds, were going to left without any ties at all! And Guardians almost never ruled; the triggers themselves were unlikely, but to have both incidents happen at once? Impossible.

 "No, there will be a Guardian for the two Elements, once Guardian for both Light and Dark."

 "And what will we call them?" the Queen mused aloud. "Light-and-Dark's'guardian is much too long." The court gave a worried sort of laugh, trying to ease the tension.

Rowan smiled, a bitter thing. "Call them Shadow."


"Rowan," Alsan shouted, running to catch up to the mage. "Where are you going?" The dragons, excellent copiers of magics, were already planning on making their own world, this time at their own pace, enabling them to do it without a Guardian's assistance. he gryphons were assisting them in return for a world of their own, and the Aelfen were already starting to drift southwards. Rowan had given them all the plans for the worlds, so they were fine there.

All of this left the warrior at loose ends.

She turned around to look at him, green eyes sparkling good-naturedly. "To explore this world I've created. C'mon, stick-swinger. We can go find ourselves an adventure."

 "I've had enough of adventure," the Fire's'guardian responded, falling in beside her. "My entire life's been one."

 "Well, then we can go find you some peace." The two Guardians left, journeying westwards as they had in the most important part of their lives, travel-packs on their backs, sun to their faces, wind in their hair.

 "Peace it is," the other Guardian agreed, putting his arm around his unlikely friend's shoulders.

And that was the last time fey saw the two Guardians, with the exception of one band and, perhaps, the dragonchildren, for ten years. As for what happened after that, well, that is another story.

The End … For Now.


A grand thank you goes out to all reviewers of this fic. You know who you are. But I would like to specifically mention Deanna Marie, for her constant reviewing. I recommand her Mirror Chronicals for anyone seeking a good read.

Now I must go continue Fate`s Winds. But if anyone is interested, I have gotten an idea for a story of Shadow`s childhood. Let me know if I`d get any reviews for it.

Reviewer thankage!

Deanna Marie: Oh, so you aren't the only one who's gotten fifty alerts for one review? Same thing on this side. You – and anyone else, for that matter – can contact me at [email protected]. Wind to thy wings!

Alariec: Sure I will. Just as long as you update, that is. Much thanks for the review.

Hawke: You don't like wolves? Well, it takes all kinds to make a world, I suppose. As for what happened to Shadow, she did it to herself. I am merely the fingers.

Please review! And if not, well, go read Fate's Winds and review that. ^_~