((AN: Next part! I actually had this finished somewhat for quite a while, and had thought I was actually going to finish the story itself before posting the chapter, but got caught up in other projects and sorta forgot about it. x3 But a PM from a reader asking me if this was actually the end had spurred me to just put up this next one.
So no, guys, it's not the end, not 'til I say so. XD
So here, we get a little insight on what's happened at Kabaala's end, and then what actually happened to Braka. Suffice it to say, the amulets somehow got activated (how that happened, well, that'll come later). x3
King Aseron will actually get a little more of a story in the published version. It was the idea for this chapter, actually, that told me that I should make him a little more of an actual presence in the world than a mere mention in the part where Kabaala was stopped at the entrance to the valley by his guards. x3
With that, enjoy!))
Though Kabaala was Queen and the acting leader of all who rested at that moment within the magic valley, she chose to feel humble in the presence of the great black griffin that had landed before her with an entire world of refugees at his back. She saw in the eyes of so many Canyon griffins the awe of seeing more than they ever imagined past the mountains. She could feel in their emotions and minds the shock, the relief, and the disbelief of coming into what had to be a paradise after an exhausting climb from death's reach. She knew how they all felt, and she wanted to say the same words to Braka's kin that she had told the others.
Her Knight's grandfather, or Rabyk as she then knew he was called, looked wearied and tired beyond his age and ability. But still she saw within him a formidable strength, and it was in his eyes when he stepped up before the welcoming party with his head high and his great ebony and silver-tinted wings drawn at his sides. Kabaala was the same, standing as regal as she should have, but her kindness shone through to him and to all that met her gaze.
"Am I standing before the one that we must meet to gain acceptance here?" he inquired, his voice calm and deep, though scratchy.
She nodded once. "You are. I am Queen Kabaala of the Regals...the twelve behind me are my Knights; my protectors. The group you see behind them, and the many far beyond, are composed of refugees such as yourselves...here to gain sanctuary in this land." The queen smiled. "And from what I am told of you, I see no reason to not welcome you here among us."
The Oldling smiled back and inclined his head. "I am honored...I can see that the beings called the Aire have not steered us wrong. The ones behind me are all kin, families of the Canyon, now freed of its boundaries until all is made right." He turned himself partially around to call to them with an encompassing, loud screech. "Fly and rest where you will, but close! We are among friends, so I remind you, act it!"
Tired, but eager, the mass of Canyon griffins heeded Rabyk's words and moved past. They did not disperse, but acted as one, moving as a group, flying or walking just to each find their moment of peace. The Aire sent to protect them had started to mingle together as well, though one stood nearby and kept the egg holding Braka's unborn sibling warm. The Queen as well dismissed her Knights to keep watch and order among the group as best they could.
Rabyk turned back to Kabaala. "I dare say, my Queen, you are everything that my grandson has told me. You are just a Youngling yourself, and yet you have led two giant groups here to safety? And fought through a settlement of humans?"
Her eyes closed, bashful, but her words were resolute in tone. "It was all I could do. I had a promise to fulfill to friends who have looked after me when my own kind shunned me. I had a promise to Sir Braka. I can only hope that I have filled it by arriving here. To tell you the truth, I am humbled to just meet one of his family. He spoke very highly of you, and I can tell that you were what inspired him."
The Oldling chuckled. His voice was calming and definitely had the air of a storyteller. "That child always had fire in his eyes. I know not how he came to be so courageous. But I can imagine that he has gained most worthy help, for he has told me much about you, as well."
A pleasant tingle was felt through her wings. "Again, it was all that I could do for him. He was my inspiration to rise against my father's ill wishes, however it has hurt me in the end. And now that I am here, all I wish to do is see the young hero."
Rabyk smiled, but there was a sadness in his eyes. "I can imagine that you have been waiting...but he has chosen to stay behind in the Canyon to finish the fight. Himself and that Aire, Sarui. And an entire race of griffins I had never seen, as well! Serpent-tails, I believe they were called."
Kabaala's eyes widened with surprise. They found other Serpent-tails?
At that moment, something the color of dark purple and black had decided to rush out from the crowd, running and flapping his wings with a shrill "Pwincess!"
She turned just as Damien pounced on her leg, eliciting laughter from the two adults. "Indeed, I am here, little one," she cooed with calming nuzzle of her head into his tiny body. Looking up again, she hummed and shook her head as he proceeded to run into the crowd again, chasing whatever tail he came across. "Well, I am happy to see that his little adopted brother is safe. But..." her face fell. "If Sir Braka stayed to fight..."
He gave her a serious look. "It is his decision. He said before he left that if he was to return to you, it would be as the Knight you made him, and not as a coward who left the defense of his home to others. And while I still berate his foolishness, I also see his point." His chin was lowered to his thick mane, eyes closed as if he were already mourning. "But I can imagine that he will try his best to come out of this fight alive, for you."
Her heart sped up when the Oldling locked eyes with her again. "For you see, he loves you."
Kabaala's breath caught in her throat, and those tingles overcame her nerves again. She couldn't keep her composure against the threat of tears. She became a Princess again for that moment, feeling weak in her legs and wings under the weight of the world, and wished for Braka's strength. Wished for everything he had lent when he taught her to sing, kept her warm, and made his promise.
"And I him," she answered in one quiet breath, and the Oldling gave her a smile that she used to see on her own father, long ago. Soft and reassuring, and lifting.
So, they wandered back into the massive camp of refugees, conversing along the way and each telling their own side of the story. The egg was given to the care of the old Sanctuary's head healer, who kept it safely separate from the others. The night wore on, the moon moved across the black sky, and the stars were like hope itself; brilliant points of light that refused to let themselves be cast in shadow.
But the storm clouds above the Teeth hadn't yet dispersed, and in fact became louder.
It was then that a great shudder was felt through the camp, and most everyone went silent. All eyes turned to the Teeth, where flashes of light danced like phantoms among the black mist.
Kabaala felt a sting in her heart.
And then, Scion purposefully strode past the others, past everyone who gave him strange looks, and stopped with his expressive silence in front of Rabyk and the Queen. His eyes were set firmly to the mountains, his back hooves digging into the soil.
The black griffin's eyes narrowed with curiosity. "That one is a prey-kin."
"A hippogriff, yes," Kabaala confirmed. "But do not judge him wrong. Scion has been faithfully by my side during the journey here, from start to finish, when the others had been starting to give up. He is Sarui's friend, and has a bond with her of sorts." She cautiously padded up next to him. "Something must be wrong."
"The rest of the Sanctuary's Aire feel it too," one of the old guardsmen said as he stood from nearby, having heard the exchange. "There is a disturbance. Lady Sarui...perhaps she is in need of help."
Kabaala then had a hunch, and looked around. "Rainzpir is not here with you," she observed.
"No," said one of the soldiers, the ones sent by the old Aire. "He was told by Braka to lead the Canyon griffins here, but he stayed with half of his fighters to take the battle to the Darquist's very origin. Sarui has a lot of help."
"I still feel something is wrong," the guard insisted. "We are all tied mentally to our leader. The Lady is in trouble."
"...And thus, so is Braka," Kabaala whispered.
Then, Scion reared on his hind legs and released a deafening roar...a lion's ferocity, an eagle's bravery, and a stallion's strength all concentrated in that call. His giant wings flapping seemed to want to make a whirlwind. Without heeding any call made his way, the creature took a running leap in the direction of the mountains.
The soldier sighed, his expression grim. "I believe we have to make a charge there, and quickly."
"Go, then, and do all that you must," Kabaala gave her quick assent. "We will be waiting here."
A small contingent of soldiers and guardsmen together charged the Teeth, hoping to make as quick a path to the Canyon's end as possible. They followed a desperate Scion, not knowing what they would find.
The Queen could only stay by the side of her Knights and by Rabyk, muttering to herself.
"Please...please, bring him back. Bring all of them back. But bring him."
And even after they did return...long after the clouds over the Teeth had finally dispersed...she still could only keep one thought in her mind.
You are alive. I know you are, Braka. You are alive. You will come back. Please come back.
Through the shroud in his mind, he felt very little. He believed himself dead. The burning was gone, all of the ache and strain in his wings vanished as if it had never been. Darkness was all that he could see and feel. There was a fleeting sense of warmth, and of cold, intermittently overlapping the other at various intervals. There was no sense of time or self.
He slept...but no longer had nightmares. He had short-lived visions of dreams, of places and of people he once knew and loved. He heard snippets of songs from his childhood, long forgotten. He heard voices, many voices, but all blurred. Indecipherable phrases and words and shouts that he could only guess at.
Every so often it would feel like he was jarred a little in his sleep. He felt movement, or of being lifted and placed onto other surfaces. He thought that he heard muttering, and more voices came that he dared not wonder at deciphering.
He wanted to wonder, but he couldn't think. He was tired. Just too tired.
I am already dead. I will not strain myself to cling to visions of life.
It took him a long time to realize that it was his living brain that was thinking all of this. It was his body that was heaving with breath, his nostrils taking in such pleasant, clean scents, and his ears that were indeed picking up foreign sounds and voices.
He felt pain again, but only in little bursts, as if his mind was trying to catch up with the present. That pain was in the past, felt in the middle of fighting, constant movement and noise.
Now, through peace, none again found him...the pain was gone. It was all curious indeed, but still, he refused to believe that he was still alive.
It had been a month that he was lost in that in-between darkness of life and death.
One day, he dared to blink his eyes open.
High in the room of a palace brightly lit with dappled sunlight through stained glass windows, King Aseron watched the cage with worry and fascination lining his face. The large square box with iron bars certainly looked like a prison, but it was built simply out of caution as recommended by the Aire...for if the creature inside had awoken, it would probably react violently at first, before his memory fully returned.
The king looked at the creature that was brought to his castle long ago, as a sort of curiosity brought to his loyal soldiers for his love of griffins. He made sure not to kill it, though. He wanted to see what this interesting creature, this griffin that certainly very few humans had ever seen, would have to say. Aseron then was approached by several of the Aire, begging him not to do away with the griffin, but to leave it in their care when it awoke and recovered. The look on their bestial faces was so desperate, that it occurred to him that he must be of some importance.
Then soon enough, he was told the story that began where the last one ended...the valley at the feet of the Teeth, and since, beyond into a world of chaos, darkness, and battle.
So now, as the creature stirred, the king made sure to keep himself looking as humble as possible, despite not being the one in the cage. He was observing a hero awakening from a long, deep slumber.
The Canyon griffin lifted his head, an action that seemed so tiring and burdensome. His soft golden eyes looked around, scrutinizing the bars of the cage, but questioning the inclusion of a soft cushion of thick blankets beneath his body. He groaned and tried to lift his body onto his forearms, but could only wobble with his weight and had to lay down again. His eyes closed, his ears flat against his skull...but the brown creature with ebony wings, mane, and large shapeless spots upon his flank didn't look angry. He looked defeated, his breathing first fast, but now slow and uneven.
Aseron then decided to speak. "I would not move so quickly at first. You are still quite weak, and will be for a time."
The griffin turned his head and beheld the human. His eyes were dark brown, and the creature figured that he must be in his latter ages, for most things with hair gained a grayish color when they turned old. He wore clothes fancier than he'd ever seen on a human, but also looked at him with a gaze much gentler, and formed a smile much friendlier. This made him tilt his head in slight confusion, though he looked defensive still.
"...Who are you?" the creature asked, his voice slow and creaky in tone from lack of use. "Where am I?"
The human smiled. "I am King Aseron, the ruler of the kingdom of South Tyria...the only land of humans in the entirety of the continent. And you, my little friend, are in my castle."
The griffin looked up and around again, his talons idly scratching at the fabric below him. "This 'castle'...is a prison?"
"No," Aseron chuckled. "It is where I live, and it is a fortress for my soldiers and my family."
"Oh..." the leonine creature hummed, still somewhat dazed. "Much like the king of the Regal griffins had."
"Much like it," Aseron nodded his assent. "Though I suppose mine is bigger. Now...do you have a name? I do not wish to keep addressing you as 'griffin', although 'little friend' might even be more preferable."
The animal's ears flicked as he thought for a moment, picking out bits of memories in his own mind. "My name...is..." he sighed in disdain of his struggle. "Is...Braka."
The king's eyebrows quirked. "Braka? Mmm, I should have known. Your name is the subject of many a song now, little friend. At least, that is what they tell me."
Braka could hardly focus through all of this new information fighting with the memories that were trudging their way back to his consciousness. He tried to stay awake, though, just for the sake of the kind-looking human that watched him so. So he paid little attention to the topic of his name being sung, and instead kept questioning. After all, he seemed to be in a position in which he could not escape, but yet welcomed. Such was the funny way of humans.
"So...you are a human king, and this is your castle..." he murmured. "Why am I here? I think...I think that I should be elsewhere, but my memory...I cannot think."
Aseron nodded understandably. "Take as much time as you need to in regaining that memory, Braka. Until then, my servants will provide you with the best food that they can, and I will provide you with company. It will probably not be the best company," he briefly laughed, "But it is company all the same."
The griffin hummed. "That would be...nice. Thank you."
And then, Braka lowered his head and fell asleep once again. The King smiled, and made sure to keep to his word.
Three more long weeks passed in King Aseron's realm. The cage was opened the second day that Braka was there, simply to let him rise and exercise his limbs (the windows were still kept firmly bolted, as were the doors) but he rarely left the soft blankets inside and the comfort it provided for the first week. He ate the finest horse, venison, and other such offerings of raw meat and regained strength enough to walk. So tentatively, he would walk, and then trot, and then run...and then soon enough, flutter and flap his wings in the dead air of the chamber. His muscles no longer ached with misuse, and finally he knew that somehow he had lived.
He talked often with Aseron, once he had promised not to attack the king or his servants. The human asked him for stories, anything that could help his memory recall his important journey, and the griffin in turn learned many things about the kingdom and why it always looked so bright and beautiful though an entire nation of humans made it home. Outside, it was still the dead of winter, and all was covered in a pristine, alabaster blanket of snow.
Slowly, he did recall everything from the very beginning.
Memories of the canyon made him weep for his family. Memories of Sarui made him cringe with guilt and regret, and everything of the Sanctuary made him shiver with lost warmth. Memories of Damien made him sigh, and he desperately hoped that the little one had made it. And memories of Kabaala made him long for his freedom...though Aseron had kept telling him it would be given to him soon enough.
Braka learned that he had been sleeping for one month since coming to the castle poisoned, caked with grime, and on the verge of death, with three amulets beside his body. Aseron's soldiers had found him lying alone on the side of a hill just within the kingdom's border and brought him directly to the castle, for nobody knew more about griffins than the king. Healers had worked to restore his health day by day, and his life was sustained on liquids injected into his body and water directly into his mouth...he had even been meticulously cleaned.
The griffin had asked the king if he knew anything about the outside since then, but he knew very little...only that somehow, the overrunning of Darquist on the landscape had stopped, and that the road into the valley had been closed, leaving the territory solely in the hands of the Aire. The amulets had been successfully regained, and was now in the possession of the king until further notice; Braka had just learned that it was Aseron himself who had long ago enchanted them, and also that it was most likely the transportation magic of the green amulet had triggered, bringing him out of the battle and to the lands beyond.
That information was fascinating to say the least; as far back as the history of the winged people seemed to go, there was always more time before then, more reasons from the past that composed of the tremors in the present.
And finally, after all was said and done, there was no news of anything past the Teeth.
Braka harbored the hope that it was only because news from there was too far away...but still he couldn't help the feeling of defeat settling over his mind like a cloak. Far too often after that, he wished that he either had died, or could just stay at the palace as King Aseron's pet of sorts. There was little more that he could hope for.
...Except, he reminded himself with a mental kick, for the valley. All of his hope should have gathered there by now, safe from even the harsh elements of nature. The other Canyon griffins and his grandfather, little Damien and all of the other griffins and healers from the long-destroyed Sanctuary...and of course, Kabaala.
Kabaala, he cried one night, longing for her warm touch once again. The one thing he wished for after all was said and done was getting to see the princess of Regals...nay, now the Queen...and tell her that he missed and loved her. Memories of her had still haunted and blessed his dreams.
He lifted one talon to his brow, where the scar she had given him as a knight's mark still stayed through all of the healing. The day she had bestowed that mark...that was the last time he had known her touch.
Would she have given up on me? It has been too long now. Would she have forgotten?
He dreamed of her again that night in an otherwise fairly restless sleep, tears breaching his eyes of their own volition.
One day, Braka sat at the grand windowsill of the castle's throne room as the sun warmed the glass and poured its light over his fur and feathers. His talons rested on the edge as his head reclined on them, and his eyes took in the changes of the world.
It was spring; small flower buds dared to poke their heads through the snow on the trees and bushes, and tiny plots of grass stood out like islands of green on a sea of white. The world is reborn.
I had started my journey in the midst of autumn, he mused. So much time...or perhaps, it was so little. Have I really accomplished what I wanted? All I know is from hearsay.
It wasn't that he didn't trust King Aseron's news on the valley, for the human had been kind to him for the remainder of the cold season...but it was hard for him to believe what he heard after he was nearly brought back from the dead; he wouldn't until he saw it with his own eyes.
He needed to go back.
"Is something on your mind, young friend?"
Braka's ears pricked, and he turned to witness the king strolling inside with a kind smile directed toward him, hands relaxed in a clasp behind his back. It was quite interesting learning about human mannerisms during his stay; Aseron was revered and treated with the utmost respect, but he preferred to be almost casually amiable when around his trusted individuals. The griffin had become one of them as of late.
The Youngling stood and dropped his talons to the ground, barely letting his gaze move from the window as Aseron stopped beside him. "Yes. I am simply wondering how things must be at the valley. I am always overjoyed to hear of news from there, about how the colonies gathered are safely growing. But...when will I be able to see it for myself?"
The king stroked his chin. "Hmmm...it is undeniably hard to tell. The air is still frigid yet, and the landscape quite unforgiving. But it is getting warmer with each passing day. And you have considerably regained your strength."
"I do not know if I can really fly that well," Braka admitted. "But I can try."
"Indeed," Aseron agreed, and gave him a thoughtful look. "However, many of my soldiers are advising that I must keep you here. My kingdom's relationship with the Aire is still tentative at best, and my guardsmen hold the valley under constant watch."
Braka, unsurprised, laid his ears back. "So I am a...peace pawn, I suppose you would put it?"
The king shook his head. "Peace pawns are but glorified prisoners in my perception. 'Ransoms' is another word for them." He turned and looked the griffin in the eyes. "I am simply trying to find the best way to go about this decision. The creatures of this land, guardians of its magic, are now all but refugees in their last place of hope: that valley. But unlike most people, I do not wish the creatures of magic ill will. There must be magic for this world to balance. And it has been wounded...starting with the elimination of the Terraquist long ago. The Aire have mended that wound with their very existence...but now the griffins, a race of shared blood, face extinction. I want my people to live in peace with them, but that will be hard if the greatest kingdom of magic creatures refuse an offer of it."
He sighed and turned back to the window. "I guess you could say that I am trying to make amends for all that people have done. People like the Biomancer, my old master...and all like him." His eyes closed. "People like my brother. What the people of a kingdom do, it shares most responsibility with its ruler."
Braka's head tilted. He didn't yet know what Aseron was getting at...but he could still understand the emotions that he could be feeling, of indecision...of knowing what was right, what could be right, and what his people thought right. He found out with great surprise that the king was the Biomancer's old student who had shunned his ways...and he knew the story of the fight on the plains, of blood on snow, over a city ruled by a lord against griffins and Aire alike. The same kind of thing, he imagined, had to have weighed on Kabaala's wings then.
The King turned from the window and walked back towards the throne, a curious griffin following. "What is it that I may do, then?" Braka inquired. "If I cannot leave, at least let me do something for them. Let them know, somehow, that...that the humans do not bear them trouble."
And let them know that you are alive, Aseron thought, finishing the heavy sentiment that was hanging between them with his words.
The human sat and regarded the griffin with a sudden smile. "I actually had the hope that you would offer something like that, my friend. I have an idea that will benefit us both, I believe."
As Braka listened intently, the king leaned forward, his chin on his interlocked fingers and elbows on his knees. "Say that I do let you go...perhaps today. I want to send you with a token of my presence...a band on your foreleg, with my kingdom's ensign. You will return not only as a hero, but as a messenger of my good intentions. That I returned you, Braka of the Canyon griffins, should tell them that I wish to be allies with the magic valley colonies."
Braka's eyes widened, and his tail flicked in restless excitement. He could go back that very day...just thinking of it had brought a flood of hope into his entire body. "That...that is all?" he nearly stuttered out.
Aseron nodded. "That is all. And do not think that your return will be too little in return for what I ask of them. Trust me when I say that they have never forgotten what you have done, and that will be more than enough. The Aire already know that I have the three magic amulets in my protection. Tell them that all I wish is for their friendship." His light, friendly smile returned. "For it was more than enough of an honor to befriend you. To tell you the truth, I have meant to release you at the start of spring, regardless of your answer. Your happiness is owed you, now."
Braka couldn't help but smile back. For all of his bad experiences with humans, Aseron had proven to have a selfless love of magic and the land, and nothing but respect for his kind.
The griffin inclined his head. "And had I not agreed, I would have still told them of your kindness towards me," he answered. "But I shall carry your message, King Aseron...if only because it is owed you."
Aseron's eyes closed, his features relaxing in solemn relief. He reached out and laid a hand upon the griffin's brow, letting his fingers brush over the scar that marked him a Knight to the Regals. Well-earned, he thought. "Then, my friend, I shall make the preparations. You will be escorted to the border of South Tyria—human lands, after all, are still dangerous to rare griffins as yourself—and then you will make the journey to the valley yourself after that."
Braka nodded. His wings trembled with anticipation, and the thought that he was finally going home refused to stop sending resounding tremors of happiness through his heart. He started to pace excitedly, back and forth before the throne. "I cannot believe it...I am going home. I can see everyone again. Oh, I can only hope that I remember the way," he laughed.
The king smiled again. "You will have a guide."
That stopped the griffin at the brink of his pacing. He looked up. "A guide? Who?"
It was then that Aseron waved to one of the guardsmen at the grand main door, who stood so still and disciplined that it was hard to remember that they were there. "You may let our visitor in now!" his voice echoed.
Without a word of reply, the guards stepped up and pulled the great decorated wooden threshold back by the handles. Braka turned to see what, or whom, they were opening it for.
They barely had time to open it fully before a large, burly Aire male practically ran inside and stopped before the sight of Braka, his eyes wide with disbelief and forgetting decorum of being in the room of a king altogether. "By th' grea' spirits," he rumbled. "Th' message was true! Yer alive!"
"Rainzpir?" the Youngling gasped.
Aseron laughed. "Indeed; Lord Rainzpir is one of my friends, and one of the great leaders of the Aire." To the winged man, he smirked. "And did you actually doubt my word for a moment?"
"Doubt it?" Rainzpir roared a laugh of his own. "I though' ye 'ad gone insane, m'lord! No disrespect to ye, bu'...we saw th' young knigh' disappear into the dark beast! We all said 'e was digested, like th' evil mage!"
"And yet, I have that evil mage's amulets in my possession," Aseron argued calmly. "As for Braka, we indeed have found and healed him, as you can see."
"It is true, it is me!" the Canyon griffin insisted, taking a step toward the creature that he had seen several weeks ago...the same that had promised to take his family past the Teeth. His voice started to break. "But I have so many questions..."
"I'm certain, ya lil' beast!" Rainzpir's laughter boomed. "I cannae believe it...I'm witnessin' a legend 'ere." He straightened up and shook his head, his massive arms crossed. "Yer either immortal or jus' damned difficult ta kill."
He glanced up to the king. "Now I'm 'ere, what would ye 'ave me do, yer 'ighness?"
Aseron smiled and waved another guard over, who held a small box. "I beseech you, my friend, to be the one to guide this young hero back to the valley. I send him there with my offer of peace."
He took the box from the guard's hands and held it open before the griffin and the Aire. Inside was a small bracer that could fit snugly on Braka's right wrist. It was blue with gold-trimmed edges, and a white silhouette of a winged lion before the backdrop of a rising sun was etched on one side.
"This is the ensign that he will wear to the valley," the king said, "As a sign that he has earned my friendship. It is enchanted to come off only at his own word, never to break in battle or wear away." He took the bracer gingerly out of the box, opening the lock and presenting it to Braka. "If he takes it."
The Canyon griffin walked forward, his eyes on the trinket, feeling both wary and honored at the same time. A glance from a smiling Rainzpir however eased his tension.
"Ye mus' count yerself a very lucky bird, Sir Braka," the Aire rumbled. "Ye gained a mark from one royal, and then a second. Ye will come to the valley alive an' lookin' th' very symbol of unity."
The youngster turned his eyes back to the bracer, and then raised his right talon. "It is then my honor to bear it."
With that, the ensign of King Aseron was latched onto him with a gentle snap. Though wearing it felt strange at first, Braka also felt comfortable with the feel of the soft inner fabric on his skin and the sight of the shimmering, metallic colors of Tyria on the outside.
"With my blessing, Sir Braka, my little friend," Aseron smiled kindly, and with just a little bit of sadness, "I wish you a safe journey."