Sunday, February 26, 2012

Inari nods as Star goes over a list with her. Keon and Erik are sitting at the table with them, the kids playing quietly in front of the fireplace.

“Good choices all, sound reasoning... You must have put some thought into this...” Inari looks to Star who suddenly turns shy and looks at the table.

Erik exchanges a glance with Keon and clears his throat. “Princess... you could have asked one of us to help you with the planning...”

Star shrugs and almost whispers, “I thought I should take care of it.” She looks up, a worried expression on her face, “Is there something I should change?”

“No, not at all. Like Inari said, you must have put a lot of thought into this.” Erik quickly scans the list, realizing how much time and care his wife must have put into it. There is a look of quiet pride on his face; is this the same woman he met when he came to Exton? No, unquestionably she has grown and matured - though he sometimes despairs of ever getting her to think before acting on impulse. Perhaps it is the responsibility she bears now for Ruarc, even more than Mera; for Mera, gods grant, will never have the terrible task that awaits their son.

“I..I havent talked to anyone yet... I have to ask Tannr if he and Tori can stay here and watch the animals. So we need to go and get back before he goes back to Underdark.” Star falls silent at the thought. She gets a bad feeling from the whole idea of Tannrs revenge, but she knows he wont listen to her. If Tori cant convince him not to go back then no one could.

Keon looks at the list Star had painstakingly made. A list of who was to accompany them to the Grove of Tears, what their position was in the group and notes in the margins as to why and why not. Keon smiles, There is a lot more to this lass, maybe more than we will ever truly know.... She has Pike and Wish in charge of the kids, Pike with Ru and Wish with Mera, thinking Mera would be more content with her company. And a note to the side, “ask Keon about Mera”.

Keon lays the lists on the table in front of him where Erik can see it plainly. “Have ye nae talked to her about strategy, brother?”

Erik shakes his head, “No, I didnt think that was something I needed to teach her...”

“To answer your question that you have written here, of course Mera can come. And as to the planning, I couldna done a better job myself.”

Erik looks at the list again. Inari riding point, Nick in the air, watching from above for any sign of trouble. Dimitri and Ramji behind Inari, then he and Star and right behind them Ru and Mera with Wish and Pike. Then Raina and Ky right behind the kids. The rearguard consisting of Gunnaar, Keon and Gareth. The kids were as well protected as they could possibly be.

After some minor discussion about what was needed in the way of supplies and how long it would take Star rose from the table.

“Is something wrong Princess?” Erik asks.

Star shakes her head, “Raina and her family are coming over. I called her earlier....”

As Star steps out onto the deck a car can be heard and doors slamming. It was still a walk to the cabin from the end of the road unless you had a truck or a jeep and Erik mentally makes a note to talk to Star about changing that. Last time he tried she adamantly refused, saying the cars would scare her animals.

A short time later Tannr and Tori arrive. After plans are explained and finalized, Inari excuses herself. Telling Star and Erik she would be back on the appointed day she says goodbye and disappears into the night, taking the sapling with her. She would drop it off on her way to the Queen and return to offer escort to Star and her group. Keon follows her out and watches admiringly as she easily mounts her horse.

“Will this be as quick a journey as the others are thinkin'?”

Inari grins and shakes her head, “No, it wont be.”

“Aye, thats what I was afraid of. We'll be arriving with a full escort from all the races of Faerie...”

“I imagine they are all curious about her... and the little one. But I dont think it will hold us up by more than a few hours... a day at the most...”

Keon nods, “We'll be seein' ya soon then. And I will try to explain to Erik....”

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