"Keep her safe, Daris," he whispered at the mirror, then turned away.
Two warders stationed outside his door fell in step behind him and followed silently as he made his way through the Fairimor home. He didn't need to see the look on their faces to know that they were wondering if they were even necessary now that they knew what he was capable of. Of course you're necessary, he told them silently, because most of the time I'm as clumsy as a one-legged blind man.
When he reached the dining hall, he found everyone except his aunt, uncle, and Gideon already gathered at the table.
Thorac wore his brass-colored chainmail over a green and grey uniform bearing the insignia of Ambassador General of Chunin. His beard had been trimmed, and his long reddish hair hung in a single thick braid down his back. He didn't have his axe, but a short sword was belted around his waist.
Elliott and Seth each wore the dark grey of House Chellum, and the capes fastened around their necks had the Fighting Panther of Chellum embroidered in gold on the back. As usual, both wore their swords. Endil and Andil each wore a uniform similar to his, and it was obvious from the look in Andil's eyes that he was nervous about being given a voice on the council.
General Eries and his Elvan Master of Spies sat near Talia, and the three were talking quietly. Talia, he noted appreciatively, was absolutely stunning. The blue and green dress she'd chosen matched her eyes. Her long, tri-colored hair hung loosely about her shoulders. It made taking his eyes off her more difficult than usual.
Seth looked up as he came in and chuckled. "We were starting to wonder if you were going to show up," he said. "The tribunal starts in less than an hour."
"I had trouble finding something to wear," he lied. "Nothing seems to fit me anymore."
"Well, get something to eat," the captain ordered. "It's going to be a long day."
"Especially since it has already been a long night," General Eries said, a knowing look in his eyes. "Or should I say a very bright one?"
Jase cringed. "Sorry about that," he told them, then cringed again when he saw Elliott gaping in surprise.
"That was you?" the Chellum Prince asked, his eyes wide with wonder. "I thought it was Gideon."
"So did I," Seth said, reaching up to pull at his mustache. "But it does make more sense now that I know it was you."
"What are you talking about?" Jase asked, not entirely sure he wanted an answer. He took a seat across the table from General Eries and helped himself to the breads and fruits Allisen had prepared.
"Prophecy," Croneam answered, looking at Seth and nodding. When Seth motioned for him to continue, Croneam turned his gaze back on Jase. "The Dy'illium makes mention of such an occurrence in the Book of Gariel. I don't have it memorized, but it goes something like this: Watch ye, therefore, for a night of blood, when the house of Fairimor shall be defiled by the Shadow. For behold, Elsa's sons shall prove victorious, and the Dome of the Birthright shall be crowned with Fire."
Teig Ole'ar leaned forward. "There is a similar prophecy in the Eved'terium, but I won't try to quote it for fear of doing it injustice."
"Yes," Croneam said. "For behold, the house of Fairimor shall be crowned with Fire; yea, Fire and Light shall throw back the night, even to the lifting of the Veil of Darkness cloaking the lands of thine inheritance. I read them both last night while you were up on the Dome fulfilling them."
"Prophecy," Jase grumbled. "I'm becoming very irritated by the fact that my life isn't my own anymore."
"Sure it is," Croneam countered. "You still have a choice in everything you do. Tell me, what led you to the top of the Dome? A vision? A whispering?"