"What is Harlequin?" Tiella shook her head as she stared into the dying embers of the fire. "Besides being an utter bastard you mean?"

Luna smiled but did not respond so Tiella went on, "He is the son of a god. His mother I think was human."

"The son of Loki, he said that." Luna mused, "but he is not a god?"

"No, and that pisses him of something rotten." Balar interjected. "He is powerful yes and long lived but he is not immortal."

"And his magic?" Luna asked.

"It is borrowed power and divine parlour tricks. He dips into energies from the nine realms and channels them to suit his purpose."

"That is impossible," Luna objected.

"For a human or an elf yes." Tiella said, "but he is something more."

"And the trouble at the inn?"

Tiella heaved a sigh of regret. "It seems likely he planned the whole thing. He wanted to goad you into using magic knowing that it would rouse the ire of the mercenaries at the inn."

"But why?"

"So he could ensnare you in his plans. Balar and I owe him a debt and we will pay it."

"I owe him nothing. I will pay him nothing." Luna snapped.

"You are here." Balar said, but then more softly, "but of your own free will, and that may make all the difference"

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