The Calm

Just as Severos hid away the pendant, another set of foot steps drifted through the tree line. Suddenly, a voice was behind him. "I really would like that pendant back," the voice said, calm and non-threatening.

Severos froze, caught unawares by the voice. Despite the tone, he knew differently. There was power in the amber pendant, its well feeling just like the weight of Phronesis's power: deep, old, and coiled within.

"And why should I do that?" he asked carefully.

"You see, I was chasing the thing for quite some time. And what you have in your possession at this very moment is someone near and dear to me and I would like it back," the man explained, waiting for the young mage to turn around and attempt to throw some kind of magic at him. Severos slowly turned, brain racing.

He knew items of power were not to be trifled with. He also knew that many people would hunt such items for their own use. Chances were, the man he now saw before him was the master of the ghoul he had slain. The man spoke with a genuine voice to the mage, Severos not believing a single word. It was just too damn convenient.

"I don't want to cause any undo issue, I just want that pendant back. Or rather her back. Once she is free, you can have the trinket. I just want the person in the gem on the thing, is all." he was ranting now. "Don't make it harder for me. I've been tracking that stupid bobble for over 100 years and just want to finish this so I can finally take a rest." he explained very clear exhaustion and desperation in his voice.

With those words, Severos knew he couldn't let him have it. Whatever was in the Mortith had tried to control him. If something similar was in this, he would insure the same thing would not happen.

The two stared at each other, a rumble of thunder signaling the coming of rain. Even the woods was silent, the storm heavy on the air. Aven wondered how true any of it was, whether it was a genuine rescue or a lie. He certainly could not tell, but there was enough for him to say that he wouldn't give something like this to a stranger.

"And if I refuse?" he asked, still aware his mage armor was active.

The man stared at him as he drew breath to answer.

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