Scalding heat filled the air, great billows of black smoke rose from the house. The flames, hot red, swallowed the house. People ran in all directions, but none towards the house.
The man could not believe his eyes, his boys were in there and nobody cared. Cowards, they were cowards. The man ran into the house heedless of the flames, the heat, and even the broken and burning pieces of furniture. He heard someone scream something inaudible before the roar of the flames filled his ears. Ducking under wooden beams and smoke filled rooms he shouted his children’s names “Nowah!” “Zak!” No answers came. Abruptly he was taken by a hacking cough. He had inhaled too much smoke. His lungs felt like they would explode. Heat scorched his skin but the man would not let up, the boys, he had to find them, else she would never forgive him. He would never forgive himself.
He continued deeper into the house, shouting their names at the top of his voice.
Suddenly, he felt presences in the house and moved fast toward them, occasionally he was obstructed by burning debris and coughing fits. Getting to the room where the presences lurked, he kicked the burning door out of his way, and found his sons unconscious and sitting by them was the last person he expected to see here in his home, in Antrusia even.
Markin Stone had changed alot since the man last saw him, he sported a short beard atop his square jaw, wavy black hair with touches of grey lining his temples.
Neither the fire nor heat touched the room, as though the room was not part of the house. The man stepped into the room and Markin raised his head, a hint of a smile on his lips. “Took you long enough, I thought i’d have to go with them.”
The man’s face grew grim with understanding. This was no ordinary fire, Markin had started it to lure him here. Instinctively he widened his scope of sensing to cover the whole street, but he did not sense anyone with the irregular heartbeat of a member or underling of the White Council. Very like the Markin he knew, he was too proud to have brought anyone with him.
Eyeing the room disgustingly, the man spoke “Get away from my children now.” There was no threat or anger in his tone, just a simple sentence but Markin stood and distanced himself from the children. The man rushed to the boys and checked their pulses, they were fast asleep, relief flooded him. The boys were safe. He sat near his children. The room was being shielded from the flames by Markin’s ability.
The man turned to Markin “Why did you burn my home? Whatever you wanted why didnt you seek me out personally, why this?”
Markin laughed “Approach you personally? Hah! We both know you’d sense me coming from miles away and disappear before i even knew you were there.”
“This was the best way to lure you out, you did take your time, but here you are.”
“You know what she will do when she finds out about this don’t you?” the man replied. Markin only laughed again. “This time, my command comes from The Ones Above, even she can do nothing about this.” The man’s eyes widened a bit at the mention of The Ones Above, calming himself he studied Markin. “What do you want?” Markin frowned then his face contorted into a rictus grin.” It’s not what I want, you already know what I want! It’s what they want, they want you King! They want the infamous leader of the most dangerous rebel group in the world. “They want King Solace, and if you will not come, there are orders for that too.”
The man shook his head with a resigned look on his face. “I no longer lead the Avhendel. I have a family now, Zarraza is the one you are looking for, not me. Tell the Primal Hawks I said to leave me and my family alone, no one touches her or them.” he said pointing to his children.
The house would have been burnt beyond recognition by now, the only thing that kept them safe was the space in which this room now lay.
Markin looked like he had seen a ghost. No one was supposed to know the name by which the man had just called the Ones Above. Though he quickly recovered, Markin still looked shocked.
“You have made the wrong choice King, too bad.”
Markin took his stance, the one he took when he wanted to use his power.
The man who was King Solace stood from his place on the ground and said matter of factly “This will not end well for you Markin, we have been through this many times.”
No danger, nor heat, nor threat followed his words, to him it was a simple statement of fact.
But Markin only drew an imaginary circle in the air and the part where he had drawn it, the air began to swirl, collapsing in on itself. A void opened within the circle, a hole in reality and out of the void came a voice that the man recognized all too well, a voice he thought he would never hear again in his lifetime. And the man knew fear.