Bhreac a’Chaorainn

Unexpected Reunion

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Summer 1

 

Date.png10th Bloomingtide, 9.52 (can be amended)

Location.png The Weyrs, Antiva

Characters.pngBhreac, Zyah

Players.pngCaraine, @Zyah_Rayne

Requirements.png1x1

Notes.pngA blast from the past enters Bhreac's life.

Links.pngN/A

Summer Divider 1.png

The revelry of what the lowlanders named 'Summerday' always provided a source of amusement for Bhreac.  He fancied that he might walk through the streets of any city with his face smeared in the paints of his clan, his bow etched with the symbols of the Gods, dressed head to toe in animal pelts and still no one would so much as bat an eyelid.  The celebrations also appealed to his mischief-making side; he had entertained himself whilst in Antiva City by setting a number of pranks upon the lowlanders, adding to the frivolity of proceedings.  None suspected him and he was able to use the drunken confusion to slip here, there, and everywhere as he liberated supplies for his travels through the wild regions.

The bulge of his pack was testament to how much he had taken from the unwary lowlanders.  But the weight of the pack was nothing to the weight of his shame that he had resorted to stealing the supplies instead of hunting.  He was Chasind and yet he lived more akin to a lowlander.  But it was what was necessary: using lowlander supplies meant that he could travel greater distance without wasting time on his own survival.  He needed to find a Féachnóirí.

With a sureness of foot which only an Ar Ulldaich could possess, Bhreac moved through the terrain of the foreign land, demonstrating an uncanny ability to read his surroundings.  No matter how isolated he was from his clan, there was no doubting the Chasind blood which ran in him, the stalker senses which had been taught to him since he was six years old.  Mile after mile he travelled, never lost and always alert to a sign which might lead him to a coven of Féachnóirí.  It had been two years and it might take another two years but Bhreac would not return to the Korcari Wilds without a solution to his clan's curse.

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High above in the sky a black bird soared over the Antivan Wilds. It began to circle a particular clearing and eventually the bird descended and landed in front of the caves at the base of a small mountain. A shimmering green glow encompassed the bird and its shape morphed into that of a woman with long black hair and the same blue-green eyes as the bird. 

Zyah stood upright and stretched out her arms and legs. She was getting used to shifting... again. It was only recently that Zyah's memories were unlocked and the truth about who she was...  of what she was... made known to her.  Féachnóirí. No longer did they wander the Wilds of Ferelden but in Antiva Zyah sought to find those like her but found little trace of them. For the past several weeks Zyah walked the Wilds, renewing her knowledge of the magic that came from these enchanted woods. It was in the Wilds Zyah discovered her magic was strongest but it was dragons that strengthened the power of the Wilds. Or so the Féachnóirí believed.

Having already come across one dragon's den Zyah searched for more in hopes that she would find others like her. The Féachnóirí were never far from the dragons they protected but these Wilds were foreign to Zyah. She did not know the lay of the land as she did the Korcari. Stepping in front of the caves she narrowed her eyes, peering into the darkness. She did not sense the magic of her kind but she did sense the something...

 

 

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The mountain had captured his attention after he caught glimpses of dark winged shapes circling the peak only a day or so before.  He had been too far to make out whether the creatures were in fact dragons, but it was an opportunity which Bhreac could ill-afford to miss.  So he had altered his course through the forests, intent on exploring further and now he found himself within shooting distance of the base of the mountain.  

His light pace slowed and his hands went for his bow, notching an arrow without so much as a second thought.  A faint shimmer emanated from ahead, the source obscured by the trees growing so close together, but there was no Chasind who would not anticipate the presence of magic.  The Korcari was filled with magics, be it the Shamans or Gods or the creature themselves, and Bhreac anticipated that these unfamiliar Wilds would be no different.

On soft feet, Bhreac approached the edge of the trees, the rocky base of the mountain coming into view.  To his left, there was a yawning opening which was more than larger enough to permit the size of a dragon, and his heart leapt.  It was the first sign of dragons that he had discovered in months.  The previous sighting had been an empty nest at least six months travel from here.  But what really had his blood racing was the presence of a young woman with long dark hair, peering into the cave.  There was no fear in her posture and Bhreac found himself praying to the Gods to bless him.  No one stood outside the lair of a dragon's den without fear save for a Féachnóirí.

He raised his bow, the arrow coated with a numbing agent - a gift from a sympathetic member of his clan, and took aim at the woman.  Letting loose the arrow, he aimed for her right shoulder, seeking to numb what he supposed was her casting arm and hand and so prevent her from fully shape-shifting.  The wound would not be lethal and the numbing agent would dull the pain initially.  But tt was the fatality of the shot which was Bhreac's main concern, not the pain which might be inflicted.  He just hoped that the arrow found its mark before the woman realised what was happening - and that she was actually Féachnóirí.

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Warily Zyah took a step further into the cave and looked from side to side in the dimly lit cavern, her brow furrowing at the unease she felt. Something wasn't right. It was with good fortune that she moved when she did because it kept the arrow that was aimed at her to graze her arm instead of fulling piercing into the flesh of her shoulder. Zyah cursed loudly and whirled around in the direction the arrow came. She took a step forward with her hand extended ready to unleash her magic in the direction of the unknown enemy when she suddenly felt weird. Zyah grabbed her arm where the arrow grazed her and saw that it had cut her skin and she was bleeding. Poison? 

A growl of frustration left her and instead of advancing on the enemy she retreated deeper into the cave. 

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A string of curses fell from his lips as Bhreac witnessed the arrow glance the arm of the woman.  The edges were sharp and he knew that it would have drawn blood, hopefully also transferring the numbing agent into the wound, but it was not the clean shot which he had envisioned.  He ducked low behind a tree as soon as he saw the Féachnóirí turn towards him, her hand raised as she prepared to cast.  So focused on avoiding any magical retribution, Bhreac did not pay much attention to the face of the woman, save for the fact that she was beautiful.  But the very nature of Féachnóirí meant that beauty was a common trait amongst them.  Or so the stories told by the Shaman suggested.

When the woman whirled around and retreated into the cave, Bhreac knew that his arrow had delivered some damage.  He broke cover and raced towards the edge of the cave, another arrow already nocked to his bow.  Hovering at the edge of the cave, he peered into the darkness, seeking sight of the woman.  If necessary, he would venture further into the cave, but this was not his terrain.  He did not want to sacrifice his advantage of the light and air without some understanding of what faced him.  But he also was not prepared to lose this opportunity to capture a Féachnóirí.

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They were faint but she heard light footsteps approaching the entrance of the cave. Zyah moved further into the cave using the large clusters of boulders inside to help conceal her while she sought a better vantage point. Her breathing was steady while she waited for her enemy to show themselves. In the darkness Zyah waited patiently. Clenching her hand into a fist and then relaxing it she tried to ward off the numbing feeling she felt creeping in. Whomever the assailant was he or she wanted her alive or why else use not use a fatal poison. But that knowledge did not ease her. In fact, it really pissed her off.

Her ability to change form was affected by the numbing toxin but it did not make her helpless. Zyah was a resourceful mage who relied on more than just her magic. That being said it didn't mean she wouldn't resort to using other magic she knew either. However in her state she wasn't sure if of its stability. Zyah would eventually find out when the enemy showed itself and the longer the enemy waited the stronger Zyah would be. 

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Lingering at the edge of the cage, Bhreac strained his eyes to catch sight of the woman.  His bow rested in his hands, ready to be used at a moment's notice, but the gloom obscured much of what he could see.  Gritting his teeth, the Chasind crept further into the shadows, using his skills as a hunter to keep his approach muffled.  His attention was fixed upon an outcrop of rocks, common sense dictating that it was the most likely location for the Féachnóirí to hide.  The numbing agent should be taking effect by now.  He just hoped it was enough to be sufficiently effective.

"Show yourself," he called, raising his bow and taking aim at the rocks.  "You won't escape this cave."

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Did he really think so? Zyah scowled. She begged to differ on that. If anyone wasn't leaving it was going to be leaving it was him. This man had no idea what she was or what she was capable of. Fool. 

Keeping hidden behind the large rocks she refused to give away her whereabouts. It would have been much easier if she could shift but it seemed like she would have to do things the hard way. The mage closed her eyes and slowly began casting a spell, using the magic of the Wilds to do so. A mist began to form in the cave enveloping the entire area. It wasn't near the magnitude of power she could wield in the enchanted woods but in her condition it was all she could muster... at least for now. Until then Zyah was biding her time until the numbing effect wore off then it was going to get very interesting.

Once the mist was thick enough to obscure any line of sight she began to move from one boulder to the next, using the rocks and shadows to hide her the best she could. She was heading for the mouth of the cave not to escape but to confront her attacker. With her bo staff in hand she crept closer and closer toward the male archer. Zyah was finally able to pinpoint where he was but not make out his face. It quickly became apparent by his appearance he was Chasind though and that meant more of a challenge for her. He wasn't ignorant to the ways of the Wild.

It wasn't until she was near enough where his bow would be less effective that she went to knock him to the ground with her staff but by then he already knew she was there.

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Swearing beneath his breath as the mist begun to rise, Bhreac pressed himself against the wall of the cave and crouched down low, gritting his teeth as his skin prickled where the mist touched him.  Yet whilst the situation was no longer in his favour, the Chasind at least knew that his arrow had had some effect upon the woman if this was the only spell she could conjure.  A Féachnóirí possessed old and ancient magics; this was nothing at all.

His honed hearing picked out the telltale scuffles of soft footfalls and he readied himself, preparing for the Féachnóirí to try and surprise him.  She had her staff and he knew better than to be caught by one of those - too often had the Shamans chastised him in such a manner for Bhreac to forget the sensation of a sharp crack of solid wood against bone.  Swiftly, he altered his weapon, sheathing the arrow in his quiver and slinging his bow over his shoulder.

By the time the Féachnóirí advanced upon him, Bhreac held a sturdy hunting knife in one hand, primed to spring forward as soon as he could make out her form.  The mist shifted and a silhouette neared his position.  Without allowing her a moment to gather her wits, Bhreac launched himself at the outline, intending to wrestle her to the ground.  What he lacked in magic, he made up for in weight.  In a hand to hand combat, he had a hunch that he could restrain her.  Not only that, the blade of his knife was also coated in the numbing agent.

Edited by Caraine
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Her attempt to catch the Chasind off guard was in vain. Before she could get a good hit in with her bo the man tackled her to the ground hard but she didn't go down without a fight. And Zyah knew how to fight. In this circumstance however she only had full use of one arm at the moment and her attacker took advantage of the fact. The struggle continued for several minutes until Zyah found herself effectively pinned and with a dagger near her neck. A frustrated growl left her when she realized during their scuffle he must have cut her again because she felt the weakening effects of the same toxin again. She was going to kill him! But first she had to overcome him which was not an easy feat given her circumstance.

But why not kill her? This man's motives for hunting her was a mystery to her and she quickly began forming a list in her head of who would be after her. Where to begin... there were the Templars, the Grey Wardens, and there was that little incident in Antiva City with the Crows. "Who are you?" Zyah demanded while continuing to struggle with the man pinning her, albeit not with as much strength as before. The magical mist lifted allowing Zyah and her unknown enemy to see each other clearly for the first time. "YOU!" She accused, shock and disbelief written all over face.

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Upon recognising the Féachnóirí pinned beneath him, the expression of the Chasind contorted into one of pure menace as he snarled down at the woman, pressing his dagger more firmly against her throat.  Why the Gods had led him to this Féachnóirí, Bhreac could only guess.  Perhaps it was to right the wrong which he did his clan all those years ago.  And if this had not been the one and only Féachnóirí whom he had captured in over two years, he might well have slit her throat there and then.

Without bothering to acknowledge her, Bhreac pressed the flat of the blade against her lips.  Hopefully enough of the toxin would transfer so that her mouth would numb.  He had no interest in hearing what this woman had to say.  Not after all that had happened.  There was a reason why his people spoke so ill of her kind.

He kept her pinned to the ground until he was certain that the toxin had taken effect in her limbs.  Standing up, he fetched some rope which he had stolen from the lowlanders in Antiva City and bound her hands tightly together in front of her.  He then set to making a herbal concoction as taught to him by the Shaman which would weaken her magical abilities.  Like it or not, Zyah was going to return to the Korcari Wilds with him.

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Why was he doing this? Zyah struggled beneath Bhreac until she felt the cold metal of his blade against her lips. Her eyes hardened and her jaw became taut. Whatever friendship she believed they once had mattered not. He was her enemy now. The blade to her neck declared as much. The effect of the toxin left her with barely any feeling in her limbs and it was somewhat frightening. But she would not grant him the satisfaction of knowing her anxiety. 

How was it he was here in Antiva? And why was he hunting her? And what was he making with those damn herbs!? All of these questions she would have asked him but was unable to. Instead she was forced to glare at him while he mixed different herbs together. Zyah noticed the changes in his features and some that remained the same. He was older, they both were but he was as she remembered. Except for the coldness in his eyes. He was not the Bhreac she knew.

The mage exhaled sharply in annoyance at being tied and silenced. Bhreac was out of his mind! Whatever his reasons were for doing this she didn't care. First chance she got she was going to put an end to him. Staring at her hands she focused on getting her fingers to move. The Wilds had magic of its own, magic she knew how to harness. It made her stronger and more dangerous. There was no way he could make it out of the Wilds before she regained her strength. All she had to do was bide her time.

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Having spent the recent years of his life receiving glares and glowers, Bhreac was immune to the looks which Zyah cast towards him.  He focused, instead, on his work until the concoction of herbs was ready to be diluted with a little water.  Mixing it all together, Bhreac turned to Zyah and knelt beside the restrained woman, setting the bowl within easy reach before gripping hold of her jaw and forcing her to part her lips.  Lifting the bowl, he trickled the mixture into her mouth, focusing only on his task and never once lifting his eyes to meet hers.  He did not want to see their shared memories reflected in her gaze.

"Spit it out and I'll apply it to the edge of my blade instead," he growled in warning.  He was not about to underestimate the magics which the likes of this woman could call to her aid.  "I don't care how bloodied you get."

His words were cold and callous; traits which Bhreac would never have associated with himself.  But discovering Zyah again was... confusing.  He had known her as Zyah long before he had known her as Féachnóirí.  Yet it was his association with this woman which had Bhreac to become an outsider in his clan, unable to live his life because of one small yet significant decision.  The follies of youth, he now realised.

He caught the slight twitch of her fingers and snarled, seizing hold of her hands in order to still them before he even realised what he was doing.  They had spent too many years roughing around with one another like oversized wolf pups for Bhreac to think twice about touching her.

"Don't."  His lip curled as his eyes flicked upwards, meeting her gaze for the first time.  He caught sight of his childhood friend amongst the features of a beautiful woman.  Swallowing, he pushed her hands away and shook his head, retreating a few steps.  "Summoning magic will activate the herbs," he muttered sullenly, repeating the words of the Shaman.  "Unless you enjoy pain, don't do it."

 

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What in the Void did he do to her?! Her eyes flashed angrily at him. "You're a coward." Zyah spat at him. The bitterness of the herbs that lingered in her mouth was nothing compared to the bitterness of Bhreac's words. When he finally had the nerve to look at her Zyah didn't see her friend, what she saw was anger and resentment. What could have turned him this way she didn't know but it was clear they were enemies now.

"You resort to poison?" She sneered him, more angry at herself that he was able to subdue her. Feeling was slowly returning to her limbs and she shifted awkwardly in her bound position. "Why bother? What's the point in keeping me alive when you know I will kill you first chance I get." Zyah hissed. She was no longer the girl he knew. Life and circumstance had changed her as well. When she said she was going to kill him, she meant it.

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"Don't tempt me, Féachnóirí," Bhreac snarled, spinning round and closing the distance between them.  His chest was heaving and his eyes were alight with fury as he pressed the blade of his dagger at her throat yet again.  The blade trembled in his hands as an internal war waged within him, the urge to take revenge on behalf of his younger self struggling against the insistence of doing what was best for his clan.  But he had chosen this path; he could not falter in his steps now.

"So kill me," he muttered, stepping back and sheathing the dagger.  "I'll either bring you back to the Korcari or I'll die trying.  Now you know the only two options."

He whirled around and went back to his task, tidying up the herbs and stashing them away in his pack.  He wanted out of this cave and to be headed towards Ferelden before nightfall.  The longer he had to exhaust the witch, the better.  If he could sustain a fast enough pace to weary her, she would be less able to cast spells or summon aid.  Even with the herbal concoction minimising her abilities, the woman was still increadibly dangerous.

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"Then you'll die!" Zyah hissed at him, glaring at Bhreac while he began repacking. She was getting more feeling in her limbs but not enough for her make use of them. "I am not going back, not until I get the answers that I'm looking for here." Zyah stated defiantly. "You're not going to be able to carry me the whole distance and if you think I'm going to comply you are out of your fucking mind." No, one of them was going to die before leaving these Wilds of that she was certain. 

Zyah growled in frustration as she tried to tug at her restraints. "Bhreac, why are you doing this!"

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Her use of his name inflicted greater injury than any of her magics could have done.  He flinched as though struck, his hands stilling in his repacking, and he clenched his jaw, squeezing his eyes shut against the onslaught of memories which threatened to overwhelm him.  Of all the Féachnóirí, few in number as they may be, why had the Gods led him to this one?

It took a few more moments before Bhreac could trust himself to move.  He hurriedly finished his packing and then swung it over his shoulder.  His bow he treated with far greater care as he ensured that it was stored away carefully.  His quiver of arrows remained within easy reach.  Once he was fit to travel, Bhreac turned and grabbed hold of the woman, dragging her up onto her feet and then hauling her out of the cave.  Whether she supported her weight or not, it had little impact on his manhandling of her.  Either way, they were leaving the cave and heading on their way.  He didn't care about the answers she was seeking.

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Zyah allowed him to haul her to her feet and even allowed him to guide her out of the cave but once they were outside and out among the trees Zyah yanked herself free of his grasp and ran deeper into the Wilds, purposely heading the opposite direction in which Bhreac was taking her. Did he honestly think she would allow this? Weaving through the trees it wasn't until she came near a den that Zyah slowed her pace. Peering inside she smiled when she saw the black eyes of the beast hiding within its depths. 

When she heard her pursuer catching up she whirled around and faced him. "I am going no where with you." She seethed at him. Then came the growling but it was not from her. Emerging from the den behind her a large black bear came up next to her. It's black eyes were now green, the color that match Zyah's, and it rose up on it hind legs in an aggressive manner its intent clear as it focused in on the Chasind man. 

The pain was excruciating and blood trickled from her nose but Zyah continued to harness the magic of the Wilds to aid her, as it was meant to. "You call me Féachnóirí. Let me show you what that really means." Zyah sneered at him. The bear growled, following her command, it went to attack the Chasind.

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Swearing beneath his breath, Bhreac dropped his pack and seized on his trusty bow, an arrow already nocked against the taut string.  He danced away from the bear, keeping out of reach of its powerful swipe, whilst taking aim at the woman who was controlling the creature.  There was no chance that he could oppose all the animals which Zyah could summon through her powers - apparently he had not made the herbal remedy potent enough - as well as any other magic she called upon.  But he could oppose her.

Still dodging the attacks from the bear, Bhreac let loose his arrows solely at Zyah, seeking to injure her badly enough so that her casting would be interrupted.  With each arrow he shot, he experienced a twinge of pain in the part of him that recalled this was his childhood best friend.  But they were no longer children and certainly no longer friends.  Not after everything.

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Whatever potion Bhreac forced her to drink made her casting extremely painful but Zyah refused to submit. She stubbornly continued to keep the bear under her spell, using it to keep Bhreac away from her while she tried to escape. Weaving through the trees she attempted to evade the arrows being shot at her but to no avail. Zyah cried out when the arrow pierced through her shoulder and she stumbled, falling to one knee from the impact. This time Zyah did growl and her eyes began to change but the pain that came from trying to cast again was too much! Weakened from blood loss and the pain induced by the potion Zyah felt her consciousness slipping. "No." She muttered under her breath and shook her head in hopes of clearing the muddling effect. The mage refused to stay down and could only get a few feet before she stumbled again. 

Zyah could no longer hold the spell that bound the bear to her nor did she have the strength to keep running but that didn't mean she gave up trying. Only when she was forced to stop by her captor did she finally halt but it was more a reprieve than anything else. He was going to have to kill her because she was determine not to go anywhere with him and the hatred in her eyes expressed as much.

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When the spell between the woman and the bear was broken, the frightened beast turned tail and lumbered away, not wishing to involve itself further with the two humans.  Bhreac was relieved that he did not have to needlessly harm the creature.  It was a pawn between himself and Zyah; it did not deserve to be injured.

Advancing upon the still stumbling woman, Bhreac grabbed her by the shoulder and yanked her backwards, forcing her to sprawl upon the ground.  He took a thin piece of rope from his pack and wound it tightly around her wrists, binding her hands together as though she was offering prayers to the lowlander's god.  He then wound another length of rope between her hands and his waist, preventing her from being able to run anywhere.

"I told you we're going back to the Korcari," he spat.

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"No. We are not." Zyah stated with an eerie calm. The mage glared at the Chasind and refused to move. Their wasn't much strength to her at the moment but that would change with time. It was becoming very clear to Zyah that Bhreac wasn't going to kill her, at least not right now. He was obsessed with getting back to the Korcari and until he did that Zyah assumed would keep her alive. Too bad for the both of them Zyah wasn't going to let that happen. "I am not going anywhere with you." Zyah repeated what she'd told him before. Why he refused to believe her was beyond her but then again she couldn't wrap her mind around why he was doing this to her in the first place. They were once friends, the best of friends, but something obviously changed.

Bhreac appeared to be fit but he wasn't going to be able to literally drag her all the way back to Ferelden. Could he not see this? Could he not see that she would continue to fight him and eventually she would kill him if he didn't stick an another arrow in her first? "I don't know why you are doing this. But if you remember me at all then you know how stubborn I am." Zyah's eyes hardened. "Why are you so intent on making me come with you? When all you would have had to do was ask." That was before he tried to shoot her of coarse. "What happened to you?" 

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"What happened to me?"  His eyes flashed dangerously as he glowered at the beautiful yet deadly woman, unable to believe what he was hearing.  "You happened to me.  You ruined my life."

It had been intended as an act of compassion.  Twisted compassion, perhaps, but there was nothing which the young Bhreac could do for the remainder of her clan.  So he had done what little he could, luring Zyah away before the Templars arrived and slaughtered her brethren.  But then he had become separated from her and everything descended into chaos.  His clan discovered what he done which meant that not all the Féachnóirí had been slain.  Their shamans could not control the dragons; the creatures drifted from the Wilds; the curse upon the clan remained.  All because of Bhreac. 

"You need to bring the dragons back to the Korcari," he stated, voice as hard as his expression.  "That is why you're coming back with me."

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Zyah glared at the Chasind as he blamed her. "I ruined your life?" The mage snapped back vehemently. If her hands were free she would have attempted to punch him! Whatever hardships he faced had nothing to do with her. How could it? They had not seen each other in almost a decade. If anyone was to be angry it should be her! He was supposed to be her friend and she had trusted him once. And that trust resulted in her losing her mother and sisters. She wasn't there for her coven and it was his fault! All because she trusted him.

"How could I have possibly ruined your life?" Zyah couldn't wait to hear the answer to that! The mage on the verge of delivering a verbal lashing, one that Bhreac fully deserved when he suddenly spoke of the dragons. What did he mean by that? "What do you mean bring them back?" Zyah's eyes narrowed at him. She'd not been to the Korcari for years therefor did not know how things were there. "And why are you so interested in dragons?" Her voice was laced with suspicion. Bhreac had the benefit of knowing what Zyah was, a secret divulged to them when they were younger, she however only knew him as Bhreac. Zyah knew nothing of the clan he was from nor their involvement in aiding the Templars that killed her family. 

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Jaw clenching, Bhreac refused to reveal his purpose in seeking her out so soon.  At least not the part which referred to what his clan had done to hers.  Years of managing the gut-wrenching shame had twisted his perception of those events all out of proportion.  That he had been a young man who had yet to prove himself to his clan, and therefore often ignored by the elders, was not something which Bhreac allowed himself as an excuse.  Instead, he had persuaded himself that he was responsible both for the destruction of Zyah's coven and the slow death of his clan.  It was a crushing guilt.

"The dragons have left Korcari."  That much he could admit.  "My clan is dying without them.  But you're Féachnóirí.  The dragons will come back for you."

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