Fly High and Burn Brightly
Parallels between Scanlan’s and Vex'ahlia’s trials.
She needs to fly, the broom isn’t enough even with the temporary haste. He doesn’t hesitate, this small gnome who left her, left them. There is trust in his eyes, no not trust, a knowing. She will succeed, all she needs is a little push.
She’s a dragon. Burning, bright and strong. Her scales as red as Grog’s rage and the haze she saw when facing down The Cinder King.
She’s flying. Fast, strong and free, and filled with this fire within her that she’s not sure whether it is the nature of the creature, or her own burning passion and determination.
She’s pure instinct, get to the burning beacon, get to the light and the fire of the Dawnfather. There is no time for the doubt to seep in. She can feel the tremendous heartbeat of the scaled beast in her throat. Boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom. It seems to match the beating of her wings. Flying seemed as natural as her heartbeat now, she needn’t think about it.
She’s burning, bright and beautiful. The scales are practically blown away from her form as she barrels into the beacon of light, hundreds, perhaps thousands, feet above her family. Everything about her is melted away, everything that made her be like a dragon, fierce and ferocious, hoarding every scrap to survive. Protecting what’s hers and her family is hers. Percival is hers. Whitestone, her home, is hers. Vex’ahlia De Rolo needn’t have that haze of red burning in her heart. Instead there was shining white. Pure and precious, and irreplaceable. Another star in the bright sky.
He needn’t make her a dragon any longer, because a star outshone any fire.
He cannot fly, for all his magic he cannot make himself fly while being able to make his way through this library, this sanctuary of stories. She does not hesitate and helps him fly through the seemingly never ending maze of books.
He is confused and overwhelmed, none of the spirits will speak to them and they heed them no attention.
He does what he does best. He uses his sword, Mythcarver, as a tuning fork and sings. He may tell stories and share lies and partial truths that have knowledge within them, hidden away so that someone may find a lesson within that, but sing is what he does best.
He pleads and he sings. The more purpose within his voice the more they notice them and move. She flies him to his destination, and there’s a lock. Her way of opening the way snaps within the lock but it’s enough. She tells herself it’s enough and it opens.
He doesn’t know which book to take, and neither does she. In a frantic effort to not waste time she takes all the books she can. He sees the one without anything on it, no knowledge on the cover of what it is and no knowledge within. Strange how there seemed to be a book of nothing in a library of everything. Then again he was always quite good at trying to read between the lines.
They speed away and he almost drops it as she flies him back to the pillows and tea. Faster she wills the broom faster. Reveal he sings reveal until he puts intense magical energy within to the book. That seemed to be a theme with the creatures that represented Ioun and everything surrounding her. Knowledge was not deserved but it was earned.
He is back in time and for a moment the goddess makes him doubt himself but he is sure. This small tomb, this meager excuse for a book that anyone would overlook… Scanlan Shorthalt is sure that this is the answer, because that is all he can do. And it is.
She needn’t to help him fly any longer, because he had a bard’s worth of knowledge to help him.