Narrate: Kasvarina follows the riverbank as she tries to find the spot where her home once stood. The waters are now little more than a stinking channel of toxic runoff from the local mine, and the shores are barren of life aside from the skeletons of once-great trees. Worry lines mar her face, but eventually she stops beside a low hill, and a small single-story building begins to form around you. As the Arc fades from view, Kasvarina stoops over a waist-high table, stowing common traveling supplies into a large pack.
Her two daughters come into the room – Launga, her eldest, looks the same age as she was in the last vision, and stands a little taller than her mother. She carries a bow over her shoulder, and you don’t doubt she knows how to use it. Her youngest only looks a few years younger, by human reckoning, and around her neck swings a simple pendant of amber, cut in a rough triangular shape.
Dala: You’re leaving already? But you just got here!
Kasvarina: Dala, we talked about this; your mother has a very important job to do.
Launga: (very cross) If it’s so important, why is no one else jumping up to do it?
Kasvarina: No one else has a friend like mine, Launga. And there are so very, very few who see things the way I do.
Launga: Maybe there’s a reason for that.
Dala: (using a cantrip to change her hair to red) Don’t go starting fires, sis.
Launga: I wouldn’t have to if she weren’t charging back to Alais Primos. Mom, you nearly died there!
Dala: (now blonde) Why can’t you just be sunny, sis?
Launga: Quiet, Dala, you don’t get it. Mom, at least let me come with you, it’s not safe!
Dala: (now grey) Didn’t your mother teach you to respect your elders, young lady?
Kasvarina: (rubbing her temples) Enough shouting… Children, this is something I have to do, both for my peace of mind and your futures. If all goes well, I won’t be gone but a few months—would that I could leave you in the care of your father, but Resal will look after you.
Launga: And if all doesn’t go well?
Kasvarina: If the ranamandala disapproves highly enough of this idea, they could brand me a traitor… I have faith it will not come to that, but if it does, the two of you will need to show that you’re loyal to Elfaivar.
Dala: (cheerily) Couldn’t we start by telling the army that there’s a human hiding in our house?
Narrate: Kasvarina gives her daughter a very motherly glare. At that moment, an elderly eladrin walks in from the other room, though his features shift between his own, and that of a middle-aged human with salt-and-pepper hair. Both of these overlaid images are smoking similar cigarettes as he walks up to Kasvarina’s daughters.
Dala: I-I was just joking.
Launga: He knows, Dala. (turning to Nicodemus) Thank you again for bringing our mother home safe and sound.
Nicodemus: (reaching out and touching their cheeks) I am so sorry that I couldn’t save you, as well.
Narrate: The walls ripple oddly; something is not right.
Dala: … Are you feeling okay, Nic?
Nicodemus: Kasvarina, listen for a moment—not to the past, but to the present.