The agitated Ildrim flings the door to his chambers wide open after responding to the sound of knocking moments before retiring to bed.
“What da ya wann….”
His demeanor changes upon the sight of his visitor. “err… My lady, forgive me for my discourtesy. I am most honored by your presence.” And bows cordially to the duchess in his nightgown. “How can I be of assistance?”
Scarlet startled by his abrupt action takes a brief moment to regain her composure and responds, “My sincere apologies for disturbing you at this hour. My hectic schedule leaves me so little time for myself. Though my request is not urgent. Would you prefer I return at a later date?”
Ildrim replies, “Not at all, please.” and gestures her to come in.
After he closes the door, she says, ”Talreth’s sister, Soletha has been turned to stone. Her statue resides in the late duke’s chamber. Until now, we lacked the skill set to free her. Can you help me? ”
“Dear, the only way to reverse the effect is to cast the Stone to Flesh spell which isn’t within my competence-yet. However I should not have much trouble casting it from a scroll if you can provide me one.”
“Sadly I am afraid I do not have a scroll for that spell …but will the Break Enchantment spell work as well?”“Break Enchantment… Hmm… perhaps…I can certainly cast this spell without difficulties but let me see if I have it written.”
Ildrim pulls out his spell book and lets out a yawn while flipping through the pages.
After reaching the last page of the book, he shakes his head.
Scarlet pulls out her scroll from her pocket and hands it to him. ”Will this do?”
He unravels the scroll and examines it. “Ah marvelous, I should have time tomorrow to decipher and scribe it. But it won’t be prepared till the following day.”
“Not to worry my friend whenever you can. I appreciate all your assistance and apologize once again for troubling you. Meet me at my chambers at this time when you are ready.”
Scarlet gives Talreth’s mentor an affable smile and lets herself out.
Note: Ildrim successfully made his roll to learn the spell.
Two days later, in the somewhat late evening, Scarlet answers the knock at her door to see Ildrim, an older elven woman and Tamara.
“Good evening, your Grace. I hope we are not interrupting your work or disturbing your slumber but I have returned as you asked.”, Ildrim bows deeply.
“Do come in, I was expecting you”
Ildrim gestures for Tamara to enter then turns and then offers his arm in assistance to the older elven woman.
“Your Grace, I would like to present to you the Lady Sibrari, your paternal Grandmother.”, Ildrim gestures towards the older elven lady.
“Your Grace”, Sibrari curtsies, “I hope we will be able to get acquainted with one another over the next few years, Granddaughter. But alas, I am here now for my daughter.”
“I was hoping that Tamara and your Grandmother could assist in holding Lady Soletha’s arms as I cast the spell. Hopefully this will keep her from falling if the enchantment is broken.”, Ildrim removes his cloak and fastens it over the statue not entirely sure what may happen with Soletha’s clothing when she returns to flesh. He then draws a second cloak from his bag of holding and fastens it in reverse over the statue.
“There is one other matter before I proceed”, Ildrim looks at Scarlet, “Your Grace, she will not know who you are, that you are Talreth’s daughter, or that Talreth has died. I respectfully request that you allow the honor of explaining those facts to your Grandmother and I.”
As Scarlet process Ildrim words, she suddenly feels a pang of envy of her aunt wishing more than anything in the world to forget this knowledge. She turns her attention from Ildrim to the elderly woman, her newfound grandmother speaking to the young woman soon to be her half-niece in law. Scarlet’s glance then turns to the covered statue of her aunt Soletha who will finally be reunited with her family.
The only absent members to complete this one big happy reunion are Quinn and Nicholas.
And then there’s Talreth.
Talreth… the very purpose for their gathering. Each of them is connected to him one way or another.
A tear rolls down Scarlet’s cheek at the very thought of him, longing he was here… with her.
“Stop these impure thoughts“ she thinks to herself. “He is my father – it is ill to think of him in that way. What will his mother think?”
Another thought creeps up, “But he is not your father. He did not raise you nor did you know him priorly. You already have a father. You intended to lay with Talreth because you have romantic affections for him!”
She finally shakes her head and tells herself,
“Oh what difference does it make? He is gone and is never coming back. I must forget him and move on.”
“Your Grace… Your Grace. ” Ildrim interrupts her thought process anxiously waiting for a response. “Are you alright?”
Scarlet blinks, snapping back to reality. All eyes fixed on her in an expression of worry after witnessing her mental turmoil.
She nods dismissing their concerns and responds, “Very well. Proceed”.
As Ildrim prepares for the ritual, the duchess walks to Talreth’s desk and pours herself a glass a wine. She scans the late duke’s room one last time before returning her attention to Ildrim’s performance.
His armchair… His desk… His wooden chest… His bed…
She shudders at the sight of his bed and immediately gulps down her wine.
Ildrim starts chanting, Tamara and Sibrari move into position, Scarlet sets her wine glass down on the desk. Magic engulfs the statue, the stone starts to glow with a bluish light, the stone seems to start turning to more of a pale skin tone, Ildrim strains but then the light quickly changes to purple and then a dark red. The statue remains stone.
“Your Grace, if I might have some of that wine?”, Ildrim’s voice is hoarse.
Scarlet passes him a glass and pours one more for herself.
“My thanks”, Ildrim wipes the perspiration off his brow.
Ildrim starts chanting once more after finishing the wine. This time the bluish glow is faint and turns rapidly into a dull purple. Ildrim strains, but breaks off and slumps on the desk.
“Unfortunately, we will have to try this again. Whoever instilled this curse was a powerful wizard. I almost had it the first time, so I am confident it is within my powers.”