Part VII: The Toll

They spoke at length for a long time. Over the course of hours, Valthrun finally settled back into his chair. Legion remained reserved and quiet throughout, speaking only when prompted or to correct Morpheus. The tale was fascinating to the sage, so much so, that he barely interrupted. Dawn was breaking over Winterhaven before they’d exhausted everything they needed to tell him.

“Now, this phylactery you seek, I’ve never heard of anything resembling it around here.” Valthrun tells them.

“No,” Legion states, his voice quiet, “the item is more than likely shattered, it’s pieces spread across various realms and domains. But the fact that the portal brought us here would suggest that there is a connection here, somewhere.”

Suddenly, Valthrun is startled by very insistent knocking upon his front door.

“Valthrun!” Someone cries from beyond the tower, “Come quick! It’s Lord Padraig!” The urgency in the voice drives the sage from his chair. He rushes across the room, knocking over pages of vast knowledge in the process. At the door to the stairs, he pauses to look at his guests.

“Please, wait here!” the sage states, “I think it best if you remain out of sight for now. Make yourselves at home, and I will be back as soon as I can!” With that, Valthrun scurries down the stairs, leaving Legion and Morpheus alone.

“Well, that went well.” Morpheus says, his words oddly slurring. Legion glances over at him, his eye brow raised. Morpheus rises from the chair, takes one step, and then collapses in a heap upon the floor. Legion is out of his chair in a flash, hovering over the shadar-kai as he checks his companion’s well-being.

“You!” Morpheus hisses, “You did this to me!” The monk attempts to rise, but finds himself too weak to manage it. Legion nods his head.

“Yes,” the shade agrees, “In a fashion. The power to move through worlds comes at a cost. A cost someone like me is not equipped to pay.”

“My life…?” Morpheus whispers.

“No…” Legion whispered softly, “Nothing so drastic. We simply needed some of your life essence for lack of a better term. You should be able to recover from this. In fact, we thought that since you were still standing upon arrival that you were not going to be affected.”

“Why didn’t you warn me?!?” Morpheus demands.

“Would it have changed your decision to come?” Legion asks.

“No.” Morpheus states. “How long will I be this frail?”

“Hard to say,” Legion shrugs, “however long it takes your body to recuperate.”

“I can’t recover the phylactery like this!” Morpheus cries in anguish.

“Not yet,” the shade replies, “But I am not hampered. Until you recover, you will just have to trust me to do it.”

Author: Neil