It started the night after they defeated Vecna. Scanlan had passed out in bed after it all, exhausted in every way possible. He’d hoped for a peaceful rest but instead his head was full of confusing flashes of cards and a strange ruby red gem. He saw Grog asleep and a corrupted godly creature of sorts. There’s a strange looking elf and so much more he could only make out the barest shapes of, two figures one in blacks and another in maroon and purple. A strange dust monster and statues of them all.
He woke up and for a reason he couldn’t explain he immediately grabbed some parchment and a quill. He quickly scribbled something down before letting sleep overtake him once again. In the morning he was left with a vague jumble of words. It mentioned mistakes and howling winds. He immediately made the incredibly rational decision of fuck that. But when he went to tear the paper he found that he couldn’t, so he left the page of his song book in with only minor annoyance.
Only to go downstairs and find out that Grog had drawn a card from the Deck of Many Things and that something was very wrong with him. Then they learned what had happened. And he wished to know where Grog’s soul went. His vision traveled threw the divine gate past planes and planes until he saw a cavern of howling wind. But his vision kept going until he saw a tower of boulders and on top a red gem. Then they met Liev’tel and Bertrend Bell, one shrouded in black the other in gaudy maroon and purple silks. In Pandemonium they met an odd looking elf, fought a strange corrupted godling thing, and a creature made of wind and dust. And to be perfectly honest Scanlan had completely forgot about one odd dream while going to go save his best friend’s soul and getting out of a realm of wind and madness after.
Everything became strangely normal, he moved to Westruun, started dating Pike, and Kaylie started school in Emon. He helped the Cobalt Reserve rebuild. He worked on slowly enchanting Wilhand’s house so that the bottom floor was Goliath sized. Then invitations arrived for Vex and Percy’s wedding, and the night after he had a strange dream. It had wine and sand. But also the sound of someone losing air,the crashing of waves at night, and a diamond earring. There was impossibly bright sunlight and raven feathers. He awoke in a cold sweat and scrambled in a daze to a piece of paper and some ink. In the morning he read it and had no clue what any of his three am ramblings were and paid it no mind.
Then a month later they were poisoned at Vex and Percy’s rehearsal dinner as Sylas made off with the bride and groom before he threw them off a cliff. Vex having drowned as their manacles weighed them down in the sea. Pike revived Vex as they all raced up to fight Sylas. Vex killed him and Scanlan used his final Wish so that Vax could speak at his sister’s wedding. Once again he’d long since forgotten the dream.
He spent the years with Pike and Grog. She proposed to him, they got married, and he took her name. Kaylie finished school. Beside some side stuff that comes with being the champions of gods everything was normal or as normal as two gnomes and a Goliath sharing a home could be when they were retired adventurers. Westruun had long since recovered from Umbrasyl and the Herd of Storms. He and Pike had a daughter, Juniper. Another beautiful light in his life.
Then the strange dreams he’d long since forgotten about came back with a vengeance. First there was a dream of blurry faces and two strange dodecahedrons. It passed hands and whispered conversation both what he thought looked like human hands and maybe a drow. He dotted down another strange poem and promptly forgot about it because he was busy being a parent, writing songs and stories, and helping the Cobalt Reserve when they needed it.
Months went by before another dream, it was one of the strange magic dodecahedrons but there were also explosions and screams. Fire and a night sky. A blur of people, two he assumed were tieflings, two humans, a half-orc, a drow, and probably a goblin which pissed him off on principle. He could see them fighting and talking but it all went too fast to make anything out. Once again he jotted it down and went back to sleep.
The third time it happened it went on for weeks in which every night had similar strange dreams of water and ships. With slight variations one with fire, some with gun powder, one with buttons he had no clue on that one to be honest, and some with storms. But they all ended with an impossibly large yellow eye turning to him before he would wake up in a cold sweat, and though he never noticed a slight purple glow on his forehead that would only fade after he wrote another line of this strange poem down. But eventually these strange dreams stopped but not only did he remember these strange dreams and the long passage they’d created in his song book but Pike took notice of this strange phenomenon.
They talked about it but couldn’t make sense of the dreams. It was all vague and seemed to be a strange new development. Slowly their research slowed to a halt as the more pressing matters came up. The things he’d written were confusing and had so many double meanings. It had seemed to stop though.
Then his dreams turned to the worst. Suddenly it was flashes of madness and darkness. There were chains, lighting, and smoke. There were strange people, a shrouded figure with a creeping grin, a fiend with red skin, a pale muscular woman, and a drow woman with red hair. There were talks of an angel and demonic rifts in so many different voices that he couldn’t distinguish. It was near maddening as it went on nightly. Some nights he felt a chill of something else watching him as these strange dreams continued. Murder and blood flashed as they killed innocents for their strange chain wrapped angel. Then he saw Allura and she was speaking but he couldn’t hear any of it instead echoing around him he heard a dark sinister laugh that cut the rest of the dream, it sounded maddening as it buried itself within his psyke chilling him to the bone.
He woke up in a cold sweat, shaking. His third eye brighty glowing purple as he quickly grabbed his writing quill and notebook and started writing. Panic coursed through him as he quickly wrote with a fury that he’s dreams had never lended too. After he finished writing he couldn’t fall back to sleep. Instead he decided to get something to drink. He stumbled to the kitchen before opening the liquor cabinet pulling out the strongest whisky and a glass before pouring it in and quietly making his way to his study.
He softly let out a sigh “What the fuck.” before downing the glass.
He was vaguely aware he was watching the sunrise. As he sat there numbly he hummed very softly to himself, the book next to him. He didn’t want to read what he’d written. He felt sick to his stomach. Part of him never wanted to sleep again, never find out what could make a noise like that.
The dreams stopped after that but Scanlan was left with a vague feeling of dread that just wouldn’t leave. Until it had apparently infected Pike as well. She mentioned warnings from Sarenrae. They did their best not to worry Juniper and Grog.
The dread only intensified when instead of appearing when he slept the dreams became terrifying visions while he was on a walk in the park with Juniper, he saw a storming city, the blur of battle, and from deep under the city that horrible indescribable laugh. There were flashes of faces, some that looked vaguely familiar others that were entirely new. There was blood and the screeches of something demonic, tears and fire, rage and regret. The laughter only grew louder and louder until it drowned everything else out.
Then he was standing in the middle of a sunny park in Westruun, Juniper looking up at him. “Papa? Are you ok? Do I need to get Momma?”
Oh gods he’d scared her. “No little bud I’m alright.” He said as he brushed her hair out her face.
“Are you sure?” she asked as they started walking again.
“Of course I’m sure little bud.” He managed to smile, he was exhausted beyond anything he’d ever known.
She didn’t say anything else as she took his hand before they crossed the street to their home. The breeze almost knocked him over as he walked on shaky legs doing his best not to throw up. That laugh still echoed in his mind, sapping his strength. It was something he couldn’t explain and Scanlan felt himself shaking with it. He only hoped Juniper couldn’t feel him trembling.
When they finally got to the comforting red brick of their home, Scanlan had swung the gnome-sized door open before Juniper ran off as soon as she got her coat off, muddy shoes still on. While he took his coat off he heard voices coming from the kitchen, Juniper and Pike. He couldn’t make out with what they were saying. He bent down to untie his boots.
“Scanlan?” he looked up to see Pike looking at him with concern.
“Yeah Pikey?” he asked.
“Juniper said-” He didn't hear what she said next as his vision started to blur and he vaguely heard the thud of his head hitting the ground, at least he was already close to it.
After Juniper had informed her that during their walk Scanlan had spaced out before he went white as a sheet and wouldn’t respond for what she’d called an hour, Pike doubted that part, she ran over to Scanlan. Who truly looked as pale as Juniper had said before he passed out in front of her.
She panickedly cast cure wounds on him, barely breathing on the floor, it didn’t seem to do anything. She cursed softly so Juniper wouldn’t hear as she picked Scanlan up carefully. It was disturbingly reminiscent of how he’d been after finding the location of Grog’s soul all those years ago.
“Juniper your uncle is in the backyard.” Pike called out not wanting Juniper to see her father's unconscious body and knowing Juniper would be ecstatic to see her bestest uncle Grog, Juniper’s own words, after he’d spent the last few weeks in Vasselheim.
Once she heard the back door close she brisky started up the stairs. Once she got to their room she gently set Scanlan on the bed. He looked almost dead. His breathing was so slow. She held his hand and out of a dread she hadn’t felt in years and fear of what could be wrong cast Greater Restoration. The soft yellow light from her hand so very slowly seemed to coursed threw Scanlan. For a moment Pike feared nothing would happen. Then he came back to the conscious world.
He looked more exhausted awake, slowly taking in his surroundings. Maybe it was the fact that his slowly returning color was still so washed out. Or maybe it was the fact she hadn’t seen him like that in so long and it had terrified her to the bone so she was taking in every detail of his face search for what could lead her to answers on what had happened. She slowly ran her thumb over the back of his hand comfortingly.
Scanlan’s voice was strained, “Hey Pikey.”
“What happened?” she asked him gently.
“I.. uh I don’t know.” Scanlan admitted, “It was like those dreams but I was awake.”
Pike bit her bottom lip, “Do you want some paper and ink?” Usually she wouldn’t be recommending anything but rest after passing out but she was worried that if Scanlan didn’t write whatever it was, she had her theories, he wouldn’t be able to rest.
“Yes.” Scanlan said hurriedly without thinking.
“I’ll be right back with paper and some water.” Pike told him before kissing him on the forehead so she could sneakily cast Greater Restoration again.
He gave her a fond look, “You didn’t need to do that.”
“Yes I did.” She said before leaving.
A glance outside told her that Juniper and Grog would be fine for a bit so she quickly grabbed a glass of water from the kitchen before going into Scanlan’s study to get the book he’d been writing these strange dreams down in. The book seemed to have pages from other similar notebooks in it. When she picked the book up a piece of said paper fell out.
She snatched the paper up. The paper was old. It spoke of a mistake and a deck of cards and a plane of howling winds of madness. Suddenly it all clicked because in the same strange style as the poem speaking about temples of an ancient eye the resides under the sea was a summary of their adventures in Pandemonium all because Grog had pulled from that stupid deck of cards.
What if? Was it possible? Had he been able to do this for twenty years and hadn’t realized it for nineteen of them? A feeling of foreboding overcame her. The realization only brought her more anxiety considering Scanlan’s current state. She made the snap decision not to tell Scanlan yet. He needed rest. So she finished gathering up what was needed before going back into the bedroom.
Scanlan was doing his best to stay awake when she came back in, running his hand over a fluffy blanket and humming something. He glanced over when he heard the door open. She handed him the water first. Which he greedily drank before she handed him the paper and ink.
When his hands touched the paper it seemed like a trace overcame him. His forehead flickered with purple light as his third magic eye appeared and his eyes clouded over silver as he wrote. As soon as the last word was written the eye faded and his eyes returned to their normal color. Scanlan didn't seem to notice any of it. It only further confirmed Pike’s theory.
He glanced at her, “You ok Pike? You look a bit pale.”
“I’m fine.” She assured him, she was just worried, “Why don’t you try and get some sleep.”
He thankfully didn't argue. Pike pressed a soft kiss to his lips and used Greater Restoration one final time. Scanlan gave her an affectionate eye roll. She smiled at him before leaving to go check on Juniper and Grog.
The next day after Scanlan had woken up, greeted a worried Grog, ate something, and she’d casted one last Greater Restoration, she decided to tell him her theory. Juniper had classes that were being offered by the Cobalt Reserve for all the children in Westruun. The three of them sat in the living room. Scanlan had paled as she’d explained it and shown her evidence.
“Scanlan…” She asked with concern.
“I’ll go pick Juniper up.” he said eventually, he clearly needed to think and possibly talk to some of the members of the Cobalt Soul but she was worried about him collapsing again.
He got up to get his coat. Pike silently cast Bless on Scanlan knowing it would last but hoped it would help his state of mind and her’s. He gave her a smile before he left. She couldn’t help but worry that something bad was about to happen.
Scanlan was making his way to the Scholar Ward. People walked the sunny streets going about their days. He could smell fresh bread as he passed bakeries. Music and laughter could be heard from nearby parks. Scanlan took a deep breath of crisp autumn air. Then he felt a sharp pain in his back. As people screamed around him he touched his hand to his back and it came away wet. When he held his hand up to his face he saw that his hand was red with blood. His own presumably. He turned to see a masked woman in black with a longbow in hand.
She started to approach and Scanlan felt woozy that laugh that fucking laugh he could hear it again, it was so amused by his pain. With a humm a purple doorway appeared and Scanlan went through. One could argue he should stay and fight, Scanlan would argue he’d never been very good in one-on-one fights. But the real reason was that he could feel some sort of poison coursing through his veins. It was making his vision blur and his head spin.
Even over a hundred yards away Scanlan could still hear the panicked screams. He hummed to himself again to hopefully try and heal the puncture on his back but nothing happened. He cursed, pushing through his pain, sprinting until he reached the Cobalt Reserve.
He got through the door just as two monks came running to close it. Thankfully they recognized him, one monk ushering him deeper into the library as the other slammed the heavy doors closed. Scanlan heard the hum of an arcane lock activating. The windows glowed blue as runes appeared. Someone gasped, oh yeah he realized there’s still an arrow in my back. His vision blurred for a moment. The monk leading him looked around confusedly
“I was attacked on the way here.” He said.
He watched the monk’s eyes widen, “That’s um… that’s very good to know.”
After the door to the lower levels closed bright runes, similar to the ones on the windows, but blue with a purple tinge and Scanlan could swear there was an eye worked into the rune. As they made their way deeper under the library the monk pulled someone else aside and whispered something to her that he couldn’t hear. The woman paled and ran off down a side staircase.
The monks and clerics were rushing around nervously as Scanlan was pulled deeper and deeper into the complex. He was led into a room where someone pulled the apparently barbed arrow out. He felt magic course through him and suddenly everything became crystal clear, he hadn’t even noticed the darkness that had been slowly eating away at his vision until now. Then the warmth of healing as someone casted cure wounds sealing the fucking hole in his back.
“Can I ask where my daughter is?” He questioned after taking a moment to breathe.
A cleric responded, “We were going to take you there sir.”
Scanlan nodded and followed them back into the busy halls until they reached a room with two guards who nodded when they saw them approach and open the door. Inside were about twelve children, a good portion human, a pair of tiefling twins, a half-orc girl, and Juniper, his little bud.
“Papa!” Juniper exclaimed and ran over to hug him.
He knelt down, “Hey sweetling.”
“Papa what’s happening?” Juniper asked him.
Scanlan didn’t know how to answer her without mentioning that someone had attacked him in the streets, “Everything is going to be alright.”
She looked up at him, so trusting that it was almost terrifying, “Are you ok papa? You are really really pale again.”
“Of course I am sweetling, it takes a lot to shake me up.” He assured as he slowly moved them both over to one of the chairs, he could tell she was tired.
She ended up falling asleep in his arms. As they all waited to find out if the guard had arrested his attacker a message came to him as he dozed.
“Scanlan are you ok? We heard about an attack and we haven’t been able to reach you with the earring? Is Juniper alright? It’s Pike,” he heard his wife’s voice get cut off as she spoke the magic.
“We’re both alright, I don’t know if the earrings work if I’m this far underground on top of being in the Scholar Ward. We’ll talk more when me and the little one are home.” He said softly as not to wake Juniper.
Eventually a monk came in and informed them that it was safe to go home, for the kids whose parents were there of course. Scanlan did not miss the monk dressed in streetwear following him home though. Juniper slept through the walk to his surprise. Pike and Grog were standing nervously in the kitchen when he came in. They were speaking in hushed tones he couldn’t make out.
Grog saw them first and noticing that Juniper was asleep silently pulling them into a hug,”I knew you’d be ok.” though Scanlan could tell that he was lying.
“Everything’s fine Grog.” He assured him.
Grog pulled away only for Pike to tackle them into a tight hug. He could feel her tears on his shoulder. “What happened Scanlan?” she asked as she pulled back enough to look him in the eyes, her’s were red and puffy.
Before he could answer, Juniper stirred in his arms, “Momma?”
Pike looked down at her, “I’m here Juniper, I’m here.”
Juniper put her arms around Pike and didn’t say anything else, just silently requested comfort. Pike pressed a soft kiss to Juniper’s forehead, “It’s ok love, we’re safe, we’re all safe.”
After they all held each other, Grog joined the group hug, they had dinner in silence and it wasn’t hard to tell that Juniper was still so tired so they put her down for bed early. The three of them sat in the living room again giving Scanlan a sense of deja vu.
“What happened?” Pike asked him.
“There was this lady in black with a bow who shot me in the back and it might’ve been poisoned and I panic dimension doored to the Cobalt Reserve because Juniper was there then they locked the building down. I also don’t know what happened to the woman.” He admitted the worry in Pike’s eyes was so strong that he couldn’t help but blurt it all out.
Pike didn’t say anything for a long minute, “Scanlan are you alright?”
“I don’t know.” He couldn't lie to Pike.
“What’s wrong?” Grog asked.
“Weird visions, assassins in the streets, that -that fucking laugh .” His voice sounded shaky even to his own ears.
“Laugh? What laugh?”
“It was in my dream and the vision yesterday its horrifying it.. it’s so terrible, I -I don’t know how to describe it.” Scanlan shivered.
“Maybe we should go to Whitestone for a few weeks.” Pike said finally, “Something’s going on and maybe with the Ziggurat there it might help you figure it out or help shield you or something.”
She left the fact that it would be harder for someone to attack any of them if there were more of them around, Scanlan was thankful for that.
“Let’s talk to Kiki about it.” Scanlan said, “Traveling on foot doesn’t sound like a good idea right now.”
Pike nodded “I’ll send her a message, you get some sleep.”
Scanlan passed out immediately upon laying down. But he didn’t receive the dreamless sleep he’d been hoping for instead he was standing in a void, surrounded by darkness except for the purple light glowing on his forehead. There was nothing around him. No sights, no sounds, nothing, it was completely blank. Empty of anything.
“Close your eyes.” Ioun’s voice whispered in his ear and he listened because he hadn’t gotten this far in life by ignoring her.
Whatever dream and or maybe forced astral projection Scanlan was his breathing got harder as the air got heavier. There was no physical change in the area around, that he could tell, it just got harder to breathe. Then he heard the distant clinking sound of chains as they slowly grew closer Scanlan’s dread began to grow. The chains got closer but eventually all he could hear was the beat of his own heart.
“Looks like we finally get to talk.” a voice, the voice said.
Scanlan tried to breathe steadily keeping his eyes closed tightly, he’d figured out who he was dealing with. Maybe he’d get bored if Scanlan didn’t do anything? The Chained Oblivion could get bored right?
“Closing your eyes won't save you little one.” Tharizdun chuckled.
Scanlan’s blood turned to ice. He felt it shifting around him, slowly wrapping around him. The rattle of chains grew louder and louder. He felt like a spike was being driven through his mind. He wanted to scream out but found he couldn’t. Why was it so hard to breathe?
“I’m going to consume your soul, after you are wounded like I did her. You will suffer for your allegiance small one. You may have escaped once but you won’t be able to escape forever. My followers will find you.” that voice that terrifying piercing voice, “After I devore you I will finish off your pathetic goddess.”
Scanlan woke up in a cold sweat. Something was in his throat. He started coughing, until he was hacking up blood. He couldn’t stop. There was so much, why was there so much? He almost couldn’t breathe.Was this his blood?
At that moment Pike walked in. Her eyes widened as she ran over to him, her hands already starting to glow before she reached him. What was happening? The smell of iron was making him light headed.
Pike helped him out of their bed, his legs shaking, there was so much blood why was there so much blood? He broke his horrified stare. Blood was drying on his shirt, how had it gotten on his face? Or his hair for that matter.
After he got cleaned up, told Pike what had happened because he wasn’t sure that was a dream, and they’d thrown out their bedding and mattress with Grog’s help, they got ready to leave. Keyleth would be here any minute. Pike kept glancing at him nervously like he’d spontaneously combust. He helped Juniper pack a bag and when she asked where they were going he told her that they and aunt Kiki were going to visit auntie Vex and uncle Percy. She got really excited to see her cousin Johanna so Scanlan hoped she didn’t realize that it was because of yesterday. She gave him a hug before running downstairs when she heard Keyleth’s voice. Scanlan followed her to see Keyleth and Derrig in their entryway.
Juniper pulled Keyleth into a hug, well more accurately Keyleth’s shin. But Keyleth kneeled down and hugged Juniper. “Hey berry.”
“Hi aunt Kiki.” Juniper said excitedly and Scanlan can see Keyleth’s smile widen.
They walked out to the park where a large oak was waiting. He didn’t miss Grog standing directly behind him, arms crossed over his chest, or how Pike was glancing around. Juniper was holding Pike’s hand and excitedly talking to Keyleth. The air was colder than it had been yesterday, it smelled like rain was coming. Grey clouds rolled over the city.
Keyleth murmured some soft words to the tree before it opened, “Go go go!”
They all ran into the tree and came out in the central square in Whitestone, around the suntree. Keyleth was the last through. It was trickling rain. The sky was a cloudy grey. Even then Percy’s clocktower gleamed. Waiting by the tree was Jarett. Scanlan didn’t make eye contact.
He escorted them to Whitestone castle, all the guards appeared to be on high alert. They eventually got to the castle where Vex and Percy were waiting with Johanna and her twin little V (and Trinket). Vex smiled at them when she saw them but there was a tiredness born of worry in her eyes.
Vex gave them all hugs. Percy gave him a nod. Johanna gave them a big grin. V awkwardly waved at them. Scanlan ignored the bear. When they got inside the girls rushed off to Johanna’s room, V hadn’t come inside saying something about taking a walk in the garden. Vox Machina, and Derrig, made their way to Percy’s study.
They all sat down. The seats were plush and expensive. Scanlan didn’t know if Percy would forgive him if he threw up more blood and it got on his furniture. The rain started to pound the window harder. The fire crackled.
“So,what do you know about this assassin?” Percy asked.
Pike shrugged helplessly, “We aren’t quite sure. But there might be a new development.” she glanced at Scanlan.
“She was a worshipper of the Chained Oblivion.” Scanlan said and everything went to shit.
Pike watched Vex’s eyes widen and for a second she could swear Vex emitted light, like Pelor was equally angry. Percy did his best to mask his shock. Grog looked like he was about to rage like he would in battle.
“WHY CAN’T WE HAVE NICE THINGS!” Keyleth yelled in anger, her eyes flashing a verdant green.
She looked over at Scanlan who was still so pale from this morning. She could still remember walking into him crying rivers of blood as more was splattered on his shirt like he’d thrown it up. The bed was covered in it as it soaked into the blankets and mattress but she could already tell that there would still be blood after everything had been soaked through. His wrists had been raw like he'd been pulling on binds. When he’d opened his mouth to say anything more blood came out. It had stopped after she’d given him some healing but the horror remained etched in her mind with all the other horrors they’d seen.
They explained everything. From Pike’s theory and the laugh to the blood and Scanlan’s last dream. They explained their hope that the Ziggurat could help. Everyone knew this was the type of big they’d retired from.
“Do you have any idea how to fix this?” Vex asked.
“No clue.” Scanlan said.
Percy tapped his desk absentmindedly, “Well let’s give it a day, see if anything else happens then work through possible solutions.” He was angry too, Pike got the feeling he was just waiting on a target to hit.
Allura then proceeded to hurriedly rush in, dressed very fancy but her hair slightly frazzled, “The Chained Oblivion-”
“We know.” They chorused.
“You know?” Allura looked surprised, “When did you find out?”
“All of us? About ten minutes ago.” Percy responded.
Scanlan was looking at Allura like he’d just finally figured out a piece of the puzzle and started flipping through his notebook cursing under his breath in gnomish as he did before he reached one of the more recent pages. “ A trusted master of magicks will find the truth of the angel in chains. Stop the assault on the center of the king that the seven may save. ”
His voice sounded different as he read. There was an air of importance to the words that commanded you stop and listen. Allura looked at him in a mixture of confusion and shock, “How..”
“Does any of that make sense to you?” he looked at her.
“A bit but how did you write that?” Allura’s face reminded Pike of when Allura had first learned Scanlan could wish.
“It’s an Ioun thing.” Scanlan said quickly, “Do you have an idea what any of this means?”
“The angel in chains could be The Angel of Irons, it's a false title for the Chained Oblivion.” Allura thought for a moment, “An assault on the center of the king… I- I have an idea.”
Her focus seemed to be entirely internal. Trying to work out the lines. Pike could empathize. Allura’sface knitted in thought. Though everyone else's attention was on Scanlan, the words still seemed to reverberate around the room. He closed the book.
“I should go inform the rest of the council. Are you all going to be in Whitestone for the time being?” Allura asked.
“Yes.” Vex responded protectively, “Whitestone is the safest place for us all right now.”
“I’ll leave you to in.” With that Allura left slightly awkwardly.
“Heh.” Scanlan said after a moment, “Maybe I am an oracle.”
“Gods save us.” Percy joked.
They all laughed at that. Pike squeezed Scanlan's hand again. He turned to her with the smile she’d been sorely missing.
The next day passes without incident. The Whitestone Riflemen patrolling the castle. Everyone on edge. It had been years since they’d been to Whitestone. So in the sunny afternoon Pike takes Scanlan for a walk in the gardens. The flowers dripped with water from the rainstorm. The warm breeze passed by them. The sky was a beautiful deep blue. Hand and hand they walked the paths. Scanlan hummed an old gnomish love song, his head on Pike’s shoulder.
“I love you.” He said softly, voice full of affection.
Pike squeezed his hand, “I know.”
He smiled and squeezed her hand back. They’d get through this, that she was sure of it. She pressed a kiss to his hand.
In a few days they’d receive news of heads of the cult being defeated and let out a sigh of relief. Scanlan’s dream would stop for now. Life would return to normal, or as normal as life could be for ex-adventuring gnomish champions of gods, their daughter, and their bestest buddy Goliath.