Elkay always thought he was a well-travelled being, but never in his life had he seen a Thraki temple before. What was even stranger was the fact that there was only one Thraki present. A large, black, purple and gold Thraki, just staring at him, waiting for him to speak.
“Um… Why have I been summoned?” Elkay finally shouted to the Thraki. The Thraki responded by snorting, then curling up resting its head on the ground.
Elkay tutted, then decided to have a look around. The Raptor’s assistant (and potenial boyfriend) Lokmahro had told him to come here, but he had been very sparse on the details.
Finally, the large, gilded Thraki sat up and awkwardly stomped towards Elkay.
“You may enter. Do not touch anything, Virgin One.”
“That is not very nice…” Elkay stammered, unsure how the beast knew of his past. Or even who he was, after all, he was wearing a full helmet and set of armour. “Where am I going?”
“Straight ahead. You will know when you reach the edge.”
The Thraki moved to one side. Elkay adjusted his helmet and flapped his wings, propelling himself forward. Unusually, the structure seemed more like a tunnel, opening out into some sort of canyon valley sort of thing. A lake inside a dead volcano. It was genuinely very pretty and went against all the stereotypical things Elkay believed about the Thraki.
Except there were no other Thraki around. There was just a single Rethan, standing by the edge of the lake.
“You came!” Kayel squealed happily. “There I was thinking you would never come! Did you get my message, daughter?”
Elkay blinked. “Uh… What message?”
“The… one I asked Vokulunax to send to you… He probably stripped it of any identifications. Didn’t he? You wouldn’t have come if you’d known that I sent the message for us to meet here…”
Elkay approached with caution. What was Kayel doing here of all places?
“I could ask the same of you, kid,” Kayel sighed. “Oh dear. Damn telepathy. Unlike some people, it takes time for me to regain control of awry abilities. You though, you were assassinated. Or at least that scumbag faker made it look like that. He was a cunt when I was a serving Ksa, he clearly never changed…”
“I came here because it offered the most opportunity,” Elkay explained. “Plus, Arkay has his connections, it would be foolish to waste them. You though, you… What happened to you?”
Kayel smiled. “Horrible, horrible things. And a reawakening. And a realisation that the battle of light and shadow is meaningless compared to that of the cycle, of life and death. It turns out, I have a talent for necromancy and the Thraki offered me space for us all to learn.”
“Necromancy!?!” Elkay shouted, louder than he’d meant to. “That’s like… Wrong…”
“Is it really wrong to use the life energies of an aggelad to save the life of a dying Thanatian? You’re only going to kill and eat the aggelad anyway.”
“True… But still… Necromancy?”
Kayel shrugged. “It sounds far worse than it is. It’s not like I am creating armies of the undead… Well, I could do that, but only in emergencies.”
“So you just spend your time up here learning magic with Thraki?” Elkay asked.
“Just like you and your silly house fighter gimmick, it’s a stop-over for greater things.”
“You know that Psivee-En is the last Trehavok, yes? Well, technically Arkay is but he’s only a quarter Trehan…”
Elkay looked blank. “I do not follow.”
“Well, I would like to resurrect them. And other extinct races. And protect other fading races. I have lots of plans. You do too, yes?”
“I do… I want to run for High General. I can do it. I’ve done it.” Saying the words out loud seemed almost foreign to Elkay. As if it seemed like a stupid idea now he’d actually gone and said it.
Kayel though only smiled more. “You would be an amazing High General.”
“You think?” Elkay almost blushed.
“I do. You talked a bunch of evil Thanatians out of invading us…”
“Well, I didn’t, I managed to enrage their leader and one of their own stabbed her, THEN I used my talking skills…”
“Details, details. You talked them out of invading.”
“So you think I should do it?”
Kayel nodded. “I do. In fact, even if you don’t win against that scumbag, I would be more disappointed if you didn’t run. Well, I would not be disappointed at all and I wouldn’t expect you to care how I feel, but… I’m rambling.”
“You are,” Elkay smiled. “But that is fine. I… I am sorry I abandoned you.”
Kayel put his arms around Elkay, removing his helmet and hugging him tightly. “I am sorry for not being there for you.”
The two Rethans fell silent for a moment, embracing each other. Finally, Elkay broke away.
“Do you want to visit your other kids?” Elkay asked.
“That,” Kayel beamed, “would be wonderful.”