Thursday, November 17, 2022

Ruin: Paternity, Part One

Ruin knelt with Darvinin beside the grave of their mother. "What happened?" he asked quietly. 

Darvinin squeezed his eyes shut. "When Duke Lamont brought the human army in and crowned himself king, when Mithrandril and the Provost alike disappeared, Mother dropped out of public life and began organizing the resistance. We had cells all over, sabotaging their supplies and even murdering their commanders where we could manage it. But Mother was... Mother. She was well enough known to bring people to the cause, but also well enough known to be easily recognized, easily identified. Eventually a group of Lamont's Solari cornered her and killed her -- I think he was following the example of the Order of Secrets and their Solari Hunters."

Ruin said, "Couldn't we ask someone to...?"

"No." Darvinin sounded pained. "She knew this would happen. She established the resistance, but she too borrowed a trick from the Order of Secrets: she did something to make damned sure that she could not betray it. And she asked me to be sure that she wasn't resurrected, so that the resistance would live on without any need for her."

Ruin nodded slowly. Yes, that sounds like her. He wondered how their father fared, but didn't quite dare to ask. 

"I think she sent Mistra away deliberately," Darvinin said after a long minute. "She was pregnant, almost too pregnant to draw a bow. Mother said she had a mission for her, and teleported her somewhere else. That was... maybe two weeks before she was killed."

Ruin nodded. The child would be Darvinin's, and his own niece or nephew; otherwise his brother wouldn't have brought it up. "Congratulations, O my brother."

Darvinin looked at the grave again, then back at Ruin. "At least she had a chance to give her blessing to her grandchildren before she was slain." 

Ruin frowned. "Grandchildren?" 

Darvinin nodded slowly. "My and Mistra's unborn child... and your son and daughter."

And Ruin asked: "...My what?"

Darvinin looked at him for a long time before he spoke again. "Actions," he said quietly, "have their consequences, Brother."

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