A deal had indeed been struck, and Lynessa was indeed a walking time bomb.
However, although Lynessa knew everything she needed to bring Clara Wrenbrook to justice, she would find that telling that truth would come at a very ugly price. Pain, physical...psychological. There was little to be done to change her fate.
However she did have a choice, because there was one thing that mortals possess which Immortals do not: free will. Lynessa could choose to tell the truth. Endure the cost. It would do nothing to alleviate the fact that one trial in the future Faldrun would indeed call upon her, but at least she would no longer be alone in her plight.
Hope was a fragile thing. It could break us in its absence or it could bind is together stronger than before.
It was in the hope of such bonds forming that another force came upon Lynessa then.
Another hope...another chance.
Within the room that they all stood in Faith’s house there was suddenly a flicker of golden light. It seemed to appear out of thin air before drifting down like dust before spiraling around the Thunder Priestesses arm and landing directly on Faldrun’s brand. There was an electric tingle that raced through her body before abruptly the the fleck of light rose back into the air, now carrying an orange radiance that it seemed to have drawn from the brand. It was as if it had drained away a sliver of the power placed into the brand by Faldrun and incorporated it into itself.
It was all rather strange, with an orb of sunset hued light flickering between the three of them, however everything changed a split trill later when the sphere of light shattered in a flash of light.
When the glare of the flash of light cleared Faith, Nir, and Lynessa would find that each of them now held a weirdly transparent golden key in their hands. It was warm, and looked like an antique key like you would see in very old houses. Each key bore a matching inscription.
‘Key to the Eternal Flame.”
“It took that eel long enough to finally slip up.” a bold female voice said off to the left of the room. There standing in a sunbeam cast from a nearby window now stood a blonde woman in golden armor. Her hair was neatly tied back in a bun and she wore a copper circlet inlaid with garnet on her brow. Her eyes were careworn and worried.
“That was foolish what you did.” Qylios said sharply, looking at Lynessa with a hard expression that softened only a moment later.
“But I think you’ve finally given us the chance we need.” The Immortal crossed the room, nodding at Nir’wei before coming to stand beside Faith and keeping her eyes fixed on the young Thunder Priestess.
“I can’t be here for long, he likes to keep an eye on his...pets.” She added, gazing upon Lynessa with pity.
“I’ve given you each a key, each is bound to her...and her bond with him.” The Immortal of Bonds said, seeming just a little pleased with herself and her handywork.
“They will need time to link with him, the Brand is fresh. It needs time to settle on you Priestess. But when it does, those keys...they can lead you to him. No matter where he is, or where he hides. The Keys are tied to you child, and you are linked to him. You must do everything in your power to ensure that he does not call in that favor. Appease him, let him toy with you, let him think he is winning. But keep the bond between you both intact.”
Qylios allowed herself to dare to smile right as she looked over at Famula’s Champion.
“You bear many burdens, I’m sorry to say that I am giving you another.” she meant that, there was true pity in her voice. But this was the way of the war between Immortals. They could not kill each other...but mortals...they could actually do what the gods could not. The three in this room, they could make finally ending Faldrun possible.
“And you.” The Immortal said, finally focusing on Nir’wei. “Brother of Wolves, Child of Freedom, you I task to protect them.” The Immortal said, while gesturing to Faith and Lynessa
“The future holds many uncertainties, and many dangers. Help them find their way and have courage.”
Right then the burning sensation from earlier began to return to Lynessa’s brand as if Faldrun was once again turning his attention to her.
Checking in on his new pet.
“I must go. Remember, let him think he has won. It will take at least a season for the keys to be ready, and for the bond to settle into place. When it does you will know it is time.”
Just as the Brand began to sting on Lynessa’s arm, Qylios’s armored form vanished in a flare of sunlight through the window.