"This wasn't in my pocket when I left. Is it yours?"
The shadow who'd accompanied Balthazar said suddenly as she produced a folded piece of paper from her pocket.
Holy shit, they speak.
Well it wasn't shocking that the guard spoke to him as much as it was shocking which guard had spoken to him. Miranda Preston, one of the trio assigned, (the others being one Tib'Ron and a Trean McFrank) was not one for conversation of any sort. None of the troopers seemed to be very open to conversation but in fairness Balthazar had not pried or tried very hard to find anything out about them at all. For the moment what mattered was his settlement, he could learn about the shadows later, but now this one had spoken and more importantly they had something he knew was not his. Balthazar stood from the field where he'd been praying after a break of meditation. He was good at it now, good enough that when he got into his happy place, he could stay there for as long as he wanted. Part of him did it because he enjoyed making his shadows report nothing and part of his did it to enjoy the aroma given off by the plants. "If I had the skill to slip things freely in and out of your pockets, Miranda, we'd all be in a lot more trouble."
He pointed out as he took the offered paper into his hand.
He unfolded it slowly as Fuego rematerialized to only the Fire Forged. What's that?
Fuego asked, floating up to Balthazar's shoulder to sneak a peak at the map that had appeared under such mysterious circumstances.
What did you find?
Balthazar thought to the diri as the map continued to unfurl before him. He recognized the island in the middle of the mass immediately because he had seen it on a few different maps at this point. It was the very island they stood on now. The rest of it took him a few more moments to piece together.
He can't see us,
Fuego replied, he does not know what is happening. He feels... whispers in the flames.
What sort of whispers?
It's like echoes of the past but Faldrass says it is natural. Those attuned to the elements should be able to feel it but your magic prevents it.
How? My magic is what gave me the connection to the elements.
Balthazar didn't understand, immediately, how something that gave him the connection could also stop him from seeing it but he would later come to think it was something like a person's scent. You couldn't smell yourself as much because you were used to the smell. Perhaps he couldn't see the visions because he was... too smelly? No it didn't make sense. It would bother him for a lot longer than he'd admit but he'd figure it out sooner or later.
And it is what stops you from feeling the whispers.
Fuego repeated like a teacher growing tired of stressing the same point repeatedly to Balthazar.
But it didn't stop Elisabeth?
Interesting. Based on that, he could assume it was his fault she was having visions but at least it was an answer. He'd given her the spark and it gave her the connection that was causing her to see glimpses of the past... but why those pieces of history? What did they have to do with anything happening here and why now? Perhaps the timing was just a coincidence, maybe it was something more, but Balthazar couldn't be certain. All he knew was that the more he learned, the less he liked what was going on.
"What is it?"
Miranda finally asked after a full bit of Balthazar staring into the unfolded paper. If it hadn't come from her pocket, she might not have cared enough to ask and risk engaging in a conversation with someone she'd have classified as manipulative.
"It is a map of Faldrass."
Balthazar replied, noticing that both Haven and Hopetown were marked on the island of Faldrass. Most of the map was the island, but other pieces of Scalvoris were depicted around the edges- particularly the Scalvoris Mountains. "It has my settlement and Darius's marked on it but not the third which is... troubling. There were three ships that left to create settlements."
Perhaps the third ship of settlers who left never prospered. Perhaps a storm took them and somewhere thirty bodies sat in need of proper rites. "There is a little of the rest of Scalvoris on the map, the mountains for example, but it's mostly Faldrass."
A message but a difficult one for someone with only pieces of the larger picture to decipher. Fortunately, Balthazar knew exactly who to talk to about this sort of thing... or at the very least, where to look for more information.