22nd of Reaping 383 ONT, Streets of High Port, 1:12pm.
They left the pastry shop with Tar Di and Thorbil happily eating their purchases and Hikari with a greater understanding of a few new baking techniques for a couple difficult dishes she’d wanted to try. As promised, Hikari was showing Tar Di around High Port and by extension her dwarven shadow and the Tukin Knight for good measure. She was fairly certain Dallan had been here before. She didn’t mind the company and it was fun showing them where Paprikka had spent a good part of her life when she wasn’t back at the Al’Callani Estate. Even Phobia was interested in exploring and seeing for herself what she’d learned through Hikari’s memories. For her part, Hikari was getting a new view of the city with her magicked eyes and a new understanding of how and why buildings and streets were the way they are.
It was also nice to be out in the city without actually being on an errand or important mission or worrying about anything beyond finding the best vantage points to see the sights. A welcome bit of relaxation away from the others and the problems of the world that always found them. It felt like the list of people and places they needed to save or visit or complete a task at were growing with each new stop into port. But today was for forgetting all of that and just enjoying the good weather and good company.
“Why you stupid, good for nothing lawn ornament! The contents of that jar are worth more than you’ll make in a lifetime.” The angry words floated down the street and Hikari’s group all turned to look as a young elven woman berated a Halfling servant who was trying desperately to find something to scoop up the powder that was now all over the cobbles. Young, light hair, expensive and stylish clothing and an ornate cane which she had raised as if to strike or at least threaten the Halfling with it made Hikari freeze in place. She knew that woman, knew her as well as she knew herself. Even after being apart for almost twenty years she would never forget her cousin and onetime sister. Charisia Al‘Calanni, the only daughter of Etheronim and Liliahna Al’Callani and the only family Paprikka ever knew.
The rant continued though she did little beyond waving her cane around. Beside her and the Halfling was an overly large pack bulging with various bottles and jars. Hikari was moving before she even realized it. Getting close she saw the silvery contents spread amongst the glass and cobbles and sighed. It was one of the ingredients they used in the weaving process of their silks, one that helped strengthen the fibers from wear. She turned and asked Thorbil to purchase a new jar from the merchant dropping a few gold into his hands before looking back to Charisia.
The elven woman moved to block Hikari’s access to the powder and glared at her. “Keep moving half-breed, I’ll not let you take what is mine. Not without paying me for it.” Pleasant as always, Hikari sighed and shook her head. The Halfling woman still kneeling in the street picking out shards of glass from the silver powder was also known to Hikari. Mavis Thistlewood was a quiet woman whose family had long served the Al’Callani line and should have retired years ago. For her to be out with Charisia was not a good sign.
“We’d like to help you, my friend is going to purchase a new jar and we can…”
“How about no. I’ve a rule about trusting people wearing carcasses.” She sniffed and looked over Hikari’s shoulder at Tar Di, Dallan and the returning Thorbil. “And given the company you keep I’d say mercenaries at best and adventurers at worst. What? Couldn’t shake down some poor sod on the road for their hard earned coin so you came to the city to cause trouble?”
Hikari took a deep breath feeling Phobia’s unhappiness and knowing the others were wondering why she was even trying. She didn’t want to do it but with Charisia’s upbringing it was going to be the only way to get her to listen. She showed off the broach from the archmage. “That is no way to treat those who are guests of the Archmage. We would expect more from you Charisia Al’Calanni or have your manners devolved to match those of the wild elves? Don’t be foolish and turn away help freely offered.”
Hikari watched as her cousin’s face went through a range of emotions from surprise to anger before settling on grudging respect and burning curiosity as she recognized the symbol. She gave the barest of nods and stared closely at Hikari, “My most sincere apologies.” Hikari doubted that. “It has been a day of frustration and I’ve now lost both my ingredients as well as ride home. Anything you can do to help would be appreciated.”
“Tar Di, hold the jar close to the powder. Thorbil, can you see to Mrs Thistlewood please?” Both moved to do as directed with her apprentice glaring at her cousin. A few incantations later and the powder was collected and resealed with the broken glass removed from the street.
“Thank you, it is better than nothing I suppose.” Charisia eyed the mostly full jar doubtfully. “Though I’m curious as to how you knew my name and that of my servant.”
“We know much about your family Charisia and would help where we could despite or because of the past we share.” Hikari’s answer did nothing beyond annoy Charisia and she shoved the jar back into the large pack. “But talking in the street is probably not the best for this conversation. So we would suggest a more comfortable place to discuss things.”
“I am certain my parents would welcome someone who has the favour of the Archmage under their roof and they would show you every courtesy including a wonderful meal. But it is a bit of a journey and I am sure the Archmage would rather you be nearby.”
“It’s not an issue. We can help you get home much faster than renting a carriage and we can all go at once if you are done here?” Charisia gave a slow nod of acceptance having deduced that Hikari meant to use magic.
“I can send her where she belongs. I have just the spell that should work.” Tar Di pipes up and for the longest of moments Hikari actually ponders letting her do it. It would be interesting to find out which plane or place her one time sister ended up.
“Not today Tar Di. Today we will just make sure she gets home with a simple teleport spell.” Hikari motioned for them all to gather close so she could cat the spell and bring them all to the estate she grew up at.
“Teleport? How boring. I had this really interesting idea about an inter-planar worm that makes holes you can travel through and go anywhere in the blink of an eye. Wait, don’t you have to be familiar with the area to get close to where you want to go?”
Hikari nodded impressed that Tar Di remembered that much at least, “We have more than a passing familiarity with the place.” Charisia gave her an odd look obviously not recognizing Hikari but nodded a little less sure but wanting to return home hours ahead of her current schedule was enough for her to take the chance. “Dallan, could you let Thalion know I’ll be away for a day or so please?”
He nodded, “Of course Hikari. Though Ze might want to know where and why.”
“Home, we go to Paprikka’s home.” She grinned, “And Ze can wonder all Ze wants about that.”
Hearing no disagreements Hikari motioned for those going to stay close and cast her spell. She pictured the entryway of the estate with a clarity that surprised her and the magic pulled them through moments later leaving them standing in the estates main hall facing the entry way…