They spoke quietly over Ambrosine’s desk in the infirmary.

“…don’t feel guilty, Tove.” Ambrosine gave her friend a gentle smile. “I can throw my armor back on for this.”

“But the babies-“

“Aren’t babies anymore, and they need a world to live in.” She reached across the desk and put a hand on Tove’s arm. “Trust that I won’t volunteer for anything I’m not up to, okay?”

“…okay.” Tove paused, frowning. “But I’d hate for the voices to…we’ve all come back damaged from it. They’re hard on you after awhile. I don’t want to-“

“Tove,” Ambrosine said firmly. She reached out a hand behind her, causing a minor tear into the Rifts before snapping it closed again. “I’m a Revenant as well these days, remember? I already deal with spirits, some of them quite nasty, and I’ve stood up to their yammering this long. I’ve worked  out…methods, for dealing with them. I’ll manage, and I have a steady base to start, anyway. Jess can help keep me straight.  I’m not going to say that I won’t fall sway to Jormag at all, for that’s a fatal hubris. But it’ll be work and we have time, okay? Don’t worry.”

“I’m going to anyway.”

“I know.” She smiled again. “Besides, you are a good choice of shepherd for the guildhall. You’re good at reading people, and you can help them shake off the effects when they come back from Bjora. Sing your songs, tell your tales, and lift their spirits. I’ve seen you do it a dozen times out in the field.”

The skaald actually blushed and ducked her head. “I’m not the only one with a silver tongue, flatterer.”

“We’ll work two halves of the same job. You took over for me in the field when I needed to step back. Now I return the favor. We’ll both keep the Vanguard as whole as we can. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“I’ll make sure to get in a few swings for you while I’m there.”

“Please do,” Tove said fervently. 

Author Ambrosine
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