((Note: This journal is intended to alter what actually happened last night–please assume THIS is what was actually revealed. Thanks! :D))

Rikvi Farseer–Priory Scholar, Necromancer, Child of Raven, Herald of Death, Seer Of Many Roads–was neck deep in edits for her latest paper. (Which was to say that her apprentice, Ceridwen, was wielding a red pen and Rikvi was telling her no to about 75% of her requests. Ceridwen was, in turn, ignoring abut 50% of those nos.)

“I am afraid that if you alter that wording to much the nuance will–one moment.” Rikvi stopped. “Forgive me, Ceridwen. We will continue this later. Tell my husband I will home late, and tender my apologies.”

“Okay?” The sylvari blinked, a habit she had picked up from everyone else who had to deal with the Norn on a regular basis. She watched Rikvi stride out of her office with a purpose, followed shortly thereafter by the shrill summons of a radio left laying on the desk. “Ah–hmm.” Cer reached over an tentatively poked a button. “Yes, this is Ceridwen speaking.”

“Cer, this is Ambrosine. Is Rikvi there? I need–“

“I think she’s already on her way.”

“She–ah. Yes. Of course. Thank you.”

=====

It was hard to hide death from a Necromancer.

Still–this was neither the time nor the place to attempt to speak to the dead. That involved a ritual, complete with opening portals to the Underworld and also handling whatever else crept through, and Rikvi was unsure as to the wisdom of that.

The Underworld was still….mm. Something.

The Vanguard wanted to know if one of their number was dead. Much easier to ask Raven, Rikvi thought. Certainly, it is far less likely to go awry.

She began searching her pockets with the confidence of one who would, likely, be a Shaman to Raven in her waning years. (Right now, she had too much research to do.) Ah yes–here, a black candle. Here a dead mouse, which she’d placed in her pocket this morning for reasons that now became clear. Between those things and the bloodied pistols and hat of the Captain, it should be enough.

Rikvi held out the candle for Kory to light, then stuck it on the table in a pool of its own wax.

(The barkeep scowled. Rikvi didn’t notice.)

She picked up a pistol, fingers brushing across the dried blood. Some of it flaked off on the polished wood. Raven. Rikvi let her yes lose focus and gazed at the candle flame. Raven, I seek knowledge. Is the man who bore these pistols still among the living?

And Raven…blessed Raven, who Rikvi loved and served so well, did not give a straight fucking answer.

=====

A wolf–not Wolf, but a wolf none the less. Shattered, bleeding. A raven–and this one WAS Raven–hunched over it, waiting, every so often making an exploratory peck.

Dead, or not dead?

And here Rivki’s gift showed its cursed hand again. The near future/past, laid out–a hundred different paths. He was dead in most of them. Even in those where he lived, he’d be dead by the time the Vanguard got there. In some where he wasn’t, he died shortly thereafter.

But there was a few–

A few roads for them to walk–

A chance he might still be alive, might remain alive, might return alive–

=====

“The wolf may not be Raven’s yet,” she spoke, in that deep, flat voice that was hers when she herself was mostly elsewhere. “There are–so many ways it has gone. Can go.” She gave herself a shake. Came back a bit further. “It is worth a look.”

Taking a deep breath, she reached out and snuffed the candle.

The mouse was gone.

=====

It was not Rikvi’s place to follow the others to the Shining Blade. They had questions, but they were not hers to answer this time.

Instead, she gathered up the hat and pistols and waited.

Author Ambrosine
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