You turn inward, focusing on the energy that flows naturally within your own body, rather than anything external. Over the next few weeks you come to realize that you do have innate magical talents – they are just in areas that Lord Gudrunn did not expect, or value! Instead of an affinity for raw power and destruction, you discover your ability to will images into being.

It begins with you being able to recreate a single, simple object, in one color of light – an apple, a lantern, a goblet. The image is transparent and even this relatively simple task drains you greatly.

Months pass, and you gain proficiency with this new ability, learning to blend colors together to make the objects look more realistic. You and Ceassia practice together whenever possible – with her setting challenges for you to meet. With her encouragement, you progress from simple, still objects, to moving ones such as pinwheels or falling feathers.

You to create birds that zoom around your study while Ceassia laughs with delight! On a whim, you attempt to give the birds a voice, and realize that you are able to have your illusions produce sounds as well!

One day, 6 months after the execution, she returns from visiting with Liara and you have prepared a surprise for her. It is a simple play, featuring characters from her favorite childhood story – about a female knight who faces down a trio of dragonettes – all created through your force of will alone.

“Wonderful!” she exclaims, rising to her feet as the performance ends, “That was delightful! I never thought I would see magic be used for something so joyful!”

You grin broadly at her and take a bow.

“You are too kind milady,” you say smugly. Then, you vanish.

Ceassia squeaks in surprise and looks around the room, alarmed. A moment later she shrieks loudly when you grab her from behind, your form still-invisible.

“Mother?” comes Amadalia’s voice, muffled by distance and your closed study door, “Mother, is everything all right?”

“Yes dear! Nothing to worry about! Everything is fine!” the red-faced Ceassia shouts in reply as you reappear next to her doubled over with laughter.

When you both manage to calm down, you turn to her, suddenly serious.

“I think it may be time Ceassia.”

“Are you sure?” she asks suddenly tense.

“I have a plan to get Shimran out of the way, and earn Gudrunn’s favor,” you say confidently.

“Earn his favor,” she says slowly, “but… not remove him from the picture…”

You shake your head sadly, “No, at least, not yet. These illusions will not fool him – I can feel that somehow.”

“If you do this Xevvy,” she says hesitantly, “Liara will never speak to either of us again. She will see this as a betrayal. She wants blood – his blood. Nothing else will suffice.”

You sigh heavily and consider your options.

What do you do?

>> It’s not worth the risk to take on Lord Gudrunn as well. [ Chapter 14 ]

>> Vengence on the Sorcerer King! [ Chapter 17]