Tariff watched the red and blue flames dance across the logs in the stone fireplace. they seemed to whisper words of comfort to him through their swirling dance but he knew better than to believe their words, especially on a night like this.
How could anything be alright? He asked himself watching the shadows in the dimmed room flicker in sync with the fire casting them. wind banged across the windows making him shiver though he wasn't cold, on nights like this he was thankful for the warmth that the monastery brought even without the friendly fire. Sighing, Tariff leaned toward the fire with an outstretched hand. Whispering a quick ancient word he scooped up a handful of fire letting it weave through his fingers in a swirling line, his mind went almost blank as he watched it. small things like that made him more at ease.
"if only our problems could be like this," he mumbled to himself watching the fire dance in different patterns across his palm, "there would be no more heartache or murder-" he continued absently, "the humans might even be alive still," but he knew that would be a lie, humans would have killed themselves off eventually anyways. Moving the fire to his fingers he made small daggers appear around each tip then it moved back down to his palm where it formed into a mini tornado, moving his hand from side to side he made the tornado race across his palm, up to his fingers, to the back of his hand, then back to his palm.
"having fun?" a cool voice asked from behind him, Tariff's tornado went out in a puff of smoke.
"no," Tariff replied turning around, " I was trying to think," he told Rusl, his host for the night. The Elvaan nodded in understanding while handing Tariff a cup of steaming tea.
"thinking is dangerous this late at night," he told Tariff sitting cross lagged at the short table, Tariff fallowed suit while sipping his hot tea.
"mint?" He asked, Rusl nodded calmly.
"and jasmine, soothes the nerves," Rusl told him, Tariff looked at the Elvaan feeling the tension in the air, his green eyes meet Rusl's blues. They both had the same topic on mind though nether wanted to be the first to voice it. Looking away, Tariff looked at his swirling tea. The sweet smell of peppermint and jasmine rose to his nose assaulting him with its intoxicating aroma, running a hand through his red spiked hair Tariff wondered if something so normal would really be ruined by some madman's decision.
"what do you think will happen?" He finally asked Rusl, the Elvaan shrugged taking another sip of tea.
"how do you predict an insane persons actions?" he asked back, it was the Wizards turn to shrug throwing the room into a uneasy silence. The two men sat there for a few moments listening to the fire crackle while they drank from their clay cups. Tariff watched the fire for a little while, then switched to watching Rusl's cool nature, then back to the fire in frustration. Another minute passed before Rusl spoke, breaking the haunting silence in the room. "your frustrated, why?" he asked not taking his eyes off the twirling flames. The question surprised Tariff, his reaction to it surprised both of them. "why?" he laughed, "the world is about to end and you ask me why I'm frustrated?" he yelled, the fire blazed larger and much brighter in reaction to his uncontrolled anger, Rusl merely nodded calmly watching the fire die down. Tariff frowned at his outburst, he had lost his control, something a trained Wizard was never suppose to do. "i'm sorry," he whispered placing the cup back on the table, Rusl frowned at him through his uneven blonde hair.
"you shouldn't be," he retorted standing, "more tea?" he asked gesturing at Tariffs nearly empty cup, he nodded. "i'll be right back," Rusl said over his shoulder walking off to the kitchen, Tariff nodded absently deep in thought while he listened to his retreating footsteps against the wooden floor.
"why God?" he asked aloud, "why let this madman threaten our lives? Hasn't this world gone through enough with the humans?" he looked to the wooden ceiling longing for an answer, but he knew he wouldn't get one.
"the Lord answers on his own time," Rusl stated walking back into the room with a red tea kettle in his left hand. Taking off the stopper he poured the dark liquid into Tariffs glass before he did the same to his own, he sat down again but in kneeling position this time. Looking at Rusl over his cup, Tariff had a startling thought.
"what if no one from this time can save us?" he asked, Rusl's eyes snapped to his, "what if we need someone from another time period, someone before the ruins?" Rusl looked just as startled as Tariff, but unease was was heavy in his blue gaze.
"what are you saying?" he asked in a near whisper, "to bring a soul from the past is against-"
"nature?" Tariff finished, he nodded his agreement, "but nether is this mans existence, because that's just what he is. A human," Rusl shook his head.
"imposable, they killed themselves off over 1,000 years ago! Theirs no way for any one of them to live today," he argued, but both of them had been there for the towns meeting, they had both seen what the scout had brought back as proof.
"i have to try," he told Rusl, a big wind clashed against the wooden shutters. Both men jumped at the noise, after a moments pause Rusl jumped up to make sure the windows were secure while Tariff took a sip of the tea he had nearly spilled.
"are you sure this may be the only way?" Rusl asked over his shoulder, Tariff nodded not caring if the Elvaan could see or not.
"what are our other options?" he replied, "besides, the spell the I plan to use only brings someone if the need is dire and just. . . At lest that's what the book said," he mumbled the last line through his cup of tea. Rusl walked back towards him looking stern.
"are you sure?" he asked still standing, Tariff stood up to hold his gaze.
"yes," there was a pause while the men gazed at each other thinking.
"i think we should exploit other options," Rusl stated at last, his gaze had turned to ice. Tariff held his cold stare with a blazing one of his own.
"why?" he asked hotly.
"because it'd be taking some poor soul from their home and sticking them here and handing them our problem," Rusl replied calmly, but a clear warning carried in his voice. Tariff stared at him trying to control his temper, but the unyielding look in Rusl's eyes pushed him over the cliff.
"will you try to stop me?" he asked in a deadly whisper, Rusl held his stern gaze.
"yes," he replied, Tariff nearly took a step back at his harsh reply. It took just a second for Tariff to come to terms with his best friends betrayal, nodding his understanding Tariff took a deep breath.
"catch me if you can," he whispered before letting his breath out making a great wind sweep across the room blowing out the fire cloaking them in complete darkness.
Rusl heard footsteps as, he himself, stumbled around feeling for a match. By the time he had made it across the room, to the matches, and had lite a candle Tariff was gone somewhere in the night.