Echoes of Invasion: There’ll Be Heledd to Pay | Scene 31

“I’m very glad I let you know the house was going to fall,” Heppa tells Alric, not even noticing that her cousin has left the kitchen. “It came down harder than I thought it was going to.”

“I hope that my uncle didn’t give you the wrong impression about magic among humans. It’s not a problem for most people in Wesnoth,” Alric tells her earnestly.

“I suppose Lady Sabine is a red mage,” Heppa acknowledges. If the earl was all right marrying a mage, they must be acceptable on some level.

“Magic is… I wouldn’t say a common profession, but it is a significant profession among the people of Wesnoth. My uncle still holds to a number of the beliefs of the people we came from. But particularly if you feel like your life is on the line or somebody else’s is, don’t hesitate to use your abilities to their fullest extent.”

“Oh. All right. That is good to know. I didn’t know how sensitive humans would be… Damal really doesn’t like magic,” Heppa observes.

“There might be people who are superstitious about it. There might be people who…” Alric chooses his words carefully, needing to communicate the realities of the human world but not wanting to judge the people who hold those opinions. “Who are standoffish because they will view you as being of higher class than they are. But you’re an elf too, and so… lots of people just view all elves as magical. Don’t let one person’s perceptions of you change your behavior.”

“Could you tell I was casting magic?” Heppa asks. Maybe it just looked like she was lying in the mud. “I don’t know when you arrived…”

Alric waited until the Parting Glass was closed for the night before heading to the manor, but that still put him in position long before Sleidr’s group arrived. He does not mention this, just answers the specific question she asked. “I didn’t see you do anything flashy like most human mages I’ve seen doing things before, but the way you were talking to that guard, it was clear that you were doing something to that building.”

“I didn’t want to upset him… But you don’t think it would have bothered him?”

“I doubt it. He’s worked with mages his whole career, I imagine.”

“That’s good to know,” Heppa repeats. She looks around for something else to say, something to keep her in Alric’s company a bit longer. “What is this drink?” she asks, finally picking up the mug he placed beside her when she was working on Tric Manu’s injury. “It’s not breakfast brandy, is it?” she adds with a laugh.

Alric chuckles. “It’s called chamomile.”

Heppa smells the hot liquid and takes a sip. “Oh! It seems similar to something from our village.”

“It’s made from a herb with lacy green leaves,” Alric tells her. “The flowers have a broad circle of white petals with a yellow middle. The tea is made from the flowers.” 

Heppa recognizes that this is indeed the same drink from back home. The elves just call it sunpetal tea, and it is commonly used for soothing people. She realizes Alric must have thought she really needed to calm down and that makes her laugh again. Once she gets that out of her system, she says, “Thank you again for helping… I guess I’ll see the aviary tomorrow?”

“Oh, there is another place in town that you might be interested in and maybe Tric wouldn’t be…” Alric says casually, testing the waters.


“Well… I’ll show you tomorrow.” Heppa is a curious person. Alric hopes that leaving some mystery will encourage her to accept the offer.

“All right,” Heppa agrees with a smile. They sip their tea in silence, Heppa reluctant to leave but also terribly tired. Alric bids her goodnight, and she realizes just how late it really must be. She sets down her mug and heads toward the curtains. She turns back as she reaches them and sees that he is still watching her. “Goodnight, Alric.”

“Goodnight, Heppa.”