“You wished to speak to me alone, Seer Orlauf?” The dragon was curious.
“Yes, Blaadfork, I did not speak up while the tale of the fight in the cavern was being told, but it is vital you know.” Orlauf met the dragon’s gaze steadily. “When I spoke to Natalie alone after you returned from the Ruscane Mine, in addition to telling her the story of her dagger I suggested to her that the talisman might have further unknown powers. I deliberately planted that seed in her mind.”
Orlauf took a deep breath. “However, let there be no misunderstanding between us two. I alone fashioned that talisman from a shard of the ruined breastplate of the armor worn by the knight Dunnaut. I alone enchanted it with the powers it possesses, and…”
“And it does not have the power to do what Natalie did with it. I know.”
“You do?” Orlauf arched his eyebrows in surprise.
“I sensed it when it happened. The power came from Natalie herself, not from the talisman or any other external source.”
“But if you know this, then why does Natalie still believe it was the talisman?”
“She needs to believe it, Seer. She is not ready to take all the responsibility for having taken a life, even one as evil as Argantha who would have killed us all if not for Natalie.”
There was a long pause as the Seer considered what the dragon had said. At length, he nodded assent. “I understand now, and I will keep the secret.” Orlauf looked pensive. “I do wonder how a child of a world without magic should be so powerful.”
“I believe I may know the answer. Her mother was unknowing host for much of her early years to half of the life force of a being of powerful magic, and she had that life force awaken in her before it returned to that being.”
“This would have been Emma?”
“Yes. As events transpired, Emma never went on another adventure with me after the one during which this event occurred. However, I consider it possible that she absorbed a portion of that power and it passed on to her daughter.”
“One day she will need to know.” Orlauf cautioned.
“One day,” Blaadfork agreed, “when the time is right. That time is not now.”
Orlauf inclined his head in silent consent. After a moment, he reached into his sleeve and produced the talisman. “Natalie gave this back to me so I could examine it. Since we both know it is not the source of the power she tapped, I am returning it to you. If you have further travels together, it seems to function well as a focus of her abilities.”
Blaadfork accepted the disk from the Seer, nodding his thanks. “I will keep it safe for her until it is needed. I did note that she still has the dagger.”
“That was my gift to her. My tale of the ghost of Dunnaut was true. That dagger was always meant for an off-worlder.”
“I see, thank you Seer. I am certain it will prove useful many times over.
“I believe, then, that our meeting is concluded.”
“Agreed. Seer Orlauf please know that I do thank you for being concerned. You might have simply let the matter pass, knowing we will soon be gone.”
“Some might, indeed. I could not.”
“I know that as well.”