The fireplace crackled as the servant stoked it. Tavik watched him with a calm gaze as he worked. Nearby Seldon sat in his high-backed chair with the griffon, Skybeak, lounging beside him on the ground. The beast’s head still remained level with Seldon’s, so large was he.
The servant turned and waited for instruction. The silence began to make him uncomfortable and he left with a bow to the two. Skybeak’s gazed followed him as he exited.
“What was it like?” Seldon asked finally. “When you died, we tried to raise you, but you weren’t part of the spirit world, so none of the spells used to communicate that way worked.”
Tavik stared at the fire and considered the question. “It was like coming from the deep and taking a breath of air again,” he said. “One moment I was facing the black claws of that dragon and the next I was gasping for air in the void of the Astral.” He sighed. “I was still in flux of sorts for a while.”
“When you get sent back to your plane of origin in that manner,” he said, “you are rather confused for a long time. It seems like your life previously was a dream and you have trouble remembering it.” He closed his eyes. “I remember seeing the writing tattoo and fearing it. Then as I recovered my memories I strove to become one with it. I meditated for days at a time and slowly began to remember… the good and the bad things I’ve done.”
He sat down cross-legged in front of the chairs. “I was captured shortly after I rediscovered myself,” he continued. “Several githyanki appeared out of nowhere and threw nets on me. I was so surprised by the attack that I never had a chance. That’s when I saw the galleon appear with Jhod at the forecastle. He was in a position of power among them, that was certain.”
Seldon nodded, remembering seeing the cleric on the ship that passed the prison before they departed.
“At any rate,” Tavik went on, “they took me to the prison and ran their gambit of torture. They even tried to reinfect me with one of those psionic creatures. It failed. I don’t know how that works, so don’t ask. I just know they were frustrated with me.”
He took a deep breath. “It became a routine. The warden would appear and he would try to break me. The other guards would watch and join in, depending on the mood of the warden. “
“How did you resist that kind of…,” Seldon struggled for a word to describe it. He had a bad taste in his mouth from even contemplating it all.
“I found my cor,” he answered, “my centre. I also began to teach the other prisoners about the tao. That’s when they confined me to a place where no one else was kept. It was a long time before they came back and got me. They brought me to the warden and he took me down to the door. There was an elf there with her tiger and they both were bound. The guards were telling her if she killed me they would set her free.”
He paused for a moment. “Well, you remember what happened next. You came in and rescued us both from a fate that was entirely undesirable. I was trying to figure out how to make her understand we could escape together, but I didn’t have to in the end. Thank-you, brother.”
Seldon smiled and nodded. “You’re welcome, brother.”
Seldon did have to admit that Tavik was a changed gith. He had always seemed out of place and slightly uncomfortable with his surroundings, but now he nearly radiated calm in a palpable way. His gaze also seemed to contain the wisdom that one usually saw only in elvish elders. All in all, he liked the change.