Upon a pale horse... (The Mists of Ravenloft)
Evan and Melantha’s tale continued from Saint Morgan…
“Come in children!” Madame Eva greeted Evan and Melantha warmly as they hunched over and stepped into Madame Eva’s lush wagon. The air was think with a sweet-smelling smoke that tickled Evan’s nostrils and made him lightheaded. Without waiting, Melantha took a seat at a tiny table that had been set for three and began to nibble on the sweet baklava that had been laid out on the table. This bristled Evan’s strict Dementlieuvian upbringing and he gave Melantha a dirty look.
" Nu fi proasta, Evan…" Madame Eva chided without turning to face him. “Only a fool stands when a seat is unfilled and only an idiot lays out food she does not wish to be eaten.” Melantha gave him a mocking smile and Evan sat reminding himself that the customs of the Vistani did not always align with those of civilized society. The ancient Vistani woman began to whistle an old tune as she placed a small pinch of herbs into each of three delicate tea cups and filled them with steaming hot water from a cast iron kettle. Evan watched the tea leaves spin in the cup for a moment before clearing his throat.
“Mada…” Evan couldn’t get the word out before Madame Eva spoke over him.
“I know you have much you wish to discuss, but first we shall enjoy our tea.” Evan sighed a bit. Time and therefore urgency meant little to the Vistani, nothing to the Zarovan, and even less to Madame Eva. The ancient Vistani sat at the table and blew air over her tea to cool it.
“You have aged considerably since we last met,” Madame Eva stated hile tracing her eyes over Evan’s increasingly wrinkled face and whitening hair.
“You look as young as ever,” Evan smiled in response.
“That is because I am.” Madame Eva sipped her noisily and smiled. he three sat silently sipping the bitter tea and listening to the roar of the falls for several minutes before Madame Eva cleared her hroat. “So, Evan… Tell me. Are you here as your own man or as a messenger of the wizard king?”
Melantha’s eyes narrowed as she glared at Evan, “Azalin…?”
“I am my own man.” Evan replied calmly.
“…or at least you intend to be!” Madame Eva laughed. “That is good enough for me cold one. Tell me what it is that troubles you…”
Evan cleared his throat and began relating the tale of the last few months, beginning with the murder of Claire Moreau, and continuing though Ianka, the Handsome Gentleman’s message to him, Malocchio and igo, and finally his belief that Azalin somehow wanted Malocchio to be freed. He also speaks of Malocchio’s appearance with Gabrielle in Rchemulot. Madame Eva made a sign of warding as Evan finished speaking.
“The actions of this ‘Handsome Gentleman’ are not unknown to me, but are indeed troubling. He appears to be creating a race of Dukkars… but to what end only time will be reveal. In the meantime, you may be correct that Malocchio is the most powerful of the Dukkars we have seen. He MUST remain bound. He chains are tight, but another chain could be added: the mantle of Darklord. If Malocchio were to slay his own mother, he would indeed be bound for neigh all of eternity. This shall be your task. But know this Evan Moreau: For too long you have tried to walk the darkness alone. I foresee that if you continue to walk alone in all things it will mean your end. You must keep those around you.”
Evan nods his head. “In return I ask you to keep my family safe. My wife and son. If I act against Azalin, my life will likely be forfeit. I understand this now. Madame Yvonne told me long ago that without magic I would die and with magic I would die. It appears that this is my fate, to live a quiet humble life, but die inside, or to use my magic and hope to stop a great calamity in the world. If this choice ends in my death, so be it. But Collette and Lucas are innocent and should not suffer. I ask you to keep them safe.”
“You assume that they are safe now?” Madame Eva cackles. “Yes, when the time comes, we will help them.”
Evan and Melatha’s tale continues in A Horrible Plan…