110 – Tiffen

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Tiffen hurried down the long stone hallway, her small wings humming. She zoomed between the heads of the mages and wizards that, like her, were in danger of being late and so hurried. It wasn’t surprising there were so many. The meeting had been moved up at basically the last minute and most Aveenians, mages in particular, were so typically behind schedule that, ‘being on mage time’, was a common excuse for being late. The mage steward, Provius Adulore, would certainly not be late, and was unlikely to wait for, or be pleased with, those that were.

That’s not what troubled Tiffen however. She was, after all, neither a mage nor a wizard, and the truth was, that if any of these magic wielders even saw her inside the great mage guild hall, then she would likely be a stone. But she needed to speak to Wejamar, and he was a wizard, if not a very adept one, so that’s where he would be. Besides, in her natural form, Tiffen was about the smallest creature in Aveena. In some other places, they called her a ladybug. She rather liked that name now that she had grown accustomed to it.

Anyway, being spotted by one of the busy mages was unlikely. More unlikely that they could effectively target her, even if they tried.

She could of course simply wait until the meeting was over, but her news was far too important and exciting for that. After almost 6 years, by the girl’s reckoning, she had finally wakened from the dream. Tiffen knew this was big news, even if Wejamar hadn’t told her much. He never told her anything except what he thought she had to know.

Obviously, he thought her capacity for understanding was as small as her head. But her missions to the girl were much more frequent, and Tiffen felt the old wizard’s sense of urgency.

Always her mission was the same. Repeat the lessons and observe the girl. But the girl, even though she had grown older, seemed stuck in the same time frame, and Tiffen never noticed any change until now. Now that the girl was aware, and knew Tiffen was real, she would quickly understand the lessons she was taught were real too.

Tiffen felt like she had finally done something of value, and she was very eager to bask in Wejamar’s appreciation. 

She settled onto the top of a cloth hat worn by Welden, a young and energetic wizard weaving quickly down the hall. She took the opportunity to rest, and scan the busy herd of casters. There was an unmistakable energy in the air. Though Tiffen had no clue what it was about, she felt a part of it.

She remembered her first visit to the girl. It was the farthest she had ever ridden the winds, and the channel seemed frozen to her, it moved so terribly slow. It made her feel lonely, and she was glad the girl was quickly responsive.

Tiffen had no idea who the girl was, or why she was so important to Wejamar. It wasn’t a persnickets job to know such things.

The job of a persnicket, as she had been taught at a very early age, was to ride the winds of time and bring news of all the channels to the leaders and rulers of Aveena.

It was a job Tiffen loved, for the most part, even though many of the places she visited were boring. And virtually all of them were noticeably slower than Aveena. Wejamar had tried to explain to her once about how all the different worlds made a giant multi-dimensional geared wheel, and how Aveena was the very center of the hub.

Tiffen had shared this story, and many others, with Zoe, who always seemed to enjoy hearing about her boring life.

“I guess he realized I wasn’t getting it, because he stopped trying to explain.”, Tiffen had explained. “In fact, it may explain why he thinks my brain is so small.”

Zoe had laughed and said that it sounded like one of her mothers.

Tiffen really liked Zoe. She was so accepting of new ideas, even if she did think them just dreams. But each visit became oddly the same. Zoe would eagerly listen, and ask some basic questions, but there was a sense of unbelief, as if the girl thought of her as an imaginary friend. That made her feel incredibly lonely all over again. But now, the girl was awake! 

Tiffen took off again and hurried toward the huge doors at the end of the hall.

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110 – Tiffen

by Richard Crossley time to read: 3 min