FOREVER KNIGHTS: #18 Traitorous Lovers

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RAESE - My Favorite Weapon

WhiteHall, Paladines


“I should go find them.”

“No.” Rodger shook his head. Cautioning, not for the first time. “You need to be comfortable using that if its your weapon. Don’t you think?”

Not the first time he’s said it.

But I’m losing patience.

“I’ll go get my staff.”

“No.” Rodger shook his head. “You said you could summon it before. Let’s see if you can now.”

“Don’t you think some of this is perhaps insanity?” Raese asked. Surprised by how willing his friend was to help him.

“Not after what I’ve seen.” Rodger shrugged.

“Has Widow Parker been upset with you for spending so much time here.”

“Of course,” Rodger shrugged. “but she’s appeased by pretty trinkets. As you said.”

She certainly is. Raese wants again thought how grateful he was for Rodger distracting the woman’s attentions.

They went to the far end of WhiteHall’s grounds.

Where I’ve been practicing my archery. Raese was aware it was far enough from WhiteHall, it’d be impossible to see what they were doing.

They’d only made it halfway before the white streak charged from the Western part of Inner Forestway, the forest bordering both Mane and the Paladines.

Raese knelt and happily rubbed the wakkon’s cheeks. “Hello, Snowman.” Raese offered him a handful of choice bits of dried meat. “Enjoy, My Friend.”

Once the trio got to the far side of the lawns, Rodger sat down the wooden chair he’d been carrying. Wiggling it into the dirt to get a flat seat.

Snowman lurked near his legs. Rubbing his shoulders fondly against Raese’s knees.

Raese flicked his wrist twice but couldn’t get the staff to appear.

“Relax.” Rodger coached. “Imagine it already being there.”

Raese envisioned the twisted bit of crooked wood. Smoothed save for the three points where it twisted a different direction. Atop it was the small green orb, alive and swirling with emerald and yellow lights.

“Now imagine I’m tossing it to you and you’re going to catch it. Ready?” Rodger paused. “Go!”

Raese instinctively imagined it and the wood hit his palm with so much momentum that he had to twist his wrist to keep from losing his grip. And he realized part of what he’d been doing wrong. Turning my wrist doesn’t make the staff appear. It offsets the momentum of the staff hitting it.

He looked at Rodger in wonder.

Rodger gave a triumphant nod. Sitting back and crossing his arms over his chest. “Well done!”

How’d he know how to do that?

Before Rodger’s coaching had been nervous suggestions. Sometimes working, sometimes not but now he was decisive and to the point. Almost like a different person.

Suspicious, Raese pretended to not notice. “In some of my visions of the past, I saw myself sending surges of energy from this.” He pointed toward the globe atop it. “How do you think I could make it do that?”

“Drop it flat so it sits on the ground.” Rodger nodded. Adding as a forethought. “I think. Then perhaps you should feel like you’re sending a punch from that. Thrusting it like a muscle you’re flexing.”

“Do you think?”

Rodger shrugged. “I’d think that’s what it’d be like.”

Raese drew a staying breath and then did as Rodger had suggested. Sending a fierce gold beam sailing into the edge of the target. Spinning it sideways and toppling it over. Singeing the sand bags which had supported it.

He turned huge eyes to Rodger.

“Well done!”

“Who are you?” Raese said deadened.

“What do you mean?” Rodger’s smile died. He cleared his throat. Putting a fist to his mouth and looking down.

“Who are you?” Raese stalked to stand near him.

But not near enough to reach.

Is he Cimmerii?

Has he been lying to me all this time?

“Or should I ask what are you?” Raese charged.

Rodger sighed and stood. “Fine. You have me.”

“You’re Cimmerii?”

Rodger scoffed. “Far from. I’m no different then you.” He gestured to Raese. “No different at all.”

“Aren’t you?”


“I’m a Forever Knight. And a Merlinus.”

“What?” Raese looked at him, horrified. “A-A-What?”

“Your brother.”

“What!” Raese staff bloomed in a surge of light that lit the grounds and blew leaves off the decorative shrubbery.

“Whoa whoa!” Rodger laughed. “Calm down and let me explain before you kill us both!”

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