Shifting Form

After the alliance with the Dwarves and Elves shattered, Tarian spends his time sulking in the former meeting hall. As the days and weeks march on, only Keldon can disturb his solitude. Though those meetings continue growing briefer. Will Keldon be able to rouse his friend from his self-pity? Or will the Tarian continue to spiral out of control?


Tarian sat in solitary silence, taking in the empty meeting hall and studying the cracked table. The crack ran across its entire length, and the sneering crevasse mocked him. He gripped the hilt of his dagger with white knuckles and lifted the tip of the blade. Tarian let it hover before ramming it into the slab. While he took a deep breath, Tarian twisted the knife into the growing hole. As the seconds ticked away, he stabbed the weapon into the surface repeatedly.

Between strikes, the door swung inward, and Keldon eased into the room. He stared at his friend, assaulting the broken furniture, and sighed. After Tarian drove the blade into the wood another dozen times, Keldon claimed an empty seat and waited for Tarian to stop gouging a hole. But the knife didn’t cease. He cleared his throat and said, “Normally, I wouldn’t butt into your affairs.”

“Then, why start?” Tarian asked as he slammed the dagger into the table.

“Two reasons,” Keldon answered. He lifted a pair of fingers and explained, “The first is, it isn’t good for you to sit here, sulking for weeks on end.”

“And the second reason?” Tarian inquired, plunging the blade through the wood.




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