For Errol Loki Forkle (not that one, the other one) life could get hard. Right now, however, life was both hard and easy. He didn't have to live anymore. That was the easy part. His brother was dead, the council had gotten to him before anyone else. And Errol would be dead soon as well. Tiergan was still alive. At least there was that. If someone was going to survive, Tiergan was probably the Black Swan's best bet.

The hard part was that Tiergan was now looking to him, the Black Swan's most important leader, for instructions on what to do, and Errol was woefully unprepared.

To be honest, Errol thought that the best course of action was for Tiergan to surrender to the council and hope that he wasn't punished too much. If he was lucky, he might get put in the same cell as Prentice, but that was incredibly unlikely. He knew Tiergan would not take this plan well.

Errol opened his mouth. "Tiergan, you have to surrender."

"Surrender? I can't do that!"

"You have to."

"I don't have to. I could slip away-"

"And have the council hunting you for the rest of your life?"

"What about Project Moonlark?"

"Project Moonlark is over, Tiergan. I understand how you feel, but-"

"What about Sophie? Are we just going to leave her with the humans forever? We can't do that to her!"

"Do you want my advice or not? Surrender and hope they don't punish you. Maybe give them a couple of unimportant secrets. There are none of us left except you and I, and I won't be here much longer."

The two of them spotted several emissaries searching through the dead bodies of the remaining fifteen members of the Black Swan for survivors. Tiergan whispered goodbye to his mentor and fled the scene.

Line Break

Tiergan kept running until he reached the edge of the forest, and then he light leaped away. He regretted leaving Mr. Forkle there like that, but there wasn't much that could have been done for him anyway. Not even Livvy could have helped him.

The one thing Tiergan wasn't going to do was surrender, he knew that. He had to find Wylie before he did anything. The two of them had planned that they would meet here if disaster struck, but Wylie wasn't here.

Tiergan decided to take a quick look around. He had told Wylie to stay at this exact spot right before the battle, but now he stood here alone.

This worried Tiergan. Wylie wasn't one to ignore directions in the face of danger.

And so, Tiergan began his search.

Line Break

After two hours of fruitless searching, Tiergan realized, that Wylie was nowhere within a two kilometre radius. He had probably been captured. And just as Tiergan realized this, he heard footsteps behind him. He reached into his ankle pocket to discover that his pathfinder was not there. Out of options, Tiergan ran in the opposite direction of the footsteps. The footsteps ran after him.

I'm not going to do you any harm, Tiergan, please stop running.

Tiergan tried to block whoever it was out of his mind, but the voice kept repeating the same message. The failed attempt at blocking was causing Tiergan to run slower. Soon, whoever it was had grabbed the back of his tunic and spun him around. Tiergan found himself face to face with Alden Vacker.

"Good job. You caught me."

Alden dropped him and handed him a pathfinder. It was the one that had fallen out of his pocket.

"You can leap away if you don't want my help, but were I you, I wouldn't."

Tiergan had already started to put the pathfinder towards a gap in the foliage, but lowered it before the light could carry him away.

"Why did you give me this? Why couldn't you have just turned me in, Alden? You've ruined my life so much that it couldn't hurt to ruin it more."

"I don't want to turn you in. I want to help you."

"And how can you help me? By turning me in? Great, that's a huge help."

"I know where the council is holding Wylie. And I will happily tell you."


"It's an abandoned human prison that they called Magnus Carcer. It might have been Roman, but I'm not sure. They've never used it before. Wylie's the only prisoner, so the prison only has three or four guards. You should be able to get in. The walls are sturdy rock, but the roof is crumbly. There are large, easy to climb cracks in the outside of the prison, but the cells have smooth walls, so you might want to bring some rope."

"How do I know you aren't lying?"

"You can read my mind if you'd like, I promise I'm telling you everything I know."

Tiergan reached over to place his hands on Alden's forehead. He searched through Alden's memories but couldn't find anything interesting other than council assignments and cute things Fitz did when he was a toddler.

When Tiergan found what he was looking for, memories that verified that what Alden said was true, he couldn't find anything that he hadn't already learned. He took a step back.

"All good?" Alden asked.

Tiergan nodded. "I hope so."

"Before, I go, if there's anything else you wanted to know-"

"How did they capture Wylie?"

"You did leave him there alone, Tiergan."

"I know. But he wasn't wearing a registry pendant, I took it off him."

"Yes, but you were wearing one when you left him there." Tiergan looked down at his neck to see that his registry pendant was still clasped around his neck. Alden continued. "Before you go, you might want to do some research. I can give you these, which should get you into the council library. I hope you succeed." Alden held up his own pathfinder and leapt away. Tiergan looked at the objects in his hand. A card that would give him access to the council library, the best library in the Lost Cities, and several potions that would change his appearance.

He smiled, raised his pathfinder, and let the light carry him to Eternalia.