“Human is indeed Stonestalker,” Red-Fang greeted us as we descended back into the runic hall, her voice wavering with awe. “Means human will help tribe rid ancestor’s lands of Elder Teeth stealers. Will protect legacy and strength of Beastmen and Beastwomen, yes?”
“I do not back out of promises,” I agreed. “There will be peace between you, one way or another.”
Grunting her acceptance, she sat back on her haunches as she regarded us. “Red-Fang will trust human who is tribemate. If needed, tribe will let Earth-mystics leave with Teeth already stolen, but can never come back, can never steal more. Tell them.”
Outside I found Basilon, leader of the local Earthshakers, waiting for me. “Impressive display up there,” he said, gesturing to the Spire. “I assume that was your doing, impressing the Beastmen to take you seriously? Is it time for us to resume our excavations?”
“Something like that,” I grunted. Honestly I just wanted to be done with this whole business; the idea of warring factions had really run my patience thin. “Take what stones you already have and leave this valley forever. That is the deal. Break it and you will face the vengeance of both Red-Fang and myself.”
He swallowed audibly. “It’s not ideal, but I suppose it’s better than it could be. Thank you, Fatebinder, we will make our preparations to leave with great haste. I assure you we will do no disservice to the terms you have prescribed.”
After watching the mages to make sure they made good on their promise, I confirmed the acceptance with Red-Fang. “It is done.”
Looking to the horizon, I knew we had a long travel ahead of us back to Stone Down Gorge, where this whole mess got started. It was time to advance toward Cairn’s resting place, to purge these lands of the Edict which had for so long ravaged it.
“Let us rest,” I suggested, thinking to take advantage of the mystical link between Spires I had yet to fully understand. “Our companions are likely wondering what we are up to, and we could all benefit from a warm bed tonight.”
Stepping onto the mystical conduit inside the runic hall, I willed us back to the Ocean Spire where Sirin and Kills-in-Shadow waited for us. We may be full members of the Stonestalker tribe, but we didn’t have to smell like them.