Jul 07, 2020 6:03 PM
As the Sixth Age begins, Lilaina visits her family.
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"No. --Saradomin didn't. The Edicts--" She takes a breath. "The Edicts broke with-- due to-- when he died. Saradomin only showed up within moments of them breaking."

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"You met him?" Rosemary says in a hushed voice. "You-- spoke to him? Before--"

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"Yeah, Mum."

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Tobias reaches across the table to hold his wife's hand. "I'm sorry you had to see that happen, Lily."

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"I'm sorry it happened at all."

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Rosemary takes a deep breath and lets it out. "The other gods will return, won't they."

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"Yeah."

Zamorak, of course. Bandos, probably still furious that she and Zanik ruined his plans. Zaros, perhaps. Who else? Who else would she need to defend the world, her world, from?

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"You got a lot put on your shoulders. Doesn't-- didn't Guthix have other guardians?"

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"He made me specifically resistant to divine powers. The Guardians of Guthix do still exist. I'm just... another one of them, now."

And she has been for much longer than she's known she was. The twisted loops of time Guthix only had moments to hint at make her head ache.

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"He must have seen a lot in you, to give you such a task."

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"Flower, are you sure..."

Are you sure you can handle this, he isn't saying. Are you sure my no longer so little girl isn't going to break under the strain.

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She isn't sure. She isn't sure at all. But--

 

 

"I have to be."

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She doesn't tell her family everything she's gotten up to, over the years. Doesn't even tell them most of it. But everybody already knows Lilaina Mercer slayed Elvarg; she can tell them more true tales of what she's done across Gielinor, make them more confident that she has the diplomatic skills, allies, and sheer power necessary to wrangle gods if she needs to. If the safety of the world needs her to.

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"So you have killed more dragons," Daniel says over dinner about a week after her return home. "A lot more." He picks at the chicken on his plate, then stabs it moodily. "Such a name you've made for yourself."

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"Daniel--"

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"No, Mum, it's all right." To Daniel: "Do you want to know how many times I've nearly died?"

Saying that is a lie, technically; she doesn't even know which of the times she's blacked out from pain were only near-death experiences. But explaining that she seems to be impossible to kill would not actually help right now.

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"More than the time you nearly gave Mum a heart attack by collapsing in front of her?"

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"Dozens. I've lost count, frankly. You don't want my life, Daniel."

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"Sure I don't."

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Lilaina sighs and goes back to her dinner.

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Things stay quiet a little longer. The trees themselves weep for Guthix; when she asks, the druids tell her it's the Anima Mundi itself paying its respects. Strange blue-green butterflies appear, and when she catches them they dissolve in her hands and tickle her mind with knowledge of creatures from the Spirit Plane. She manages to get Daniel to join her, once, and he says they give him knowledge of metal and ores. But he doesn't like the idea of his mind being messed with, and so she gives up on that attempt to mend the rift and catches the butterflies with her mother instead, who says they make her feel more nimble.

The druids set up a memorial to Guthix on the road out from Falador, for people to bring rune essence to. She brings a piece herself, and then, after she mentions it to her parents, returns with essence on their behalf and on behalf of a dozen other people in Lumbridge. It's... something.

None of the other gods have made a move, not even Saradomin after his initial appearance in what seems to have been every Saradominist church and gathering-place across Gielinor. She doesn't sleep well.

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"There's a magic thing in the woods," Daniel says one afternoon. "Between here and Draynor."

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Lilaina's minding her parent's general store that day; it's... soothing, having nothing higher-stakes than helping people get things off high shelves and counting their coins, when there's anybody there. Nobody is, right now.

"Is it doing anything?" she asks in alarm. "What does it look like?"

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"It's a floating black ball as big as a person, I heard," he says. "Why? You going to do something about it?"

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"Obviously," she snaps, then shakes her head. "This isn't the time, Danny. Just-- mind the store a minute while I get Mum, all right?"

She doesn't wait for an answer, just heads for the back rooms and knocks on the inner door to her mum's potions room. "Mum--"

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