It has been said that I should have made note of the Wylding's Cloak at some point in these writings. And this is quite true, given that the Cloak is part of the Wylding's innate magic and an iconic tool.
The Cloak is a part of the Wylding and takes effort to separate from themselves. So they are careful about who they loan them to. And only under extreme conditions will they bestow one. Of course during a war extreme conditions happen rather a bit more often than otherwise. Which is where the common misconception that Wyldings need the Cloak in order to transform. They don't. But the loss is still an inconvenience and creating a new Cloak takes quite a bit of time and effort.
Now one upon whom a Cloak has been bestowed is dependent on the Cloak in order to transform. At least until they can find a Druid or Shaman to preform the Wylding Ritual. Assuming that they want to become a true Wylding of course.
Once a Cloak has been bestowed it is linked to the new owner and what happens to the Wylding who gave it no longer matters. This is of course not the case with a Cloak that has only been loaned. If the link is broken the Cloak will lose its powers. Although a Shaman or Druid of sufficient skill can restore the Magic; at least in most cases. Assuming that not too much time has passed. And there have been reports of Loaned Cloaks becoming Bestowed upon the death of the Wylding; a dying wish effect as it were.
It likely goes without saying that Cloaks of this sort can't be stolen. At least not stolen for use. They can be stolen and destroyed or magically bound. Assuming such action is taken quickly. As a Wylding can call the Cloak to themselves by a simple act of will as long as the Cloak is within a few miles.
The thunder of galloping hooves cut off further conversation as Tanis draped her cloak over Tom and spoke a Word. A second harsher Word sent the bespelled horses galloping off to the North. And a moment later Tanis was dropping to all fours next to Tom. "* We'll wait until they've passed, then head southwest*"
Before Tom could reply one of the pursuing Naazz raised his arm and spoke a Word. A bolt of dark energy shot skyward bursting into a rain of smoking arrows forming a net in front of the bespelled horses.
Tom didn't waste any time on questions he ran, and soon found that his new form was in far better shape than his old one.
"*Speed and distance will buy us some time. But we need a place to hide and work. Are there any towns big enough to fend off this many Naazz ?*" Tanis ask after they'd been running for about 10 minutes.
Tom thought for a bit, "*Maybe Bristol, if we can reach it. It's most of a day's travel from here even at this pace. Assuming we can keep this pace for that long.*"
"*Bristol, sea port, shipyard, Magus training school. Yes; that should be enough to give them pause. And give us the time and cover I'll need to turn this mess around.*"
"*I'm a bit slow at the magic game; what have we stepped in, and how deep is it ?*"
"*Not sure. They caught the horses while my spells were still fresh. They can use that to track me. Any magic I do now will be like sending up a firearrow. We can use that to lead them into a trap, if we can get enough of a lead on them to have time to set one.*"
"*Head a bit more south then. And we'll reach a stretch of ground that'll slow them up quite a bit. Slow us a bit too, but a cat will still make better time than a horse and rider. Couple of places they'll have to get off and lead the horses or risk losing them.*"
It was a crisp autumn night with a hint of frost in the air and an almost full moon to light my way. I would have been happier with less light as I didn't need it and would have been better hidden by more darkness. Even so, I made the trip quickly and without incident.
The hints of coming Winter in the air also gave me the beginnings of an idea for how to befriended my hosts before fully revealing myself. Sooner or later they were going to notice that someone or something was lurking about better therefore if that unseen presence proved to be helpful and protective. And the spy eyes and ears I was planning to setup would give me an easy way to know of things they were needing or otherwise concerned about.
Now I just need to find a crystal of the right size and shape.
This proved to be more of a challenge than I had expected. Which lead me to wonder just how the Yuun-Xi had guarded the complex back in the day.
I wondered, but no answers came, and it wasn't worth taking the time to meditate on just now.
My searching did lead me to the discovery of a small but well equipped workshop that I had overlooked before. And that solved my crystal problem quite nicely. Glass while not exactly a crystal is close enough for quite a few things, including the spell I was planning to setup. The spellbook had even mentioned it as an option.
Crafting the glass ball I needed, along with a few other items that could prove useful later, took longer than I had expected and it was almost sunrise as I headed back to the cabin.
My hosts would be back before the end of the day. So, like it or not I was going to have to setup my spy net during the day and just hope no one was around to notice.
The time will come,
when I no longer allow the Gods to rely upon their immortallity.
I shall deny them their omnipotence
and take from them the faith which sustains them.
They will be cast down and judged.
As they had judged.
Had they adhered to the Laws I handed down to them,
so long ago?
The scales of justice shall weigh their fate.
Those found to have stayed true will ascend to my Kingdom,
to live, eternally,
by my side.
The others shall become mortal,
to live out their lives amongst the many others who have failed,
and fallen from my Grace.