Ciardis felt lost among her group of comrades. She wasn’t like them. She needed to find more of her people… Changelings. She was very thankful to be given the position as Head of Spies under Bolag. Using this position, she might be able to find more people like her to work with. Being a spy would come easily for Ciardis. She could change her appearance at will to look like anyone to get information. The only problem she had was being good at lying to get the information she wanted. She knew of a man who could teach her great things about lying who lived in Ihyll. She hadn’t been there since she began her journey, but she knew it was time to head back.
She left her comrades and began her journey to Narowfell. She made sure to stop by the King of Blades stables to retrieve her horse, Starfall. The ride was an uneventful 2 days. The closer she got, the colder it became. She had forgotten how cold it could be after her journey.
As she rode into town, people were looking at her funny. She didn’t realize why until later. Apparently, people still remembered her as being an extremely good partner in bed. She entered the castle and made her way to the dungeon living quarters. She stood in front of the professors door. She wasn’t sure she wanted to enter. She was never all that good at his class. Before she could knock, Professor Svoboda opened the door.
He looked slightly surprised. “Ciardis? Why have you returned to our school? You graduated at the top of your class didn’t you? Come in my office and we will talk.”
“Hello Professor. I have come asking a favor. I was never good in your class. You know it and as much as I hate to admit it, I know it. I was given a very important position by King Bolag himself. This job puts me in a position where I would have to lie frequently to get information. That was never my strong suit. I have some money and would be willing to pay you for your troubles.”
The whole time Ciardis was talking, she noticed that he was looking her up and down. She squirmed in her chair after she finished talking. She wasn’t sure what he would say.
“I can help you, but it is not money that I want. I heard you were very good at “other activities” if you know what I mean."
That was when it hit Ciardis. That was why people were staring at her. People must have been talking about her time she spent with that man at the brothel and in his home. He was murdered. How could people not be talking about it.
“I won’t deny that I am, but I am not willing to offer that. I have come to learn about Irori. Irori has shown me better ways than sex.”
Ciardis stood up in defeat. She would have to search elsewhere for a mentor. Before she reached the door, the Professor called out her name.
“Fine, I will be willing to take money just to look at your beautiful face.”
She spent the next couple of days working solely with Svoboda. They barely left the office to eat and sleep. By the end of their time together, her bluffing skills were much stronger.
“Thank you Svoboda. I hope we will meet again someday.”
“As do I Ciardis, as do I.”
Ciardis payed him 250 gold and left Narowfell for her new city state in Illistrad. She was very excited to be given her own place to be in charge of. She knew exactly what she wanted to do. She wanted to start helping changelings just like the preacher who saved her all those years ago. She could gather them and have them work together as a network of spies. They would have a safe place to live in her city state. The first thing she had to do as Govenor, was name her new city state. She had he perfect name… Varian; meaning changeable. The buildings and houses may sit empty now, but she knew in the future, they would be full of people, changelings.
Ciardis spent the next few days tracking down the one person she knew who could help her on her mission to find more changelings. The preacher had visited with this woman many times when she traveled with him. Ciardis finally found her on the outskirts of Dymun.
Ciardis walked up to her and stated, “As the winds blow…”
“The seasons change,” the woman finished as she turned around smiling. “Ciardis! I haven’t seen you since you were a young child.” She grabbed Ciardis in a hug.
“Hello Lemjeim. I have come to you for help. I want to carry on and give other people like me and you a safe place to live. I was given my own city state by King Bolag himself. I named it Varian.”
Lemjeim chuckled. “Clever name, girl. How can I help you? I have been seeking a place like that for a long time. I will help you any way I can.”
Ciardis smiled. With Lemjeim’s help, she knew Varian would be full of people in no time. She told Lemjeim how she was given the position as Head of the Spies. She asked her to be her right hand woman. Lemjeim accepted without hesitation. Lemjeim embraced Ciardis once more before she left on her journey to gather more changelings.
Ciardis made her way back to Bolag’s castle to meet with her fellow comrades. For the the first time, in a long time, she was truly happy.