Meri has reached the top of his career, a five star chef.
The couple celebrates his success by buying a new bedroom set. Then they celebrate on their new bed.
He's worked hard to get here, and now his new position leaves him plenty of free time to enjoy hobbies like fishing. Meri barely remembers his great-grandparents, Aymeri and Ico, but he feels their presence in the river. What must it be like, he wonders, to exist without a body, to be one with the water?
Tamlin becomes a child.
"Don't turn around," Brynne warns her brother, "They're being gross again."
"What, um, what happened to his hair?" Meri asks Allyn after the kids are asleep.
"He insisted on styling it himself. He says it makes a bold statement," Allyn sighs, "I figured it's best to let him express himself that way than fight him over it."
Brynne and Tam's cousin Avery frequently come home with them after school. While they watch TV, their attention turns toward the adults.
"They are so gross," Brynne declares, disgusted.
"Check this out," Tamlin says, gesturing at a gnome he places on the coffee table, "I found it at the cemetery on our field trip."
Meri remembers that Scarlett Goldbeard passed away recently, "That might belong to Mr. Goldbeard," he tells his son, "That might even be Mr. Goldbeard." Not much is known about gnomes, not even Scarlett himself seemed to know much about them, despite being descended from one. But these little creatures followed the old man everywhere.
Tamlin was a bit disappointed that his father told him to bring his souvenir back to Rezi Goldbeard, Scarlett's son, but he did as he was told.
"Nicholas is at his Aunt's house," Rezi says when he sees his son's classmate approach.
"I found this gnome at the cemetery," Tamlin says, reluctantly relinquishing his prize, "My dad said it might be your dad."
Rezi laughs. "He's not my father. If he was happy to go home with you, you can keep him."
Tamlin smiles and rushes off with his gnome before Rezi can change his mind.
Time has been leaving its mark on Melusine's face, and Erys sees her death written in the lines the years have drawn by her eyes and on her forehead.
"Lusi, I spoke with my mother. She could make you fully fae, make you immortal, but she says she will not. Maybe if you told her you wanted it, she would change her mind..."
"I don't want it, Erys," Melusine answers, anger flashing in her eyes, "This is why I tried to end our relationship. You've never accepted me for what I am."
"That's not true!" Erys protests, "I love and adore you. And I want to go on loving and adoring you forever. Why is that so bad?"
"And what about our children?" she asks.
"Mother could change them too. We won't have to watch them die."
"And what of their children?"
Erys opens his lips, but he has no words to speak. His children's children would almost inevitably be mortal, as there aren't any other immortals around for them to mate with.
"Erys, love, you need to let this go, and enjoy the time we have," Melusine sighs, embracing her husband. "And now I have to go before I'm late for work."
After Melusine leaves, Erys stays upstairs, just sitting, thinking about his wife's words, and not understanding why she wouldn't jump at the chance to throw off her mortality and become truly fae. The sound of his youngest son's cries stirs him from his thoughts and he heads downstairs to check on the toddler.
"Aymeri?" the question comes out as a reverant whisper. The ancient dragon hasn't been seen in bodily form for generations now.
"Erys," Aymeri recognizes Auberon's son, "This is your child? Who is his mother?"
"Melusine, Bricelle's daughter," Erys answers. "Do you know, Bricelle is..."
"Yes, I felt her passing," Aymeri answers, "Melusine was a babe like this one when I last took form, but I remember her. It has been a long time since I held a child."
He certainly takes to it readily enough, Erys observes. "What brings you here?" he asks, certain the dragon must have some special purpose. They don't just drop by to visit.
"One of my descendants, by my human wife, has given birth to a dragon. A true dragon."
"We should send Moth to tag him right away," Erys answers.
"Her," Aymeri corrects him, "And I mean to go with Moth. My descendants know little of their heritage. A young dragon being raised without knowing what she is, without guidance...it will go badly for her."
"What do you intend yo do?"
"I won't know that until I see the situation, meet her parents. I hope they can all be brought be here, so the dragonling can be raised in this environment."
Erys knows that Nyx would spout off about the proper protocol, point out that we don't bring people into Edgewater, that Edgewater calls to them and they come of their own accord if the call is strong enough, but Erys is not his sister and has no desire to talk back to the ancient dragon.
"You had a mortal wife once," Erys says, "How did you...?" It's such a personal question, Erys can barely get the words out. But he must ask, Aymeri being the only person who knows who's been in his situation.
Aymeri sets Aubrey back down on the floor. "How did I watch my beloved Allyriane grow old and die? It was not an easy thing to do. But that is the price we pay for the love they give us."
"She was a halfling, wasn't she?" Erys muses, "What if there had been a way to make her fully fae, and immortal?"
"My Allyriane did have a spark of magic in her," Aymeri answers, "But she was human, full of life. I would not strip her humanity away so casually, Erys. It made her what she was, and without it, she would not be the Allyriane I loved."
"But you had to watch her die!"
"Aye," Aymeri sighs, "Mortality comes with humanity. Where we have magic, they have their own energy, life itself. You cannot take that from them without destroying what they are. I would not do that her, even to keep her at my side."
"You were not yet born when the corruption took hold of the fae," Ico says vehemently, appearing suddenly, "You never saw what the contaminated ones became. I know what you've asked of Tania, and I tell you it wrong, Erys! We created this place as a haven for our kind, protected by our isolation from the human world and its pollutants. But even here we are not truly safe, Our only hope is through the halflings, their immunity is our survival!"
If Erys didn't know Edgewater's history and purpose so clearly himself, he would think her speech the rambling of an insane woman. "I don't mean to turn everyone in town fae, just Melusine, and our children."
"Short-sighted and selfish, as your mother said," Ico sighs, "Erys you must look beyond your own desires and see what is best for our kind. Melusine and her children are the goal we set out to achieve, fae and human intertwined. They have our magic, and they have life. They are immune to the contamination."
"If you are so keen on watching your loved ones die, why did you return to the waters when your daughter chose to die along with her mortal husband?" Erys asks, his anger at being scolded by these ancients like they were his parents clouding his judgment.
Ico glares at him, but Aymeri speaks gently, "Our Lyria was born fae and had barely lived a mortal lifespan. Of course we mourned her decision to take her own life. But that is not the only reason we returned to the waters. Like your own parents, we grew weary of unending physical existence. You'll understand that yourself when you've lived long enough, child."
Behind them, Aubrey starts cry. Erys turns to tend to son, leaving Aymeri and Ico behind as he carries him up to the nursery. They don't understand, he thinks, no one understands.
"Why have you come?" Aymeri asks, alone now with Ico.
"I mean to go with you," she answers.
"I'm going to a human city," Aymeri says.
"I've been in human cities before," Ico reminds him, "Take me with you."
"Ico, no," Aymeri protests, but he knows she'll have her way in the end.
It was a tough decision, but Tamlin is definitely heir.
Anyone who's read my previous legacy will know Aymeri and Ico, and their whole history. Aymeri appears for the first time during Generation 2, and marries the Gen 3 heir. He later reappears during Gen 5, where Ico makes her first appearance. (Aymeri mentions her briefly to Allyriane durng Gen 3, not by name, but only as the water sprite with whom he'd had a daughter who fell to the contamination. Not the same daughter they later had here in Edgewater.)