(More from Shayara. The night of the Purges.)
The world is dying around him, but he is perfectly calm.
He sits alone in the center of the coffeehouse, aqua eyes half-closed, loosely holding a glass of water. His waist-length hair, a straight fall of sandy blond, is pulled back into a simple black elastic - he is not decorative. Behind him, Tyka and her waitstaff are organizing a makeshift hospital on the tables, on the stage. Before him, Quint and Joseph guard the doors, ready to pull in civilians and repel Hounds. The coffeehouse is full of activity, but around the Telenias, there seems to be a bubble of silence. None will speak to him - none will interfere with his duty.
The age-old duty of the Telenias is to remember. The Telenias, two per generation, are the only Dasaroi to remember the Fall; mercy has been granted to the rest of the Dasaroi. This burden is his alone, his and Martin's.
On the inside of his left wrist, the words teneo casiens are tattooed.
Tonight, his duty is more active.
House Tallart, from where the Telenias are born, chosen, is not as consistent as the seven Great Houses. The Tallarts are wild cards. Unpredictable in their gifts. The Telenias's gift is telepathy - not the keen, deep telepathy of House L'Arath, but an incredible ability to multitask, one might say, bolstered by the additional power given to those who take on the duty of Telenias, of remembering. There is a price, yes, but there is also a benefit.
The Telenias's duty within the Kirayth? He's a living switchboard, connecting the city's warriors. If you look at him with your mind rather than your eyes, you might see him as a spider in the center of his web. You might see him as a living heart - channels of power extending to Quint and Joseph, and farther out into the night to all of the Kirayth. Capillaries extending from the Kirayth to their bondmates.
Fenris directs, and he relays, effortlessly. Reports come in of the Hounds closing off the Carnival District, and the rest of the Kirayth know in seconds.
The first of the Kirayth falls, the psychic backlash streaking like lightning into Telenias.
He does not flinch.