“Ah, there you are,” Ral says walking onto the balcony.
Tomik continues to watch the scene below before turning. Scores of construction workers go about repairing the church. He already knows where this conversation is headed and hasn’t been looking forward to it. “I wish I could go with you.”
Ral smirks, shakes his head, “I know you do, but this is my burden.”
“At least take a guildmage with you. Let me send one of ours. The older ones can both heal and harm—”
Ral’s shaking his head. Takes three steps, closing the distance between them, “I have to do this alone.” He takes hold of Tomik’s arms.
“The recent graduates are able to lock down large…This isn’t even what’s bothering me. I know you’ll be fine. I’m projecting.”
Ral tilts his head, takes a half step back. “What do you mean?”
Tomik runs his fingers over the cloth at his wrist. “I don’t know how to do this…Lead a guild. It’s,” he sighs, “a lot. I’ve overseen entire sections of city planning, organized dozens of contractors, led projects that cost sums you wouldn’t believe, but to have the weight of the entire guild”—he touches the cloth again. “You leaving only makes it worse.”
“Trial by fire,” Ral’s eyes twinkle. “What’s it they say? From the water of need rises the beauty of creation?”
“I believe it’s “The water of need births grand design”, at least that’s how I’ve heard it.
“Sounds about right. You’ll do great.”
“Tell me something.”
“You’ve been the head of the Izzet, what is it you’ve learned? Give me some advice. Don’t give me that line about figuring it out. I already have enough figuring it out on my hands.”
“Ah, hmm,” Ral heads across the balcony. Leans against the stone carved gargoyle. “Well I guess the biggest thing is to make sure you’ve got good people around you. If you try and oversee every little thing you’ll lose your mind. Delegate, but make sure you can trust those you surround yourself with. Figure out who answers to who. That’s one thing you Orzhov have better than anyone.” He rocks his head side-to-side. “Well, okay, the Boros might have it better.”
“What’re you talking about? I’ve told you a thousand times I can’t read your thoughts. What do we have better than anyone?”
“Oh, right. Hierarchy. A whole system of who’s-who. Who answers to whom. This cleric, this pontiff, this…whatever, I don’t know all their titles.” Ral touches first finger to thumb, pulls them apart and watches electricity dance in the space.
“I have nothing like that,” says Tomik. “Or how Kaya could pass through walls. I feel like I should if I’m going to lead them.”
Ral laughs. “This”—he turns his palm down, a small lightning bolt strikes the stone—”doesn’t help me lead the Izzet.” He spots movement at his vision’s periphery and turns just in time to see the gargoyle’s stone tail thump him in the leg. Ral jumps back, “Holy…Mother of…I totally forgot about him. Good grief.”
Tomik chuckles. “You think I climbed the stairs?”
“You have lightening—all the inventions of the Izzet. Kaya has her ghostwalking. I have…I have him,” he nods towards his gargoyle mount.
“And all the money in the world at your disposal. And,” Ral touches a finger to Tomik’s forehead, “this.”
Tomik grins, nods. “Thank you. Maybe that’s all I wanted to hear. A vote of confidence.”
Ral smirks. “You’ll do fine and I’ll be back before you know it.”