Snippets of dreams haunted me, more nightmares than dreams. I was back on the night of the fire surge, ribbons of power twisting through the air. The magic screaming at me to help, to fix it, to heal it. The white stone of Westhaven shone sickly in my sight as I ran to the poor surge’s side.
His pain washed through me, the sickness of his power like the breath of death, of corruption in the air. I could feel myself crying, the tears burning, living this moment again. His final moment. I tried to do anything else. I pulled power to close his link but it was too far gone. Like fixing the broken door of your house when the roof was gone, futile measures that did nothing. I saw his mouth open in a scream, the scent of ashes and burning flesh filled my nostrils. His voice was lost to the roaring of the flames. His last words gone.
A shimmering of the magic pulsed and his final moments replayed. His screams which I’d not been able to hear over the fire roaring out of him before, came through with crystal clarity. The tears I’d shed dried on my face, the heat from his fire scorching as I sealed him in stone. A coffin.
Then I was at the foundry, sinking the district. I was alone this time. The unfound dead buried under stone at my command, sunk below the ground and sealed. Their voices carried in the wind. Each a different accusation.
“You didn’t save us.”
“Our deaths are on your hands.”
“Sealed in stone, locked from our rest.”
I fell to my knees, tears ran unabashed down my face. I looked at the smooth whiteness of my home, it didn’t look white now, grey with streaks of darkness flowing through, shadows of the deeds done here.
“Be gone, and trouble him no more. He did his best, that is more than any other has done for you.” A voice came from all around me. Loud and booming it echoed across the smooth expanse of space.
“Wake up Tristan, you don’t need to be here. You did what you could.”
The magic pulsed again, and I fell it a dreamless yet fitful sleep.
Dawn greeted me awake, just laying wrapped in my blanket not moving. I hurt too much to risk moving and I was too scared to sleep more. That nightmare may have ended but it brought it all back. The pain. The guilt. The fear.
The early light just touched the crystals, they shone like miniature suns each feeding off the other. I raised my arm, it hurt oddly, to shield my eyes from the glare. Inside the ring was Vesic standing in the centre, his cloak of embers refracted the light like drops of water each producing a tiny rainbow. It was beautiful and terrifying. This was the god in all his might, a master of fire and light. This is what the mages of old could do. Blazing like stars in the masses of dim sleepers. This is what I could do if I let my power run unchecked. Not fire and light, but earth and stone. In my mind I could see myself standing tall, each step I took shaking the ground, a floating nimbus of gems whirling round my head like a crown. My enemies fell to me as I stepped forwards, some to a single gem through their body, others to spikes of stone rising from the ground. Blood covered the soil, each drop a life ended. The hungry earth drank it all. I could feel it: every death being absorbed, nourishing the earth. In my vision I laughed, a rising sense of invincibility as I watched men die for standing in my way. I could see a city in the distance, high walled and thick gated. The gates were closed but I walked forwards, at my back the dead rose armoured in stone. Each a puppet to my will. Their amour, my creation. My gift, to let the dead walk again. I could hear something whispering in my ear, not words but feelings, a sense of conquest. I could crush this city to dust. Wipe the petty little insects scurrying through the flesh of the earth that they had cut loose, disconnecting it from its source. Glimmers of magic flowed through the walls but with this much power running through me I could crush it just the same. I stretched out my hand and my will, and commanded the walls to fall.
And like water melting from ice they did, a sheet of falling stone flowing to the base.
Even from here I could hear the screams of the dims, sleepers too weak to grasp the power they were born to command. A few reached for it but the magic plane was unstable, slanted towards me. Vague half formed charms and expressions lashed out feebly. I barely even noticed
I threw my own expressions. Buildings crumbled and shattered. Towers fell and underneath it all was this feeling of power and exhilaration.
My army of dead ran through the gap where the wall had been. No sounds from them but their targets shrieked, I’d left the helms of their helmets open to strike terror into the hearts of all who opposed me.
“Get up mage,” came a voice and I felt a kick in the side.
Back in the clearing still wrapped in my blanket, I saw Brendon stood over me looking down.
“We have far to go today. We can’t do that with you laying there fantasising about some woman.” he looked pointedly at me. His gaze flickering to my groin.
Id tented my blanket.
I flushed red with embarrassment, mumbled an apology and curved my body to hide it.
He moved away to the tree line and left me to get ready.
I wasn’t thinking about Lyphia, I’d been daydreaming about something very different. It had caused that reaction. My earlier flush drained as I felt a rising from my stomach. I rolled over and splattered vomit over the earth of the camp.
I wiped my mouth and stood on shaky and painful legs. The burning pain of muscles that protested their abuse sung through my body. I stepped heavily, all grace gone, to the makeshift pump. The cool water cleared my mouth but my mind was scattered.
Where had the vision come from? Something Jase had said, he always warned us about overuse of our gifts he just never said why. Exhaustion is a common problem, I’d always assumed that it would be fatal or just seriously damaging, like after the foundry. But yesterday I’d not pulled that much power that I’d burned out my channels. I’d been constant and steady, no wild pulses or savage surges. I tried to examine my thoughts, but they ran from me like a flock of birds from a child. I couldn’t just shrug and dismiss this. The vision had been intense and my reaction to it had felt normal at the time. Now it sickened me.
I picked up my clothes and jammed my body into them.
My blanket went into my bag and then that was swung over my shoulder.
I looked back at the blazing crystals, momentarily thinking about charming them. There was no heat and it would fade shortly, I was a bit surprised they had lasted through the night. They would be frayed enough to collapse by the time the sun cleared the horizon. The circle could remain. It might give shelter to anyone else that came this way.
I walked to Brendon, he waited for me at the edge of the trees.
“Are we running today?”
“There is no need. You did what you needed to do. We can walk now.”
“Then I would like a few moments to attempt something.”
“Very well. We leave as soon as you are ready.”
I’d had an idea in the night. It wasn’t as clear as I would like but if I didn’t try I would never know if it could work
I walked over to the road, well it wasn’t a road but a track that was barely worn through the forest, there were small outcropping of stone scattered here and there. A type of granite that I’d never seen before last night.
I headed to the nearest, the dark grey smudge barely visible where it just poked above the earth.
I touched it and opened my senses. The stone shimmered in my sight, individual crystals in its structure catching, no producing its own energies. I pulled the stone up from the ground with my power. It was rough and large, far larger than id expected with a first glance. Larger than Brendon and myself combined. The loose soil shivered off in a cloud of dust. I set it down on the path then got to work.
I charmed it.
Enchantment would have worked if I’d had the time to work it out. Free form on a natural shape would have fallen apart in a bad way. With explosions probably. The charm was simple a repulsion, much like one that deterred pests, this one was tailored to repel the earth. Magnetism is a thing we learnt about at the academy. It wasn’t magnetism I used but the idea of it. And movement. To push it along. I checked each thread they looked balanced. Bright and vibrant. The concepts were clear, their interactions looked to be straightforward. I charged it then stepped back.
The stone lurched into the air a few feet. It then settled back down and hovered just above the earth waiting for us.
“Brendon, we have transport.”
“That is a rock.”
“Correction this is a floating rock. It will carry us.”
He walked over and poked it. The rock kind of bobbed. An unsteady wobble.
“It doesn’t look all that stable”
“It probably isn’t, but it will do. I can hold it securely enough for us to mount. Get on.”
He just looked at me warily.
I smiled at him and nodded towards the rock.
He placed both hands on the stone and pulled himself onto it.
I exerted a bit of pressure to hold it still.
He managed to get securely placed on it, although the nervousness of earlier didn’t go anywhere.
A small expression made a stair of earth for me to climb. I stepped up and sat next to Brendon.
Feeling a rising sense of mirth as I looked at Brendon’s face, his doubts and fears so clear to me. I shouted a line is heard my father say to the hunting hound we had kept when I was a child
“Away. We hunt.”
Brendon just looked at me.
The rock did nothing.
My smile wilted, a touch. Not quite the dramatic flair I was hoping for.
I looked down at the rock, calling up my sight.
There didn’t appear to be anything wrong with it, maybe I’d crafted a useless charm. Something that was never going to work. Power did seem to be flowing, so where was it going?
I scratched my chin, needed a shave, but that’s not important right now.
The energies it was producing were being directed through the threads, they were going-
“Brendon get off. Run.
“Go go go,” I said as I pushed him off.
He landed on his face in the dirt.
“Run, it’s going to explode if I don’t fix it.”
Brendon didn’t waste any time, he was on his feet running in a moment.
I sunk deeper, I’d miscalculated the threads. They didn’t have an outlet and the power was building up.
A shiver went through the stone. They crystals inside it vibrating, a low whine filled the air.
I started ripping threads out and trying to place overflows and diversions. The power was feeding on its self-locking the threads into place.
I wasn’t going to get this done. It was going to explode.
I jumped off, and I ran. My legs carried me further than id expected, not far enough.
The whining in the air grew filling the forest with the sound of a million angry bees. Then a crack and another. Then more from my left.
The stone splintered and exploded, shards flew at me. I felt a few hit my coat each impact hard enough to bruise.
The sound didn’t stop.
I slowed and turned, the stone was gone but the charm architecture hung in the air, glowing.
The buzzing bee sound continued.
I could see other rocks buried in the earth with matching patterns. I could feel tremors.
“Brendon don’t stop we have to get gone”
“Why? The stone is destroyed?”
“Don’t be stupid. Magic is rarely so simple. Just run. Don’t stop.”
We ran as fast as our legs could carry us through the forest that soon wasn’t a forest. Shredded leaves and splintered wood filled the air with vast amounts of dust.
Fire bloomed on all sides as we ran and the air grew hot. Like a furnace.
The edge of the forest was miles away and I had no idea how far the effect had spread.
“The mage will think of something, of course he will. It just results in explosions and fire.”
“Shut up” I gasped out. “How was I supposed to know we was far enough away for sympathy to come in to play?”
“You are a mage you are supposed to know. It’s all in the name, you are named magic, what do you expect?”
“I don’t know but a bit of slack would be nice.”
Our conversation was cut short by the roaring firestorm behind us. The air was being sucked into it. Smaller explosions could be heard over the roar.
We ran, I pulled power to supplement myself, the cool flow took over. I ran like a horse, like an animal, natural and graceful. The roots and bumps of the forest flow didn’t disturb me.
Brendon kept up with no perceivable problems. There was something odd there.
“What are we doing?” Brendon shouted of the fire.
“We are running. Away from that.”
“If we don’t get away there is no after that.”
“Use magic then.
“I don’t have fire, earth and water aren’t going to do much against that.”
“Then I’m going to have to call Vesic.”
“I don’t think he is going to be too happy about this.”
“Me either but you can’t fix it. He can.”
“Do it, quickly then. It’s over taking us.”
“You can’t outrun everything,” Brendon said, a strange note in his voice. Almost wistful.
I didn’t say anything to that just kept running.
“Vesic I call on you to aid me, I beseech you to lay your hand over your vessel in this moment of need.”
That was weird, the first time I’d met Brendon he had called Vesic silently. Now he was calling out.
The transformation didn’t happen, Brendon was still Brendon but a glow hovered over him.
Threads exploded out of him. Each going to a fragment of fire. The flames froze and the air stopped.
The explosions continued for a few moments.
I turned back and looked.
Black and burnt. We had covered maybe ten miles in our run. All that was behind us was burnt and ruined. Land torn, chunks just torn out. Trees just gone. It was all a smoking ruin. The firestorm hung frozen in the air. It’s reaching fingers drawing back in.
Brendon let out a small moan and collapsed.
The fires collapsed with him.
All I could smell was dust and ashes. The level of destruction was greater than I could have guessed. More than I’d ever seen before. Smoke drifted on the wind.
This looked like my dreams. Not exactly but close. Visions of the future weren’t likely, the few seers there were went mad reading every little trace and permutation in the magic. There was just too much to see. Everything interacted. But the hopes and dreams of what could be twisted, all that expectation, emotion, can warp the magic. Even without magic all that pressure on people can do strange things.
This wasn’t even a magical conflagration, it started that way and was echoed in the magic plane, fire was there, lots of fire. But it would die down. The damage done though was mundane, nothing I could do about it. At least not without extensive time here.
I looked down at Brendon, he had burnt himself out channelling Vesic’s power without the god actually coming himself. All just to fix a mistake that I had made.
This was a scar on the land, another one.
Is this what my life as a mage would be?
I fell to my knees over the still form of Brendon and stared off into the destruction I had wrought.
The rest of the day was basically sitting there waiting for Brendon to wake up. I did find a small bit of the granite that had caused all this. The crystals in it bled power into the air. Not a lot of power but enough to lock the threads into a feedback loop. Like a river starts as a tiny trickle and as it grows and joins tributaries it gets locked into its bed, changing the flow of a river is hard, it’s been done a few times in history but it normally involved building a bed for it to travel down and teams of mages redirecting each joining tributary. I saw my mistake though by not giving it a direct outlet right away id let it build. And sympathy, which normally isn’t an issue because I’d never been away from home before. Out here though the granite was all born in the same moment, the same event. It would of course be all the same, and I stupidly didn’t account for it.
I threw the rock away in disgust with myself. I was stupid and cocky.
I looked over the devastation again.
This is what being stupid costs, the price doesn’t land on me it falls on the land.
I was disturbed from my thoughts by a groan.
Brendon was stirring.
I rushed over to his side.
His eyes opened as his sat up. He saw what there was to see.
“All this from a rock?”
“Very funny you know it wasn’t just the one.
“Why are we still here?
“I didn’t want to risk moving you, your link was strange. It grounded into the land. It appears to be normal now but I didn’t know what moving you would do.”
“We have to get going, duty deferred is as bad as duty ignored.
“Are you well enough to move?
“I have to be. I feel a bit worse for wear but I can run.
“I’d rather not run. I have another idea. I wasn’t to talk to you about it first though.
“Probably best, what is it?
“I can make us golem shells. They would be expressions not charms or enchantments. They should be safe.”
“Shells? And what’s the difference?
“I thought you had all of Vesic’s knowledge.
“No I never said that. I have seen his experiences doesn’t mean I have the same understanding. It’s the difference between watching someone swim and being able to do it yourself.
“Well an expression is a constant drain on me I would have to pay attention to it all the time. Charms and enchantments are set. I just do the work once and it carries on.”
“You took a shortcut and caused all this?”
“It wasn’t a shortcut it would have been efficient if I wasn’t an idiot.”
“Can you do anything about the damage?”
“I already have. Wood is the same everywhere. Different trees but they grow everywhere. I wish I was better with water or had any clue about air but wood I can handle. I’ve charmed a few trees that survived to increase their reproduction.”
I pointed to a line of trees that I’d charmed. They were in bloom already. Ready to take back the area within a few days. The charm should last long enough to regrow maybe half the area in the next month or two. It wasn’t a great solution but it was all I had for now. I resolved to come back here and do more when I could.
“And these shells entail what?”
“Well I call the earth and focus it into shape and we sit on it. It will run for us.”
“Don’t. We will walk. That way you can have more time to think about it. Nelar is different. You don’t want to be handling magic there.” Brendon stood and started walking, leaving the scarred land behind him.
I took one more look back then followed him.
“How did you do what you did?”
“I can’t tell you.”
It’s not mine to tell.
“Oh. Do you think Vesic will tell me?”
I doubt it. He likes you but secrets are what he thrives on.”
We walked gently through the remains of the forest. There wasn’t much further to go before we would be out of it entirely. The mountains looming in the distance, every step we took taking us closer to my duty. Possibly to my death.
My sword weighted heavily on me. It was the symbol of what had caused all this. Sophia, Lyphia, Jase and Airis all waited on my return and I couldn’t even be certain I would return. My mission, I don’t even know what I was supposed to do. Expand the reach of the council. Vague and unhelpful. Useless.
Do you know what I should do when we get there?
Do you duty. That’s what you mages are fond of saying isn’t it?
I hate that saying, it’s useless. Duty doesn’t tell me anything. Do I do as instructed? Do I make it up as I go along?
Do what you feel you must. You have orders, follow them.
My orders don’t cover anything. They are an end result they aren’t instructions.
Tristan, I can help you. I have very little control of my own life, I share my mind and body with a god. I didn’t choose that. You chose to be a mage, why?
I want to help people. I want the world to be better than it is. All I seem to be is make it worse.
Magic isn’t a cure all. It’s a wonderful dangerous thing. You can’t fix the world with magic. There is no magic wand that will make people’s lives better, people will always be people, they will lie and cheat they will hurt others you can’t fix that with magic.
Is magic harmful then?
Tristan think about it. You are in the perfect position to know if magic is good or bad.
It’s a tool, it’s the hand that wields it.
Yes it is. And the hand that wields it is mortal. Do you really think it makes things better or does it just cause more problems?
Both. It does both.
Like any tool. A sword is a tool. With it you can protect or destroy. You could go out and kill indiscriminately or you could deter an enemy from fighting in the first place. You have to think Tristan. There are no easy answers.
Magic helps people grow crops, it cleans water that would otherwise kill. It can heal.
And it can do what happened back there. It can perpetuate wars and change people. Power corrupts all things.
You think I’m corrupted.
No, not yet. I think you lean on your magic to cover for you. It’s the first tool you reach for. It’s all you know, and you think you can fix everything with it.
I wanted to be able to argue with him but he was right. I tried to fix everything with magic. Even though I knew it wasn’t the answer.
We fell into silence then. We just walked.
Dusk found us far from the forest. The mountains filled the sky. The air was cooling and bugs were flying around.
Brendon said, “Make camp. No magic. Vesic will be here and he wants to talk to you.”
I swallowed hard at the thought of getting chewed out by a god.
I looked around the plains didn’t have any cover. I just dropped my bag and pulled out my blanket and food. I lay the blanket on the ground and sat eating the hard travel meat and bread.
Brendon was facing into the setting sun as I was starting to see was his habit. The transformation was different though, there was not gentle flowing into another form, this was savage. Actual sounds came from Brendon’s body as it changed. On first look Brendon and Vesic were about the same size, it turns out they aren’t. Vesic is a few inches taller and broader. The god was stretching Brendon’s body like wet clay, with more crunch. The cracking of bones and the almost whimpering noises from their mouth made me want to go and help. But there was nothing I could do. There was no wound. No injury as such. There was just this transformation which if I understood Brendon correctly was natural for them.
I remained on the blanket. I felt like a coward but anything I could do was likely to make it worse.
“Tristan, you endangered my vessel. What do you have to say for yourself?”
“It was an accident.”
“Is that all you can say? Do you feel that that excuses you from responsibility?”
“No, that excuses nothing. It was a statement of fact. I didn’t intend what happened.”
“Intent has nothing to do with it. Results are the core of this matter. Intent will not keep you alive in Nelar. Nor does it make amends for the damage you have done to Us.”
“Damage? What damage?”
That is not for you to know. You owe amends.
“How am I supposed to pay you anything? You are a god you want for nothing.”
“Not to me, to my vessel. He is a good man that is fulfilling my sworn word.
“He may be a good man but I did nothing to him. He didn’t need to.”
“Need doesn’t matter either. You owe him, this might not be a huge debt if you resolve it quickly.”
“What does he want?”
“You will have to ask him.”
I nodded to signal my understanding.
“There is no sword training tonight. I wish to discuss something with you.”
I did my best to look attentive and to keep my mouth shut.
“Your ideas on transport are good, but you are out in the world now. The things you have been taught aren’t all true here. There are large gaps in what you should know, that you just haven’t been taught at all.”
“What am I missing? And why didn’t I get taught all this?”
“Why? I’m not able to answer that but I have my suspicions. That won’t help you. What you are missing is the shifting details. You can’t be taught some of them in the class room. You have to learn them from experience. I know you don’t understand sympathy.”
“I do actually. I just didn’t realise I needed to keep it in mind already.”
I don’t care. I’m going to teach you now anyway. Sympathy is all about the likeness of things. Pieces of what was once one thing have large amounts of sympathy. Connected on a level most. Magical effects can travel between them easily, that is what happened today. Contagion. Effects have to be contained. Materials that you are familiar with reduced the risk of contagion. That’s why you have never needed to think about it before. There is no room in this world for a thoughtless mage. You have too much power and the tendency to use it to remain a child.
I’m not a child. I have been through the academy. I passed all my classes.
Back in my day we didn’t have an academy, but back then we didn’t have all the fancy terms. We beseeched the spirits.
Back in your day? I don’t know what you mean by that.
Gods don’t just spring into being. We grow from a seed. I had a mortal life before.
There is life beyond death? We don’t get taught that.
Why would you? Is it relevant to your duty? Does it have any real impact on your life?
It might. We weren’t taught about ghost or reading. What were we taught? It seems there is a huge amount that is missing.
Your entire studies are to make it easy for you to use magic. Most of the non-magical topics get covered when you are beyond that stage. You never reached there. You don’t have mage parents. You never served the nobles. You don’t have the knowledge to understand most of the later topics.
How does not serving the nobles affect any of that?
You are the first of a new breed of mages. If they give you everything you won’t think when you encounter these things. It may save events like today but you will become a rote mage, doing things out of habit and ‘we were taught this’.
They refuse to teach us just because of this.
Not just because of this, but just think for a moment. You have access to the archives. You can find out anything you want or need to for yourself. You don’t need teaching beyond what you know. You need to be able to find knowledge for yourself.
But you are teaching me.
Yes I am teaching you now. Because you seem to have missed the point of your entire education. You spent years locked in the academy. You were taught to question. You were taught to find the answers for yourself. Why is it that you get released you just accept everything as you find it?
Obedience was taught too.
Obedience has its place, but that doesn’t mean your mind should be switched off. You have your reading. Look for answers. Look for questions. There is everything you need all around you. Now, how are you planning on dealing with transport? We have many miles to cover.
I tried to make a flying rock today, you know how that worked out. I don’t know how to get there any quicker. Brendon keeps saying how using magic in Nelar is going to be a problem, but he won’t say how. Until I know that I’m stuck.
Worry about Nelar when we get there. For now you should think carefully about a method of transport. I have some ideas.
Earth is about all I can use. Water isn’t in abundance here and I need something solid to anchor it to.
You don’t need anything to anchor it too at all. You can build the architecture. It doesn’t need to be attached to anything. Why are you still thinking in elements? I thought they would break you of that.
It’s easier for me to think like that. Its how magic feels to me.
Easier? If you wanted easier you should have chosen another life. Learn to think boy.
I do think, I just don’t want to make mistakes.
Mistakes are inevitable. You won’t learn if you don’t make mistakes. Fear of failure will limit you faster than anything else.
I don’t fear failure. I fear the consequences of failure. People die. Things get destroyed.
“Destruction is part of the natural order of things. Fearing it won’t help you. While mistakes should be avoided, you will make them. Just accept it as part of your learning.
“That’s easy for you to say. I have to live with the consequences.”
“That isn’t easy for me. You know nothing about me boy, but what I have told you.”
“Were you the mage king?” I asked remembering the dream.
Vesic said nothing. He turned away from me.
“Think through your options, work it out before you do anything,” he said. “Now get some rest. Brendon will discuss things in the morning. Keep in mind your debt to him.”
“I will. Good night,” I said laying down on my blanket and closing my eyes.
I dreamt of architecture. Concept forms and enchantments. My reading activated sometime during the night. Filling my head with energy patterns from all around me. The visions of before still lingered but this area hadn’t seen much activity of mortals. The weight of history was absent. I’d never even noticed how heavy it was in Westhaven. I didn’t have the eyes to see it before, but my life had inured me to the worst of it. The daily rituals of civilisation left marks. The steps of men and women on their way to work. The little dramas of a bump in the street. The petty aggravations and grievances that build-up of the years, all these leave marks that can be read. That can force themselves into the mind, like a pebble in a shoe. Out here the world was shorn of that context. It was natural in a way I’d never really seen before. It was fresh and new born.
I sat up and rubbed my eyes. My sleep hadn’t been refreshing, I felt as tired as I had the night before, but I did have an idea. An enchantment. If it worked like I thought it would, we would be in Nelar by noon tomorrow.
I looked in my bag for anything that could be of use. The sword next to it glimmered in the pre-dawn light, cold and uncertain, like ice. Treacherous footing. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but the sword had a weight of expectation to it that sent shivers down my spine.
I did pack some blanks. Not many they aren’t exactly cheap. But in my hunt for things I would need I’d realised that having something to enchant might help win the people of Nelar to the wizard cause. Seven small blank discs, I’d even remembered a healing charm that while not being a charm was well enough named. It would heal small wounds and injuries. It might even help with sickness. It was inert right now. Being small its ability to function for extended periods of time was limited. Better for it to be inactive than risk its architecture warping, it was always a risk for enchantments. Prolonged use or misuse, various environmental factors, even improper users could all damage the magical structures while leaving the physical intact and nothing to mark the damage. A large part of a Mage’s workload was inspecting enchantments for damages. The sort of thing we do in the course of our normal duties. We go somewhere and while we are there we have a look around for any old degraded enchants. We normally report them and someone gets sent out to refresh them. There are a few occasions where we have to void them. Just to prevent harm.
I lay the blank discs in my hand, just looking at them. Their dull yet oddly reflective surface shone weakly in the light, somehow showing my face looking back at me. I closed my eyes and felt my way into the dense crystalline structure. Inside was nothingness, all feeling from my body dropped away. I floated without form in the light less void of its magical imprint, a sense of waiting came over me. The disc was waiting for purpose. I gave it purpose. I laid my specially constructed concepts, each one layered, a central core with webs of ideas and thoughts tangled in a complicated shaped like a woven spiders web twisted upon itself into a solid block. Gravity is a function of matter. Turning it to my own guidance was simple, although fine control is a different subject. I wove thread after thread of limitations and controls. The brilliant threads shone in the darkness a building web of light that surrounded me.
The day had truly begun whilst I worked in the blackness. The early sun shone down on my back casting shadows the earth. The blanks in my hand were no longer blank, their surface shimmered with glints of coloured light, like worms of lightning crawling over them.
I looked over to where I had seen Vesic last night, Brendon was in his place staring at the sun. As seemed to be his habit. I should really figure out what it was about the sun that affected Brendon and Vesic, this day/night cycle was strange.
“Brendon, I owe you thanks for yesterday. Vesic informed me that it cost you something, he wouldn’t say what.”
Brendon didn’t turn to face me. He didn’t twitch or give an indication that he heard me.
I stood and walked to him, placing a hand on his shoulder.
He turned then.
I fell back in shock. His eyes were gone, replaced by blazing orbs of fire, burning in colours not found in nature. Purples and greens mixed with blues and deep ruby reds.
“What’s happened to your eyes?”
“The dawn has woken Vesic’s gift. My eyes are gone and I see with my lord’s true sight.”
“Is this because of the thing you did yesterday?”
“Not just that but that may have been the tipping point. This has been coming since I came with you, the constant possession has changed me.”
“Alright so this is normal for you, okay let’s move on. I’ve got transport arranged. What are your views on flying?”