Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Seer and the Mage

Dragoneyes was one of a handful of mages tasked with building up defenses for the towns of Allus and Pire. He spoke the Names of stone and wood and iron, and walls erupted from the ground. Working alongside him was Molano, the mage who had questioned Dragoneyes' integrity after he first arrived. He was tasked with enchanting the newly erected barriers, to make them still harder to pass. And, despite himself, Molano had to admit he was impressed. "I don't think I've ever seen a team of four mages work as well as you," he said.
"Have you ever seen a team of four mages that didn't immediately start bickering?"
Molano admitted that he hadn't.
Dragoneyes continued to order the elements to his bidding. He spoke the Names, not as Names, but as a music. A music never heard before by human ears. Dragoneyes found himself more and more in tune with his words. The power was his, and he was the power. Every bit of wood, of iron, of fire and water and stone and silver and glass, was his. And it was good.

The door opened, not because Dragoneyes touched it, but because he wanted it to be open. "This power," he said, "it grows stronger in me every day." He walked into the room, and sat beside Cassinder's bed, a stone chair forming beneath him.
"It does," Cassinder said. "And you fear it."
"I worry that I am changing. All of this knowledge, all of this power. I worry that I am gaining so much that I am losing what made me myself."
"You will," Cassinder said. "You were a man named Bashra. Now you are named Dragoneyes, and you are greater than any man."
"Am I? Am I greater? Does my power make me great, or does my knowledge make me a vassal to the forces of the world?" Dragoneyes' chair changed, first into a throne, then into a rickety edifice at the mercy of a passing draft. Dragoneyes seemed not to notice.
"Then what do you want," Cassinder asked. "To shirk your duties? To break with the order of the world, and to follow your own path?"
"I don't know what I want."
Cassinder put his arm around his shoulder. "It is a shame that we know so little."
Dragoneyes drew closer to her. His cloak was a brilliant red, contrasting with her white robes. "I'm sorry. I see the guilt you carry. You... so many terrible things you must have seen, but been unable to prevent. We both see, but when I dislike what I see..." Fire danced in the mage's fingers. "My complaints must seem hollow to you. Here I complain to be too fully in control of what I see, while you stand alone before a tempest visible only to yourself."
The mage stood. "I will wipe away the terrors from your vision. I will remove the darkness from your sight. I see my duty, and it is one I will carry out proudly. I will orchestrate the flow of the world, so that all may be well. I will turn Koteph to ash. I will end oppression in the Etoran Empire and bring eternal sunlight to the frozen north. I have the power, and I will eradicate the evils of this world, for you, for everyone."
Cassinder looked longingly at him, her heart filled with hope. But her expression hardened "You know that you cannot do any of those things."
"I know I can't do them yet," said the red-cloaked figure. "But the future is long and the world is wide, and I will find a way."

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