Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chapter 1, pt. 4

Silay sat and the Seer pulled a map from a niche in the wall and spread it out on the table. Next to it she placed a soft leather pouch from which she removed a tiny sphere. It looked like it was made of glass, but on closer inspection Silay saw that its surface was constantly shifting shades of blues and greens. Tentatively, she reached out and touched it. “A farstone?”
The Seer nodded. “I’m not the only one who has been watching for signs of the plague. I’ve been using the farstone to speak with other seers. And we all see the same thing. Do you know how to read a map?”
“Yes. We’re taught in school.”
“Good.” The Seer touched the small dot that represented Dagrosa. “This is where we are. And this—” she touched a point far to the northwest “is where, as far as we have been able to work out, the plague starts.”
“But if it starts so far away, how does it spread all the way to Dagrosa?”
“That is one of the things we can’t see. We see the disease, see it spreading, but we don’t know how. If the Healers knew about how it spreads, if they knew before the outbreaks begin, they may be able to stop it, or at least slow it down.” She looked up at Silay. “Do you understand?”
“I think so.” Silay was quiet for a moment, considering. “But how would you figure out how it’s spreading?”
“Someone would need to be there when it started, need to watch it spread, and get the information out.”
“But can’t you tell the Healers to do that?”
“We already have. And it didn’t change what we saw. The Healers all die before anyone can work it out.”
Silay furrowed her brows. “I don’t understand. I thought you said there was hope.”
“There is.” The Seer grasped Silay’s hand across the table. “We see all our plans, all our defenses fail. But you move unseen. Even you just being in the town where it starts could change things. There’s no way to know. But I think it’s worth trying.”
Silay shook her head. “If I went, wouldn’t I just get sick like the healers?”
“More than likely.”
“But then—”
“But why?” The Seer tightened her grasp. “Because there’s also a chance you might not. A chance you might undo all the events that lead to the plague spreading.”
Silay let her eyes drop to the table. “I’m not a hero. You said so. But you’re talking about sending me on a quest.”
“I am.”
“I could die.”
“You could.” The Seer paused. “But then, you could also stay here and die of the plague anyways.”
Silay thought for a moment. “When would I need to start?”
The Seer shook her head. “Ordinarily, I would I would spend a few days scrying, looking at different paths and futures, then advise you when and where to go. But that’s not an option with you.” The Seer stood. “One thing I know is this: the disease spreads fast. Time is of the essence. Go home, think about it. And if you are willing to make the attempt, I think you should leave tomorrow. Come to me in the morning and I’ll have everything you need packed.”
Silay stood too. “I’ll…I’ll think about it.”
The Seer nodded. “Good. Oh, and Silay?”
“I imagine you’ll wish to speak with your parents. That is fine, but it would be best not to mention that there is a plague coming. Can you do that?”
“I can.”
“Good. Very good.”
And for the second time that day, Silay made the journey from the Seer’s cabin to her home.
Farstone. Do you have any idea how hard it was to find a name for stone that wasn't already used by a card game, RPG, or another fantasy story? What is it with fantasies and magic stones? How unoriginal can you be? ...Oh. Right. I did say this story was going to have a lot of cliches, didn't I? 

1 comment:

  1. Proofreading :)

    northwest “is where, (,)
    before the outbreaks begin, they may be (began, might)
    sick like the healers (Healers)
    I would I would spend (extra "I would")