All-Seeing I

1629, Sea, Disorder Week, Wildday to Harmony Week, Freezeday


Lord Raven is waiting for Berra, and has far too much time alone. Session SA4.3.


Wildday fades. He considers forming himself to eat. He wants a snack. He wants anything physical. Ordering food and then being unable to eat it would give an indication of the problem…

Ah, yes. Not from the kitchens, but something to keep in her rooms or his. Dried fruit, roasted nuts… walking fare for those who do not have better options, but it will do.

When Amling comes in he forms, makes conversation, and lightly adds the request. By the time dawn comes he has a few minutes more.

Salted pears. There is no worse taste in the Temple.

Lord Raven does not dream, but sometimes visions drift past him, products of a traitorous imagination. His father’s disdain has followed him, finding a way to shortcut the years and wake once more with a young man. While perfectly honourable, Lord Tamain held Silor in greater esteem. Raven cannot fly from that, no matter how broad his wings grow.

His father is gone now. That should have been obvious, and yet until Silor told him, it did not sink in. What of it, if his brother was chief of the Cinder Foxes? Tamain was unkillable, a power greater than any.

She has no clarity. No style, or class, or breeding, or education. To have that as part of him is an offence. Towards dawn on Godday she has no magic to offer him.

He waits resentfully until Yelm is established in the sky, and then considers his options. Finally, he does what he has been putting off. There are several sources of information in the fortress temple. Disliking them is an insufficient reason to remain ignorant.

Eril is nearing the top of the steps when Athanu reports. Request: inform me when Lord Raven uses any of the named paths of information. Used: Initiate Athanu

What did he request?

Lord Raven sought the last known actions and whereabouts of the Wyter Priest Berra.

Not unexpected.

He further requested the rules for asking for such information. He was informed that it was provided freely at your will.

While true, ill-timed. We will visit him in person on our return to the Temple.

Query reason.

He must feel I value him. We shall take him to the inner altar tonight.

I now comprehend.

People are weak, Athanu. It is for us to drive that weakness out.

The sudden intimacy is abhorrent. Lord Raven feels himself picked up from the altar, by a hand that knows his weight. A forefinger hooks over his crossguard, and a strong grip holds the scabbard.

He comes mind to mind with a Hero, in the form of a mortal man. Suddenly aware of the shapes around him, Lord Raven has no time to wonder how. Athanu is placed in his stead. He senses the sword. He senses the sword.

After so long trapped in a place that seemed to have no edges, that owned no delineation, he knows he has a form. He feels Death within himself and all around him. He is the act of separation. He is–trapped again.

The brief moment ends, and Raven would cry out if he could. Even that cold, cruel mind is preferable to the darkness and the emptiness. He reaches out blindly, wildly; his panic is met.

Peace until drawn. We go to a task now. That voice will never be warm or welcoming, but for the first time, Lord Raven finds comfort in the competence. He will do his duty, because of who he is, but it is good to have a direction.

There are no words to describe what it feels like to be drawn by a demigod. Lord Raven feels judged, and known, entirely. Eril’s attention is half on him, half on the blade. Raven observes unforgiving eyes and the steady strong hand with equal clarity, the same as lets him observe the walls, the altar, the great height of this room. There is a lot to take in. He tries to take a deep breath to steady himself.

“Calm,” the great voice tells him, and he trusts it. Only then does he realise he heard as well as felt it.

There is a strong hand guiding him. He is judged and weighed. He feels decision and action.

He forgets the exhaustion of the mortal body he saw on Death’s Day, and the miracle they wove into the dance together. He is a weapon held by Lord Eril, who is infallible, eternal.

He feels himself moving, as the hand that holds him moves, but there is no dizziness, only an understanding of where he is in space. Lord Raven feels the grip on him change, and sees Eril step onto the open floor of this almost-bare space.

It is a meditation. Eril shows him by example what the simplest of exercises means. Each slice is Death. Each movement brings it. Lord Raven experiences it first-hand, and he knows awe.

Afterwards, alone on the altar once more, Lord Raven tries to find the shape he was, but he cannot summon the knowledge back. Eril knows a sword better than Raven knows himself.