Inside of me... who was I? I am no identity... I am Power. Only power.
And I Know... I KNOW the Eternal Beings. I KNOW souls. I KNOW Barranaire. I KNOW!
Although years I watched the Eternal Ones flowed before my eyes as though they were happening again, but this time there were CONCLUSIONS. I knew and I shared that with the universe....
I opened my eyes on a world, on land, on sea, on surf.
My head reeled, my soul ached. Xaron carefully prodded me, stretching slowly, feeling out Leen. I closed my eyes and carefully used my key to gain access to my soul, to clear my mind. I touched Xaron's essence within me, the aches and bleeding.
Exile... Warren's power had whipped us away, had broken Xaron, left her weakened. She could not leave me, and her soul ached. I gently touched the torn portion of her soul, shredded, bleeding and empty.
Fear not, young one, I will heal.
"Do not lie to me. But one thing could heal you... you are Warren's soul and he yours!"
Forget you ever knew that, Mage! I never needed him and never again shall.
I felt as though I'd been whipped by a Belekim's tail. This made my stomach turn. Xaron had become more bitter, and that was unlike her. My physical nausea showed itself as my stomach emptied on the sand. I staggered to the water and cupped some in my hands to drink it.
Salty! Blech, I spat it out, my stomach churning.
Thus is life, reminded Xaron.
From each surfacing soul rose a fiber, a thread of tenuous soulstuff which rose several yards towards the sky before I lost sight of it. I sensed that at different points, this place we were in attached to every other world, and every living being with a soul was represented herein...it was vast, crowded, endless...
On the sea, only a short distance from the island I stood on, was a ship.
I began to appreciate the tales told by my mentors and ancestors.
As unimportant as I thought it all was, here I was using words which had only been abstractions to me before then.
I stood there for a long time. My empathy was strong but impersonal so I was not overtly affected by the emotions around me.
Come on, let's go for a walk, said Xaron.
I stepped out over the Sea, and Xaron made it so I wouldn't sink. It was like my own magic--treating the souls as solid...it took only the realization that I could do it, and I took the doing of it from Xaron and continued to walk over the sea.
The ship was enormous--I'd never seen so large a structure before--not even the tent villages set up at inter-tribal meetings and events were so large.
There was a rope ladder hanging down the side of the ship. I wondered if we were expected or if it was always there. Did souls ever climb up the ladder from the sea? I found out later that the ship was made from dark glass--not transparant, not glossy. Or that's how I saw it anyway.
I grasped a rung in my hand and stepped off the soulstuff, climbed the ladder to the deck of the ship. There was a box--a room--a little larger than the largest of tents I'd ever seen. Long masts, with sails roped in at their bases. Later I knew that meant they were just waiting.
There was a Barris there--or so it seemed to be. When he (for it was a he) turned around to face me he had no eyes, no mouth. Only slits where his nose should have been, skin hallowed where eyes should be. He was also bald, and had no ears.
Greetings, Brother, Xaron said, cold and tight, but still under control.
Then my Sight saw. This was a future incarnation of Warren. His soul had changed so drastically, more and less than it was, but the underlying pattern that was Warren was there.
This is Accus, Insight, introduced Xaron.
*We've met,* said Accus with wry humor. This was a god, not some innocent Ad'Belek playing with its sibling over the sands. This being had a job, a purpose. Right now Accus laid the job aside for us. This type of "god" compared with what the Kelliste thought gods were, and I thought on how mistaken they were to give that role to the Beleki. Or perhaps they were wise, if Beleki could aspire to become gods like Accus.
You did not warn me that this would happen, admonished Xaron.
*It was not my place to. For what it is worth, I am sorry. But I also have already paid for my crimes against you. You will see to that.*
Where is Myself? At first I thought Xaron meant Warren, but then I had a flash of Xaron's future-incarnation, of a skull in a black robe...
*You will be found at the Wheel. A thousand welcomes to you, Dreal. Well met, and well met again...and again.* There was a smile in the voice of Insight, a pleasant affection, which told tales of forgiveness yet to come from Warren, and healed my heart somewhat. It did not do the same for Xaron. Accus' apologetic words fell on my ears and ended there. Xaron wrested control of my body from me, wheeled and strode towards the building. Up a set of stairs, which I thought were a very odd contraption,
Over many years, maybe even centuries, Xaron and I travelled through many different alternate realities together. We grew together for a short time, but eventually we grew apart until the day that we separated. Our growing together was a time of wonder and power for me, our growing apart was an excersise in lonliness and abandonment. If you would like to read more about me, please write to Criss and request that Dreal continue to write her stories.
Parts of this story was dictated into Windows Write with DragonDictate, then transferred to the Macintosh enviornment.