What have we done…
I need to know what I’ve done…
The questions banged around the Worlds, slipped and slid alone the currents, danced along the Lines, filled the hidden places. For days they filled the air with Danger, for days they gave them, the Lost and the Broken and the Forgotten, strength that built and built.
Not Questions, not the one that they needed, not exactly, but so close they could taste it. So close they were able to reach out and touch the one they thought had been their energy. And when they brushed that mind with its labyrinths filled with nightmares and shadows and dancing lights they instinctively knew not to follow no matter how playful they seemed? They knew that the mistake that had been made three centuries ago had been one the Worlds over would pay for. Was one that would see the Seven Worlds feeling the ripples of the consequences for eons.
“Some things are unforgivable.” His voice was a deep rumble like the rushing of a river over a cliff to the rocks below, raspy like a scream heard in the far distance, filled with a warning that was like the crackle of glass under the peculiar pressure only fire could cause. “And I intend to make the lesson of that one that nothing and no one will ever forget.”
They didn’t see his visage, didn’t catch even a glance of his silhouette among the shifting shadows and dancing, playful lights. But they didn’t have to see him, they felt him. Felt the all consuming brush of his still contained magick. Felt the way his voice shook with a power that made the air whoosh out of their lungs. Felt the bone shaking truth of him and Knew in that instant that calling what they’d done, what their Liar had done, a mistake wasn’t strong enough.
Because the Grey One was way more powerful than the Worlds thought he was.
What have we done? A collective asking, presented to nothing more than the air around them. The answer was a meekly whispered, What we thought was right. But it wasn’t good enough.
A glimpse of orange-amber peeking around a corner before it was gone. They shuddered and huddled together, wondering if they’d made a mistake reaching out to the Grey One. Wondered if they would truly die here, wondered more if they cared.
When the first brush of a magick so old it was primordial shimmered in the air, they let out one last chittering laugh and decided as the echoes faded, as the Worlds fell Quiet all around them, that even if they did die here it would be worth it. Because for the first time since they first woke, they were Found, they were made Whole, and they were Remembered.
“Do you have any idea what I’ve done?”
“You betrayed your Qishir, your Court, your family, you worthless piece of shit. That’s what you did.”
As the Question was finally asked and Answered, the air whooshed out, the Quiet snapped, and they saw the Grey One’s true form for the first and last time. Watched as those eyes swung to them, watched as he slowly rose to his full height and towered over them all as all eight of his wings spread out with a sound like thunder and bones breaking. Then he smiled as his power touched them and they sighed as one before scattering to the winds with a simple gesture of one his long fingered hands.
And as they touched the line work that surrounded N’phier City, they spoke in a voice made up of millions three words that breathed through the Worlds:
H E I S F R E E.
Finally. We know peace.