The Stones of Vision

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Inureah's mouth closed with an almost audible click. The human girl was right, damn her! She had found a son of Ironstorm, albeit a rather headstrong and impulsive one. And, if what he did to the druids Avdul had brought with him was any indication of how he was changing to fit his destiny, she could even say he was one of the Wielders of a Weapon of Power as was prophesied by the Utterance. Which one, well, that was still to be determined. Unless things go very well for them on the hill with the Sa'nae'reid; anything Patrik found there could certainly lead them to the Weapon that had chosen him.

Yet it was Patrik himself who was the only doubter.

"Let's not be too hasty, Jaeda," he suggested, stepping in front to lead them single file through a handful of densely packed booths, the air thick with the smell of unwashed bodies, a thousand spices and the close proximity of strange and uneasy animals.

"Yes, I've had the visions. And yes, they've led me here. But I don't have a magical sword in my hand to confirm what I'm to become."

"Not yet, perhaps, Patrik," the feisty desert princess quickly fired back. "But we're within steps of discovering the depth of your destiny. If only half the words the old wizard said last night were true, . . ."

"An old wizard?" This time it was Inureah's turn to interrupt as she looked quizzically from Jaeda to Patrik and back to Jaeda again. "What old wizard?"

"That doesn't matter," Patrik replied with a frown and a hard look at Inureah before he returned his attention to their forward path. "And considering it was Chain Islanders chasing us to begin with, I would hesitate to put complete stock in what a Chain Island wizard said about why he was there and what I'm supposed to be." He ducked under another rack reaching over the narrow aisle they now traversed, this one with hanging clothing on it.

"I'm just a fisherman, until something tells me different."

Without warning they were free of the market, the throb and shift of a living place left behind with each step they made across the cobblestone-paved plaza they found on the other side. Traversing it quickly and earning not a few curious looks from passersby in doing so, the small company found a road on the edge that led through the stone buildings in the direction of the highest hill.

"This will take us to the road leading to the hilltop," Inureah confirmed after a quick look at a small, hand drawn map on a piece of bleached fabric. "Fortuitous you chose it to begin with."

"More like destiny," Jaeda corrected before another hard look from Patrik urged her to silence. Again with the kevan in the lead, they forged along the road, making good time.

As they did so, Patrik found himself thinking on the curious turn of events that had led them to the situation they now found themselves in. At the beginning of the journey, he was as uncertain of himself as a raw deckhand in the middle of his first winter storm out on the Polua. All he had was a strange visit by the woman in his boat, and the subsequent arrival of the creature Darkfin, proclaiming the changes in his life to push him away from life in the Port and stumbling towards something unknown.

That was followed by the overwhelming urge to find that destiny pushing him out of Gorgon's Port across thousands of leagues of sea to begin a new journey at Beth Kabahla, saved from a darker fate by Jaeda and her band of thieves. Still he was uncertain, unknowing of where he was supposed to go. That is until he saw the carving of the plinths in Raelin's chambers, while Jaeda tried to convince him of Patrik's greater purpose.

That image had been like a strike of lightning out of an empty sky, crashing into his sensibilities and taking over his thoughts. From that point forward the visions had come, consuming his mind and filling his dreams until he could think of nothing else. He thought they would give him strength but, ironically they stole it, sapping his very energy until all he could do was stumble through the sand behind his newfound friends. As an increasingly desperate Jaeda dragged them towards an uncertain meeting at the Kala'finae sanctuary after a more sedate plan was disrupted by the invasion of Beth Kabala, they came with increasing frequency until he was more in the dream world than not.

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