Ameshirel: A World Undone
Communion One, The Eye
He sat on the bank in his usual spot, feet dangling in the cold water. The sun setting behind the forest outside of Sabhail. He looked up at the stars as they appeared in the evening sky and concentrated.
“Minno” and a group from the mercenary guild passed by. Normally they would stop and invite Njord along. But tonight they did not even approach. The knew the strange Pirate well enough to know when it was best to leave him alone.
An old man, packing up his stall for the day, muttered to himself about why wizards have towers. Men and women coming from the docks after a day on the river gave the Pirate a wide berth. Many knew Njord, and those who didn’t knew of him. One of Sabhail’s Blooded. The Blooded who together are known as slayers of monsters, demons and dragons. Njord himself, it is said, single handedly bested an entire crew of bandits on the river.
So people gave him a wide berth this evening. And they were lucky they did. Concentrating on the stars, his hand he toyed with the strange crystal that he got from the deepest parts of the ocean, the Warlock focused inwards into the very darkest parts of his mind.
He focused on blocking out all else, one thing at a time. First the feel of the cold water lapping at his feet. The chilly breeze coming across the river. The wet stones on the bank under him. The sounds of Sabhail getting ready for a busy night. One by one he blocked them all out, using his magical focus and the emerging stars to fall into the darkest parts of his mind.
The next part was trickier. He believed that he would need to be alone in his head achieve what he was trying this night. Start with the most familiar. The raging Storm that took up a vast majority of space in his head. Aparently it had been with him since birth, or at least that is what his Master and taught him, but Njord only knew about it after the storm that sent him into the abyss. That storm had given The Storm a voice and left its mark on the young pirate. On a clear night like this though, off of the sea, the older warlock new how to silence it’s voice, the Storm, that howlings of a god.
Had he been aware of his surroundings he may have notice the wind pick up and whirl viciously around him. Or perhaps he would not.
The coiled darkness was silent this night. The connection Njord had gained with his master had up until recently been the strongest bond he had ever had. He just had to request a moment of silence and the Serpent’s mind retreated from his. It was still there but now asleep.
Ice formed in the river at his feet.
The next step was all guess work. Njord focused on the Bell’s chime. A chime that was with him, constantly whether waking or dreaming. A chime that had been with him ever since he had died. He saw the Bell then, softly ringing. He stretched out his hand and lightly tapped it.
A soft chime filled the air around him.
He braced himself, reached out and grasped the bell. The chiming stopped…
…And the ground around him rotted.
Now for the last part. He was alone for the first time in a very very long while. Alone except for the Eye. The strange pensected Eye that had haunted him since he had first peared into An Geartha. The silence of the Others allowed clearer focus and he used that clarity to pull at the Eye. To draw it forward and find out what it wanted. And, he realised in that moment, to find out how he could use it!
The Eye heard his call and focused fully on Njord for the first time. An alien sound echoed through his mind. The Eye was laughing at him. Njord’s last thoughts where that perhaps he was wrong to face this thing himself. The Eye raced towards him, laughing and engulfed him in darkness.
When Njord awoke it was dawn. Boats were already on the river, stalls set up and people already in the streets. The sun was just peeking over the horizon.
The rocks he had been sitting on had all turned to sand and dust. Mixed with the ice cold water of the river the sand had turned into mud and then frozen solid around him.
With great effort and a bit of magic Njord freed himself. The sounds of crashing waves followed by the chime of a bell and the alien laughter of the Eye echoed through him as he walked to the room he kept in the Mercenary guild. He thought that if the Serpent made sounds it would have been at that moment. As it was he felt as if someone was watching him. Though no one he passed dared to look at the Warlock Pirate.
Barely making it up the stairs to his room, Njord stumbled onto his bed without changing and fell into a restless sleep.
He was standing in a sea of stars. Above him, there were more stars than he could count and in the center was the brightest light of all. From that light he could almost hear a song. A beautiful terrible wonderful song.
As he panned down the stars grew more and more sparse. Below his feet he saw a single red star, far, far away. Almost invisible and lost within the sea of black starless space that spread out below him. Impossibly far and unreachable.
The red star winked out. Its five points came back again a moment later, larger than before. Closer. Again it blinked and appeared closer still. An eye, pentsected, in a sea of darkness.
Njord knew then that this thing was not like the Storm or the Bell. Even the Serpent, as alien and strange as Njord found it, felt more aligned with his own song. The eye did not belong to an ascended or an apotheon. He knew that for sure now.
With a sudden realisation knew that he was looking at the echoing, or perhaps beyond to the yawning, and it was looking back at him.