Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Siege of the White Mountain; Vol. 2: Fields Running Red--Part 58

Morgaine stared at the image revealed in the bowl of blackish water before her. “So… an eye?”

“That is correct,” said Nisrioch, his hands making passes over the bowl. “A withered white eye, staring blindly. A sending of no small power.”

Morgaine regarded it for awhile. “So… what does it do?” she asked lowering her head to the bowl for a better look.

Nisrioch sighed. “That is what I am trying to see.” He chanted something low in the Dark Tongue. There was sudden flash of violet. The eye seemed to twitch and turn, but then returned to its strangely sightless-seeming state. Nisrioch growled to himself. “Still nothing. This is skilled. Simple… but skilled.”

“You know the longer I look at it, the more off it feels,” said Morgaine turning her head. “Nerghal!”

There was a sudden gust of wind as the ghost appeared in the chamber. “What is it now?” he muttered. “Do you have a pillow you wanted fluffed or…” He saw the eye, and then gave shout. “What is that? What is doing that?”

“We don’t know, exactly,” said Nisrioch. “We think it’s the Stylites.”

“Yeah, I called you to get your thoughts on it,” added Morgaine, with a nod.

Nerghal shuddered slightly. “Well, my thoughts are it’s awful. And creepy. And I’m dead. That means something from me!”

Morgaine snorted. “Oh, please. Don’t pull the ‘dead’ card with me--I invented it!” She glanced back at the eye. “But yeah--it does feel creepy. Just wanted to see if you felt it too…”

Nerghal nodded. “Well, that was your answer.” He regarded it for a moment. “Is… is it looking at us?” He turned to his grandniece. “I think it’s looking at us.”

“I’m sure it’s not looking at us,” answered Morgaine. She turned to Nisrioch, expression slightly strained. “It’s not looking at us, right?”

“It appears to be focused on Montalban,” said Nisrioch. He bit his lip. “So far as I can tell…” He gave a shrug. “Actually, I’ve made a few attempts to get its attention, but no luck…”

Morgaine blinked. “You… what?” She swatted her brother on the back. “Stop doing that! Leave the creepy dead eye alone!”

“But how will I learn anything about it if I don’t poke it a little?” asked Nisrioch.

“I’m sure you’ll manage!” snapped Morgaine. She glanced at Nerghal. “You’ve gone quiet.”

Nerghal waved his hand. “Oh, just something you said. ‘The dead eye’. That describes it… rather well.” He nodded to himself. “And I think that answers the question. It’s looking at… death, somehow.”

Nisrioch quirked a white eyebrow at the spirit. “Father always said you had a genius for the intuitive.”

“Did he now?” muttered Nerghal.

“Oh, yes,” replied Nisrioch, turning his attention back to the eye. “In many ways you were the one opponent he respected. You helped make him what he was, after all…”

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