Many Nights. Many Worlds. The Myriadu.

Episode 13: Chamber of Power

This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Chamber of Power

We were well outside Kenuport when we caught up with Steffan. She’d pushed the horse hard, much harder than she needed to. I guess my bintinn scared her more than I thought. At this point, if she ever ended back in the town, she might skip being sick and die immediately. Just from fear.

She still rode the animal, trudging along the stone road at a snail’s pace. I pulled up beside her. “Let’s take a break, eh? There’s a set of ruins a few minutes ahead.”

“How about you stop telling me what to do?” She urged the horse to move ahead faster.

It refused.

I stifled a laugh. “I can be a bit much sometimes. How about I ease up on telling you what to do and you give that poor horse a break at the ruins? But only if you want to.” I looked away, like I couldn’t care less whether she agreed or not. I’d passed by the ruins on my way to Kenuport. There was no need to stop then, but I had noticed how the road curved away from the piles of rubble.

We rode on in silence, but when the crumbled stone walls appeared off to the left, she turned down a path leading toward what might once have been a gate. The path was clear, but disused. Weeds grew through the spaces between cobbles, waving in the light breeze. We continued on, passing the remnants of outer walls and smaller buildings into an open courtyard.

The rain had already passed through the area, but I heard a soft tinkling of water in front of us. Steffan’s horse must have heard it too as it trudged a little faster.

I followed until Spiri stopped.

The hair on my neck stood up.

We were right outside what was left of two massive walls made of black stone, a topless archway between them. Steffan had already gone through and out of sight. I backed Spiri up a few paces and the sensation went away. Going forward again, Spiri stopped in the same place. Interesting.

Some kind of magic still existed, probably residual from whatever the building used to be. And it was strong. Usually, I can sense anything that powerful from quite a ways away. This popped out of nowhere. I closed my eyes and tried to sense what I could about it.

All magic has patterns. They vary by individual and by type. Before I was cast out, I studied them in secret. Since then, though, I’d managed to learn from everything around me. Plus, I’d lucked out in meeting Sientin. He’d given me access to the Agarty library in exchange for doing jobs for him. That’s how I got my start. It turned out I had a talent for pattern recognition. Even when someone tried to mask their magic, I could see their pattern. The Lahmand Force even tried recruiting me. It was hard turning down the steady work, but I liked my freedom too much. It hadn’t been long before that when they were imprisoning magic users rather than using them to solve crimes.

I didn’t recognize the pattern of magic coming from the building. Nothing about it was familiar. Unknown didn’t mean bad. In fact, it was exciting. Sientin was always rambling on about his theories on the origin of magic and his desire to find the historical source, hoping to understand its evolution.  

I leaned forward and whispered in Spiri’s ear. “What do you see, girl?”

She scraped her hoof on the cobbles and shook her head. Sometimes I could catch a sense of what she was seeing or thinking. I had no idea this time, except it was making her nervous.

“I’m sure it’s ok. Just a little old magic—”

Steffan screamed.

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