Dialogue of Four Voices

A vision seen from a strange room where through the use of a scrying device (The Ilarsiri, Orb of Power) you have listened in on a strange meeting of voices….

Voice One (A beautiful, liquid baritone): “Thank you all for attending.”

Voice Two (A lilting, High-elven tenor): “I assume this is not an official meeting of the Circle.”

Voice One: “You are correct, Astrologer. I wish to confer regarding your predecessor to this hallowed group, the Lord Ondoval.”

Voice Three (A female voice, but one with harsh tones): “We discussed him at the last gathering of the Full Circle; he has retreated to his fortress at Ahrentorg and is of little concern to us.”

Voice One: “We failed to consider fully the extent of his powers. I am afraid that a few of our esteemed order are unable to realize the threat Ondoval may pose to our plans.”

Voice Four (Another Elven voice, slightly deeper; every sentence tinged with casual derision): “That explains four empty chairs.”

Voice Three: “Let us discuss, then! Lay before us the evidence of threat, Elder Mind!”

Voice Four: “I am more interested in why the Elder Mind has chosen not to invite half of our order to this meeting. That may be a threat as great as an insane Lord of the Essaence in a distant citadel.”

Voice One: “As head of the Circle my reasons for whom I summon to council are my own, Iaen Shiin. “To answer you, my dear, I need only remind you of Ondoval’s origins—and that he possesses the Book of Gates. I believe that with it he may have already recovered an item of consummate power… the Shadowstone.”

Voice Three: (After an uncomfortable silence): “You have evidence of the existence of this item? I was led to understand that it was lost at the end of the First Era when Utha defeated the Empress Kadaena.”

Voice One: “Indeed, that is the tale. However, who is better capable of recovering the Shadowstone? Ondoval is of their kind, a Lord of the Old Race, and with the Book of Gates he might travel to any time or place. He could literally journey to the past and take the stone.”

Voice Three: Assuming he had the power to do so, what evidence do you have that he has done so?”

Voice One: I need only call your attention to the upheaval of a few days ago. The disruption of the Flows was not a natural aberration. The tremors and storms were caused by interference with our planet’s ancient defence.”

Voice Two: (Incredulous) “You are suggesting that one of the Eyes of Utha has failed?”

Voice One: “I am suggesting that Ondoval has taken one of the Eyes—the orbs which shield our world from the Flowstorms of Space. Their protections are beyond the Pales; only being armoured by an item from before the Interregnum such as the Shadowstone could protect such a thief.”

Voice Two (thoughtfully): “The Flows have been seriously disrupted, and after storms began to subside, the entire globe seems to be more thinly protected— as if one of the Eyes is now forced to do the work of two…”

Voice Three: “That is insane! No one could want to destroy the Eyes; to do so would leave the world open to—”

Voice One: (interrupting) “To the ravages of the Void.”

Voice Two: “Only a servant of the Unlife itself could be so crazed. He invites his own destruction. That is madness.

Voice One: “That is my assertion. Ondoval is indeed mad.”

Voce Three: “Then the time of Prophecy is truly upon us. Have the seven of yore been found?”

Voice Four: “Not yet – and if Ondoval captures them first, we are undone. Their survival is paramount to ours. How will we know whether they truly exist?”

Voice One: “The Dreaming tells them apart – and it is told that their souls are immortal for they are not of this plane. Their presence here can only be through the manipulation of the Gods of Orhan.”

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Dialogue of Four Voices

Return of the Long Night Rimllar