I’m just dropping in with a few more snippets from The Dragon Pendant (occurring actually before the last one). Observe me trying not (and failing) to do an information dump. 😀
Ebony seeks for information from the priest, Yota, concerning her only two leads in this world
“Yota?” she called softly. Movement stirred in the door to her left and the old robed man appeared. His face crinkled in a smile.
“Come in, my daughter. What is it you need?” She entered the small room that looked very similar to her own and sat down on the chair he motioned her towards. “Your eyes are bruised from little sleep, and I only parted from you a few hours ago. What is it that keeps you restless?”
“I need to find an old man named Ohbi Whan. Do you know where I can find him?” She held her breath, waiting. Steady. One breath, two, three…
Yota’s face softened, with the look of one who has to deliver bad news. And even before he spoke, Ebony knew.
“Child, I do not know who told you that name, but it only raised your hopes in vain. Ohbi Whan has been dead for many years.”
“What about… what about a man called Coriarkin?” she asked hesitantly.
Yota seemed puzzled. “I knew that name once. I believe he came occasionally in the company of Ohbi Whan, as a student or something. But I have not heard of him for many years, though it was rumored some time back that the wizards were in search of him. Perhaps they found him. Perhaps he assists them even now. Who can know? I didn’t know him well enough to know what sort of man he was.”
“So you don’t know where I can find him?” She pressed her eyebrows, trying to focus and figure out what would be the best thing to do.
“No, I don’t. But, allow me a question in return, if you will. Take as much time as you need to think it over. Can you remember anything significant or important in any way connected with your coming through the Gate? Anything the wizards were up to? Anything?”
Ebony’s brows contracted. “I – I don’t know. What do you mean by ‘significant or important’? What am I trying to remember?”
He leaned forward, speaking low but earnestly. “It is said that when the stars dance, anything can happen. It foretells of great happenings. The last time the stars danced was three hundred years ago when Skyho Muhara returned civilization to its roots and we went from the verge of powerfully dangerous developments back to the old world as it once was. It maddened men, but in many senses, saved them. The time before that was the night Rome fell. And the first time they danced, they say, was when the first world fell to its ruin. So you can see, it means great change. It means a time for legends to come alive, for the impossible to happen, and hope to either be crushed or fulfilled. And the stars danced when the Gate opened and you came through. Even in the early light of evening I saw them. Perhaps they merely danced to foretell to Apocalypse and the end of this world. But perhaps they told us more. Perhaps they were trying to show us something we are too blind to see.”
Ebony had tried to listen and absorb everything Yota had said, but her mind was filled with questions about what she should do and how to get home, and had only half heard.
“Um, not that I can think of,” she said in answer to his question.
“Take your time. Don’t feel you have to rush to an answer.”
She took a deep breath and sighed. “Okay.”
“And,” he hesitated and looked directly in her eyes. “Don’t do anything you will later regret.”
“What?” Ebony was startled and confused.
“I can see it in your eyes. In the way you look about you and glance at doors, and in the way you look at other people. You don’t trust them. Something is frightening you, or at least bothering you, and making a choice in such a state of mind is seldom wise, especially if it’s an important decision. Trusting people always is.”
She looked away. “I don’t know about all that. I just don’t know what to think, what to believe, who to trust, or what to do.”
[for the sake of briefness, I cut out a section here]
“Thank you,” she said, “for your help. I just need to figure out what to do. If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go think it over in my room.” He nodded and raised his hand in farewell to her departing back. When she was gone, he shook his head.
“Don’t do it, Ebony. Don’t do it, for all of our sakes.”
Ebony’s self-debate about whether to go to the wizards or not
(Note: Melchior is the leader of the Great Dominion, the wizard cult. Karliah is the leader of the Old Covenant, the tried-and-true, faithful to the old kingdom, alliance/group/organization/thing)
Ebony paced the small room, knowing what she was going to do but reasoning with herself, trying to talk herself into it and out of it at the same time.
It’s the only way. I have to find Coriarkin, and if Yota is right, they’re the ones most likely to know his whereabouts.
But Melchior gave you the creeps! Why is it so important to find Coriarkin, anyway?
Because father said he knew all about Gates. He can help me get home.
Yeah, but still, going to the wizards? You’re crazy!
I know. But I have to.
Maybe Karliah knows of someone else who might know. Melchior isn’t the only solution, he can’t be.
I want to trust Karliah, I really do, but I just can’t. I mean, hello, she wants to take over Earth! You really want me to put my trust in someone like that?
Hey, the wizards want to take over Earth too. I just think there has to be a better way.
Well, there isn’t. And remember, it was Karliah that told you that about the wizards. You don’t know for sure.
I just don’t think you should do this. It’s a bad idea.
Oh, just shut up, will you? I can’t think straight with you blathering at me. I need some peace, so just leave me alone, even for just a second!
She pressed her fingers to her temples, trying to concentrate. There just was no help for it. She would have to seek out Melchior in Kyho Twon.
That’s it for now, folks! Have a fantastic rest of your week!