Rayne Entry 9

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I call upon my Shadow.

And your Shadow answers.

It’s over. We won… we defeated the Wastewalker.

Congratulations, Rayne. Our journey to Tyr is sure to be easier with him dead.

Umm… we didn’t kill him.

You didn’t?

No.

Maybe you’d better begin at the beginning.

Of course. We routed some gith, just before you… before I took control of the Emerald Flame. We spared one in exchange for some gems, and it ran off.

Interesting. You’ve accumulated quite a bit of treasure already.

I know.

And you knew that the gith might have returned with reinforcements.

I knew. I know… It didn’t speak much Common, which we all found frustrating. Vrack just wanted to kill it, but Hawk insisted that “it would be wrong to end his life while he pleads for it.” Les and I wanted to see what it was offering before we made up our minds… Kikrik sort of stayed out of it…

Then you decided it was no longer a threat.

Yes. Hawk had conviction, and the gems are very pretty, but in the end, it wasn’t a danger to us on its own. We caught our breath, then pressed on, until another group of ssurrans attacked us, trying to bring Les back to their master… it was bloody, but we won. We had no time to rest, though, as the obsidian storm found us again.

The Wastewalker’s black rain pushed you right to him.

Too right. Kikrik and Les agreed to try diplomacy first, but the Wastewalker was too blinded by his faith to believe that Les could work preserving magic… that she would work it. He ordered his zealots to attack us… I spent most of the fray distributing healing fruits, trying to keep everyone on their feet. I was sure that Vrack had died…

But you prevailed.

We did, yes. Lesallai refused to use her arcane gifts… but…

Rayne? What is it?

When Les defeated him with her Shadow, the Wastewalker called her “more than a defiler… something much worse. A greater threat to existence than you know.” And, darkness help me, she believes it.

She is more than a defiler.

She’s not a monster, Shadow! And she isn’t the doom of Athas. I don’t believe that. I won’t! And I won’t let her believe it, either!

You care for her.

Of course I do!

You cared for a monster, once. And you failed to see him for what he was until it almost cost you your life.

I…

Yes, Rayne?

It’s not like that. Not this time.

How can you be certain?

Two reasons. One, it’s my decision to make this time. And I choose to believe in her.

I see. And your second reason?

Because she cares for me. She’s shared so much… more than she’s told anyone since she lost her sister. If I can be there for her… be her friend… I can remind her that there’s more to her than whatever the Wastewalker saw.

But you want to be more than her friend.

I can’t worry about that now. Tyr should be just over this ridge. If Les wants to… be with me, then I’ll worry about it. Until then, I need to focus on… Black Shadow!

Rayne? What is it?

The ziggurat! The great ziggurat in Tyr… it looks just like the pyramid in Kalidnay!

Are you sure?

The colors are different, but… yes. I’m sure.

What does it mean?

I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.


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Rayne Entry 9

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