There is more to these ‘Tears of Taklamakan,’ than I initially thought. I’ve been probing Millar’s knowledge. It appears its present form is only one of many incarnations. Many years ago, Millar mentioned in passing, that The Great Ruby had been set in a great golden torc, which reputably gave the wearer undisputed power.
Millar, being vastly more ancient than I could ever hope to be, can be a mine of generally useless information once you get him talking. He told me of the many great and powerful men who had temporarily thought they had total control because of the brilliant but capricious, Ruby. Then, just when they needed its power most, it let them down. Maybe I could still use this gem stone as a means of controlling Millar, without evoking its darker leanings, should it ever come my way. A little hallucinatory deception, with the full consent of the deluded, is a simple matter but the stone’s power to deceive is legendary. So, a smidgeon of caution and a good deal of respect would be required on my part.
If I am to make further use of the oft restless spirits of The Dead, I will have to be careful in this endeavour, I have no wish to arouse The Paladin of Souls from his slumber beneath the earth. So far, I have limited the use of mine and Millar’s rubies, so as not to arouse him, using only those fresher souls with a black heart but the power of The Tears could alert him. The dead who have had many dealings with Millar, will not wish to be exploited by him again.
The Host of Dead Souls, all of whom were slaughtered by the monstrous pale creature, are growing more powerful. They yearn for release from this island and Millar’s enslavement. There are countless numbers of them and they have been imprisoned on Ynys Y Niwl for almost a thousand years. Like me, they are sensing the date of my departure and maybe theirs, is drawing ever nearer.
It’s at moments like this, when another day is drawing to a close, that I sit and often wonder what Millar would do if he had control of The Tears? It doesn’t bear thinking about too often. From what I have learnt, the ownership of The Tears has oft times changed hands and violently. This exchange would either begin, or end with the obliteration of the previous possessor. Then, The Tears remodelled its mounting, to suit the circumstances to which it now found itself. Lastly, it would choose who it wished to be its next ‘owner.’ Only those with a sister ruby like those of myself, The Paladin and Millar can seize it for use against its will.
According to Millar, it was once the centre piece of a huge and heavy shield, which was wielded by The Uglar of Trefor. Both he and the remainder of his tribe, which numbered anything up to three thousand souls, simply disappeared during an electrical storm and were never seen again. The shield was eventually found by a shepherd boy, almost buried in the sands of the Mongolian Desert by The Gate of Peace. The boy could not lift the shield, so he prised the ruby from its setting and hid it. For many years, all traces of The Tears of Taklamakan, were lost.
Then, legend tells of it moving to Rome, before coming to Britain with the Emperor Hadrian, only to disappear again into the mists of time. The Tears are now being sought by three individuals, all of whom, including me, are resident on Ynys y Niwl. Namely, my erstwhile self, The Paladin of Souls and of course, Millar. One day we may fight it out, to see who amongst us, will get the freedom of their choice.
This apparently open conversation with Millar regarding The Tears, was obviously designed to put my mind at ease concerning the true power of the Ruby and what each of us would do with it, if we possessed its power. However, I’ve known the pale creature for long enough now, to see right through that ruse. I will need to dig deeper on this one. I’ve often thought about that younger, rasher version of me, who dived straight in when “more years” were offered, these days I’m less convinced of my choice. Maybe The Tears could be used to release me……