Death Dances in the Shadows: Wyndwrayth – Gideon’s Journal extract.

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The Paladin of Souls has awakened!

 Yesterday, when I walked across The Glade, in yet another futile search for the Ruby lost by mine own stupidity, I detected a vibration. One which came from deep underground. Initially, I perceived the disturbance as simply another rumble in the old volcano’s roots. Yay but something fey inside, told me ‘twas more significant than that, yet I refused to pay it much heed. I told myself it was nought more than the islands roots shaking the tree.

However, the second set of vibrations were accompanied by a sort of vague spectral image, which seemed to rise up out of the ground and swirl around for a few seconds, before disappearing once more. I mentioned this occurrence to Millar and it appeared to shake him, quite noticeably. I’m getting the distinct feeling, that he has previously encountered similar events and I will attempt to draw him out a little more, the next time we dine together.

The small amount of knowledge, that Lord Meklar furnished me with, just before he ever so graciously dumped me on this rocky pimple with his wayward son, has oft been of little practical use. He failed, or should I say, neglected to impart the most important details to me, which more often than not, were also the salient pieces of the puzzle. I only discovered the error of my ways, by learning the lessons of failure. I knew, from the stories that my Father told me when I was little more than an infant, that there were forces at work in this world, that were far older than even The Gods themselves. Even though I was fully aware of his propensity to exaggerate certain aspects of the tales, I always trusted him to put the truth down and leave me to work it out for myself.

I well remember him reciting the seemingly endless Saga of ‘The Paladin and The Seer,’ which incidentally, was a boyhood favourite of mine. From the age of ten, the contest between the two protagonists for control of the spirit world, had always intrigued me. The struggle ‘tween the learned old man and the even more ancient immortal, battling for the right to die, fascinated me. The verbal arguments raged but the listener knew, that neither of them could ever win by argument alone and eventually they would resort to violence and magics.

Then one day, quite recently, I was in what I like to call, ‘My quiet place,’ innocently looking out over the lake and enjoying the first warm day of the new Spring, when that particular story, simply leapt into my mind and I realised the significance it had to my own life……. I’m actually and finally dying.

Then there is the matter of The Paladin. I have detected his presence in the glade and he must not be allowed to gain control of The Tears of Taklamakan. The dead cannot be trusted. They have a tendency to be more than a little embittered and vengeful, mainly due to Millar’s barbarous methods of dispatch, which he so revels in. It’s a bit late now for me to do anything about that, so I really must put the entirety of my efforts into finding The Tears, for if he gets hold of it, I may yet be trapped here, forever….. or even worse.

 *

 It now seems even more unfathomable, that I can’t locate ‘The Tears of Taklamakan.’ Either my memory is also failing me, or the Tears really does have ways of eluding those it wishes. The Great Ruby is indeed powerful and it should be hidden away from the prying and desirous eyes of men, who would seek to wield its power for purely selfish reasons. Millar wants ‘The Tears,’ in order to kill his Father for his banishment. Should he ever achieve it, then it would be the end of everything we know and we can kiss ourselves goodbye, as this world and the next descend into total chaos. As to my role in this oncoming ‘Passion Play,’ I am unclear.

The rumbles I dismissed, were the heralding of the awakening of the Paladin of Souls. Now he will begin a search of his own for the Tears and as things stand at the moment, he will win, simply because I was careless. The Paladin awakening now is no coincidence, the Guardian of Souls has a role to play in the unfolding events. What that is will be revealed with time.

However, I am wary. I do not know but I fear that The Paladin has the potential to turn the tables on Millar and by implication, on mine self. For I was the fool who, without ever thinking about the consequences, has spent nigh on an eternity, supplying that pale monster with first call on all the poor souls who landed, either purposely, or by accident on Ynys y Niwl.

I must find The Tears, first. I cannot let it all slip away and allow my existence, as Millar’s Guardian for almost a thousand years, mean nothing. Now that I have found a potential replacement I must seal the deal.

 **

 

 

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