Glyph shook violently for several seconds, as if discarding the stains of blood on his soul. He opened his eyes and looked at Ishea, who was again healing his wounds. This time it seemed he had gotten off pretty lightly; one bite mark, a half dozen cat scratches and a whack across the face. All things considered, it could have been a hell of a lot worse and Glyph wasn’t about to complain. Ishea stopped and sat down in a chair not far away.
“Welcome back.” she said to him “You have fared well this hour.”
Glyph didn’t really want to lose it again, or get in a shouting match with Ishea about how killing an unarmed innocent didn’t exactly qualify as having ‘fared well’, so he let it drop. He sat up and tried to smile, but it just wouldn’t come.
“Thanks.” was all Glyph managed in the way of reply.
He stood up, grabbed his mail shirt and slipped it on, then reached for his crown. Buckling on his sword, he walked over to The Tapestry. It had woven itself into a scene of the wastelands of Degruthra. There as before were the forces of evil, only this time they were heading for The Pass, and they were only about a day’s march away. Thousands of Grull marched, carrying all manner of weaponry, and worse yet, they seemed to be driven by lesser demons like Simeon. Glyph counted seven of them. He had barely lived through fighting one Simeon, but now there were at least seven, and Drathus. The odds did not appear to be in his favor. He focused his attention on Drathus, who was riding a huge war chariot, drawn by nearly a dozen lizard-like birds foaming at the mouth. He turned away and noticed Ishea packing up her things.
“Here, let me help.” Glyph said and picked up Ishea’s bags from the tent floor.
They stowed them in her personal trunk which now resided just outside the entrance. Servants arrived to remove The Tapestry and furnishings, while soldiers began to break down the tent. Their horses were ready and waiting nearby, neatly groomed and saddled by the stable master. Glyph and Ishea then rode toward the front of the line. Glyph rubbed his hand over his head and tried, without success, to forget the image of the sobbing man he had just murdered a half hour ago. Ishea tried to start a conversation several times, but Glyph just couldn’t bring himself to talk. Soon they reached the ford in the Toleth River, where General Hilen and General Covat were overseeing the crossing. They both saluted Glyph and bowed to Ishea. Hilen informed them that Toban had ridden ahead to scout the way to the next pylon.
As Glyph reached the far shore, he decided to go in search of Toban and the scouting party. It was as much an excuse to get away from talking as it was to be alone for a while. He had a feeling that once today was over he wouldn’t be alone again until this whole mess ended. Ishea was understanding, but insisted that she accompany him to the pylon since she would be needed to open the gateway to Priam. Anxious to do something, Glyph agreed, and they both galloped off in a hurry.
Reaching the top of the next hill, he stared off into the distance. The grass covered plain was expansive with a single winding road stretching through the middle as far as he could see. From this vantage point he couldn’t even see the mountains, but he had seen the map, he knew they were out there. It became clear why Albast had created the pylons; it would likely take many weeks to traverse that distance, even on horseback. Glyph brought O’dista into a steady canter, with Ishea right behind him. After half a mile, the pair passed the front of the marching army, and several miles further on he came within sight of the pylon and the scouting party.
“Hail, King Glyph!” Toban shouted as he saw Glyph approach.
Glyph trotted up, and fell in beside Toban as they were mounting up. “Good morning Toban. How does everything look?”
“Fair morning, Glyph, lady Ishea. The way is clear to Priam. We were just finishing our search of the area, and are ready to go back to inform the others.”
Glyph looked up at the horizon. “Very good. Ishea is ready to activate the pylon. I thought I might go on ahead. I would like to visit the monastery on Toleth’Va.”
“By yourself, Sire?” Toban questioned, and glanced toward Ishea.
Ishea shrugged. “I have a few things to discuss with Lukret.” She offered.
“Might it not be better to go with the other leaders? They could take offense that you chose not to ride with them.” Toban theorized, looking concerned.
“I thought about it, but I feel compelled to go alone. The closer I get to Toleth’Va the more I feel the need to go there. They will have to forgive me, it’s just something I must do.”
“Then perhaps I could join you?” Toban asked, leaning a bit closer.
“Not this time Toban, though I appreciate the offer. Please tell the others where I’m going, and let them know I’ll meet them there.”
Toban appeared somewhat uncomfortable with the notion of leaving his king to ride alone. “Very well. I shall inform them upon my arrival. Do you require anything?”
“No, thanks. I’ll be fine.” Glyph replied.
“Be careful. Drathus’ foul spawn could be lurking anywhere.” Toban stated, then trotted off quickly to catch up to the rest of his party.
Ishea had already made her way to the pylon and activated it. Glyph watched in awe as the gate formed once again. Now he could see trees through the gate’s shimmering opening. Suddenly the thought of Simeon’s hex nearly brought him to the verge of panic. He tried to stay calm for Ishea’s sake, and forced himself to take long deep breaths.
She seemed to sense his unease. “You are fine. I re-checked this morning while I was healing your wounds. There is no trace of Simeon’s hex left within you.”
Glyph was sweating now. He nodded casually as if that wasn’t what he was worried about and took a long drink from his waterskin.
“Stay on the road, it follows the tree line and leads straight to Priam.” Ishea told him. “Though I doubt any trouble has befallen Priam, be wary, as every step brings us closer to the enemy.”
“Thanks, Ishea.” Glyph remarked, turned O’dista, and rode through the portal.
Once he was safely on the other side, Glyph started to feel better. The air was cool and there were clouds covering the sky, giving everything a gray cast; it was a stark contrast to the sun filled plains he had just left. He leaned back in O’dista’s saddle as they trotted down the road. After a few minutes he reached the tree line of the forest and the road turned right. The hills here were already as steep as the mountains he had been hiding in on Earth, and Toleth’va stretched to the heavens above them, easily taking up half the sky. The sheer size of the mountain dwarfed all the others which surrounded it. It was perhaps the tallest mountain Glyph had ever seen in his life. After a while, Glyph decided to stop and rest his horse. O’dista wasn’t overly taxed by the steep hills, but Glyph realized if he kept going he would reach Priam, and the whole point of going ahead was to be alone for a while.
He tied O’dista in the shade of a small grove of trees and, sitting on a rock, began to take in the scenery. Glyph was pondering the intercontinental pylons when a thought struck him; there really was nothing on Earth to go back to. He had been trying to suppress it, ever since Ishea brought it up back at Muret. His hours on Earth, he knew, had marked him as a murderer. If he was to go back, he would be caught, or spend his life as a fugitive. There was no defense for killing possessed people. Should he be tried, he would likely get life in prison, maybe even the death penalty. Here, at least, he could live out his life in respect and adulation; he was King after all, and a sorcerer to boot. ‘This is the place to be.’ He thought. When this business with that fucker Drathus was over, there was no going back. A smile escaped Glyph’s mouth; concentrating with his mind, he reached out and plucked a cigarette from the air in front of him. He attempted to light it with his finger several times, like Ishea, but all he could get was some smoke and a really hot finger. Finally he held it in his hand in front of him, focused on the end and quietly but firmly said ‘ignite’. The tip burst into flame. Astonished, he blew it out, and took a drag. Taking another puff, he threw the cigarette down and stomped it. The need for it had greatly diminished since coming here, and it didn’t taste right anyway.
Glyph traveled on towards Priam, and reached it in about twenty minutes. The city was walled, but nothing like Muret, and looked like it was only constructed to keep out animals. Priam seemed to flow down from the base of the mountain’s slope, through the edge of the forest, and out onto a wide plain, as if the city had grown from the terrain. Where the land was clear of trees, the city walls and buildings were made of adobe, with domed or vaulted thatch roofs. As the city entered the forest it changed and was built of wooden logs in and amongst the trees, just as the structures built on the lower slope of the mountain were made from stones and large slabs of rock. It was strange and eerie the way the city flowed naturally from one area to another, as if the builders never wanted to leave even a single footprint here.
Riding down to the front gate, Glyph was greeted by two monks.
“King Glyph.” One monk spoke as he approached. “High Priest Verto has been expecting you.”
“He has? You mean right now?” Glyph asked him.
“Yes, My Lord.” the other monk replied, “He just sent us to greet you, and to show you the way.”
Glyph studied them both for a moment. They wore almost identical black robes that ended at the knee, and tied about the waist with a crimson sash. Their hoods were pulled up over their heads, each held a staff, and stood straight at attention like soldiers.
“Lead on.” Glyph said, and decided that this place was going to get even stranger. He dismounted and one of the monks led O’dista off toward the trees, while the other began walking to the gate. “I’m going to want him back later.” he called after the monk, who turned and smiled.
“He is at your disposal, King Glyph. Only your word is needed.” The monk he was following stated.
They walked through the main gate and entered a labyrinth of winding narrow streets that contoured with the lay of the land. Most of the buildings here were small, one or two rooms at most, made of mud brick, and covered in a white plaster. Everything appeared to Glyph to be very clean, well kept, and utilitarian. Nothing he saw, however, had a sense of permanence, as if they could pack up tomorrow and no one would ever know they had been there. They wound their way closer to the base of the mountain, and soon the rock face loomed above them some several hundred feet.
The monk finally stopped at a medium-sized nondescript stone hut built out from the face of the cliff. He stepped to one side of the opening, which was nothing more than a woven rug hung across the entrance and knocked twice on a worn wooden placard with a thick solid looking stick that hung there from a piece of ancient twine. The rug slid to one side and his guide gestured for him to enter. Glyph glanced around, wishing he had brought Toban with him; this all seemed a little bizarre.
“In here?” Glyph questioned.
“I assure you, this is the right place.” The monk replied.
Glyph ducked inside the hut. It was one large room, and there was another man in the corner sitting on the dirt floor. A large woven blanket adorned the back wall. He also noticed his guide hadn’t followed him in.
The man looked up at Glyph. “You may enter.” He pulled a tassel on a rope hanging nearby, and the blanket opened to reveal a wide stone staircase.
Walking up the steps, he could hear his footsteps echoing. There was an unseen light source somewhere above, which placed a white ambient glow on everything. He reached the top after a few minutes of walking and entered a huge hall. There were monks in small groups here and there, and large staircases leading up to the left, right, and back of the room. Glyph scanned the room again, and made his way to the base of the steps. No one appeared the least bit interested in him. He decided to continue straight and went up the next stairway. After a few more minutes he reached the top and entered another hall, not as large as the first, but just as impressive. This room had pillars that were carved right out of the rock, with large tapestries hung between them against the walls. Near the back, it split into several more rooms, and again there were more monks moving about. There were no doors so he continued straight again, entering a narrower hall that had doors on each side and a large door at the end. He strolled to the end of the hall, but before he could open the door, it clicked and opened fully, by itself.
“Welcome Great One.” Came a gravelly voice.
Glyph could see a man in a crimson robe sitting at a table in the center of a large round chamber, very reminiscent of Albast’s tomb in Muret. The walls were lined with books and scrolls stacked on shelves from floor to ceiling around the full girth of the room.
Glyph stepped inside and the door closed behind him. “I am King Glyph of Kivastor.” He stated.
“I know who you are, and why you are here, but tell me, why do you think you are here?” He asked with a straight face.
Not sure how to answer that, Glyph walked over to the large desk where the man sat. “Are you Verto?”
“I am indeed.” He replied. “Now I have answered your question, but you still have not answered mine.”
Glyph really wished he had waited for the others now. Verto slowly plucked at his long gray beard, and stared steadily into his eyes.
“I am here in advance of the combined armies of Kivastor, Barjon, and Torlea. We have come to fight the Demon Lord, and destroy him.” Glyph reported in kingly fashion.
“You have come, not your armies. Why are you here?” Verto asked again.
Glyph began to feel a bit irritated. “I felt compelled. The mountain was calling me.”
“I see.” Verto said, and closed his eyes for a moment. “Our forces are stationed at The Hook, the last bit of forest between Toleth’Va and The Pass. We may not have great numbers, but our monks are trained thoroughly in the art of combat. They are at your disposal.”
“On behalf of all our kingdoms, I thank you.” Glyph replied.
“You are but one. They are yours, Great One.”
“Thank you.” Glyph forced out. ‘This guy is whacked.’ he thought.
“Was there anything else I could help you with?” Verto questioned.
“My forces will not arrive for several hours. I would like to see the monastery at Toleth’Va.”
“Why do you seek the Seers?” Verto demanded suddenly.
Glyph tried to think up a lie, but decided against it.
“I have seen the monastery in a scene on a Living Tapestry. I feel like I’m supposed to go there.” He confessed.
Verto’s eyes widened. “You are truly powerful, Great One. No one yet living is able to view its fabled imagery. What else have you seen?” He inquired.
“Some of the battle ahead, some of the one in the past, and some of the present.” Glyph replied
“Ah, then you already know.”
“Yeah, I know.” Glyph forced out again, not sure what Verto was talking about for certain, but was pretty sure it was about his final battle with Drathus that he had seen on The Tapestry.
“I shall escort you to the monastery myself, Great One, and we can talk along the way.” The old priest stood, walked to the wall, grabbed his staff and led Glyph out into the hallway. They turned left and entered a long small corridor. After passing a few doors they came to a dead end. Verto placed the end of his staff into a small cylindrical hole in the floor and twisted it to the right. A faint click noise sounded, and a portion of the stone wall turned inward like a door, revealing yet another staircase. Glyph might have been impressed, but the moving rock wall was nearly identical to the King’s entrance into Kivas that Ishea had taken him through. Verto withdrew his staff and stepped into the doorway.
“Shall we go?” Verto asked as he continued onto the stairs.
Glyph nodded and followed. As he started to ascend the steps, he saw Verto tap his staff twice on the stone steps, and was startled when a brilliant white light emanated from the top of it.
“How’d you do that?” Glyph immediately asked. No one had said Verto was a sorcerer.
“I may not be a Sorcerer, Great One, but I am still a High Priest… That, and a magical staff help a lot.” Verto cackled and coughed a few times.
‘Was that a joke?’ Glyph thought. At the top of the stairs there was another room similar to the one they had just left.
As they walked toward another ascending set of steps Glyph decided it was his turn to ask some questions. “Why do you call me Great One?”
“That is your name, according to prophecy.” Verto replied.
“What do you mean? I didn’t read that in any prophecy I saw.”
“That is because you have not seen them all. There have been many prophecies written over the past several millennia. Some have come to pass, and some are yet to be.” Verto paused, as if debating his next choice of words. “Some four thousand years ago, a prophet by the name of Noini’ka wrote of the return of the Great One. He claimed that the western lands would drive out the evil, only to discover their hero had returned to the soil. The Guide will seek for answers. Love and sacrifice will foster the coming of the Great One, reborn in another place, to journey to our world. There will he fight the Evil, and here, will he close the door.”
“And I’m the Great One, brought here to destroy the evil demon Drathus, okay I get that. So, how many other prophecies are there about me?” Glyph asked.
“There are several, some more important than others I think. You are but one, Great One.”
“So I’ve heard.”
The steps continued for some ways, then began to switch back. The corridor leveled out and split off to one side. Verto moved into the left passageway and onto an ascending staircase that eventually exited straight out of the ground into a small rotunda. The structure was built of cut stone, and Glyph guessed its purpose was to keep rain or snow out of the tunnel. The large open doorway led onto an enormous flat peninsula of rock that jutted out from the side of the mountain. The whole area served as a courtyard, with a large mosaic of colored bricks covering the ground in an intricate design, most likely only visible from further up the mountain. Four raised daises stood evenly spaced down the middle and looked to contain pools of water. Directly across the courtyard from him was a large set of wide steps that led to the monastery, all carved out of rock. Reliefs of an enormous bird and lion standing together with the sun as their backdrop were etched into the cliff face above the monastery entrance, and a tall bell tower stood off to the right. The edge of the mountainside was some hundred feet away to either side of him, encased by a decorative stone railing that came together into a point some ways behind the rotunda. Several monks stood to the right side in silent meditation, staring off to the North. The views here were breath-taking, as the sun shone brightly atop the clouds with several nearby mountain peaks poking through as if in defiance, daring anything to stand in the way of them reaching the sun.
“What do they see?” Glyph remarked as they strolled past them.
“When more than one monk envisions a sight, it is recorded and studied. Mostly their vision is personal, and divine only to them in their experience of it.” Verto explained, as they walked.
“Did you re-build this after the first war?” Glyph spoke up again, eyeing the beauty of his surroundings.
“The monastery has always been here, it is seven thousand years old. The war of which you speak did not take place here. The Demon Lord did not know of its existence. The monks knew he was coming, so we destroyed the village, and covered our tracks on the ground. Then we gathered in the mountain halls, and concealed the entrance. When Drathus came to destroy Priam, he found nothing.”
Glyph imagined the scenario in his mind. “So you disappeared, and Drathus left empty handed. That’s pretty cool.”
“So, you guys have been around as long as The Seven.” Glyph noted.
“The First of The Seven, to be precise. Albast came to Toleth’Va seven thousand years ago. He was, as you are.”
“You mean a sorcerer?”
“Among other things, yes.” Verto answered.
“What other things?”
“Well, both have enormous power, for one. Both are not of this world, and it appears that both are inquisitive as well.”
They passed the last dais, and climbed the wide staircase to the opening of the temple.
“Did you say not of this world?” Glyph stopped and gazed at Verto.
“It is a trait you share with all of your kind.” Verto replied continuing to walk past Glyph.
“Wait, you’re saying that all sorcerers come from another world?” Glyph said, trying to wrap his mind around what he was hearing.
“Yes, unless you are not.” Verto cracked a smile.
“You mean, Ishea is…” Glyph started to say.
“Not of this world.” Verto interjected.
Glyph shook his head. Some small part of him had been gnawing on this since he first met Ishea. She had said ‘I know your pain’, or something, and he knew she didn’t, but the way she had spoken it always gave him pause. ‘Why didn’t she tell me?’ Glyph thought.
“Do not be incensed by her action on this matter.” Verto said as if he could somehow know what Glyph had thought. “The practice has been handed down from Albast. It is forbidden to tell a new sorcerer your origin until a decision has been made. I had a premonition early this morning that you would make the choice before arriving here today.”
“What choice, what are you talking about?” Glyph grated.
“The choice to stay in this world; they all chose to stay. They were on the side of Light, Great One. You differ in that you are on both sides. Your wretched hour marks you as a killer, and the darkness festers within you. Your choice was unclear to us, but now that it has been made, you have fulfilled yet another prophecy. Ishea would have informed you as soon as she found out.”
Glyph shook his head slowly. They walked through a large sanctuary, then circled the room and walked back out to the top of the steps again, as Glyph tried to make sense of what he had been told. It was here that Glyph noticed that the scene he was seeing at this very moment was the one he had viewed in the Tapestry. His hair stood on end. The group of monks was in the same place, even the placement of the sun in the sky.
“This is the scene I viewed through the Living Tapestry!” Glyph remarked excitedly.
“Then, I believe, that our tour is complete. Please allow me to escort you back.”
Together they walked back across the courtyard. Before they entered the rotunda to descend the stairs, Glyph took one last look over the rail to the south and through a small break in the clouds saw his armies approaching like ants in the distance. ‘His armies’, Glyph laughed to himself. Maybe Verto wasn’t as messed up in the head as he had thought.
On the way down it struck Glyph that perhaps they had passed through another portal on the stairs. He couldn’t recall any flashes of light or other weird phenomena, but couldn’t reconcile the number of steps they had climbed with the actual height of the monastery on the mountainside. He was about to question Verto about it when the High Priest began to tell Glyph the story of Toleth’Va.
“When Albast came to us, we were living in a village at the bottom of the mountain. He stayed with us for hundreds of years, studying the ways of the world. When the war with the Demon Lord was prophesized, Albast become distraught. He loved the people here very much, and did not want to see them destroyed. One day, he found an entrance to a cavern that went deep into the mountain, and used his power to form the walls and floor. Albast labored in the mountain for two years, while the monks sustained him. When he emerged, he gave Toleth’Va to the High Priest of Priam, and we have maintained it for six thousand years. We were grateful, though we did not understand why he had done this; it became clear to us shortly before Drathus launched his attack on this land. Albast did this for us, so that we would survive, and we are more grateful now in the understanding.” Verto imparted.
They soon reached the hall that led to Verto’s chamber. Verto casually tapped his staff twice, and the lit crystal on top went out. He then placed the end into the hole and twisted it back to the left, closing the door to the staircase behind them. Withdrawing the staff, they moved down the hallway and entered Verto’s room. The ancient priest placed it against the wall and walked to his chair at the ornately carved desk.
As Verto was about to sit down, there was a curt knock and a monk entered the chamber. The monk bowed, and Verto followed suit.
“We have received word that the forces of the Great One are arriving at the South edge of the city, Your Grace.” The monk reported.
“Very well, Solkit.”
“Thank you for your hospitality, Verto. I should take leave of you now so that I may perform my duties.” Glyph said as Solkit left the room.
“It has been an honor to meet you, as it will be again. Take care, Great One.” Verto said as he sat in his chair, and watched Glyph leave.
Glyph descended the wide stairs through the mountain quickly, and traversed the halls without seeming rushed. He arrived at the main Hall just as Ishea and Lukret entered at the far side.
“Is all well, Glyph?” Ishea asked as they met near the middle of the room.
“As well as can be expected.” Glyph replied. “Lukret.” Glyph acknowledged.
“Good afternoon, Glyph. Our forces are approaching the city now.”
“Good. Verto’s monks are at The Hook, we will camp there tonight. We’ll all need to get together this evening to make sure we’re on the same page.” Glyph informed him. “I can pass this along to the generals myself if that’s alright by you?”
Lukret smiled. “Of course.”
“I take it you are going to see Verto now.” Glyph commented.
“It is the polite thing to do.” Ishea said with a sly grin.
“No problem.” Glyph remarked. “I’ll catch up with you both later.”
Glyph exited the stairs into the hut, and had to shield his eyes from the bright sunlight as he pushed the woven rug aside. He went down through the small city of huts and found Toban, Kahula, Hilen and Covat at the gate. A monk appeared from around the corner leading O’dista and handed Glyph the reins. He stared after the man and briefly wondered how the monk knew to bring out his horse.
“Gentlemen,” Glyph said as he approached. “We are moving on to The Hook. There, we will meet up with Verto’s troops and set up camp. Any questions?”
Toban looked relieved to see Glyph. “None Sire.” he replied, and the others shook their heads.
“Alright then let’s get to it.” Glyph ordered. “As soon as we make camp, we’ll all meet up to discuss our plan.”
“Very well, Glyph.” Kahula responded, and they all rode out.
Later that evening, all the Kings and Generals met in the mess tent to go over the plan; even Verto was present. They all hovered over a map of The Pass spread out on the table.
“We’ll station half the Legions on the field, back a ways to draw them out. The other half will set up on the mountains on the East side. Kahula, Toban, and Verto’s men will set up on the West side. As the bulk of them come through, we’ll attack on all sides at once and crush them!” Glyph explained.
“Where will you be, Glyph?” Verto spoke up. He had that enigmatic expression on his face again.
“I will be on the field with the Legions, as well as Ishea. She will help the East side and I will help on the West if it is needed.” Glyph replied. “Also, those of you on the sides, keep your archers to the front and wait for my signal to charge.”
“What is the signal, King Glyph?” General Covat asked.
“You’ll know it when you see it. I’ll send up a flare, a burst of light.”
“Ishea, what is King Rokka’s situation?” Glyph asked.
“Rokka and his men have met little resistance. They have been keeping to the mountains, and should make the pass sometime tomorrow morning.” She said.
“Rokka’s job is to cause confusion on the other side, and to catch any of the Grull that decide to retreat.”
“It is a good plan,” Kahula said nodding his head.
“I agree.” Lukret said as well.
“Any questions?” Glyph stated.
“What if it does not work?” Verto chimed in.
“Then we do it the hard way.” Glyph said meeting his gaze.
Verto cackled, and coughed again.
Toban put out his fist. “It is an honor to serve.” He spoke loudly.
Hilen put his hand on Toban’s fist. “An honor!” he shouted
Kahula followed suit, and one by one they put their hand on top of the others, with Glyph laying his hand on top.
The sun had set and it began to rain as storm clouds moved overhead. Glyph lay in his tent trying to sleep, but couldn’t. When he did manage, it was fitful at best. Before he knew it, his internal clock was waking him.
Glyph dressed and then studied the Tapestry. He steadfastly avoided it last night, but now he was anxious to see it. Strangely, it bore the scene Verto had described to him yesterday, of Drathus and his minions lined up at the bottom of Toleth’Va, searching diligently for the city of Priam, which was nowhere to be found. The servants entered with breakfast, and Ishea arrived with her portable apothecary of herbs and elixirs.
“Fair morning.” She said and smiled at him.
“Let’s hope.” Glyph replied. For once, he wasn’t really hungry.
Ishea reached over, picked up a piece of bread, and took a bite.
“Why does it seem like Verto knows more than he is saying?” Glyph blurted, out of the blue.
“Verto is wise, and has studied the prophecies his whole life.” Ishea tried to explain. “He may well know the outcome of the battle, but cannot say, lest he interfere with what must take place.”
“How old is he?”
“A little over a thousand years.”
“What?” Glyph asked incredulously.
“The Priests of Priam have always lived past their hundredth year, probably due to their aptitude for magic as well as their monastic lifestyles. Verto is the only one to have lived this long. He was just a young monk during the first war. Verto was the one who interpreted the prophecy in time to warn his people, and it was his idea to have them hide within the walls. He saved them all, and was elevated to High Priest in reward.”
“Amazing.” Was all Glyph could say.
After they had finished, Glyph lay down on the bed and began his wait, while Ishea prepared to heal him as best she could. He stared at the ceiling for several minutes, and turned his head toward The Tapestry. Suddenly it started to change, it shimmered, and the threads came alive. It looked like a million pinworms intertwining and moving about. Slowly a picture started to form; it was The Pass. This time it seemed to be a view from the plain. As he looked on, he saw what appeared to be a black cloud coming out between the mountains, then to his horror, he realized it was thousands of Grull, and his armies were nowhere in sight. They’re coming through The Pass! They’re coming now! Glyph sat upright and opened his mouth to tell Ishea, but there was no air, as a large blast of wind sailed through the tent and pulled it from his lungs. His last vision was of Ishea’s worried face, as the darkness came to claim him once again.