Chapter II

The Current Revealed

They rode in silence .Farsthens stony gaze locked on the horizon. Dusk was closing fast and he was terrified of being alone in the forest with the Gee. He tried telling himself that he did not believe there was an Ancient evil lurking but he couldn't believe there was not.

Gee had set the body aflame sending the spirit beyond the Eighth Gate all the faster. Any mage child knew that a spirit would linger if the body was not destroyed yet Gee had made a big show of this knowledge and performed an elaborate Casting of the Flames. Not only so but he refused to say intone the prayer of the Light ,a ceremony scared to the followers of Khiskinsuntra and more than appropriate since the dead claimed to be keeper of the light .
"Which way is the tide running !" Gee and Farsthen heard the voice ,snap once again from the river.

"Come now Shilphorne! You must feel the current ! test the waves !Which way are the tides pulling !"

The old woman was no more distinguishable from a pile of dead leaves floating on the river. Her raspy voice loud against the low gurgle of the river Elrik as it sped down stream.

"I cant Dowager " the girl stood chin deep in the river waves passing above her head ever now and then. She gasped and sputtered wildly as the river picked her up and spun her for a moment before finding her foot hold once more. "I cant feel it please !!" she gritted her teeth shutting her eyes tightly as the river lift her again.

The old lady stood in shallower water her gray hair swirling in the water around her. Ghunstalph Shamb ,the Dowager of Orison Vale commanded the girl to try again.

"What are they doing ?" Farsthen whispered softly but not softly enough.

In one quick movement the little woman turned waving a staff almost as tall as herself above her head. The river leapt and swirled around her dancing upwards forming a column around her and the frightened girl. Farsthen and Gee stared perplexed as a gust of wind kicked up and the column of water disappeared leaving the river empty and calm.

"Thors thumbs!" Gee cursed softly under his breath "I don't think we were suppose to see that" Farsthen agreed steering his mount away from the river and back onto the foot path.

After a while the path met up with another larger road and leveled out as they came upon the gates of Orison Vale.

"You there!" Gee called up to a guardsman on the platform above the gate. "Open up !"

The man looked down at them and smiled weakly. His eyes were red rimmed and his movements seemed to slow as he turned away .

"Open the gates will ya !" Farsthen called up but the man continued his slow turn until he was facing them again. He sagged against the poles of the platform a thin wicked smile crossed his pale face as he tumbled head first towards the two travelers.

( short chapter ,it'll make sense later ) TBC