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The Eye of Amethyst

Sometimes I play with them, smugly glowing in their enchanted box.

I’ll gather a handful and shake them like a gambler his dice. Then I’ll scatter them, rolling on the green velvet, half hoping such abuse might chip one.

Sometimes I walk out on the face and watch the morning shadow of Needlespire shorten over the Western Sea, so green, teaming with rich life.

Sometimes I’ll look out on the afternoon shadow, miles long, stretching over the cobalt blue of the measureless fathoms of the Eastern Sea.

I don’t look north. It’s been a decade since my gaze last arrowed over the Rim Mountains, past the land of the Twisted Ones to that dun plain scattered now with the strange metal ruins and glassy craters of the Starlords failed citadels, and the bones of friends.

I turn my back on it, even now, with those damned gems casting soft colored shadows on the green velvet.

I look south, over the peaks of the Rim Mountains, past the pirate stronghold of Farilee Town, whose lords know better than to let my solitude be disturbed.

I reach, I stretch forth and feel the stresses, the flow of arcane energies and the soft bright hearts of life of the lesser fire. Is it right yet? Is it time? No… not yet. I look on the Continent of Man and shake my head, self mocking, at their arrogance and pride.

What’s this? I look at the tear on the back of my hand where it grips the stone, denting it. Thrice! Thrice in the last decade alone! Perhaps I am aging. Perhaps. I can always hope.

With a caressing motion I smooth the stone and turn to go inside. I am beginning to feel it again.

Soon, I think.

Soon I shall go among them again. Always joking, outrageous. A scoundrel, even wicked, but of good heart.

But not yet. Not yet. I am still sick of heart. It will pass. Today, next year. It will pass.

I sit at the table, cluttered with a great fortune of junk. I notice the gems fell in a pattern. Again. As if I would listen. I sweep them all into their box, all but one.

I pick that one up, gazing multi-faceted through it. Against my will, I notice the kaleidoscope images begin to form a pattern, Impatient, I close my eye, still holding up the blasted stone. In my mind I look through the same gem, a different time. I open my eye. The gem, perhaps resigned, or perhaps just cruel in it’s indifference, shows me what I want.

Through the amethyst I see the vibrant worlds, like gems on black velvet, screaming with verdant passion. I speed among them, fueled by the greater fire, seeking again. Again I fail. They are all blind. Only Amethyst has an Eye. And I am not enough. One world can not do it. All will perish, but they are deaf to my screaming as well. I am too small.

I release my will. She tries to comfort me, but Her great strong touch is too much, too much agony, too much ecstasy, even now. She releases another memory instead.

The world lives. Its veins flow with rich magma, its core beats with fiery fusion. The world can sense the others, those other worlds whose hearts still burn. It is alive and it can sense others of its kind. And on its cool dead surface, things crawl.

The world remembers. Ages past, when its skin still flowed, memories were trapped in the semi-conducting lattice of crystals. Even now, it stores away memories, making gems glow with a light not born of heat. Sometimes, it even remembers the mites on its skin.

The world thinks. As has happened for some of its kind, an accident, a most probable accident, awoke the world and she pondered. She pondered all the big questions, long before life began on its own on her skin.

Sometimes, she has a small thought, quick as the arcs of electricity in her core. She noticed the dead tissue outside her.

The world explored. She examined what to her was the equivalent of hair and skin. It was no longer of her, but it was from her. It lived! How odd. How could life fit in so tiny a vessel, with no nuclear fire to beat in its core. It came to her, eons later, that they burned with a lesser fire. Satisfied, she withdrew.

The terrified tiny lives on Her surface were bereft. But having felt the Mother, they knew Her energy, and they learned to draw it. She never noticed. They drew Her energy to themselves and shaped it, generation by generation, into a distorted memory of Her. This was an Elder God. Malformed, chaotic, capricious.

Since then, the lives of beings of the lesser fire and the gods they have created, that created them, have been wound about with the power of the World. With a small thought, the World suddenly noticed that not all the tiny creatures were dead. Some were still part of her. She rejoiced. She bent her thoughts into that part of her.

The Archmage Dreadfire sat up screaming in his opulent bed. His eyes bled fire and his mouth steamed blood. He was already dead. An empire of arcane terror, of slavery and sacrifice, had ended in an instant.

The World drew back, confused. She had crushed that mite with her weight. Even before she could be it, it was gone. She located another.

A hundred years later, the Wizard Wavewalker, the current rival to Dreadfires aging heir, stopped in the middle of the summoning. His eyes grew wide and shone with a multi-colored, shifting light, the fine scales of his face translucent, glowing as if his very blood burned. From his hands, the aura of conjuring became a glare too bright to look at. He gasped with a horrid, dry rasp. The spirit he was invoking took form, but it was not confident and sneering as it usually was. It flitted here and there within the pentagram like a bird desperate for escape, it's leathery wings burning as it beat against the wards. The Wizard took an unsteady step forward, his foot blurring the pentagram, but the demon wailed in terror, pressed tight against the other side.

I have visited that place. There is nothing of that tower but a glassy valley, overgrown by jungle that was grassland when the tower was whole. There is little left of that people but a few enclaves of suspicious, magic wary primitives, hiding from warm-bloods. They do not like me, yet they feed me, hiding their young and waiting with inhuman patience for me to leave them be.

Again she drew back. These beings were fragile indeed. She pondered a bit. Magma shifted, life evolved, stars danced their stately dance.

With me, She used the lesser fire. With me, She succeeded, though I too died. Many times. I was the third greatest mage in the history of the world. I am twenty thousand years old. But, of course, I am not old at all. The continents themselves will mutate before I ever grow a grey hair. My heart now beats to the dance of the greater fire. Now, I am Her Eye, where She had none. Where She had no thought for man, I give Her that thought. But I am no longer a man.

Sometimes I weep, but She does not understand that. I won’t give Her that. That sorrow is all I know is still mine.

And so I stash these thoughts in a crystal none can read. None, but another Eye.

Sometimes I laugh. But I already gave Her my humor. She understands.

 

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