The broad hall with carven scenes of hunting and journeys over strange mountains and fields ringed the close walls , brooding upon any entrants with a sense of the structure that must weigh above that cliff sealed crypt. It was unreachable from the narrow broken heights from which she’d descended with the Auxai before Xotl took the fighters to scout and try and breach the walled plateau.

Vlayna whirled and squared with a starshot of twin wavering flames that stole back into the dark. Like two burning brands cast into a well of pitch, they fled before the singing of her scabbard as her blade smote and singed some stray mist from the clammy broil of the apparition.

The air within that chamber was oppressive as a summer hothouse despite the fall air that moved the wavering grasses in the vast fields outside. She stared as the floor rose up in glittering panels and she heard the searing yet not unmirthful chatter in the voice that followed– you have a noble figure for one so foolhardy to interrupt my sanctity. I will diminish your presumed lack of station…

She felt torn backwards as if an abyss swallowed the sky in its passage, and her ego telescoped downward to hover above a zero point that yet still hummed and churned with the tormented conscioussness within.

Vlayna felt hurtled on vermillion stained and dusty byways of time, saw roiling eons in their turn and flew above the rise and muster of great legions and cities until the only beggars left were to take up new rags hewn from the raw cacti and yucca stem. Stragglers who armed themselves with such sparse timber from the deserts to face with fear-struck eyes the cold dawn above the scoured wastes as mute mirrors to their vanished ancestors.

Then like a mote in a star tumbled sky she rocketed back into the lush seat before the psychic minister. The air was dark but for the curtains which seemed to glow a pale greenish haze across from the single white painted table that sat between them, and before her the man whom she now knew no mistake was one of the Seers, sought by the fen beating hordes of the Auxai, chortled and grimaced in his delight at her bewilderment.

Now you won’t deny our masterful truth, like those wine sotted japes that call themselves the Meydin Hall of Science. I laugh at the Auxai outfielders as well, the stinking savages won’t accost me here.

Even as she wished to shrink from his merciless gloating and triumphal sneer, she raised her frame to the full and directed the now soaring ire of the river boat privateer and Captainess at her captor — You mottled and failed sooth and stoop haunter! You dare abduct a holder of the keys of the Gonzalin League? Whilst in the fulfillment of a disarming and call to stand before the infallible of this land?

When the Xuchotlan arrives here…she silenced her mouth but not her wrath as a fresh wave of mirth seized the Seer. It shook from his swaying stomach to his stout upper body. Under his silken and loose garments he resembled a water hog with the lower half of a bandy legged wagoneer, fresh from hauling his produce and swaggering on his cushion below the black and white fringed mirrors and the piercing light from a single brand that burnt above them and seemed to give more animate leap and gleam to the strange parodies of life that brooded from the shadows around the sorcerer.

When that devil hearted rouster gets here, I’ll subdue and slay him in my lair. Here, wench! I have complete rule and through you , the City Hall of the League will empty of all but the most supplicant to brush their noble pates upon the royal floors at my leave.

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