Caine and I alone escaped to tell thee.
What passed is done, and there is only telling. I have seen the
deaths of the two great gods, and with them fell my King, and also a
Prince and a Princess of my realm.
It was the most horrible thing I had ever seen in my life.
I dreamed the thing over and over; each time, I felt the magic
leave my body, and I thought it was my soul; each time, I thought I
dreamed I died.
But, each time I woke to an ironically cheery room, that reminded
me of Foster's family. Nautical things abounded, echoes of Nantucket and
the H.M.S. Pinafore and Mutiny on the Bounty... There was a crisp,
professional-sailor look to the place. I was in one of Caine's refuges.
Not a very fitting place for one who has let her King and her god
die. I should be in hell.
I come out of the wall with Drumm and see Corwin and Ahab engaged
with a man bearing two wicked scimitars. Caine seems to be off to the
side, doing something... I hear Drumm's voice in my ear, low and soft,
almost like a lover's. "Walk forward. Slowly." I do so, and a tingling
takes me, beginning in my toes, like the first step on the Pattern. The
tingling advances, envelopes my feet, goes up my legs...
...Mother didn't really want me to leave Foil, but she realized
the time had come, and so she took me to the Pattern; not the Pattern in
the deep darkness of Kolvir, but the one that lies beneath the sun and
stars. She embraced me, and gave me a last bit of advice, and gently
pushed me towards the edge, and I went, and the sparks came up around my
feet, towards my knees, and my memories rushed in like a storm surge.
When I reached the center, I went to Amber. There I met my
cousins, some of who became as dear as family should be, including Ahab
and Felix and Ariana, and especially Foster. I had just met Felix, you
see, when Julian came striding up, holding a burlap sack in one hand. He
dropped the sack in front of Felix and went away, and Felix opened it and
inside was a boy, perhaps ten or twelve, by no means small or little for
his age, with thick black hair, and eyes each of different colors. He was
concussed, and Felix, for some reason, passed him to me, and I held him in
my arms for a while. He seemed so sweet and innocent. I could not have
guessed that he would become my lover...
...The tingling continues up my body, and suddenly, it's as if the
light of my soul is pouring out of my mouth and eyes, and my vision is
filled with the sparkling, blinding, pure light. It takes some time
before I realize the entire room is filled with this light; slowly, I see
the Serpent and Ahab and Corwin come back into view. The light has
disoriented the Serpent even worse than it has me. The Serpent can't play
with them any longer. He brings about his swords, and spears Corwin
through with one scimitar, and the other sword heads towards Ahab. But
wait -- Spider steps between them, and the blade pierces her body, before
it comes out the other side, and goes into Ahab's body, which once strong,
now seems as frail as tissue paper...
...Beauty destroyed the box completely, and tissue paper lay
everywhere around us in snowy mounds. A small creature, seemingly made of
metal and air, whirred agitatedly around the room before plucking a ribbon
off the floor and absconding with it to roost in my chandelier. Beauty
looked up and giggled and pointed to her mother. Elizabeth looked up,
too, and soon, the whole party had focused its attentions on the tiny
I was curious to find the owner, dragons not being native to Foil,
and looked around the many faces present, and saw Cal looking at me.
Only, it wasn't Cal at all, for there he was by the window, pointing out
the intricacies of a small iron dagger to Shard. This man stood in the
shadows by the fireplace, dressed in dark brown, and seemed much slenderer
than my foster brother. Who was this man? He could have been Cal's
brother, and therefore, technically, my brother. But his hair was white,
almost, where Cal's is brown; his eyes, ice, instead of dark blue. He
looked at me with such intensity, I could only guess I had done him some
Ariana later told me that he was Driscoll, the Crown Prince; and
that he had lost his memory...
I woke up shivering from my memories of Driscoll. My shoulders
were cold, so cold, and I wanted comfort. Sequence was beside me, but I
couldn't touch it... There was something in my hands, and that's when I
realized my hands were hot, though my body was cold. What...?
...Ahab and Corwin both plunge their swords, blazoned with the
filigree of the Pattern, into the Serpent's body. He does not burst into
flames, though the blows hurt him. Corwin and Spider both seem to be
having some sort of reaction, and a bad one...perhaps something on the
blades? Ahab looks least effected, and throws his blade at the Serpent.
It creases the Serpent's neck. Corwin and Spider stop writhing on the
floor in pain...
The night before, I dreamed I died. I dreamed that the path was
open to me, and I took it, down the black water's edge, and I stepped on
the boat that moves so slowly, so silently, towards the Islands of the
Blessed. I dreamed that when I stepped onto the boat, a great gale came
up, and there was no calmness in the journey, and the other dead souls on
the boat turned to look mournfully at me. And I realized... I jumped
over the side and swam away from the barge, and the seas calmed, and I was
suddenly afloat and alone in the black waters between life and death.
I had not said farewell to Driscoll. How would he know what to
tell our daughter of me, when I had not said good-bye to him? I woke in
semi-darkness, the knocking on my door leadenly slow compared to the
pounding of my heart. Drumm was knocking. Foster never stirred in his
sleep as I went to answer the door. "Be ready soon," he said, and I
turned back to Foster and looked at him, and realized that I should have
demanded that Driscoll come through to Faerie as well... But I did not,
and I would die without having said, one last time, what was in my heart.
The Unicorn comes from nowhere, and holding her sword, engages the
Serpent. Their fight takes them back and away... I look around, feeling
somewhat paralyzed as the tingling fades slowly from my body and my vision
continues to clear. Caine is still struggling with a Trump. I don't know
what to do, and there is the foulest of demon- stenches in the air. I
move forward, to help Ahab to stand, but before I can reach him, the
Serpent has stabbed the Unicorn completely through. I switch course, from
towards the King to towards the Deity, throwing Sequence out ahead of me.
Behind me, Ahab's last words: "Thus do I give up the spear. My
son will set things right..."
Tears stung my eyes, and I rolled over onto my side, suddenly
awakened from the dream by the realization of what I was holding.
The eyes. Four eyes, identical. Two from the Serpent, two from
the Unicorn. I had no clue which was the Maker of our Pattern, which was
our Jewel. Nor could I tell which belonged to our goddess. How could
they look so similar, the eyes of the Unicorn and the eyes of the Serpent?
Inside of one of the four was the key to our universe. The other three
were keys to universes never to be made. And two of those last three
were, at the least, the holiest of relics. I closed my own two living
eyes, overcome again by exhaustion, and tried to sleep.
As I draw near the Serpent, who smiles at the fallen Unicorn, I
stopped in shock when I realize a blade is entering him from behind and
poking out his front. His face contorts in a horrible mask of pain and
rage, and I feel real, true fear for the first time, ever. Then I notice
the Unicorn behind him, mortally wounded as well...they fall down, dying,
dead, and begin to fall further, disintegrating before my eyes. I stand
in shock, trying to understand, as suddenly, the foundations of the world
begin to shake, and stones in the ceiling begin to fall. I dash forward,
scooping up the small, dully glowing red jewels that lay in the midst of
the disintegrating bodies, and clutch them tightly to my chest. Three
swords lay beside them -- the two scimitars of the Serpent, the long sword
of the Unicorn. I do not touch them.
Caine shouts something, hoarse and urgent above the din of the
falling masonry and the trembling of the earth. I turn on my heel, see
the gleam of two swords a little further off: Morglyph and Greyswandir.
I stoop, pick them up, taking two long cuts in my palm and two in my
fingers, even though I hold them as lightly as possible. Caine has opened
a Trump gate, he is shouting to us to go through. I run, and see Sequence
just ahead of me, speeding to the gate like a diving falcon. On a
different trajectory, I see Drumm, and see the chunk of stone about to
fall and smash his body forever. Someone shouts -- is it Caine, or is it
me? Drumm looks up, and as the stone falls, he shouts as well, a spell,
and he falls through the floor.
I woke, aching with pain and purpose, defeated by my body and the
First, there was joy that I was still alive, that I would see my
children and my lovers and my family one day more.
Then, there was sorrow. I have lost a king and a friend. And God
-- we must not forget God...she is dead now, too. And we never knew her
I slept, I woke, I dreamed and remembered.
I took my fist-full of jewels, and placed them in my talking bones
bag, and put the bag in my shirt-front.
I slept again and did not think I dreamed.
At the edge of the Trump gate, I turn briefly, and look back
around, towards Ahab and Corwin and Spider; I can see nothing of them past
the dust and the stones that fall from above. My fists clench
convulsively around the items I hold in my hand, and I feel the sharp pain
in one hand, and the burning in the other.
I leap through, and at first I think it is only tears that are
obscuring my vision, but I know this is not the time to cry; weeping is
for a safe time. It takes a few moments of rapid blinking before I
realize that there are no tears.
Light clouds my vision, and then overtakes me.
I am gone...
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