Chapter 1 The dying Wanderer part 3 of 3
‘Must warn him... They’re coming for him.’ Jonndi was shocked by the wide-eyed expression on his normally level-headed friend.
‘Calm down Tairyn, you’re save now.’ Jonndi couldn’t completely hide the anguish in his voice, knowing full well that his friend wasn’t going to last through the night.
Still, his voice seemed to calm the old wanderer down almost instantly. For a moment Tairyn was staring at him as if he was seeing a ghost. Then, with a huge sigh of relieve, he finally came back to his senses.
‘Of course the Spirit would guide me well in our hour of need. I don’t know how, but I knew you were out there, far away, but just close enough. Without seeing you, I knew you were there. Without hearing me, you came.’
Jonndi frowned at his friend. He knew Wanderers had a tendency for talking in melodramatic riddles, but this was downright peculiar. Did he really say what I think he said?
Tairyn smiled warily. ‘My sceptical old friend. I didn’t believe it myself at first, but what choice did I have. I was being held captive by the Lord of the West himself; this was the only path the Spirit showed me that didn’t end in disaster for us all.'
'He has weapons, Jonndi; Algevaro has acquired terrible weapons. Not seen since the days of the Trekiir War. Weapons far too powerful to remain in the hands of ambitious men like him. He holds Dragon Weapons, the weapons of the Guardians.'
'But there is one last weapon on this continent not yet under his control. Jonndi, he must not get it, for if he does; the Spirit shows nothing but a future filled with doom for us all.'
'I know I can’t go on any further. My life’s thread has come to an end. Even though I can’t see my own life-thread like I can see others, I feel this is my final night on Meila.’
Jonndi looked pained by his friends calm words. ‘Tairyn, old friend, are you certain there is nothing that can be done. Maybe if you tell me what poison they used, I can make the right antidote. You know I have some skill with potions and elixirs.’
‘I know it is thanks to your skills that I have been given these final hours in the presence of a dear old friend. But you don’t have to comfort me, I know you’re fully aware that there is nothing more that you can do for me.’
Jonndi shook his head in denial, trying to fight back his tears. ‘Can’t you direct me to the nearest temple of Aesclia, maybe a priest of the healing goddess can still help you. If I ditch the wagon we could cover some miles quickly on Boreas’ back. I just need to figure out where I am.’ Jonndi knew that his ideas were getting more and more desperate but he couldn’t stop from offering them. ‘Can’t the Spirit direct a Ranari to come down here with a cure or a Beralin to take you to them?’
Tairyn’s smile spread to his eyes, returning some of their former sparkle. ‘You always wanted too much from the Spirit, old friend. You know full well that things don’t work like that. I am by no means important enough for any kind of special treatment. Besides, I don’t think even the Spirit can get a Ranari to come down from their jungle moon.'
'No, finding you and telling you what you need to know is the last task for me. I have done my duty and it’s nothing to be sad about. I have lived a full and wondrous life. Who else can say that throughout their entire life they were never lost, never uncertain as to their purpose on Meila and never unaware of all the good in the world?'
'You of all people know how valuable such knowledge can be. I am not the first friend you lost and I shall not be the last. Yours is a burden I don’t envy. But your days of self-imposed isolation must come to an end again. Meila needs you to finish the task that the Spirit had put upon me.’
Jonndi looked self-conscious. He had to ask the questions that had plagued him for over a century. ‘Can you see how long I will live? Will I live as long as my father?’
Tairyn looked at his friend warily. ‘Jonndi we have been over this. Yours is a life-thread unlike any I have ever seen. You have the potential to live to a great age, but you could die tomorrow from a broken neck or an errant arrow. I can’t compare, I have never seen a true Guardian. I don’t know what they’re like. Nor have I ever heard or read about a half-blood like you. The Spirit won’t show me what’s in store for you, but I’m sure that you are destined to do great things for the good of us all.’
Jonndi looked into the flames, still feeling unconvinced. ‘Everything I have done has been a failure. If I were destined to be a great protector of Meila, don’t you think my father would have taken me under his wing? He keeps me away from any real knowledge because I’m not powerful enough. My magic is useless.’
‘Stop it, Jonndi. I will not spend my final hours listening to a great man feeling sorry for himself. I’m the one who is dying here. How do you know that you’re a failure, for all you know, your life has only just begun?’
Jonndi gave an unconvinced chuckle. ‘Tairyn, I’m a hundred and ninety eight years old. I am almost three times as old as you. How can you say my life has only just begun?’
Tairyn shrugged his shoulders. ‘It’s a feeling I get when I look at you. Besides, you don’t look a day over thirty. So what does that tell you? Now, stop whining and listen, my time is running out and you must be made aware of what to do.’