Eddings Imported From Epistula

Worlds Apart 8

Chapter 8 Honest Johns

What in the Guilds do you mean You Don’t trust him? Jascain demanded
I… Don’t know . Maybe it’s that I can’t tell what he is thinking. replied Krydis
Do you trust me?
Yes. That’s why I don’t think it’s that.

The Gate had led to what seemed to be a long corridor. Aquarion had talked to a couple of people, and then they had stepped into a void between two of the millions of Doorways that surronded them. They were now sitting in what appeared to be some kind of resurant. Although whatever they were selling seemed bad for the people who were drinking it, many of whom were slumped over the huge wooden bar that ran the length of one wall. Another wall was encumbered with a long time-line type map which Aquarion was studying in depth, which had led to Jascain and Krydis sitting at a table discussing their collective lot.

Who is he anyway? asked the seeress
One of the researchers. Basically, some Dals who broke off from the Dalmind thousands of years ago becauase they thought it interferred with research. I’m inclined to agree with them. replied Jascain
But didn’t Vilane introduce you as a Researcher Novice?
Yes, I study under that guild. We are seperated under several guilds, for some reason the researchers took an interest in me. Reasearcher of the Blue is what I become if they let me.
Doesn’t that mean you get disconnected from the Dalmind? Krydis asked
More than now you mean? No. Only the Rainbow – the seven Researcher Masters – take that step, and they are never connected in the first place. I was noticed when I was 14, and therefore to late to have the decision made for me.
What does it mean though?
Each of the researchers colours specialise, Red stays behind and collates what everyone else does, Yellow makes a study of Extrapersonal development Jascain was rapidly heading into Lecture mode and he knew it. He made a consious effort to stop
Stuff like sourcery, things that most people can’t do
Like Belgarion? asked Krys
No, he came under another catagory, but like me and you.
I’ve never heard of it said the seeress
She tends to study from afar I gather
And blue?
Blue is extradimentional, stuff that is not only of this universe, but others. That’s what Belgarion falls under, what he did was for the sake of the multiverse. These catagories tend to merge. He wrote most of the stuff on the recent Event, but has a tendancy to do lots of things
he likes to travel, and write histories of the places he’s been based on what people tell him, but history is more strictly Orange, if you see what I mean. Jascain was rapidly getting bored with his own explainations, and attempted to change the subject
What about you? he asked artlessly
Well, you should know most of this really
Seeresses arn’t suposed to know about that type of thing. We are supposed to remain aloof from normality. I’m slightly differant. replied the blindfoldless seeress
What is it with the blindfold thing?
I might well ask you what is it with the mind-protection?
I asked first pointed out Jasc.
So you did. I can impress things onto people, like I can make the world see me with a blindfold. It doesn’t work with you though.
Sort of, it looks as though you could be wearing one. It’s difficult to describe.
Your turn noted Krys
I can control what people see when they look into my mind. And I can see what other people are thinking
A Mind Reader? the thought had a taint of disbelief to it
Sort of, yes.

Aquarion finished his in depth study of the map and strode over to them
“We leave. Now”
“Why so soon?” asked Krydis
“Because someone is following us.”

As the stepped out of the door the reemerged in the Corridor of Doors.
“This” declaimed Aquarion with drama “Is the Hall of Worlds. This is Phase Space, or half of phase space, as I understand it. Every world is represented here, every possibility of every world, every universe is here.”
“Why half?” asked Jascain
“Because for every universe here, there must be a universe where one of the paths chosen was notto have a door into here. Or something very similer, as I understand it. I never dreamed I would actually be here” Aquarion looked like a kid in a candy store, never knowing what to try first, gazing at the vistas presented at every turn, of new people, for the “doors” were mearly rectangles of grey on a black background, with symbols beside that assumably told people who knew the lanuguage what the world within was.
“Every door we pass” said Aquarion quietly “creates a new door, a possibility that we would have stepped though. The universe divides into the version where we passed the door, and the version we didn’t. And more, for there are versions where only you, Jascain, or only Me, or even Krys, stepped though alone, and versions where we didn’t”
Krys? Jascain’s mental word came soon after Aquarion’s sentance.
We are going to have problems with my Tutor
Why? queried the Seeress
He doesn’t want to leave. I don’t think he is going to.
What? an element of panic had entered
He has studied extradimentional worlds for all of his life, this is his dream. I think we are going to have difficulty bringing him home
Why is he doing this then?
There is something he has to do, I think
You think?
It’s indistinct. He has a mission. I think I’m involved.
I can’t read things about me. I don’t know why, I think it’s part of the “One man cannot know his own future” thing. relied Jascain crypically
Will you please stop it with the one word questions?
Sorry, it’s just that he is the only guide we have. If we lose him…
…we’re lost. I know. Jascain broke off the conversation

By Aquarion

Eddings Imported From Epistula

Worlds Apart 5 – 7


From “History of our Guild”
Back in the days when the world was recent, and the cracking of the world was an unimaginable disaster yet to occur, the question arose of how the Dal Nation should protect itself from the ever-expanding Angarak Empire, or Kaldom, as it was more properly called. (Incidentally, the usage of Kaldom fell out of use shortly after the Nadrak’s began trade, possibly the first influences of relationships with the kingdoms of the west. Cross-reference to “Alorns & Angaraks, Trade & Countertrade” (A.K.D’b 5-04))
The solution was to feign simplicity. The Murgo “scout” parties looking for potential converts saw only the farms on the outer edge, tended by us, and people who professed to no knowledge of anything but farms further in. The murgos seldom ventured further, and if they did were guided by further agents back to the border. The important thing to come out of this was the discovery of certain practices that allowed Dals to talk to each others minds directly, thus circumventing the murgos. The original discover of this is unrecorded. Books from that era suggest that he claimed (for we are told he was male) that “a voice told him” The disbelief others placed in this claim led to the disbelief in himself, and that in turn led to his suicide. A regrettable occurrence indeed, for recent works have indicated that he may have been correct (Cross-reference, “Conversations with King Belgarion”, A. K. D’b).
Tangents aside, the decision was eventually made that each and every Dal would go though this training. After this discovery, the discovery of the power of multiple minds was quick to follow, and the path to the Seers was set and followed.
The road of the Dals has never been straight, and at one point it forked completely. Soon after the Second age began – with Torak’s cracking of the world – some people realised that the concentration on the future had left few people researching the present and past. The nation had gone so ethereal that it’s original quest as the route of knowledge had somehow been lost. A group of Seven finally decided to do something about this and did something unprecedented, they broke themselves off from the Dalmind. These Seven formed the Guild of Researchers, also known as the Rainbow, for each was named after a colour.
Since then, down the millennia, 7 Dals over the age of 13 only have been disconnected from the Dalmind, Over the years they developed a different mental network, whereby they can talk to each other, yet are eternally inside each others thoughts.
This externalisation has led to much suspicion among the rest of the nation, the inability to read that particular groups thoughts as they read each others has lead to distrust. The researchers have never done anything to earn that distrust, but that and their quest has lead to the fact that most of them at any time are travelling around the world, keeping Dalsia up to date on current affairs. One is always in Dalsia, Always Red, who distributes the information gathered and places it in the library. – A. K. De’Blue, Researchers Guild, 5-02.

Chapter 5 – Zone of Allies

“I don’t trust them” Said Pug.
The training had lasted a couple of days. This morning Pug had announced that he had to go home, and so him, Jascain and Krydis were on the road for the nearest portal.
“Who?” Asked Jascain, bringing his mind back from wool-gathering
“None of them. There is something somebody isn’t saying” explained Pug
“But everybody who thinks anything in Dalsia has it recorded for ever” said Krydis as she poked the fire into life.
“Do it the other way” Said Pug, and Krydis’ eyes glazed over for a second. A breeze floated over and fanned the flames higher. “Good” Continued Pug, “And yes, so it has to have been someone who hasn’t been linked to your Dalmind, or else a Dal who can shade his or her thoughts, and has always been able to do so.”
“You mean, before they were initiated to the Dalmind?” asked Jascain
“Yes” replied the off-world magician
“Impossible.” Concluded Jascain “And yet, only a Dal would have the knowledge to get to the item in the first place”
“The Researchers?” asked Krydis
“Who?” replied Pug with confusion
“A group of 7 Dals not linked to the ‘mind” answered Jascain
“Why not?”
“They believe that the Dalmind gets in the way of keeping current events. The ‘mind makes a “sound” or feeling that anyone with Will and Word ability can hear, and the sound is irritating to them. It has something to do with ‘Objective Views’ I think. But the Researchers wouldn’t dare do anything. Most Dals distrust anyone whose thoughts they cannot read, trust me, I know. So they just wouldn’t do it.”
“Seven out of Ten, Must try harder”
The man who limped out of the bushes was of slightly above average height, with a Staff that was only a couple of feet shorter than he was. He was dressed in a light blue robe, the ethereal appearance of which was spoilt slightly by a pair of heavy Riven boots.
“Who the hell are you?” asked Pug and Jascain together.
“My name is Aquarion”
“The name is familiar” said Jascain “Who are you?”
“Aquarion Kael De’Blue?” asked that man
“You! What are you doing here?”
“Who is he, Jask?” asked Krydis.
“He is a Researcher, he wrote most of the stuff on Mental Blocking I read”
“Yes, that was one of my works. The reason I am here is different however, and as far as the guild is concerned, I’m not.”
“Not here?” asked Jascain in confusion.
Aquarion looked slightly uncomfortable “All your deductions are correct, The only group who could have stolen the Sapphire are the Researchers, which means that one of my 6 friends and colleagues has defected. It’s even worse that I can’t tell where he has defected to”
“Why are you here then?” asked Krydis
“To warn you that you are in danger”
“How so?” asked Krydis
“How can we trust you?” asked Jascain
“I’ll try to answer both questions, The Sapphire was in my room when it was stolen, It was a friend of mine who was killed trying to protect it, and whoever stole it has killed once and will do so again.”
“That still doesn’t explain why it wasn’t you”
Aquarion opened his cloak, revealing travelling clothes beneath, but the parties attention was immediately drawn to his leg, where a wet, dark red stain showed that the bandages beneath were no longer adequate.
“Because he tried to kill me too” said Aquarion.
Chapter 6 – Realm of Evil
A darkened hallway, two figures approach each other. A look of recognition passes, not of the person but of the mask.
“What is it?”
“It is done, Visier”
“They have left?”
“Them and the fool outlander passed the gates early this morning, Visier”
“And nobody knows their mission?”
“Not a soul alive, Visier. A message came from the Novice Master this morning, they are apparently on a research mission”
“Good. I told you it would work”
“Yes, Visier”
“Take them while they are young. They believe that they will find the stone?”
“They do. And Erriond has been convinced, Visier”
“Stage two then. Are you ready for stage two?”
“Three more days, sire”
“Why isn’t ready?”
“It’s a large project Visier, and you just can’t get the wood.”
“Report back when it is finished. Reatina Foreus de Preondenit”
“Three days then, Visier. Fereus Feenixia”
Rituals completed, and neither happy with the others reactions, the conspirators turned backs on each other and left the hall. Never looking back for a second at what corridor the other took.
Chapter 7 – Terrors of Terra
The trip to the portal was only a few days, enough time for Pug to teach Aquarion how to use them, The decision was made that Aquarion could be trusted at the moment, although they didn’t teach him the Greater Path magic that Krydis and Jascain had learnt.
“This is it then” said Pug when they got to the portal. The portal turned out to be a large rock with a seem of gold that appeared to carry the flow of magic.
Pug handed Jascain and Krydis each a scroll.
“This is a spell, if you read it, I will know where you are and will see if I can help. That is a last resort , but if you succeed without using them, I would be interested in how you got on. Goodbye and Good Luck”
Pug seemed to shimmer in the air, and dissolve into thousands of small sparkles which stretched out along the rock and then were gone.
“Right” said Krydis to Aquarion “What can you tell us about this stone we have to find?”
“All I know is that it has the power to reach anywhere, even the past. The location is supposed to be discernible if you cast a certain spell. I will have to find the spell”
“Do you know where it is?” asked Jascain
“There is a library I have heard about where it may be” said Aquarion doubtfully
“You are going to say ‘but’, aren’t you?” asked Krydis
“But any dimension that has that sort of access to other dimensions will probably be fairly strange” said Aquarion.
“Do we have a choice here?” asked Krydis
“Not really”
“Right. Let’s go”

Five minutes later, the bandits who had been trailing the party for the past few days reached the rock, and were fairly surprised to find only four shocked looking horses, and a faint glittering in the air around them.

Eddings Imported From Epistula

Worlds Apart 1 – 4

Worlds Apart

From the Book of Bequestments
Year 18, Day 304
Bleak was the day he came to us. Beyond the Circle and Within the circle winter had taken hold of fair Dalsia and it’s choking grasp threatened to strangle many of us. From the Edge came a man, staggering against the wind and the snow. He was taken in by one of the Watchers on the Edge, but saw though the deception of the Dals and requested further entry. The man was being looked after by one of the Researchers whose skills in the arts of pharmacy were of considerable pride of that guild. The efforts of that man were in vain, for the traveller was fading fast.
On his dying day he requested an audience with the Bequestment Guild, and his gift was what seemed to be a stone, no bigger than any the Researchers have brought from there foray’s to the sea’s borders. His last words were instructions to guard it well, for it contains the secrets of new worlds. Research into the stone has been inconclusive, cleaning revealed the stone to be a Sapphire, slightly flawed in the centre. The flaw appears, from a certain angle, to be a closed door. The “Portal Stone” as it has been christened by those who researched it, “Door” being too unambiguous one supposes, has no inherent Magical property the guilds of either Researchers nor Bequestments are aware of, but under the charter it will remain here until claimed.

– Valisys.

Chapter 1, The Training of Thought
Jascain blinked.
Instantly disappointment registered, not from himself, but from the minds of his instructors.
Why do you blink? The thought came unbidden to his mind.
It was not a deliberate reaction he formed and sent in reply
Yet it was still done. Your external control is merely satisfactory.
The question that formed in his mind of why he was being given this instruction while his colleagues were not, was quickly shielded like a candle in a strong breeze. Shielding of thoughts was most certainly not standard teaching but was a trick he had learnt over the years. The ability to shield his thoughts from the Dalmind was not encouraged, in fact strongly discouraged, which was only an incentive to get better at it, in the hope that his instructors wouldn’t notice.
Your internal control, however, is excellent.
How could you tell?
The blankness of mind tells almost as much as it hides.
This was a problem, he knew. Shielding his mind seemed to produce a total blackout, a fact which was only noticeable in a One on One scan, but it meant his mind would go unnoticed if someone was, for example, scanning a class for who hadn’t read the book of the sky. As he had tried to do on many of these occasions, he attempted to “broadcast” one thing, whilst thinking another, and in doing so failed to notice the large plank of wood that stopped an inch from his nose.
Your external control is improving, you didn’t even blink. There was a hint of approval in the thought, you may yet be ready. Report to the Master after Reading.
Jascain snapped out of his reverie ready for what? He sent, but the presence was gone. Slowly he retuned his thoughts into the Dalmind, The hive mind of the Dalisan nation that only a few people outside it knew of. He suddenly knew that a Dal somewhere had died, there was a mental gap in his picture of the world, and a faint echo told him that someone was passing though the rite that would link them to the Dalmind whole.

Chapter 2, Superior Minds
The Master was not alone in his study.
He was sitting at his desk, the ancient Oak table that he spent his days reading at. The room was light and airy, courtesy of it’s glass ceiling – a direct result of the opening of trade between the Dals and the rest of the world – and it was, all in all, a nice place to study both books and sky. It took Jascain a couple of minutes to work out what it was that seemed out of place. The Master, who he never knew the name of, always looked calm and assured, a racial trait, except now when the twinges of worry were beginning to cross his ageless face. The cause of this was a young man dressed in blue, who was leaning against one wooden panelled wall. Jascain studied the man and trawled through the mind for a possibility of this person’s identity. He was fairly tall, with a baring remenisant of King Belgarion, who Jascain had seen at his ease when on his, Belgarion’s, last state visit. Jascain had been asked to deliver a message. Jascain looked into the eyes of the young man, and immediately felt both trustworthy and trusting, that everything in the world was going to be wonderful, and that nothing could stop it from being so, and it was this above all that identified the young man beyond all shadow of doubt.
Jascain bowed deeply.
“My God” he swore
“Not yet” said the young man with a smile
“My lord Erriond, I am truly your most humble servant” Obsequiated Jascain.
“Very good young Jascain” said the master, “But why did you speak at all? Why not the mental method?”
Jascain stood, and said, matter-of-factly:
“One of the developments of the Dalmind was that it was hidden from Torak, and by association from the other gods as well”
“Vinane, Now is not the time for lessons. We have more important problems.”
“Quite” said the master, “Don’t worry too much, more will be explained when the last member of this little get-together arrives”

He doesn’t know Jascain thought in the privacy of his head Because if he knew, then it would be in the Dalmind somewhere, and it isn’t, so he doesn’t. What have I been dumped into?
Chapter 3, A Meeting of Minds.
The final member of the gathering appeared to be female, She was dressed in a flowing cape that stopped inches of dragging on the floor behind her. When she turned to face him her face was perfectly calm and serene, but her eyes seemed to look directly into his soul. There was a kind of age-less quality, she seemed young but her age was not determinable, Jascain put all this together and then looked confused. He didn’t bother to hide his thoughts.
Correct, returned Valaine, she is a seer. And also correct, she isn’t blindfold. He continued, He didn’t explain, that information was enough on it’s own for Jascain to trawl through the Dalmind. She was a “special” like him, one of the Dal with abilities beyond those required by her station. Before he could pursue this any further, however, Erriond spoke:
“It may be time for some introductions, You both know who I am, And you know Valaine the Master of the Novices, Krydis? This is Jascain De’Blue of the Researcher Novices, and Jascain, this is Krydis of the Novice Seers”
Instantly both of them went into the mind, searching for the other.
Jascain discovered that Krydis was the same age as him, and also an orphan. It was now he started to get some suspicions. They were both specials and she was in training more than her peers, but there was nothing about her lack of blindfold. This either meant that someone was blocking information, and he was fairly sure nobody could block anything from him, or that nobody knew. Nobody. Not even Valaine could block from the Dalmind.
He looked at her eyes.
Y You know, dont you? The thought had a light and musical voice, tainted with confusion. It had no echoes, it was a One to One chat, nobody else could hear.
What is it? He asked
I’ll explain later. And the contact was broken.
“When you two have quite finished?” Asked Valaine.
“They have” said Erriond, and Jascain shot a glance in the young gods direction, and was returned with a knowing smile.
“Now the introductions are over, let me explain. Valaine? Now, I think, is the time for what I was talking about.”
Standing stiffly, and obviously not happy about this, Valaine stood up and left the office, muttering to himself.
“Do you know what the hardest part of this is? Your Dalmind. Valaine cannot do what either of you two can, he cannot shield his thoughts from the world, nor can he impose his thoughts on others” Erriond continued, and Krydis and Jascain glanced at each other. “So we have to limit what he knows.”
“Way back in the mists of time” began Erriond, Dramatically, “There was a man, and this man had managed to find a stone that allowed him to travel between worlds at will. An accident of fate stranded him on this world just as the stone ran out of power. It took 100 years of almost constant use for its power to drain, but it did. His dying act was to leave the stone here, at the guild of bequestments.
The gods have known about the existence of this stone, but decided that if nobody knew of it’s existence it couldn’t do anything, and besides it took several thousand years to recharge. By the time it had recharged, the gods had been forced to abandon the planet, and Torak couldn’t get at it because of the shield.”
“It’s charged then” Said Krydis
“That’s why you are telling us this, It’s charged”
“It’s not just charged. It’s been stolen”
“By who? And why are you telling us?”
“Answer one is that I don’t know. Answer two is linked to answer 1. You two are special, you can do things other Dals cannot. More importantly, other Dals cannot read your thoughts.”
Jascain did some more calculations. The fact that his training had been stopped early, the death he had felt when he stopped
“You think a Dal did it” he accused the man in blue
“I think so. So does everyone who knows about the theft.”
And that was everyone in Dalsia by now, He hadn’t had time to look at the details before, but he realised it must be an inside job. But it couldn’t be, because
“I don’t know who it is” he said aloud
“If we knew who it was, the Dals would have caught him by now” Replied Erriond
“No, if he could guard his thoughts he would be in my position, or be my tutor.”
“Not if he was able to hide his ability”
“It’s impossible.” Jascain decided.
“Nevertheless, it has happened. Your job, both of you, is to find it. Whoever has the stone knows how to use it, so you will need some extra tuition. Go down to the Training Room, there is someone I would like you to meet” And with that, Erriond left the room.

Chapter 4, Mind reading
So why are you not blindfolded? Asked Jascain as they made their way down the hill to the Training Room.
I can make people think things. I just have a general thing all the time where people think I’m blindfolded. It takes a lot of effort not to make people suspect, but I get to see what people do when they think I cannot see them. The mental idea of a grin floated across the ether. He was about to continue the conversation when they reached the Training room. In front was a short man in a black robe, tied at the waist with a dark blue cord.
“Good Afternoon” said the short man, “My name is Pug, Or Milamber, most people call me Pug, so you can too. And I have some things to teach you

The End
So far