The value of a truly memorable engagement ring is not embedded in the amount of gold it is worth, or the cut of the gem. It is rather in the manner by which it was chosen. The exchange of coins for a gold band means little when the jewelry received is not chosen with care.
“They deserved it.” She muttered, pushing herself to her feet as she looked past the dead guards and into the Camps where she saw Haim’s body, limp and stained with blood. Cradled in the arms of his mother.
“My baby boy…” She whimpered, and Sekhenna turned away.
“In the morning when another stumbled from his dreams, he awoke and saw a marvelous and frightening thing. Upon the wall in the crowded corner of the cave stood a cut upon the stone, which would fit him perfectly today. So he released his swollen coat and strode across the floor until he found himself inside the door. Or perhaps it was a tunnel, made especially for him to go, but one thing he held for certain, the purpose of the hole was something he must know.”
Despite everything, this all began with Mayeli Kane, and she still hadn’t been found. Over the last few days, she’d forgotten that Olem had been searching for over a month for any trace of the girl, the bags under his bloodshot eyes told her more than enough times that he’d been without sleep for who knows how lon
“Today marks the beginning.” It croaked, like it hadn’t spoken in centuries and still shook the dust from its lungs. “We are the rightful owners of this land, and the Pact of the Firstborn returns. Reinvigorated by the blood of our kin, our centuries waiting brings us this, the culmination of our efforts.”
The words were surreal coming from her lips. Years as a Lamplighter had prepared her for the possibility that awful things could happen, in fact, it was a certainty. It was the nature of her job. As if she were an artist fighting starvation, she was driven by the knowledge that eventually, despair would be the only reason left for her to fight.
She had never imagined it on such a massive scale.
“…Veinar took her hand, and turned to the elder Lamplighters, who he’d known had seen their share of haunts. Their faces told stories of nightmares like his, twisted and cruel and filled with pain. For all of the pain, though, he knew one thing.
They grew powerful from the ache. Insight was never free.”
The Fleawild were not like the spirits or the haunts of Ammon’s Reach. They obeyed no such laws denying them access to a home. They came and went as they pleased and without mercy they consumed.
“This isn’t what you think it is.”
Jona stopped humming and eyed her, his eyes filled with fury. “It is exactly what Harmon Orda created! What he’s discovered here is brilliant, to be recognized and known by worlds away, that we are able to harness the very essence of spirits!
“Why?” Olem asked, grimacing.
“Because…” Dhurri let his words fall into the empty space between them as the crowd silenced in unison and turned to him. Hundreds of citizens of Ammon’s Reach stared, piercing their eyes through him as the Archbishop strode forward and knelt before Olem, his eyes wept black tar. “We deserve to be free!”