They had all gone to prepare for their journey across Bretonia, leaving Pergale to her own devices. She watched peacefully as they all went to accomplish the various tasks they had set before the next day, and once they had gone turned to find Rika standing patiently beside her. The two had grown close since the horrible events in Matorca, and they had taken to depending on one another for the strength the other had.
Rika took Pergale’s hand in hers as they heard the other depart, “Do you think you’ll get to see your home?”
“If fate wills it. I would like to meet my parents and my brother. Perhaps even my sister.”
“They might be dead by the time we reach it.”
“If fate wills it. I will consult my cards. I haven’t since we left Matorca.”
“I will stay, then.”
Pergale’s heart swelled and she smiled with her eyes. Her and Rika embraced for a long time; a gesture that still seemed strange to the highwaywoman, but that, as Pergale was seeing in her, was becoming easier.
The two sat on the floor while Pergale produced the old, carve wooden box and unfolded soft velvet mat that she kept it in. She began her ritual as she always did, and soon the cards began to fall. She had not Seen in months and she could feel the power swell in her as she placed the first card; The Two of Swords Reversed, and her vision swam as the Gift unveiled.
As she placed the final card; The King of Wands, Pergale’s vision went black to the world around her as it blew away like so much sand on the wind. Then Fate did lay open and she saw a scepter of gold and lapiz lazuli, inlaid with rubies and emeralds; ancient and radiating with powerful raw Magic, and rejuvenating her with its energies.
The hand that took it up was cracked and ancient, black with rot and corruption, and the that it belonged to swelled with an aura of evil. The creature that used to be a man wore the clothing of someone well to do of Tilea, with perfectly coifed hair and fine hat, but it’s face was that of a withered and mummified corpse, and it’s eyes were a void into which time itself seemed to disappear.
Pergale’s eyes met the gaze of the ancient thing and held it as the two seemed to stare into each other’s souls for a moment, and the thing sneered it’s cracked, ancient, lips as it raised the scepter towards her. From around it shambled orcs and men, reaching and rushing towards Pergale.
She awoke with a shock, breathing the night air in deeply. The world had come crashing back in and the first thing Pergale saw was Rika’s worried face above her. She was laying on some bedding in Rika’s warm lap, and she reached for and held her friends cheek to help reassure her.
“I have seen the face of what is to come…and it has seen me… A black and withered man who wields a magical scepter, and leads the armies of Orcs and Men. He wears the clothing of the men of Tilea, and his skin is dried and dead. I have seen into the blackness of his soul…and he sees into me.”
Pergale breathed deeply before falling back into a deep and dreamless sleep. She could feel the power of the winds of magic ebbing within her as she did, swirling and reshaping fate into her and opening the multitude of possibilities of the Blue Wind of Azyr to her mind’s eye. To See as she had had changed something, fundamentally, in her.
She was woken with a jolt as Lossenthel shook her, and Pergale felt herself fall a few feet before landing on the bedding she had been laying on. She realized suddenly that in her sleep she had levitated off of the bed, and that Rika had gone somewhere in the meantime. Lossenthel was exclaiming about her hair, and Pergale found upon inspecting it that her hair had changed to a shock white and now glowed with a soft light. So, too, had the candles in the tent begun to burn like torches driven and in an unnatural light.
Lossenthel, Ayil, and Pergale channeled and calmed the Winds of Magic that rushed about the tent, and soon the candles burned with only the energy of the tallow with which they were made.
“I am changed, as so many of the Magisters of The Celestial Order,” thought Pergale, “I wonder how long it will be until my eyes turn blue or begin to glow, or for me to float as I walk. My Gift has been growing so much these last few months; I’m forced to wonder how much of a real danger I’ve become to those around me.”
Lossenthel had been screaming to draw the attention of Sir Timon in the meantime to guard the tent, but soon after she had regained her senses fully, Pergale bid him enter. Timon, however, was more taken aback with the sight of her than expected, and he fainted at the sight of Pergale’s glowing hair. He was, at the least, uninjured from his fall and she made sure that he would be comfortable and his honor uncompromised until he recovered.
Lossenthel went to recover the others, and soon after Rika and Glurg returned. Sir Timon soon recovered, and with it a wide eyed reaction that Pergale could only take as their faithful Knight of the Realm to having a vision of the Lady. He took a knee immediately to offer his sword and service, to swear fealty in service to her in the name of the Lady of the Lake.
“Strange, but perfectly chivalrous, and beautiful knight that you are,” She thought “Do you see the Lady in me, or did she truly grant you a vision of The Grail? Has she chosen her champion in you, Her Questing Knight, to lay down your lance and pick up Her banner? Perhaps Fate has made its will known…”
She could hear others coming; could feel them inside the back of her mind. Armed men, angry, and knew that she and her companions had worn their welcome out. Pergale wrapped her hair calmly and pulled up the voluminous hood she wore as her other companions prepared to receive the angry knights and men-at-arms.
“You do me honor, Sir Timon, and I do grant you to be my Champion and sworn sword. Please rise.”
They met the commotion of men that had surrounded the tent moments later, and though she did not understand the words that were spoken, she understood the tone and what was happening. Glurg had been responsible for a commotion in town, and had thrown food meant for the front into the town square. He, too, had had a vision from his god, The Maw, and because of it the knights were pressing their strange band to leave.
“What a strange night, and fraught with the Winds of Magic. Does our ogre, too, have Sight beyond normal men? Is he mad, perhaps, as I have heard most ogres are or has his god, also, spoken to him tonight? I have seen into the black pits of what is to come, perhaps even the gods fear where we are treading. Shallya protect us all.”
Pergale watched and questioned herself about the motivations of all who assembled in their journey that night. Fate had chosen, and the Winds of Azyr blew strong; pointing them all along their path.