Sheyba sat in the crow’s nest staring at the stars. He took a deep breath and held it. In his chest, he could feel the mana being morphed and filling his lungs with the frosty chill of his breath attack. This time, he only converted a minute amount since he was not planning on releasing his attack on anyone, as he usually does. He learned to control it so that all he exhaled was a sapphire cloud of arcana that could do little more than send a chill down a man’s back. He began doing this exercise because he enjoyed looking at the shapes the cloud formed when he let it go in any direction it desired. He discovered that the patterns usually were a reflection of his emotions. Sometimes it was a a wavy stream when he was calm. When he was angry, it moved in violent bursts. This time it moved in every which way and at varying speeds. It was confusing to look at which was exactly how Sheyba felt; lost and confused. He always thought that when he would meet with his brothers again everything would work out. Things would just fall into place and he would be happy again. Truth be told he was more than just happy to see his brothers. He was ecstatic. But that feeling quickly changed to feelings of alienation when they questioned his actions and why he stayed behind instead of obeying his fathers wishes and fulfilling the prophecy. He felt attacked on the very decision he was most proud of.
It was not too long ago that he had to convince the few brothers he was with at the time to stay despite their desire to leave immediately. Now with a new found backing for their initial decision, they joined in on the belligerent accusations. Sheyba could not even bring himself to speak to his closest childhood friend Amros at all, in fear of hearing his disappointment in Sheyba’s actions. Since their fallout that began over an arguement of conflicting philosophies, Sheyba has always wanted to show Amros the folly of his ways through the results of his actions. But now he wasn’t so sure he did the right thing after all. The prophecy had been the only thing that they all were working towards. Up until last week, nothing else mattered. So even when Amros was feeling the affects of a possibly fatal disease, Sheyba stayed a good distance away, sitting in a corner comforting Rusty.
Arresh used to be the one who guided all the orphans on what to do. But for the past year they have been on their own, not sure where to go or what to do unless it was foretold in the Prophecy or Yohan had a vision about it. For his long lost brothers, it has been thirteen years
they were left wandering the world lost and in search of both their brothers and clues to the prophecy. Sheyba could not imagine how hard it must have been on them if he already felt this way after just one year. If only he could speak to Arresh he could find out what he was supposed to do, he thought to himself. All of the sudden, a thought arose in Sheyba’s mind. He could speak to Arresh! Of course, why had he not thought of it before?
He immediately vaulted over the side of the crow’s nest head first in the direction clear of planks, ropes, and sails. Being on a ship was completely foreign to Sheyba and it would have been impossible for him to navigate his way up to the crow’s nest at all had it not been for his ability to cast a levitation spell on himself. So the easiest way back down was the free fall he was attempting towards the deck of the ship. Sheyba loved the rush of wind past his face sending his large silver braids flowing behind him but before he knew it, his decent was already decelerating. His natural born abilities protect him from falling from such great heights. Sheyba rarely missed a chance to use this talent despite the knowledge that it had its limits. When his feet landed softly onto the ground, he took off to his room in search of clothes befitting the part. He quickly dressed and hurried down to the cargo bay. There, leaning against a wooden column, was a huge mirror with an engraved design all around the frame. Due to its size the crew could not help but crack the frame while loading it onto the ship. No one wanted to buy a damaged product especially one of this size. It couldn’t fit in any of the rooms so no one on the ship wanted it either. Naturally, Sheyba immediately lay claim to the item and now his mark is found glowing at the top of the frame. An arcane symbol of his ownership over it.
He stood with his back to the mirror. It would be harder to believe his own lie if he saw the transformation happening. His hands danced to a song he spoke in a language foreign to most as heverbalized the incantation and made the necessary gestures to cast the spell. In his mind, he focused hard on the image of his father Arresh with great attention to any details he could remember. When he was satisfied with the image he conjured, he opened his eyes and turned around. There, standing before his eyes washis father Arresh, the most important figure in Sheyba’s life. He had seen him everyday for his first 17 years and then he suddenly disappeared without a trace for a whole year. But now, Sheyba was looking right at him. He could see his deep set eyes with their large dark pupils that drew you in. He could see the wiry long white hair of his eyebrows and his beard that nearly reached his waist. He could see the strong jaw and high cheekbones that emphasized his hollow cheeks. He recognized the wrinkles on his brow just below the six dots on his bald head. Arresh was exactly as how he remembered him.
He was actually looking at his own reflection. The spell he cast transformed him so that he looked like the image of his father according to his memory. It’s a spell that alters the user’s appearance to look different or as a disguise. He has used it many times before, usually to get into places he shouldn’t by fooling others into thinking he was someone else. This is the first time he is using it to fool himself. Now using the mirror in front of him, Sheyba could see his father again. He knew he wasn’t real but he didn’t care, the emotions and feelings he felt were real enough for him. So powerful was the event of seeing his father again that he started to feel faint and he could began losing concentration on his spell. Snapping back took effort, but he was not willing to drop character. Being an actor for many years, he developed a certain level of pride in his thespian skills and he mastered imitating his father above any other character in his repertoire. He made the face his father always made when he was about to give the children a lesson
“Hello Sheyba. How can I be of help my son?” Spoke the man in the mirror.
“Father, I miss you. Why did you disappear like that?” Sheyba responded to himself while averting his half shut eyes from the image in front of him. To see Arresh’s mouth move during his part of the conversation would shatter the illusion he created for himself. “After you left we went out to fulfill the prophecy just like you asked. But once we left the estate we were separated. Some of us were sent into the future but then some of us were teleported far away and then sent back in time to throw a child off a flying vessel. But they couldn’t, so a big weird thing turned them to dust and then they met with Voldrangor, I really hate that guy he made fun of you, he sent them to us because we were sent to the future and were fighting in ”/wikis/stormreach" class=“wiki-page-link”> stormreach to protect Jonas and the people because I thought we should but then we were all about to die but then our brothers saved us but Enso did die but we saved him and now we have to go kill a warforged because we found the baby that was thrown off the side of the flying ship. And now I don’t know what to do because everybody is mad at me"
“I see this is weighing heavy on your heart my son. The prophecy can at times take us in directions we don’t understand.”
“But it doesnt make sense. Why were only some of us sent to one place and not all of us if we all ended up meeting again anyway?”
“The prophecy must be fulfilled. Do you question the wisdom of the prophecy?”
“No I would never question what you taught me father, but all we are getting is riddles from dragons who we don’t even know. Why do they know so much of the prophecy? Why are Arenal Elves also interested in the prophecy too? I always thought we were prophesied children who will heal the world. If that’s the case how are all these people involved too?”
“The Prophecy is greater than any one man. If you fulfill your role in the Prophecy the world will be healed.”
“What does it mean to fulfill the Prophecy? Its so confusing! All our lives you told us how important fulfilling the prophecy was but I don’t know how to do that. Does it mean to do what you know is wrong even if it brings you closer to what you think the Prophecy takes you?”
“These decisions are for you to make. My role in the Prophecy was to raise you children so that you can fulfill the Prophecy. Now it is your turn to do your part. Why do you think what you did was wrong?”
“Because my brothers are mad at me for not obeying your wishes to follow the Prohecy and go to Sharn immediately. Instead, I did what I thought I had to do and save the people of Stormreach. I couldn’t let them all die that would be horrible! But all my brothers think I am a traitor for disappointing you.
If we are all the prophesied children why are we disagreeing? How can we fulfill the Prophecy if we can’t agree on what to do?”
“Must you all agree for the Prophecy to be fulfilled?”
“I don’t know. Do we?”
“Have you wondered if maybe you separating from your brothers may in fact have been a sign? An indication that your brothers may take a different direction and yet still you all reach the same place at the end? That your differences are in fact what makes you stronger and is the reason you can overcome any obstacle?”
“Well yeah but I wasn’t sure until you said it just now. It makes more sense when you say it. But how do I know when I am doing the right thing and not just what I want to do? What do I do now? I don’t know if I want to be a part of this mission for revenge to appease this angry person, even if he is the thirteenth child.”
“You must decide your own fate and thus decide the fate of the world. I raised you all and I know you will do what is right in the end. Fear not for your brothers and yourself are all on a journey and will learn many things about yourselves that you didn’t know.”
“Ok im glad you said that because Andel is going all “The voices in my head are taliking to me” cuckoo and Xagyg is acting weird, weirder than usual weird, and you know how Rhaegar is good at everything? Turns out hes really good at killing things, I mean like he keeps killing things…"
There was an awkward pause in Sheyba’s conversation with himself. There was one more question that he absolutely needed to ask, but terrified to hear the answer that he knew deep in his heart.
“So… will we ever see you again?”
“I do not know my son. I am a servant to the prophecy and it’s will. If it chooses I can be with you tomorrow. But if my mission is complete and it chooses to keep me away hidden within its grasp then I can not refuse.”
More confusion. More unanswered questions. Sheyba could feel the void in his chest returning. He realized he hadn’t felt it at all for the entire duration of the play he was putting on for himself. The illusion that he will get answers to his questions relieved him of the stress that came crashing down on him these past few days. And now it came back once he knew he couldnt keep this up for much longer and he wallowed there with his head drooping onto his chest. Suddenly, Arresh’s voice spoke up again.
“My son look at me.”
Sheyba’s head snapped back up like a mouse trap.
“No matter where I am and how far I am from you, you will always be my son and I will always love you. If you need me I am always here for you.”
With that Arresh raised his left hand and stretched it to Sheyba as Sheyba raised his right arm to meet his. The palms met halfway. The glass was cold, especially in the chill temperatures of the gallows. Was that really Arresh that spoke with him right now? Did his desire to speak to Arresh go so strong that it linked them together? Or did he overact as he sometimes does and was echoing what it was that he wanted to hear? Sometimes in his plays he did improv lines even before he could think about it but this felt too real. Did he talk to his father? Did he finally touch his hand once again? It was a hurricane going on in Sheyba’s mind and it finally took its toll on his body. He crashed to the ground but his right hand was frozen onto the pane of the glass. What little control he had left over the spell was shattered. He looked at the mirror once more but it wasnt the serene visage of his father anymore. Now, he saw red bloodshot eyes and tear soaked cheeks on a worn out face. There was no one left on the boat to see or hear him in this pathetic state but he wouldn’t have cared anymore. He lay there trying to think but he couldnt anymore. Tomorrow morning he would have to make a decision