Hethurin Fairsong turned the hourglass as he cast the spell. The darkened room only changed slightly as it displayed the vision of an alternate present around Renner and himself. Hethurin blinked as he watched an alternate version of himself speaking with an alternate version of Renner. He looked at the real Renner. “This doesn’t look very different from our present.”
Renner shook his head and pointed to the hourglass. There in the vision, it hadn’t been turned yet. Hethurin thought that was what he meant by pointing it out. It wasn’t until Renner spoke that he noticed what else was different. “Don’t you see? That one isn’t tuned specifically to you.”
“What does that mean exactly?”
“A few things, actually.” Renner said as he leaned forward to look more closely. “First, it would be easier for just anyone to use. It isn’t made for your use alone. Secondly, the user could more easily view anyone’s timelines.”
Hethurin also leaned closer to look at the hourglass when his alternate self dimmed the light from his conjured orb and began to cast.
“Renner, it won’t mess anything up to have a vision inside a vision, will it?”
Renner shook his head, “No. It won’t mess anything up. We can stay. It may be interesting to see what else is different.”
They both watched, along with their alternate selves, as the room changed. This time, the change was more drastic. They seemed to be in an underground base of some sort. Orcs were running towards a group of elven archers.
Hethurin’s alternate self found who he was looking for quickly, pointing at another group of archers, “Look, there she is, and she’s with Vessen!”
Hethurin looked to the group that his other self had pointed out. They had moved up the side, planting arrows in the orcs attacking the main group. The main group was able to advance faster with the orcs going down quicker.
His alternate self spoke again. “Can we check on my father next? I’m worried about him too.”
The real Hethurin frowned in thought, “Is he using it to check on the real present, or well, what is his real present, anyway?”
“It appears so. To be honest, I’m surprised you haven’t asked to check on your family in Kalimdor yet.”
“I thought about it. I decided I didn’t want to see anything if it did happen.” He watched the rangers for a moment. His sister drew back the string on her bow and released, sending another arrow flying towards the orcs. He looked back to Renner, “Why would he have to use it to check on father? He could just teleport to Silvermoon.”
Renner didn’t answer. He frowned as he gazed at something behind Hethurin. The young mage turned just in time to see it happen. A demolisher rolled out of control. It’s orcish driver was unconscious in the seat, as it sped towards the group of elves along the wall.
“Nessna! No!” Both Hethurins said at once. The real one looked at the alternate one. Of course, the other hadn’t been able to hear him, and had already gone running towards the injured elves. He fell to his knees, crying, as another group of elves ran towards the injured. The real Hethurin slowly walked over.
He could tell that his brother-in-law was certainly already dead. His limp body had been punctured multiple times by the large spikes on the wheels of the demolisher. Nessna’s body had been under his, protecting her from the spikes, but not from the weight of the machine. Shouts went out for portals to the healers. She was still breathing.
Hethurin’s alternate self stood, still crying, and turned back to the alternate Renner as Nessna was sent through the portal. “I have to know if she makes it. I have to be there for her.”
“She won’t know you’re there because you aren’t really. This is just a vision of what’s happening right now.”
“No. I have to. This is my fault. I knew it would happen, and I didn’t do anything.”
“It’s best that you didn’t.”
“Please, can we go to the healer’s tent? Vessen is dead. She has to make it. She has to.”
The alternate Renner frowned, but nodded. The room changed. The healer’s tent appeared around them.
The real Hethurin blinked. “My father is here. Is Lani at home then?”
“It seems we have found another difference.”
They watched quietly, along with their vision selves, as Isturon worked to save his daughter, often through tears. The confessor was there as well, fetching the things that Isturon requested, though it was obvious he was trying to avoid being too close. An hour passed. Nessna quit breathing once, but Isturon was able to get her breathing again. Twenty minutes into the next hour, she stopped breathing again. Isturon tried again to get her to breath. He started crying when he couldn’t find her pulse, but continued trying for another ten minutes to bring both her pulse and breathing back. The confessor put his hand on the other priest’s shoulder. Neither of them said anything as Isturon turned and left the tent.
The real Hethurin cast his spell to end the vision. He conjured a small orb of light, letting it hang in the air to provide a dim lighting in the room. “Renner?”
“Can the hourglass be used to check on the real present?”
Renner looked at Hethurin a moment before letting out a long sigh, “Yes. I’ll help you with the spell.”
The room changed, and they were once again in the healer’s tent, except this time it was in their own present. Hethurin frowned. Nessna was there, and she was injured. However, she was still alive. Lani continued her work on her sister’s injuries. She seemed serious and focused. The confessor waited around the curtain to assist with fetching things. Another elf seemed to be running errands outside the tent for both of the healers, being sent to get ice from the mages, and bandages from another camp.
Hethurin looked at Renner. “Will she live?”
“That depends on her.” Renner nodded in Lani’s direction. “She’s still going, where your father would have already failed. That’s a good sign, isn’t it?”
Hethurin nodded. “What about Vessen?”
“I believe the timeline we saw may be very close to our own.”
“He’s dead then?”
“I don’t know for sure, but I would say it’s safe to assume without checking.”
“Can we stay for a bit?”
“There’s not much time before supper. I’m hungry.”
Hethurin frowned, “Can we check again later then?”
“After you sleep tonight. I’ll meet you here in the practice room around midnight.”
Hethurin cast the spell to end the vision. “Thank you. I’ll be here then.”