Lena said the words to conjure the vision around herself and Zarah. A future Ghostlands slowly came into focus. Zarah had warned her that her subject today was Vaildor. The timelines were still adjusting to his presence, and the visions may be foggier than usual. While it did take a little longer to focus, when it finally did, this one was clear. The young man stood on an outdoor terrace at an easel. Lena guessed that they were in Tranquillien, and that they were at the boy’s home. He painted the scene of the village as he saw it from where he stood.
“This is the most likely future for him as things are now. With him, things can change very rapidly still. There is another possible future that switches frequently with this one.” Zarah commented as Lena walked closer to study the details of the painting in progress. “This one changes often. Sometimes he’s painting here, sometimes he’s inside or in Silvermoon, but he paints. The subject of his painting changes just as often.”
“What is he doing in the other possible future?”
“You memorized the spells I gave you. Cast the second one. It will take us to his second most likely possibility.”
Lena looked at the painting once more. The young elf meticulously continued adding more details. He was very good. She smiled and cast the spell.
It took longer than usual as the vision faded and a new one replaced it. They were in a room, the walls were an off-white and the cabinets were as well. Again, it seemed quite clear despite the fact it took longer to appear. Vaildor knelt next to a female elf. They both observed a wound on a third elf’s leg. The female was explaining what she was doing as she cleaned and dressed the wound.
Lena scrunched her nose up slightly. She didn’t like the sight of blood much. “He’s a healer?”
“I see. It’s quite a bit different from painting.”
Zarah smiled, “They both require attention to detail. He seems good at that.”
“Can we try another?” Lena asked, looking away from the wounded leg.
Lena wasted no time casting the next spell. The room faded as another vision appeared. This one did seem more muddled as it slowly came into focus. It was as if she were watching something far away, though it was right in front of her. Though things never fully became clear, and the sound was muffled, she knew where it was as she had been here before in a vision. Fairsong Academy.
“I can’t make out the faces, but that looks like him there.” Lena pointed to one of the students.
“That’s him. This is an unlikely possibility, but it still could happen. It is a lot less likely now that he’s moved to the town.”
“So it would have been clearer if we visited before he moved?”
Zarah nodded silently.
“But it’s still not completely eliminated as a possibility.”
Lena nodded, still concentrating on the foggy vision. It wasn’t going to clear up. “Can we do one more?”
Lena cast the spell. There was no waiting this time. A vision set at a camp in a forest snapped into focus. Zarah took a step back. Lena did as well upon seeing who the campers were. She knew it was him before Zarah told her, not simply by the way Zarah had reacted, but also by the way his head had snapped towards them the moment the vision had appeared. There was little likelihood of it being Hethurin.
“So, we’re resorting to spying now?” Sanimir said, standing and taking a step towards them, “But no, wait… something is off. I can’t tell what it is.”
Vaildor, who was almost 90 in this reality, looked around, “Ann’da, who are you talking to? They aren’t coming for us again, are they?”
“They’re not really here, but they see us.”
Vaildor quickly crawled into his tent and pulled a blanket over his head. His green eyes peeked out from underneath it.
Lena glanced at Zarah. She whispered, “What do I do?”
“Keep him talking. I’m trying to unravel his location.”
Sanimir laughed, “Good luck with that, dragon. I’ve had time to improve my skills. Thankfully for you, you’re not really here.”
Lena glanced at Zarah again, and whispered, “How is he talking to us? It’s supposed to just be a vision.”
Zarah was silent.
“Oh, I see! You’re not even fully trained yet! Zaradormi, my dear, you are slipping. No, wait. I know what’s wrong. You’re in the past. This is Lena, isn’t it. Poor thing didn’t deserve what you led her into. So sorry about that. My condolences about what happened to Renzdormu as well.” Sanimir looked directly at Zarah. “I suggest you leave my family alone. We wouldn’t want any further accidents.” He smiled smugly as he began to cast a spell.
“No!” Zarah exclaimed, but it was too late. The vision disappeared. “I think I almost had it. We could have gotten him, but I suppose it’s for the best. We wouldn’t want to let him run loose for 70 years. It’s much preferable to catch him before that.”
Lena frowned, “The vision was very clear. Is there a high likelihood of it happening?”
“He’s done enough. I won’t let him do more. We need to warn the others of what we’ve seen.”