Naren – The Parting of the Seers

(( My prompt word was ‘bread’ so I went with three people sharing a meal. ))

Dasturn took his seat between the elf and the human, his short dwarven arms reaching across the table to the bread. Grabbing it, he broke off a piece and placed it on the human’s plate, and another piece he put on the elf’s plate. He placed the middle on his own.

“They’ll have us survive on stale old bread for we do not do as they wish,” Cynerik, the human said while looking at his piece dejectedly.

Erith, the tall, lithe elf with a slight blueish tinge to her skin picked up her bread and bit into it. “They feed us, though I do not know if it is a blessing or a curse.”

“She’s been seeing things she isn’t going to tell us about again.” Dasturn sighed. He always shared what he saw, but Erith liked leaving things a mystery.

“It was a mistake to come here.” Cynerik interjected. “I see that now. We should have kept our gifts a secret.”

“I think we all see that now,” Dasturn nodded. “They only seek control.”

“To spit upon the goddesses’ wishes so blatantly.” Cynerik glowered.

“We were to guide them. We cannot guide those unwilling to follow the guides.” Erith spoke again.

They all nodded, but fell into silence as they ate. Dasturn damned the day he arrived here to the city of the humans. At first it wasn’t bad. As one of the three seers, he had been put up in a fancy room in the palace of the high priest who had been tasked with informing the people of the existence of the seers. The Goddesses had not abandoned their people. They had left the seers to aid them in their absence.

It was Cynerik who interrupted the silence, “Can’t either of you see a way out of here?”

Dasturn shook his head, and glanced at Erith, who seemed to ignore the question.

“Just like always,” Cynerik grumbled. “I thought we were supposed to be stronger together.”

Dasturn shrugged, “I can see more before I tire. Maybe that’s all they meant.”

Cynerik quoted what had been written by the late high priest. “The three corners of the world come together and find their power multiplied.”

Dasturn snorted and added his own thoughts, “And so the people gather us up and demand knowledge and power after deposing the man who told them of it.”

The human nodded, his mouth forming a thin line as they fell into silence again.

It had happened that way. His time in the palace was short lived, and now he lived in a room in a basement stuck with the seer of the past and the seer of the future. As the seer of the present, he could see what was going on in the palace now. There was no talk of letting them out. There was only talk of things getting worse. He glanced at Erith. She must have seen the possibility too.

As he started to look away with the intent to pay more attention to his stale bread, she spoke, “There is a way out.”

Both he and Cynerik looked at her.

“You won’t like it.”

“What is it?” Cynerik asked.

“We stop eating the bread.”

Cynerik blinked at her, “That’s it? Will they let us out and give us more food?”

“No.”

Dasturn narrowed his eyes, “But you said it’s the way out.”

“It is,” she said as she pushed her plate away with the half-eaten bread on it. “We will die. We will be reborn. We must also make a pact.”

“A pact?” Cynerik asked.

“Yes, an agreement.”

“I know what a pact is.”

“We must vow never to come together like this again until it is necessary.”

Cynerik and Dasturn exchanged a glance towards each other.

“I’m not sure I’m very fond of dying in the first place.” Dasturn said, looking back at Erith.

“You know what they plan to do with us. We are already weak from the stale bread diet. We won’t last long if we stop eating what they do give us. We will be free in our next lives. It is the only way we’ll get out.”

“But we won’t be ourselves anymore.” Dasturn frowned.

“We lose our memories of this life, yes,” Erith glanced at Cynerik, “but who we are does carry on, and our abilities will go with us. Cynerik may even remember this conversation sometime once he’s old enough.”

Dasturn eyed Erith warily, “Then how are the two of us going to remember this pact?”

“I have a theory that if we all use our abilities at once, we can make the pact be part of our being. We may not even consciously be aware of it, but we will heed no calls to assemble the seers. If we do happen to meet one of the other seers, we will know to part as soon as possible.”

Dasturn continued question Erith, “Until it’s necessary. You said that. What does that mean?”

“There will come a time when we will be needed. Not for petty squabbles or greed, but for survival of the goddesses’ creations.”

Cynerik put his bread down, and pushed his plate away.

Dasturn turned towards him. His expression searching for answers.

“I’d rather live free in my future lives than live as I do now in every one.” He looked directly at Erith, “Since I am the one most likely to remember this conversation, I will be sure not to let you forget it if it doesn’t work.”

They both looked at Dasturn.

“All right, fine.” Dasturn dropped his bread and pushed it away. “Let’s do this.”

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