"Later tonight we will share memories of Amoris, to honor her as a fellow Gemkeeper, a dear friend, and our sister. But now, as is the custom, we must as always put duty above feelings and select the next Heartkeeper of the Age. Without a Heartkeeper, we are incomplete."
Pyra felt her incompleteness. It consumed her more ravenously than did the flames. She could feel herself heating up inside again; no, no, she must remain calm. Amoris was the one who always lost her head; Pyra was the one who must remain calm. Calm. She clenched her scalding fingers into fists.
"The camrith will select the next Heartkeeper," said Accenda.
"And how exactly will that work?" asked Nimba. Her not-quite-metallic skin glittered in the dim light.
"A candle," Accenda replied. She pulled one out of the loose pocket of her baggy Gemkeeper's uniform. "Pyra?"
Pyra reached out wordlessly and took the candle. Still keeping her gaze fixed firmly down, she passed her hand over the candle, lighting it. Everyone was silent. It was a sacred moment.
Moments like these always made Accenda uncomfortable. She took the candle back and set it in front of her.
"The Four Realms know what they need," she said. "The Book of the Gemkeepers has outlined the procedure for asking them. It is very simple: I will speak the names of locations, starting from the Realms and narrowing it down to more and more specific regions. The candle will flicker, indicating in where Amoris' successor will be found."
Amoris' successor! Pyra was almost relieved; finally, she felt the familiar anger boiling up inside of her. She was good at being angry. How dare someone replace Amoris?
"Unless someone else would like to speak the names," Accenda went on, "I'll do it."
No one spoke.
"All right," said Accenda. "The Realm of Clouds." A pause. "The Realm of Snow. The Realm of Light. The Realm of Darkness."
The candle flickered.