First, there was Talia Maurva. She was only a farm girl when I began to direct her, and knew not her destiny. I made the pool at her naming ceremony show her a summoning, a terrible event, a spirit of evil brought from death. I set her on the path to Thais and beyond, and with her Devin, a smith’s apprentice who would become Devin Pendragon, King of Thais, and father to another girl I manipulated on her quest.

That was Rhen. Rhen was difficult, she vanished for many years, but eventually Talia, now the Dreamer, made contact with her, and I found her. It almost broke my heart to induce Talia to give away her Priestess Ring to Rhen, but it was necessary. I needed Talia’s son Dameon’s hireling, a slave trader, to get Rhen to the eastern isle, although I wish it had been some other way. In the end, I saw Ahriman destroyed, and it made my heart glad to see the city of Thais embrace it’s heir as she walked down the aisle. And who was with her but the most unlikely man – Dameon, the traitor Sun Priest, became the king of Thais, and together they ruled the kingdom, and it prospered, in their love.

Next came two not even connected to the Pendragon line, elves, from the village of Elfwood. Ean Oko and Iya Tiki were chosen to stop the possessed Ishtar, nymph of compassion, destroying the world in snow and ice. Of course I connected them to the family, how could I not? But the prince was a jerk, and that is putting it mildly. So I set Ava One-Eye, his brother’s agent, to set him straight. She did this with a magical boot. Every time Nicholas insulted someone, he got a kick. I found it hilarious when I induced the witch to create it and sell the present to Ava. Nicholas didn’t.

Finally, at least for now, I have Mel, a street thief and spy from the line of Mordred Darkthrop. I worked in the Pendragons in the form of Prince Edward, whose ambition is to be chicken farmer, strangely. The rest of the group is varied – A Naylithian with no wings, Stella, an Orc with a brain (a novelty, I assure you), Ulf, and two of my previous friends and questors, the vampires Te’ijal and Galahad. Amazingly, I didn’t even have to have to induce her to blood him, she was so deeply in love. It’s a pity she doesn’t show it better, and he detests vampires, and refuses to feed, meaning he is never going to stop appearing human, despite the ‘curse’. He also regularly tries to escape his wife, and goes on suicide missions, which, for obvious reasons, don’t work if you’re already dead.

In a bizarre twist, the Orb of Life, which Mel and crew have right now, is going to bring those two back to life. This could be a problem – I doubt Te’ijal will enjoy humanity, and her (whatever he says) loving and dutiful husband will not let his wife suffer. He rescued her when her brother tried to have her killed by sunlight, a truly horrible death for a vampire. He was offered the chance to go, but he came back. Perfect, plan working.

Which brings us back to the occupant of the tower. Sunlight pours in through those huge windows every day, and falls on someone who can’t abide it, chained in the centre of the floor. This is the punishment I inflicted on Gyendal for his crimes, trying to destroy the light of the world and begin the rule of the vampires, and, on a more personal level, trying to kill my friend. She may be a vampire, but though she doesn’t even know me, she still counts as one who I would do anything to save. If my blood (or ichor) wasn’t so unpredictable in its effects sometimes I’d offer her a drink. Her and her husband, although I know he’d refuse. Only one person can stop his torment, say ‘that’s enough’. I think it’s ironic that for that position I chose his sister. After certain events, I don’t think she’ll be very forgiving, somehow.

The End

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