By John Page

The ocean is eerily calm. The four moons shine in the sky. The purple moon of the traitor is especially bright tonight. I can look for miles in every direction and see only the black of the sea. I’m sure others might feel uncomfortable but for me it’s relaxing, well, normally. The ocean is flat and dead looking. I don’t like that. I can feel the dark magic under the sea. Even if it’s from an ally it makes me ill. A mage of the silver tower should be fighting such arts.

I sigh and I turn to look at my ship. The Urki crew are working hard under Sau supervision and help. We of the elven people are greatly indebted to the grey skinned men. They allow our republic to have a much larger military than we could normally afford. We breed slowly while they breed faster than men . Our journey has two purposes. One is to train them in the arts of sailing and the other is to delver me to my destination. It is a short week sail from Tallern.

We sail for a few more hours until we reach a thick mist. I chant the song of warding and we sail through with no problem. The great beasts and hostile magics leave us alone.

Soon we are at our target. It is a massive castle floating about twenty feet from the water. It reaches high into the sky and is bristling with weapons and arcane devices. Sentries are seen patrolling the walls with weapons ready. From the lights shining it is clear they see us and are jumping to get ready. I look over it and approve of it. The old captain has done her job. I must match her.

We sail till we are under the castle and reach a low hung stair. Standing on the stair are dozens of Sau getting ready to tie up the ship. The ship smoothly goes to the pier and within minutes I’m off. I look back with a twinge of sadness. They are good people and I wish they could stay with me. Instead I must go alone.

I am escorted to the captain’s office. I can sense the attempt to show her power but I allow her this. My replacement of her is not an insult.

I reach the door and thank my guide. The Sau bows to me and leaves. I enter the room and am greeted by the captain coldly. She says with a hint of mockery, “Hello most honored Senior Senator Patriarch Arcmage of the seventh sliver tower Tylucuis Cou Diabon Tyrzon, I was expecting you, welcome to my humble command. I assume you are here to chastise me from the court of the Golden Phoenix our first prince Tasafar Cou Zartul. I am second captain Lector Ashlyni Cou Vacon.”
Her venom was jarring but I respond in my most conciliatory voice. “Honored second captain Lector Ashlyni Cou Vacon, do not feel insulted by my presence. You are not in trouble or being chastised. The senate had heard your father has taken ill and wished to send you to the Fire islands to be with him. You have served honorably for forty years and I am here to also give you a medal and promotion to first captain. I ask for pardon for the misunderstanding, no one blames you for the loss of the Emerald dragon flag. I am also here to improve the arcane defenses. The government wished to triple the number of Akatlor castles within ten years. You must have heard that we are massive expanding our defenses.”

I present her with the medal and promotion and she sits there speechless. I feel a sense of pride. I have turned a foe into an ally.

Eventually she stands up and apologizes for her rudeness. I tell her to not worry about it. With that we get down to the business of change over of command. It is a busy three days but soon she is off on my old ship and I have command.

I explained to my command I am not going to change how Ashlyni ran things unless I have to. I spend the next few months weaving even greater spells into the mist and moving the castle to different places. I also cycle out the old crew and replace them with some of my own followers. It is subtle but within the year the whole Akatlor is loyal firstly to me. With that I enact my true purpose.

As the weeks pass I arrange for my followers to drop off sealed crates into the ocean. Once every month the moons are all blocked I descend to the bottom of the ocean. In order to impress the Yuhothin, I take the form of a three eyed being covered in mystic symbols and about twice my height. It is a suitable shape to impress savage but useful beings like Yuhothin and mankind.

I gain from them dozens of small shards of glass. The fish men assume I’m simply a collector of trash as they do not understand that they are giving me the keys to the universe.

I spend years collecting and shaping the shards into a mirror that will let me see the shape of not just our universe but the multiverse of the Great River and the countless multiverses beyond. With that knowledge I shall overthrow all governments and become the king of all creation.

To further my power I gain control over twenty three Akatlor and thirty five small islands as well as the human kingdom of Wesrmar. I soon become one of the richest Sau and I shamelessly use it to buy allies and favor.

On the day of the conjuration of the moons and sun I ready my spell. I casts dozens of spells to send my mind into the mirror.

I soon leave my body and I feel a rush of power and knowledge. I see our entire world from the smallest detail to the whole. Soon I see it’s orbit around the sun and every possible future and past. I plug deeper and see all seventy three realities of our universe as well as the outer realms. The whole river of reality is as clear to me as my hands! I feel knowledge and power flow into me. I hunger for more and hurl my will beyond this cage. I push my mind beyond any level of pain to force it to the true void. It is hard but soon I see four multiverses connected by silver paths. The Great River, A Triangle of light, a solid cube and a twin path. I suck up the knowledge of all and seek more. I am soon lost within knowledge.

I feel like good until a sharp pain hits my body. I try to return to it but feel that it’s so far away. I burn through all my power to get to my body.

I come to and see Ashlyni standing above with a bloody spear. I try to curse at her but instead cough out blood. She snarls and stabs me again. I respond but striking her with a forbidden spell that rips her apart with claws of mad gods. My skin burns as the dark magic eats at my soul. As her screams ring in my ear I stagger to a window, I try to breathe and heal. I am dying but perhaps I can cheat death. Before I can someone pushes me out the window.

I try to cast a levitation spell but I am blocked! I try to see the second assassin but before I can determine who he is, the masked man raises his hand and I grow cold. My remaining magic is knocked out of me like a fist to the gut.

Instead I fall to my death. As I do I think about how pretty the ocean is.

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