On Dae’s Reason to Come to Stormhold

Not, that I want to change it—he is definitely dispatched there by Atta—it’s just that he would, probably, never tell the truth about it to Ngale. Seems out of character. He should joke about it and maybe later admit that someone recommended the place as a nice city to visit, which would make Ngale suspect something. Dae should tell it to Verra, though, so the reader knows the truth. 

2 thoughts on “On Dae’s Reason to Come to Stormhold”

    1. Rough rewrite (I may not even have to add anything to Verra schenes):

      “I know that you are here for a reason. We both are. When did you first know?” Ngale looked into the young man’s eyes, growing serious.
      “I am here to see the castle. What are you talking about?” The young man slowly started to surround itself with a rigid outer shell of inquisitive awareness.
      “Please, stop joking, my lord. I am not your enemy…”
      “Good. You do not want to be.” Dae was still smiling, hint of irony, a drop of annoyance. “Especially now, when I am… as confused as I am.”
      Ngale sighed.
      “I have spent many years, preparing for this moment, my lord.” He said earnestly, gently working the gravity of the situation into Dae’s elated mind. “Please, be serious. It is very important.”
      “Master Ngale, you are scaring me.” Dae was still smiling. Then he stopped. “You are, are you not?” A distinct layer of contained anger enveloped his—still present—cloud of bliss. “You simply cannot help it, is that it?”
      “No… Yes. Pray, forgive me. I was merely trying to convey the importance of the subject. Please, listen to me. Just let me finish, my lord.”
      The young man held the pause, cold eyes locked on Ngale’s face. Standing, he was half a head shorter than Ngale, but his unyielding presence was nevertheless intimidating even for a taller man.
      “Listen to me…” Onnoquo whispered gravely.
      Dae’s stern resolve broke in a sudden snort.
      “Two against one? How is that fair?” He shrugged, smiling. “All right. Tell me whatever it is you think is so important, but please, be aware, that I am only listening, because a wise man told me once, that I should always let people finish their thoughts. Unless the person is holding a sword, of course, for in that case he is just trying to distract you… so, what is it you think I am trying to conceal from you, good master?”
      “What brought you to Norlay, my lord? Please, tell me the truth.”
      Dae put his empty cup on the table.
      “Of course, Master Ngale. The road from Bellforge.” He said with exaggerated seriousness, clearly trying to escape with a joke, but an unmistakable dark shade of contained grief crawled into his aura.
      You are lying, son, Ngale thought, I can feel it as clearly as if you just admitted it yourself.
      “Please, spare me, my lord,” he said, sending a wave of sympathy toward the young man. “I can feel your sorrow, you know that.”
      “A friend recommended me the place.” Dae said, this time not trying to joke. “I am a traveller. I became curious, and decided to see for myself, and I am certainly not regretting my decision. Norlay is a beautiful land, and Stormhold is simply marvelous. Does this answer your question, master Ngale?”
      “So you are here just because someone told you to come?”
      “A good friend. It was a descent enough reason for me.”
      “Is he a Prescient?”
      Slight hesitation, even darker shade of deep sadness. A feeling of loss. He… was, but he is no longer?
      “A Seer? I do not think so. He never said anything about him being Gifted. But why even ask?”
      He truly has no idea. Ngale slowly lowered himself to the edge of the table and rubbed his temples.
      “What is it, Master Ngale? Something is bothering you, is it not?” Curiosity, mostly, the dark swirling ribbon dissipating slowly, giving way to his former joyful confidence. “Well, this is my reason for being here. How about you tell me about yours?”
      “I am here for the End of the Millennium.” Ngale said carefully, peering into the young man’s face as well as examining his aura. Could he be playing with me?
      “Why in Norlay? The End of the Millennium is merely a date. It will come to the entire Circle of Known Lands, no matter where you are, why Stormhold? And it is also three and a half months away. Unless you observe Igoneqe’s and Zurbah’s True Moon calendar—then the new year starts when new Norphelail eclipses Alleff, making the latter disappear from the sky… and that is in two weeks, is it not?”
      …and so on

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