The Eight Crimes of The Iconodules


“You’ve got a thing for silvered glass, mirrors and crystal, don’t you?”

The Dreamer knew his interruption would be unwelcome, but he fancied that there were only few places in his City that he wasn’t allowed, and this chamber in Brise, replete with the aforementioned reflective surfaces, was not among them. Of course, ‘allowed’ and ‘welcome’ were far flung concepts. When Master Mintay lifted his head upward, cold blue eyes staring across the gulf to the half-elf that stood cheerfully in the middle of that kaleidoscope, it was as though a hundred of him had done the same. Navion briefly wondered if the man possessed a telekinetic talent that let him align all those mirrors in the dome that hung around him with just a thought. It would explain how dozens of disapproving glares were focused like a lens, at least until the man straightened his back, drawing his face out of the fulcrum.

“I am a wizard.” He said. It was a matter-of-fact statement, the point made clearer by the sharp motion of one hand. Several of the glassy surfaces in the room went black, Secrets the Master of the city would not share with its leader. Navion had grown beyond requesting them, though. They were still in agreement about the important things. What was a few secrets between friends? It was with feigned indifference that the Dreamer hopped up one of the twin spiral stairs that rose to that platform of glass and mirrors, careful not to focus on the ones that, from this angle, still showed moving images. He thought he saw a home crumbling into the ocean. Another building, warmly lit from the inside, with a red-painted door. A pair of men walking in a hallway full of books. A familiar face, half-buried in massive, downy feathers.

He ignored all those. Questions would lead to nothing, after all. Unless they were also funny enough that the wizard felt the need to bring the level of levity down. He could be at least expected to do that. “What’s this one?” he asked with a grin, poking at a twirling crystal, suspended by a thin, steel chain over the dias. It swung at its touch, the image inside barely wavering. It showed the sheer, black wall of the Edge, and a flat grass plain. “You can’t seriously be concerned about its progress. We have it down to the day now, don’t we?” The smile didn’t waver.

“Yes.” came Ondras’ answer, passing up on the opportunity to offer the interesting bit of information. “That is not to chart its progress, though if the crystal suddenly goes black I suppose it will be an interesting turn of events. I suspect there will be no sudden acceleration.”

“So what’s it for?” Navion asked, pinching the crystal in the leather of his gloved fingers and looking across at the wizard. The question must’ve been too direct, because Master Mintay appeared to barely respond. He released the crystal, which spun wildly on its chain, alternating between its bright, pinkish color and the dark display of the Edge on its surface. Pink. Black. Pink. Black.

“I was wondering if I could borrow one of these?” The Dreamer asked, when he was done watching the alternating colors. A sheer black like that looked decent against pink, but the pink needed to be brighter, he figured. Maybe a decent uniform, but for whom? “I have something I’d like to watch.”

Mintay paused in his work, the vials of powdered metals and ashes from a dozen trees (how many extinct?) were set aside briefly while he gripped the edge of the great stone table where the mirrors were constructed. The wizard was thinking. The Dreamer waited for that head to turn again, for the blue eyes to focus on him clearly. “You want to watch the cult-hunters.”

There was no surprise on the Dreamer’s face, just a nod of acceptance. Weren’t those acts of deduction what kept this man employed? He had to suppress a laugh, at least, in thinking of their relationship in such a way. “Exactly.”

The wizard didn’t respond, not verbally at any rate. Instead, without looking, his arm stretched up and back, pointing high in the dome of mirrors to one that shimmered and grew from black to silver, before colors began to resolve in its surface.



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