Mukta – What did I bring back from the ruins?
An etched table leg.
“He leads me north, into the mountains, to where the ground shines like gems. Here the Son of the Devourer rode the towers down like a wave from the sky. They fought him terribly as all fell. Most of the men and women died for their efforts. At last one still stood. It was she who drove the beast into the pit, though it bound her maha to the the stones. There she lay waiting for the Captain to come.”
A blue woman.
Kamilah – What should I be looking for?
Her father’s compass.
“Now He Who Stands at the Gate flies us west across the tress and waves, across the Eye, itself. The future is not his, but Kindo Kane tells me he can see the oceans on fire. He says Kamilah will rule the seas and storms.”
Hekima – What will I find, leaving here?
A juju bag.
“Something is wrong here, in the eye. He Who Stands at the Gate cannot see more. Hekima will eventually discover the truth.”
A yellow eye.
Kyoju – What did I leave?
Half a waffle iron.
“Now at last we set down on the jinx-eater’s isle. We see how they hide, didgging up what others have buried and moving it closer to home, not knowing truly why. They were never the first to hide something beneath the earth. They think their land has no arch, but they are wrong. Kyoju has left behind him every place he has called home and so thinks he leaves nothing in his wake. There is much of value he has missed. Much that will be of import.”
A white arch.
Ntomo – What becomes of the maha of those who are sacrificed?
“Beneath the dirt we descend, where the ban are interred. You ask what becomes of the maha culled by the northern fools and now I see them. They pour down in flames to where lies drip from castle walls, where nations have drowned in their blindness. there the maha are ticked against a ledger, bound in the library of sworn oaths and used to fulfill a bargain of personal and terribly pride. Sold to the lord of this black sea, they are beyond hope.”
A green scroll.
Ruwa – What has become of my friend, Hasim?
Her dancing shoes.
“He who Stands at the Gate pulls me right and beneath the seas, where shapes dark and strange beyond reason lurk. The boy, dragged below the sands and hidden from the sun will never see the light of the future. He is held by the Master of Boats, with whom a bargain must be struck. The Boatman fears…”
“Kindo! Kindo! Kindo Kane!”
“He has me, has ripped me from my guide! I see fangs and claws and coils and wings and bright flame in shadow! He will consume me for what I know; I know he builds an army to attack the gods themselves!”
A black sea.