He beckoned to me, and I came up beside him, and looked down into the valley, and gasped. For the floor of that great valley, with its many kilometers of farms and streams and woods, was covered by the pure mist of the White Swarm, filling it higher than the treetops, swirling from mountain wall to mountain wall and extending in every direction. My mind filled with questions.
“The woman in the Well,” I asked. “The one who woke us. Who was she? Where is she now? What does she have to do with all of this?”
“An ally,” he said, “who goes where she wills. You may meet her at the Temple if you choose. Now your allies are three: I and she and they.” He nodded to the White Swarm in the valley.
“And them, I think.” I pointed to the men behind me. “Who are they? Why are they here?”
“Say that they were never born. You are greater than any one of them, but together they are superior to you. Yet even the Swarm cannot say all you will accomplish.”
My eyes narrowed. “You’re very hard to understand,” I said. “You say that our enemies will destroy us, but you act as though we will succeed instead. You said that I might leave, but now you imply that I’m with them. They look like an army, and you said that you bring war. Well, why don’t you command me, and see if I obey?”
He turned, eyes flashing. “Go to her, and she will command you. But stay if you will, because I myself am the command. These men hear me, and go where I am going.”
“Do you remember anything at all?” I asked. “What’s happened, these last ten years? Why are you fighting, if we cannot win? Where are you taking these men?”
He pointed then, with his right hand, up into the darkness that was falling across the east. “Into the wilderness,” he said, “into the highest mountains, where not even eagles dare to tread. Will you follow me?”