My dead lover came to me. She returned not as in life, of course, but as she had been transformed. I have not described her in this book. On the night she died I lay across her body until the Temple guards came and dragged me from her rooms. They left her where she lay. While the city fell, from my Temple prison I saw her wake. In my mind’s eye her skin turned gold, her face flowed like water. The blood that drained from her wrist poured out blue and green. When she stood, her wings unfurled across the room. Her form was tall and lithe and filled with grace. She moved with a purpose both beautiful and dread. She left my rooms and I saw her cross two extra arms behind her back.
In the rioting streets they uncrossed as scimitars, and she spun and carved a path to me. Her dance was the dance of death, and those who fell never saw her in their midst. She broke the Temple wall with a fist; she parted the bars of my cell as though they were made of wax. She dropped a bundle at my feet, and I saw it contained my dagger and my journals. In a voice of a thousand tongues she told me to rise, and led me from that place. She took me to a Well of the Blood of the Profusion and the memories of ten thousand dead. She waited while they turned white. When that was done, she led me with a dagger in my hand to the Well of Faith’s Healing, where the current Faith had hidden.
Now she stood over me where I lay in darkness. Her brilliance made me squint as I sat up. Light both white and gold poured out through her skin. She held out a delicate hand, and touched her finger to my forehead.
“Del...Tanich,” she said, every word a complex song, “it is...time...youmetyour...father.”
She withdrew her hand, and I tumbled backward into darkness.