Sesskia’s Diary, part 74

29 Lennitay

Something is wrong with Terrael. I think. I mean, it’s probably normal that he’s avoiding people while he’s working on the Codex, but avoid Audryn? I doubt even Terrael could be that obsessed. And I’ve seen him go out of his way to keep from meeting Cederic in the hall. He acts…furtive. As if he has some secret he’s afraid he might give away if he steps wrong. Audryn couldn’t find him at lunchtime, so she had me and the Darssan mages look for him, and I found him in the circle chamber, scribbling on the walls.

But he wasn’t writing th’an, it looked like ordinary handwriting, not that I can read that. When he saw me, he turned absolutely white, then scrubbed off the wall as fast as he could and said it was just a theory he was trying on some I don’t know what, it was technical linguistic things and I didn’t understand him. Which, I think, was the idea. He wanted me distracted. If he’s so upset about something that he doesn’t remember I can’t read his language…something is definitely wrong with Terrael.

I told Cederic about what I learned last night, and he was furious at me, not that anyone but me could tell. When he calmed down, he said, “I think you are correct that Aselfos is planning some kind of power play. What Denril has to do with it…I dislike guessing, but it sounds as if he intends to turn his magical abilities to Aselfos’s benefit, though I cannot imagine what kind of interference they think I might represent. From what you overheard, Aselfos intends to take the God-Empress’s place, and it would legitimize him if the chief priest-mage asserted that his claim is more valid than hers.”

“So what should we do?” I said.

“Nothing,” Cederic said. “We know too little to do anything but meddle, and I don’t know how that might upset the balance of power. The upcoming disaster is far more important than anything Aselfos might have in mind, though what you overheard suggests that their timing might be related to it. And if he does intend to eliminate the mages along with the God-Empress, I think he will find that we are not so easy to kill. Now, is there any chance I can persuade you to leave this alone?”

“No,” I said. “But I promise to be more careful. Does that help?”

“Not as much as you hope,” he said, but he was smiling, and I think he’s growing accustomed to the fact that this is what I am.

Terrael will finish the translation soon, and then Cederic will have to deal with Vorantor somehow. I don’t know what part I might play in his strategy. I hope there’s some way I can help.