FIRST LIGHT

Chapter 4

Tarn asked “What is Light?” It seemed that even he, who professed no belief, was intrigued by the Lightfriend’s words. Rafel looked him full in the face, and replied, simply, “Light is all.” Brann felt an unaccountable gladness welling up in him, as though he had been given a treasure which someone had patiently kept for him. He did not question how the Lightfriend knew them, or what else the man might know about them. He exclaimed “I knew! I always knew – there must be more than Darkness, more than the old gods, who were no gods at all!” “I remember you told me that once”, said Tarn. The Lightfriend said “Aye. You are one of those who seek Light, all unknowing, and hunger till you find Light.” “I did not know” Tamorine said, somewhat sadly, Brann thought. Rafel smiled at her, and said “But Light knows you – every hope, every fear, every hurt, Tamorine.” And as the Lightfriend said “every hurt”, he emphasised “every” in a way that made Tamorine stare at him and made Brann wonder what untold hurts she might have that this strange, but not frightening, man seemed to know. Brann asked – not angrily, for it did not occur to him to be angry with this strange new power that was entering his life – but a little wistfully, “How is it, then, that the Power of Light has not been known to us till now?” Rafel smiled again. “I have much to tell and to teach you – all of you. But this is hardly the place for a discussion.” He indicated the narrow passageway, and went on, “Like you, we found this place, and the caverns beneath, seeking shelter. We have been here some while and have made a safe haven to make plans against the Dark Lord. His defeat is the reason we are here, and Light told us that men of Li’is would join us. We have waited for you.” He turned and signed to the silent Ketai, who came forward, lowering their spears to signal they had no warlike intentions. Rafel went on “You see we are well guarded, for all of the Ketai people are with us. You may safely join us. Send one of your companions to bring your men down to safety, and come with me.”
None of Brann’s or Tamorine’s men made any objection, for the mysterious Lightfriend had gained their trust, and they could see that they would be safer in the caverns than the farmhouse above. Marvis and Jamin volunteered to go back and fetch the rest, and Brann said, “Do not forget to close the trap door behind you when you come back here. ” While they went back towards the staircase, Brann, Tamorine and the others followed the Lightfriend through the narrow passageway and found themselves in another large cave, lit by torches, with other passageways and caves leading off. “What was this place?” Kerrin asked. “They were natural caverns, but the ancient farmers enlarged them , digging out stone for building and using them for storage.” Rafel replied. “One of the caverns drops quite steeply and reaches the water table, and it was through that they put their well.” Brann was looking round, seeing some parts of the cave system in use as storerooms, others set up as sleeping chambers, each for several occupants. A number of men were moving purposefully about the caves, under the watchful eyes of more of their guards, the Ketai. Brann saw that some of the men wore brown robes, some striped robes like Rafel’s. None of the men seemed old, which would make sense if they were here to attack the Dark Lord’s garrison. Brann saw that all of the men in striped robes had the same bright, piercing blue eyes as the Lightfriend. One of the smaller caves had a heavy curtain, now pulled back, hung at the entrance. Inside was only one thing, a stepped dais of white stone, supporting a large golden bowl, beautifully worked and carved. And from the bowl rose a tall steady column of golden flame that lit all around it with its glow. Brann, pointing to it, asked, “Is that the Power of Light?”, because, he thought, if it was, it was nothing but another man-made god, no true Power at all. He felt a moment’s bitter disappointment. Then the Lightfriend laughed. “That? No, that is only the Crucible, Brann. A reminder of Light, to draw one’s thoughts, not Light’s own self. How could it be? Has not Light made all things, and is in all things? Are not all things created and sustained by Light? Light cannot be restricted to one place, one time. Light is everywhere, eternal, unchanging. Light is life, as the Darkness is death.” Brann’s hope rekindled, and his friends seemed quiet and awed. Tamorine especially was still uncharacteristically silent, and Brann wondered again what secret hurt she might have, that the Lightfriend knew about. He wished she might have thought him friend enough by now to confide it to him, as she had her desire to avenge her uncle, father and brother.

The Lightfriend Rafel said, “When your men come, I will explain to all of you. Come with me to my Quiet Place first, for I need to collect some things. ” The Quiet Place was another curtained cave adjoining the cave with the Crucible, which Rafel told them was the Place of Prayer. In the Quiet Place were a rack of scrolls, a rough table and benches, some carved chairs which contrasted strangely with the other rough furnishings, and a large metal-bound chest. Rafel motioned to Brann and the others to be seated, and turned to take some scrolls from the rack. He also took a long, thin box from the chest, then looked up, his blue eyes glowing, and said, “Ah, your men are here.” Brann had heard no sound, but perhaps the Lightfriend’s ears were sharper, he thought. As Rafel turned to them again, Brann saw that the stone on his chest was no longer blazing, but had dimmed. Now it looked like nothing more than an insignificant white pebble, save that at its heart there was still a spark of light. Brann looked curiously at its setting, a pendant of three intersecting flame-shapes, the oval at their base forming the seat of the stone, hanging from a chain of finely worked double links. The metal was a strange, silvery one which Brann could not place. Rafel said “Come, you must introduce me to your men, Brann and Tamorine. They are nervous.” It could have been that the Lightfriend had guessed that the little army would be wary, but he spoke with a certainty that made Brann wonder. They followed him back to the larger cavern. The Lightfriend’s companions who had been working there had withdrawn to make way for Brann and Tamorine’s men, though some of the Ketai still stood guard. Jamin and Marvis came to meet them. “We have come down, as you said” Jamin told his cousin, “But some of our men are unsure that it is not a trap. I hope we have done right.” “And we replaced the trap door” added Marvis, “trusting that these are friends and allies, and we will be safe.” “You will be safe” Rafel said, raising his voice, so that all could hear him. “You are in the Place of Light. We too are enemies of Darkness.” Brann came to stand beside him, and Tamorine followed. Brann said, “Hear me, men! Tamorine and I are your commanders, and we have spoken with this man, and find that he and his companions are of one mind with us concerning the defeat of the Dark Lord. They serve the Power of Light, which is opposed to the Darkness which spawned him, and Rafel the Lightfriend will tell us of this Light, and what it is needful for us to do to defeat the Dark Lord.” Tamorine, standing beside him, agreed, “Men of the Mountains and the Forest, that is so. We can trust the Lightfriend. Be still and hear what he has to say, and do not fear him.”
Both of them were aware of a kind of settling among their forces, as though they found it safe to relax their guard. Rafel said. “First I will answer the question Brann asked me, which was why you knew nothing of Light. You had not known Light because it was not yet time. But now that the Darkness has come into your world, only Light can defeat it.” Tamorine asked ” Then the tales are true, that say the Dark Lord is not of our world at all?” “They are true, Tamorine. The Dark Lord is not of Li’is. His is another world, and from that world he has brought Darkness into Li’is. And” he added, looking round at them all, “from that world I and my companions have followed him. I was chosen of Light to be the Lightstone-Bearer, and bring it into this world to aid the people of Li’is in their fight against the Darkness.” “You?” Brann asked, astonished. “You too are from this – ‘Otherworld’?” “I am. I too – and my companions, and the Ketai – am from Ma’al – ‘Otherworld’.” The Lightfriend’s face was sad now. “In Ma’al Light has been rejected. Our Dancers were corrupted by the Dark Lords, and with them most of the people of Ma’al. Those who serve Light now are few and in hiding, in danger everywhere. But of our number, the majority were chosen to come to your world, and bring you the Way of Light, and the Lightstone. Our world now is beyond redemption, and awaits the judgement of Light. But your Dancers are loyal to Light, and Light summoned them to bring us to your aid.” “But – what is a Dancer?” Brann and Tamorine asked, almost together. Rafel looked at them, and out at the assembled company of their men, and said, “In Li’is you have no knowledge of them, but men are not the only created beings. There are Spirits-in-Light, and there are Dancers. The men of Li’is have never seen their Dancers, but the Dancers have always been here with you.” He stretched out one hand, and though he was silent, his blue eyes glowed again, as though he concentrated on something. Brann and Tamorine and all their men were still, feeling a strange sense of awe. As they watched in silence, there began to be a strangeness in the air, as though it shimmered, and suddenly something almost unbelievable appeared.

It was like a flame, even to the shape. It was of a sparkling,translucent blue-green substance, with a glowing heart. It was half as tall again as the tallest man. It was beautiful, awe-inspiring, terrifying and yet somehow not threatening. And it was, despite its strangeness and insubstantiality, very much a living being – they could feel the vitality, the power, emanating from it. Everyone there was frozen. They could not move or speak. The Lightfriend said gently “Brann, Tamorine, men of Li’is, do not be afraid. The Dancer will not harm you.” And then the Dancer itself ‘spoke’. There was no sound, but they all heard its very thought echoing in their minds. “There is no need to fear me, children of Li’is. The Dancers are the friends of mankind, not its enemies.”Brann, still awestruck, gasped, “But what is it?” “The Lightfriend said “It is a living creature, Brann, a creation of Light, as you are. But its body is not made of flesh, but of light and energy.” “Why is it called a Dancer?” Tamorine asked, looking up in rapt wonder at the tall, living flame. It was the Dancer which answered her. “We are not children of the worlds, as you are, maiden” it explained. “We touch upon the worlds, and care for them, but we dance between the stars. And Light has ordained us to be the Singers of the Songs of the worlds, and the Dancers of their rhythms. By the rhythm that we set, the rhythm of life in the worlds is taken. And we follow the harmonies of Light, at the bidding of the Spirits-in-Light. We have them from the very Heart of Light. But” – and there was an unmistakeable aura of sorrow about the Dancer now- “some of those Spirits-in-Light rebelled, led by one Great Deceiver, and became Lords of Darkness, fallen Spirits. And they corrupted our brothers of Ma’al, so that they are lost to us and to Light. And in their turn the Dancers of Ma’al have become the Night Lords, following the commands of the Dark Lords to enslave men instead of serving them, and turning them to Darkness also. So all of Ma’al was turned to Darkness and lost to Light, all but a remnant and the Lightfriends. That is what the Lords of Darkness seek to do in Li’is also, but the Dancers of Li’is are loyal to Light and have withstood the Night Lords, as the men of Li’is, with the aid of the Lightfriends and the Lightstone, must defeat the Dark Lord.” “But why did Light permit it?” Brann asked. The Lightfriend Rafel answered , “Light is full of mercy and love, Brann. It does not please Light that any should go into Darkness. But, desiring children, not slaves, Light made all things to be free in their choice, to serve Light or not. The Choice of Light still stands, even to those in Darkness who repent. But Light will not force love and worship, for that would be no true love or worship at all.” “If there are Dancers in Li’is, why have we not seen them?” Tarn broke his silence now. “Because you have not yet come where we are “, the Dancer answered him. “We have prepared a Meeting Place, in the mountains of the North. But no man or woman of Li’is has come to us yet.” “That “, said the Lightfriend, “is because the people of Li’is must know Light before they know the Dancers. Otherwise, not knowing the greater Light, they would fall into the error of worshipping the lesser.” Tarn agreed. “If you had not told us what the Dancer was, I think even I might have believed it a god.” he said. “Will the Dancers help us against the Dark Lord?” Tamorine asked, hopefully, but the Dancer ‘said’ “It is not permitted, Tamorine. It is for the people of Li’is to reject the Darkness for themselves. The Dancers of Li’is have already done so. If the Night Lords come here, we will fight against them. But against the Children of Night the Children of Light must stand.” “But we are not Children of Light!” Brann cried. the Dancer, though, was shimmering into nothingness again, leaving only a farewell blessing behind. “Light be with you, people of Li’is.”

“But you shall be Children of Light – if you wish” Rafel said. Brann told him soberly “Rafel, Lightfriend, we need the aid of Light to defeat our enemy. Yet I think neither I, nor Tamorine, nor any of our men would wish to follow Light for that alone. That would be dishonourable. If Light is worth the serving, then my service shall be to Light, whatever happens. If I take this – ‘Choice of Light’ that you offer – if Light is the source of my being and my world – I cannot put terms on my acceptance of Light. Oh, I do not know how to say what I want to say, Lightfriend!” The Lightfriend smiled at him. “But Light hears what you are trying to say, Brann. And it is pleasing to Light.” “That is how I feel , too” Tamorine said. “I would not follow Light,as I would not follow any Lord, simply for what I might gain.” Tarn said, “Brann could tell you that I have never set much store in any belief. But this feels right to me, this Choice of Light.” “To me also” Gamlin agreed. Brann turned to their assembled Swordsmen. “Men, you have heard the Lightfriend – the Lightstone-Bearer – and the Dancer. You have heard your commanders. But as Rafel has said, the Choice of Light is a free choice, and each of you must decide for himself. I think we have already made our choice.” “Then Brann, Tamorine, will you take the Choice of Light?” Rafel asked. “Yes!” they answered in unison, and Tarn and Gamlin followed. Some of their men were hesitant at first but slowly, one by one, each of them accepted the Choice of Light, until the choice was unanimous. Brann turned back to Rafel, and said, “It seems all of us are willing to follow Light, but what must we do now?” Rafel said “You must make your peace with Light. In that we Lightfriends will help you. And you must receive the blessing of the Lightstone, to strengthen you in Light.” “How can we make our peace with Light?” Tarn asked. “I am not sure that I even understand what you mean by that.” “First let me summon the Lightfriends, and I will tell you.” Rafel answered. They waited for him to call or send some signal, but he only bowed his head momentarily, and his blue eyes glowed. Yet after a few minutes the Lightfriends, in their blue and white robes, began to return to the cavern. Rafel looked up again, and said ” I must tell you that we who are the Lightfriends – all that is left of the Priesthood of Light in Ma’al – have a special power, a gifting of Light. It is called Perception, and by Perception I have summoned the Lightfriends. You have noticed the eyes of the Lightfriends?” “Yes” Brann said. “They are a strange blue, and very bright.” “Those eyes are the outward sign of our Perception” the Lightfriend explained. “The gift is hereditary to the lines of the Lightfriends. Always the sons, and very rarely a daughter, are born with it. It enables us to see into another’s heart and mind – but only with permission. There are strict laws governing its use – above all, the Vow of Trespass. It also enables us to sense strong emotions in our surroundings. And we can communicate with each other by linking Perceptions in the Thought-without-Words, though we are limited by distance.” “And you wish to use this Perception on us? Why?” Brann demanded. “To help you make your peace with Light, as I said. To help you search out and lay before Light all that is not worthy of a Child of Light, and be cleansed.” “How, cleansed?” asked Tarn. “By Light’s forgiveness.” “But if Light is good, and there is evil in us, how can it be simply forgiven?” asked Tamorine. Then the Lightfriend explained how Light had made provision for this, had promised a future Sacrifice which would wipe out all evil done, a Sacrifice already made as far as Light was concerned, since Light was outside of and contained all of time. “You may claim cleansing by the Sacrifice of Light, as Children of Light.” Rafel concluded.

Tamorine asked “Is it painful?” Rafel replied, “What do you mean by painful, Tamorine? It will not hurt you physically, but you may feel pain in your spirit at what Light shows you. Even that, though, will disappear when you make your peace with Light. You must be willing to let us set our Perceptions on you, however, for as I told you, we will never force Perception on those who are unwilling. Only if Light bade us confront a Child of Night would we do that, and that has never happened yet.” There was a moment’s silence as all of them absorbed his words, then Brann said ” I for one am willing to submit to your Perception, Lightfriend, if it will bring me close to Light. Let the others see what happens to me, so they can decide for themselves.” Rafel replied “It will bring you closer to Light, Brann. Light already knows your heart, and sees that you are ready.” “What must I do?” Brann asked. “Come, face me, and look into my eyes” Rafel told him. Brann turned to face the Lightfriend and lifted his eyes to the blue gaze. He felt Rafel’s hands gently cup his face, and it seemed that the Lightfriend’s gaze poured into his mind like a cleansing, refreshing stream. He knew he could direct that gaze, that it would not go anywhere that he forbade it, but he wanted to be open to the Power of Light, and let Rafel’s thought meld with his. As Rafel had said, it was not physically painful, but his mind shrank from the things that Light showed him; impatience, pride, scorn, anger – though some anger, he saw, Light did not condemn, because it was anger on behalf of the weak and the enslaved. Each thing thus exposed in him hurt him, because he knew somehow that it hurt Light, and he knew the pain in his spirit of which the Lightfriend had spoken to Tamorine. His thoughts seemed like a tangled skein, but the Lightfriend’s Perception helped him untangle them, lay them before Light, confess and cast out what was hurtful to Light, and joyfully accept the cleansing and forgiveness Light offered. When Rafel’s Perception withdrew, Brann found that he had tears in his eyes, of both sorrow and release. Before he could speak or question, the Lightfriend said “It is well, Child of Light”, then, “Receive Light’s blessing. Brann.” He lifted the Lightstone on its chain and touched the Stone to Brann’s brow. The stone glowed, and to his companions’ amazement a fountain of light poured out of the stone and surrounded the Swordsman. Hidden in the light, Brann felt an overwhelming sense of love, joy, peace and worship in his spirit, leaving him, when the light flowed back into the stone, feeling uplifted and, as Rafel had said, blessed of Light. When the light withdrew, his friends saw him standing with bowed head, but when he lifted his head, his eyes were glowing, as though the light lingered there, and his face was so transformed by peace and joy that Tarn exclaimed, “Brann – what has happened?”Brann smiled, and said, “It is as the Lightfriend said, Tarn. I have made my peace with Light.”

Now that Brann had set the example, and all could see that he was unharmed, but rather blessed by the experience, they were willing to follow. Rafel signalled to the Lightfriends, and they moved in among Brann and Tamorine’s men, offering their Perception. There were more Lightfriends than Brann had first seen, and he realised it would not take as long as he had thought for their little army to receive the help that he had. Tamorine had come to Rafel, looking trustfully into his face, and said, “I too would make my peace with Light, Lightfriend.” Brann saw Rafel cup Tamorine’s face and set his Perception on her, but then he turned his own gaze away. The Lightfriend had spoken of a Vow of Trespass taken by the Lightfriends, and Brann felt that he himself would be making a kind of Trespass if he watched Tamorine make her peace with Light. He had been willing for the others to watch him because he wanted to show them there was nothing to fear, but this time, he felt, it should be only between Rafel and Tamorine. He knew when it was done, though, because Rafel spoke the same words as to him – “It is well, Child of Light.” He could not resist turning his head back to watch the Lightstone being laid to Tamorine’s brow and see the fountain of light pour over her. Deep within the light he heard her give a long, deep sigh, and though it was an odd notion, he somehow felt as though she had been holding her breath for a long, long time, and was only now drawing breath again. When the light withdrew, she too had that glow in her eyes, and a new peace in her face. Tarn followed, then Gamlin, while the other Lightfriends were setting their Perceptions on Brann and Tamorine’s men, and when he had given the Lightstone’s blessing to Tarn and Gamlin also, Rafel began to move among the others, until eventually every one of the hundred had made his peace with Light and been blessed by the Lightstone, and Rafel came back to where Brann, Tamorine, Tarn and Gamlin stood, discussing their experience in hushed tones. “What now, Lightfriend?” Brann asked. Rafel smiled. “Now you are Children of Light, we will teach you the worship of Light. But there are other things to do first.” He looked out at the crowd before them, Lightfriends and new-made Children of Light intermingled now, and lifted his voice to address them. “Those of us who are Lightfriends know that we were sent into Li’is at the Will of Light, to help you defeat the Dark Lord and drive him back to Ma’al.” He held up the scrolls he had brought with him and continued, “All this is prophesied in the Book of Light, and there is one prophecy that concerns this day especially.”

All eyes were fixed on him as he turned and lifted the narrow wooden box, then said, “Brann of the Forest, come here to me.” Brann obeyed, wondering a little at the Lightfriend’s suddenly formal tone. Rafel said, “It was long foretold that when we entered Li’is, we would find among its Swordsmen who came out to fight against the Dark Lord one who would be the first of them to turn to Light, and he would become Light’s True Sword in the battle against Darkness. Brann, you are that True Sword.” Brann stared at him, astonished at his words. Before he could speak,Rafel said, “Take this box, and open it.” Brann took the box, wondering, and opened it. Inside lay a sword, unlike any he had ever seen. It was slender and beautiful, with a kind of deadly grace. It had obviously been made by a master armourer. It had no ornament on the hilt, but there was a symbol carved on it, and Brann saw that it was the same as the shape of the pendant that held the Lightstone. There were also words carved, and though the sword had surely come out of Ma’al with the Lightfriends, the words were in the Old Tongue – “The True Sword”. The metal from which it was forged was strange to Brann, until he looked again at the Lightstone and realised that the metal was the same, with its strange, silvery sheen. He looked questioningly at the Lightstone-Bearer. Rafel said. “Our vows as Lightfriends forbid us weapons, but on this occasion I may take up the True Sword, to bestow it.” He reached into the box and took out the weapon. “This is now your sword, Brann” he said. “True Sword for True Sword. Take it, and accustom your hand to it, for you must bear it against the Dark Lord.” Beyond astonishment now, Brann obediently set down the empty box and reached out and took the True Sword from the Lightfriend’s hand. It was light, and strong, and though it was unlike any sword he had ever handled, it did not feel strange to him and it fitted his hand as if it had been made for it. But perhaps it had, he thought, still bemused, if Light knew him for the True Sword to bear it. Tarn, watching him, said, “That is the fairest blade I ever saw.” Gamlin asked, “Of what metal is it forged? It does not look like our blades.” Rafel answered. “That metal is found only in Ma’al, not in Li’is. We brought with us only three things made of it, the gifts of Light. The first is the Lightstone in its setting, the second the True Sword.” “And the third?” Brann asked. “The third is the Harp Not Yet Played ” Rafel said, “but that does not concern us. That is kept for another Lightstone-Bearer, who will have to fight another battle against Darkness , in years to come – many years from now.” “And Light has shown you all this?” Tamorine asked. “It is long prophesied.” Rafel replied.

Now that all their men had accepted the Choice of Light, the Lightfriends’ Perception, and the blessing of the Lightstone, and had taken in their initial experiences of Light , there began to be questions. “If you came here from this Ma’al”, Gamlin asked “How did you get here? Did the Dark Lord come the same way? And where is Ma’al?” “We came through a Gate which the Lightstone and the Dancers made. ” Rafel explained. “The Dark Lord came here before us, by the evil enchantments of the Dark Ones. That is why he came from the East, because in Ma’al the East is the seat of their dark powers and where they work their sorceries, a place of terror. The Dark Ones have used much of their power to enslave Li’is, but it is a power that cannot stand against the Power of Light, if the people of Li’is choose to follow Light and reject Darkness. As to where Ma’al is…” he paused, then went on “Ma’al is so far from here that you could not understand the distances. It is on the other side of Light and time. And yet in a way it is the twin of Li’is, and they are bound together by prophecy.” Brann, still holding the True Sword, thought about those prophecies. How had Light known him, known he would be the True Sword? He posed the question to Rafel, who smiled, and said, “It is in the Will of Light, Brann, and that is all we can know. Light cannot be understood, only loved and obeyed.” Tamorine asked “But have you left your families behind in Ma’al? Will they not be in danger if your protectors, the Ketai, have come with you?” “We have left only a remnant of our Brothers-in-Light and their families in Ma’al” , Rafel replied. “Those who volunteered to stay, to keep the service of Light alive in Ma’al, though in secret, and still to offer the Choice of Light to any who would accept it. They are still guarded, though. Two warrior races have always been our guardians. The Ketai are here with us. The Malani also volunteered to stay in Ma’al with the other Lightfriends.” “And your families are here?” Tamorine asked again.”Not here with us, no. We entered Li’is, as I said, by the Dancers’ Gate, to the Meeting Place which they have prepared in the North. That place is unknown to the Dark Lord and his mercenaries, and our families and those of the Ketai have stayed there. The Ketai brought tents with them to shelter those who stayed. They are warriors, but also workers in fine fabrics and tent makers, for they are a wandering people and live in tents.” Brann said “You say that the Lightfriends and the Ketai came through this Gate, but who are the others with you – the men in brown robes ?” “They are men of Li’is who have escaped the Dark Lord and found their way to us,one by one, becoming Children of Light and our students, learning the Way of Light. Some are Swordsmen, and will join us in our battle. Others are farmers, merchants, workers in many trades, even a Healer or two.”

It was obvious that there were many more questions to be asked and answered, but Rafel said “You will learn all we can tell you, in due time. But for now you and your men have had a long journey and many new experiences, and you need to eat and rest.” Brann was still holding the True Sword, and now he drew out his own sword from the sheath and replaced it with the one he had been given. Not sure what to do with the other, he looked at Rafel, who said “Give it to the Ketai, Brann. They will place it in their armoury. It will not go to waste.” At his words, one of the Ketai came forward, smiling. Brann saw that though he was dressed the same as the others,he also had a golden circlet round his brow. Rafel said, “Brann, this is Ket-Jal. He is the Ket – the Lord – of the Ketai.” Thus introduced, Ket-Jal said, “It is good to meet the True Sword of prophecy. We have waited for you, and your co-commander, the Lady Tamorine, and your men.” Brann wondered again how so much was known about them. Was it prophecy, or the Lightfriends’ mysterious Perception, that had told of their coming?”We are glad to meet the Lightfriends and the Ketai, also”, he responded, and handed his redundant sword to the Ket, hilt foremost as courtesy demanded. Rafel said, ” I know you all still have many questions, and we will answer them when the time is right. But, as I said, you need to take time now to rest, and take in what you have learned. ” Brann noticed that a small group of the brown-robed students had come back to the large cave, and Rafel indicated them, and said,”Go with our students now. They will give you food and show you where to sleep.” Tamorine replied, “Lightfriend, we have supplies, we need not take yours.” Rafel smiled at her. “You are courteous, Tamorine, but we have been established here for some time. We have our own sources. You will not rob us.” They obeyed him, and followed the brown-robed men, and as they went, Tamorine said to Brann “I wonder, then, how long the Lightfriends and the Ketai have been in Li’is? If they came first to the North, then travelled here, and have made this their base and built up supplies, and gathered these students, who they say are fugitives from the Dark Lord – how long would all that have taken, Brann? And why did they not make themselves known to us before this?” “I cannot tell” he answered, “but Rafel said more of our questions would be answered in due time. Maybe we can ask him then. It may be to do with this prophecy he told us of.” “And he knew you for the True Sword” she responded,” by that same prophecy. He said he had been waiting for us. It is a mystery.” “It is the Will of Light, Brann said, “so Rafel said. Now we are Children of Light, I think we must be content with that, Tamorine, and with whatever Light chooses to reveal to us.” His mind,like hers, was full of questions, but the feelings of peace and joy he had felt in accepting Light and receiving the Lightstone’s blessing kept him calm and secure. Rafel had said that he had sought Light, unknowing, but now Brann thought that maybe, after all, it was Light that had sought him.

Published by afaithbasedfantasytrilogy

I'm first and foremost a Christian. I'm also a widow, mother of 5, grandmother of 9, and a retired school librarian.

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