Chapter 8

The music rang clear and true. Brother Vance listened, his face a paroxysm of glory.

"It repeats," he whispered to himself and the young Warlock who was bent over the Infinite Forge, diligently crafting weapons from another age.

She listened politely, but heard nothing. She went back to her task.

"Why do none pity the phoenix?"

The Warlock looked up, startled. Vance was across from her, though she had not noticed his approach. His question came with no preamble, as if the two had been in the midst of a conversation.

"I'm sorry?" offered the Warlock.

"Endless rebirth, true, but each matched by a fiery death," Vance said. "No sooner does it clean the ash from its feathers does it fall, again, to flame."

The blind man turned and bathed his face in the glowing sunlight that streamed into his sanctum.

"And none speak of its song."

The Warlock thanked Vance for the use of his forge and stood to leave.

"You are more than welcome," he said without turning his head, though his vacant smile had grown kind. He gestured toward the tomes and scrolls on his desk.

"Help yourself to a prophecy, friend," he said. "I believe I have finally finished my studies."