Strange shadows were cast by the green alchemical fire between them. They danced on the stone overhang and back wall of their camp. The other three sides were open. No breeze blew through, the fire moved on its own.
O’dirick of The Grayed Reapers stood before the flames.
Dai Shan sat on a stone, his spellbook on his lap. Shaln leaned against Ehlkarn’s shoulder and Torric lounged with his hands behind his back. Hectayr was still as the night.
Tomorrow they would see battle with the Umbral Dragon. Kayanidrohl was young but he had been tormenting the scattered cities of the outlands and his infamy was growing. It was time to put the beast down.
Tonight O’dirick would cast her bones.
“Battle Lord, do you have any words before I begin?” asked the oracle.
He stood. “No, O’dirick. We are among the dead. Words only matter to the living.”
She flinched at the words. “Then let us see what the dead have to say.”
The Grayed Reapers leaned in, all attentive. O’dirick flung her cloak out of the way leaning her head back as she did it. Her eyes darted about and narrowed until a pale yellow light came forth.
There was a soft tinkling as her onyx charms dangling from the antlers spun and knocked against the tines. It was a song from another place. O’dirick started to sway and the song got louder and more erratic.
She swayed and moved and her head made the music dance. Everyone watched and couldn’t peel their eyes away.
Dai Shan knew she hated this. He could see it in her eyes. He didn’t know if the others knew but if they did no one said a word. They all relied on her too much. Her auguries had kept them alive this long.
Her hands weaved a story his eyes couldn’t follow and then a black cup was in her hands. She shook it in time to her swaying and he could hear the bones rattling inside.
He could feel it building. It came from all sides, the air, the earth, the places in between. He could feel it on his skin, tingling and standing his hair on end.
Dai Shan’s hand went to his scimitar and he added his own power to the dance as it went up and down the blade. His eyes darted about, looking for an enemy, any enemy.
O’dirick’s voice joined in. He couldn’t make out a word of it. She spoke and it went through his being.
Dai Shan looked around and his companions were fixed onto the oracle. Each leaned forward, waiting for it to happen, waiting and dreading what was to come.
O’dirick snapped forward her cry piercing his being and she threw the contents of the cup on the earth.
They bounced, clacked, and rolled to a stop.
The oracle fell to her knees.
He could see her eyes darting between the bones on the ground reading their story.
She looked up and met his eyes. Darkness no, he thought.
“He is waiting for us.”