He walked for as long as the light of day shined in the skies. I watched the mad vagrant cross from street to alley way and back. His tattered cloak protected him from the bright sun, but not the jeers of children. His worn boots protected his feet from the sharp rocks, but not the hooves of horses or the mail boots of the militia. I followed the staggering fool from the library entrance all the way to the slums of the eastern city and I knew not why.
My mind was blank and my eyes never wavered. I shifted through the crowd, beneath the horses and past the food carts. He was always just on the edge of my vision like a ghost or specter of ill-intent. The khuta coursed through my veins and in the back of my head I could hear my voice, “He is important. He has fate.” My tongue swirled in my mouth, like every other time I’ve taken the khuta for mediation, but this time I felt like speaking.
Time seemed to pause whenever the tottering vagrant stopped and yet I never gained on him. We finally reached his destination, as he stumbled forward onto one knee, hands in prayer against his head. I looked beyond him to the focus of his attention a statue of a woman half crumbled. The reaches of my mind stirred and I remembered the tale of the widow warrior who saved Tol, my city.
The tale spoke of a grand woman whom lost her lover to a great magic. She fought fiend and barbarian alike to bring her lover back from the dead. During this tale she finds herself saving the city from some unseen force. Sacrificing herself all of Tol is spared from danger and defeat. Apathy and era have since forced this from the people’s mind, but this lone statue stands as a sign of her valor.
My body found itself walking to the man and I found myself speaking for the first time, “For what do you pray?” “I pray for my forgiveness,” he responded in somber tones, “for I wronged her with a lust for power I could not control.”