Eris Morn does not need an anchor. She can fold the world effortlessly, wrapping it around ancient knowledge that still feels new. It follows its own rules, and in those maps are waypoints.
Toland, jester-king of his own literarchy, is a waypoint.
Eris’ emanations are strong here, like a cloak around her shoulders. Toland looks at her from a pillar of cloud flashing with green eyes. “Dearest Eris. You have joined me in my vaulted halls! Welcome. So … the lie has fallen away. Did you leave your Guardian behind?”
“The Guardian, and Asher Mir the Gensym Scribe, and Ikora, and … so many.”
“So it is your time to hear the song.”
“I have not died a third time.” She reaches out, and cannot touch the cloud of him. Grief and relief mingle. “But the lie … the smokescreen. I go to find the fire.”
Toland flickers. He isn’t self-aware enough to compare this to his betrayal, Eris thinks. Should I? He has heard the whispers she has, the warnings the Vanguard did not.
But she is hunting, and the hunt does not end at the home of this confidante.
“Did we not know that the truth brings conflict?” He says. It is a mercy that he does not continue. The battles around her are flames in a conflagration, and she will walk through them to fight the foes she knows best.
Eris and Toland never did say goodbye to one another. It had been that way from the start. They bow their heads to one another with memories of other days, other bodies, and Eris goes.