Ever after, if there is an after for any of us, I will regard this night at this campfire as the most pivotal time in my life. My name is Damin Mur and I am known as the Marsh Devil, but this night I will become the one who rips masks off. Is there a name for such a creature? Unmasker? Is that a word? Soulslicer? Am I to be known as the Devil Delver?
We are silent after the meal – leftovers from the morning’s rabbit stew – and thus is the crackling from the fire louder than usual. I notice it, and then realise the snapping of burning twigs does not quite cover the terrible sense of expectancy in our surrounds. It feels as if the self-contained world of Arc is waiting, is listening and is judging. Is it judging me? Or will it use what I discover in this silence? Am I the harbinger it needs?
Lyra lies with her head on my lap, her eyes closed. She seems relaxed to the others, but I feel how tense she is … as she is aware of my inner struggle. Siri is curled up on my other side, reading a scroll from Joseph’s personal store in his saddlebags. The Messenger loves reading, and so does my sister.
I glance at her briefly … and understand she is the one who will give to me the Ilfin image. Not only is she relaxed and therefore open, but she will understand why I delve her first if she feels an invasion into her thoughts.
Lowering my chin to my chest, I close my eyes and concentrate. Hopefully the others will think I am in deep thought or dozing where I sit.
Siri’s mind is made of light. The brightness she has inside initially astonishes me. My sister is a Healer indeed, and she walks in goodness. I smile, loving her even more.
Then I see it.
The image. I know it is the one I seek, for never have I seen the like before.
A silvery-blue curved triangle, a leaf at each point and inside, a triple curl design; it shimmers before my mind’s eyes as a mark of benevolence. A triskelion.