:An hour later
- The ka-tet
stands before a ruined tower in one of the outskirts of Camelot which has not been reclaimed from the ruin brought on by centuries of disuse. The tower reaches into the sky around sixty feet, likely offering five or six floors within. The doors bear a metal inscription, much newer than the rest of the building, that reads: "No entrance except by order of the King."
Speaking of kings, the ka-tet
parted from King John after asking of his experience in this very tower. Disappointing Lord Frost, the monarch only replied that what one sees in the mirror is for him or her alone. "Besides," he added, "the vision offered nothing after the present," suggesting that perhaps ka
had a different plan for John during the siege of Camelot than would ultimately unfold.
Flanking the door are two ancient remains of partially intact robots similar to what the ka-tet
saw in the Dogan before finding King Grome's fingernail. Both have been claimed by nature and ivy covers what of them has endured the ages. One has a vine emerging from the empty hole where his mechanical eye would have rested centuries ago.
Opening the door with an old key provided by the King, Owen climbs the steps inside of the tower. At his side, a new pair of sandalwood grip revolvers rests. Much of the tower's contents have long since rotted or now serve only as the haven of cobwebs and spiders, but the top remains virtually untouched by time. Myron whispers of the sorcery that clings to the room. The contents seem safe enough, however, as the room is quite spartan. The room bears an old cot which must have served as a bed, on the wall hangs a picture of thirteen colored orbs. One of them, the blue bend, has its image destroyed. Apparently, a rodent of some sort burrowed through the painting at its location. Aside from the cod and the painting, the ceiling boasts a mosaic of a number of small figures bearing objects: two with swords, one with a staff, one with a large jewel, and one with a merchant's scale. Of course, a large standing mirror also graces this floor of the tower.
Gazing into the mirror, each member of the ka-tet
perceives something different: Owen sees himself walking across a field of roses along with his ka-tet
, but he can't make out all of the faces. One man he doesn't recognize among the ranks walks with him. The horn of the Line of Eld hangs at his side.
Jhondak sees himself fighting off unseen attackers while standing over the frightened huddled form of a pretty blonde woman with odd clothing reminiscent of something Russ or Pablo would wear. Something about a dragon flashes by as well but the image is too ephemeral for the Tarkeshite to gather much from it. Myron sees the image of ibn Daud, clutching a pearl gray orb matching the picture on the wall. Russ sees himself in a gunfight with a Japanese man performing near impossible feats with his firearms. Many of the fellow members of his ka-tet
appear badly hurt by the man. Pablo sees things as well, images of End World and the Crimson King, and other things that shake him to the core.
Owen's new pistol in the fields of roses:
The image shared by all of the ka-tet
, however, is of a massive battle encompassing armies larger than anyone present thought possible. Men atop dragons rain death on those below while Pan Tangian hordes, Melnibonéan swordsmen, and countless Young Kingdom warriors create carnage. The last flash of the image shows the albino Emperor that the ka-tet
met in Quarzhasaat, brandishing his wicked runeblade. Next to him is Sai Florent, dressed in all black and missing his guns, fighting Pan Tangian masses with a pair of curved blades.
The images begin to swirl into misty nothingness while the members of the ka-tet
feel that the ground is giving out beneath them. So caught up in the images, the group lost sight of everything around them. Everyone feels dizzy and the world seems to have gone black. Grasping out for anything to stop the vertigo, Russ fixes his thoughts on one place as an anchor...