“I don’t understand, what is this place?” Nicoyin asked. Hot winds from the desert raced up the cliff. The sweat that had beaded itself on her exposed skins moments before evaporated as the furnace like air engulfed her, her lungs burning from the scorching air.
“This is a memory,” Alem said. “From the Age of Glory. That.” He lifted a hand to pointed at the enormous structure below. “That is Ah’sal’an’ash. A Forgecity, sworn to the Summoner Saanaren.”
“Sahrin,” Nocoyin said.
Alem turned his dark eyes towards her, hand on the hilt of the blade at his waist. “Summoner,” he repeated, an edge to his voice. “I will not offer any show of respect to the men and women who thought so little of the people they were meant to serve that they would open a gateway to Void, dooming us all.”
“But look what they could do,” she couldn’t keep the awe from her voice, though truth be told she disliked the Summoners- the Sarhin- too. She just didn’t see the point in warning against a people three thousand years dead. “We lost so much when they died. Our ancestors once ruled the heavens and now we play in the mud, the star lost to us.”
“I don’t know why the Singers do this. You shouldn’t be brought here until you understand the truth. But come.” Alem nodded towards the Forgecity below. “See for yourself. Witness the millions of lives taken so the great Saanaren could work on his experiments with the power of the Void.”
Nicoyin gazed down at Ah’sal’an’ash, unease pricking her for the first time. She knew the tales of the daemons and the civil war that destroyed the Summoner’s empire and had broken the world. But they were just stories, weren’t they?
If she wished to take her place as a Singer for her tribe then she had to know the truth of it.
She met Alem’s challenging gaze and squashed her unease down deep.
“Then show me,” she said, and Alem laughed.