The gods of Nevre: The Wanderer – After

Doran was finally freed from his own mind. He knelt in relief and looked at his hands. His hands were young again. He looked around and saw the ruin of a castle. He remembered being near a castle when he was trapped in his mind. He started to move toward the castle.

Are you sure that’s a good idea?

Doran stopped. “What?” He looked around for the source of the voice.

Don’t bother looking around. I’m in your head. Unlike your previous guest, I don’t take control of your mouth for no reason.

“Well, my previous guest didn’t hide in the corner of my mind. He was included in the decision making. You sound like you only make suggestions.”

I do. Don’t worry. I can’t control you unless you let me.

“I don’t feel any more sane for the knowledge.” Doran continued walking toward the castle.

Nobody ever said you were sane.

“Fair enough.”

– – –

Inside the castle was a fountain. As he watched a large group of diseased humans approached the fountain. One by one they entered the waters and only a third of them returned from the waters. Those third were changed. They had pointed ears and slender features. Some of them seemed to regard their changes as monstrous. Others embraced the change as fair payment for the healing. Yet others thought their new features better than their own.

“What is that fountain?”

You don’t feel the power coming off of it?

“I do, I just don’t understand what it is.”

That resonance you feel in your bones. That is the source of your power.

“Power? I don’t have any power.”

Here, let me show you…oh, right. I need your permission first. I can’t do anything beyond thinking to you without it.

“Teach me and show me.”

Very well.

As Doran stood, watching the new creatures they started to fade away. As his vision refocused he found himself in a city. “How did you do that?”

“What?” An old man asked, turning to face Doran. “How did I do what?”

“Sorry, just talking to myself.”

“Best not do that aloud. People tend to think you’re senile when you start to do that.”

“Thanks for the advice.” Doran turned and started for the city gate. He spoke softly to himself. “I think I’ll leave. I don’t like cities.”

I love cities. You can buy lots of things here.

“That would be great if I had money to spend.”

Oh, but you do.

Doran looked down at his belt that felt suddenly heavier. “Where?”

Don’t ask questions. Just go buy some food, and maybe some traveling supplies. I’m guessing we shouldn’t stay in one place for too long. Talking to yourself can get you lobotomized around here.

“Good to know.” Doran walked into a few different stores and bought some supplies.

“Going on a long journey?” One of the shopkeeps asked.

“More like a long wandering. I don’t really like being around a lot of people.”

“Well, good luck with that, wanderer.”

“Yeah, thanks.”

Wanderer. That sounds cool. How about we introduce ourselves as The Wanderer?

“Sounds good to me,” he muttered on the way out of the shop.

The shopkeep looked over at him. “What?”

“Nothing, just thinking aloud.” Doran wandered out the door, then out of town.

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