Sufya has been having the dreams since she can remember.
:...Chosen, I think we may have missed a step - you don't pay military Healers:
"I'm not in the -"
She blinks sharply.
"Gods. I've been conscripted."
:By a talking horse, yes. Would you like me to show you the way?:
"Um. Yes, please."
He leads the way to a small cottage, and she knocks on the door. A woman in green creaks it open and says... something in Valdemaran.
"Do you speak the trade-tongue?" Sufya asks, in same.
"Yes," the woman says dubiously. "...where'd you come by a Companion, not speaking Valdemaran?"
"I'm still not quite sure. I'm... new to the trade."
The Healer does something that could be described as "cackling", but probably shouldn't be. "New to the trade! Well. You do see everything, in Horn. What brings you here?"
"I've been riding - an assortment of normal horses, not my Companion - for two weeks. Thirty to fifty miles per day. Hadn't really been riding regularly before then."
A sharp intake of breath. "Don't know how you're walking. Well, stop walking, and sit - no, lie down, frontwise, on the bed. We'll see what we can do."
She tries to stay awake. The Healer rubs her with something, tells her she's channeling Healing-energy through her "and it's badly needed, Kernos save me from Heralds and their self-destructive" mumble mumble mumble -
she's so tired. And it feels nice. The poultice on her skin, the magic flowing through her body. Just being in slightly less pain feels incredible.
Oh, what a day.
Tylendel Frelennye was, obviously, a priority target - not just a Mage-trainee but potentially stronger than Savil, eventually. (Jostumal takes the long view of such things - how could he not?) And Krebain had done wonderfully, drawing him out by killing his brother.
And then Krebain had caught Vanyel.
Vanyel was a delight. He was nothing, really, except in relation to Tylendel - or so they'd thought - but he was lovely. And Krebain was stupid, and he played with him because he was stupid, no matter how pretty he could make himself -
and then Tylendel, avenging hero Tylendel, rode in on his white horse to ruin everyone's day.
But Tylendel was stupid, too! Everyone was so stupid these days, it made him miss Urtho. As if he wasn't stupid too.
he wasn't stupid he was horrified he thought he knew what i'd become but i showed him i made myself worse
shut up Tylendel was stupid because he thought he could win, thought he could win without losing, thought he could be a hero. Fried Krebain - poor stupid Krebain, who Mindtouched Jostumal even as he burned, and hadn't that been a delight - and tried to Gate out.
But Gating took time. Time that he didn't have. And his stupid horse paid for it.
And then he'd done the most delightful thing it was possible for a human being to do, he'd surprised Jostumal.
He'd shoved Vanyel through the gate, and then - poof! He glassed Leshara Holding.
As if the Lesharas had anything to do with it! As if he could - what - avenge himself on the wyrsa who killed his Companion? As if anything he did mattered to anyone.
Jostumal flings himself back onto dove's-down bedding and he laughs and laughs and somewhere inside himself there is someone screaming someone who can't breathe someone who isn't him and so it doesn't matter, does it.
Sufya wakes up, and somehow, the first thing she notices isn't the pain in her backside, it's that she's got a sore throat. How ridiculous. But really, it's as if she's been screaming.
...she looks up into the eyes of the Healer, who's been shaking her by the shoulders, and she thinks, oh.
"Sss. Sorry," she says.
The Healer shakes her head, straightening back up. "Thought you was too new to have the terrors."
"Unrelated," she says. "Completely unrelated terrors. Sorry."
Astirian whickers and tosses his mane a bit, peering through the window. :...do you do that often, then?:
"Um. Not as such. I've only woken up screaming... three times. Twice in the past night, though. Bad night for it, I suppose." She turns her head to the Healer. "Have you done what you can, then? Can I ride again?"
The Healer looks a bit sour. "Wish you'd give me a follow-up tomorrow eve, but I can't stop you, and getting back in the saddle won't hurt you long-term. Especially if your Companion gets you to a Healer on the other end of your circuit to do a check on my work."
"Thank you very much," Sufya says sincerely, swinging herself gingerly off the bed. She tenses, just before her feet hit the floor, but there's no pain at all. She gasps, just a little. "Gods, it's like I never rode through those bloody mountains."
"Yes, but don't rely on it," the Healer chides her. "Besides wasting my time and energy, if you ride 'til you need Healing every time you won't build the muscle to ride properly. Ride on those muscles and you'll be as sore tomorrow as you were two weeks ago, first time you got on that horse."
"I don't have a choice," Sufya says. "I need to get to Haven as soon as possible. ...but thank you."
Sigh. "If they need you in Haven, they need you in Haven. You're welcome, my girl."
Soon, they're riding out of Horn. It's still dark, though the sun is beginning to lighten the horizon.
:So - for the record - I knew where you were going to be, and I know... who you are as a person? But I don't know you, really. Apparently you have nightmares? I think everyone starts having nightmares eventually, but not necessarily when they're... sixteen?:
"Seventeen," she says on reflex, then blushes faintly. It doesn't exactly sound mature. "...I've always had the dreams. One set about a boy, Vanyel, and one about a blood-mage, Jostumal. I grew up with Vanyel, really, he was like a brother I never had. ...though he doesn't know me at all. But Jostumal... he's a monster. I can't imagine a worse person. He was the one I dreamed about this morning. He'd... just found out Vanyel's lover had died. And he was laughing."
:Ugh. Vanyel - he's about your age? What could a teenager have possibly done to make someone hate him that much?:
"Stood in his way."
A full-body shiver, just enough to be distinct without unbalancing Sufya from the saddle. :...and you've been having the dreams since you were little? I'm sorry:
"I always liked the Vanyel-dreams. ...until Staven died, at least. Then things got a bit stressful."
:That's when you set out for Valdemar?:
"Yes. I couldn't stand the idea of - well - Tylendel had Vanyel and Savil and his co-prentices, but Vanyel didn't really have anyone who wanted to help him for his own sake."
She grits her teeth, for a second. "And now he's got them. Tylendel called Final Strike last night - I'd bet everyone's got Vanyel practically under lock and key to make sure he doesn't throw himself off a cliff. Which - I suppose it's what you have to do, if you have to do it, but - I want someone there who wants to help him. Not just keep him alive."
Astirian canters in mental silence for a bit. :You realize,: he says in an odd tone of voice, :that this kind of - vision - is uncommon:
She snorts somewhat violently. "Believe me, I know. I looked into the texts the Asterans have on Gifts. It isn't Foresight, because I have the dreams after the events have happened. It isn't Farsight, or I don't think so, because you're supposed to use that consciously. I don't know what else it could be - until Staven's death I really did think I was going mad."
"I felt - a pain I couldn't have imagined."
:I suppose that'd do it:
Astirian sighs mentally. :I suppose I can be glad I wasn't so close with Tylendel's Gala. This is going to be hard enough for everyone without me having feelings all over it too:
"...I suppose there are a lot of feelings involved already. You might well be a stabilizing influence."
:I didn't mean to say that - feelings are bad, or anything - just. It'd make it harder to do my job: