by Zentara Shadowsoul
We conversed into the night. Now that my grandfather had opened up to me it seemed he needed to tell me of his travels around the world and of his life. He had fled from An Reviniba soon after his expulsion and travelled to the Guild Hall.
I wasn’t surprised that he had also been a travelling artist. It was the beginning of his wanderings, his own personal quest to come to terms with his new status. His revelations also explained why there was a separate Hall and Copse for the Zigandi. They wanted to maintain their isolation even whilst discovering more of the world around them. They had a slanted viewpoint, according to my grandfather. Segregated as they were the Shay artists could only look in from outside. Whereas Ferantu immersed himself into the cultures he discovered, learning from within.
Listening to Ferantu’s tales in wonder, I mentally noted anything that might prove useful during my own travels. It quickly became apparent why he knew so little of the Shay’s disappearance – he had been excluded from their lives for so long that he was as mystified as I was as to where they had gone. All he knew was what he had learned from the occasional meeting with other Shay renegades. One of those, I learned, had lived near Cobalt Lake; another he believed to be with the Targ.
It emerged too that he was much older than I had imagined. Almost 200, by my reckoning. About 70 years ago the desire and need to return to his birthplace had drawn him to Anshiana-kuftir. She had welcomed him, even if the other Shay guardians had not. But having been accepted by her they had to accept him as well, although they did their best to ignore him and he wasn’t that upset when they left. Only one other Gwethintor had remained, a Targ of whom Ferantu had been fond. When she died Ferantu had scattered her ashes in Tegia du Ezhiz as was the custom. And had lived alone ever since.
That all of the Gwethintor were not Shay swept aside my previous assumption. But then, why did they need to be? If they believed and had the ability to converse with Anshiana-kuftir why not? I was not fully Shay, after all, yet she had welcomed me and had hinted that I could be her Gwethintor. It was something that I pondered briefly as I retired to my bed. But sleep came quickly and my dreams resonated with magic, myth and places from around the world.