[Six Months Past]
THANK YOU. We've figured it out.
Jinnarin reveals that her dreams are... about a "crystal castle high above a pale green sea.” Oooh. Scary. Alamar doesn't exactly see why this is reason to think Farrix is in trouble.
Jinnarin was quick to answer. “It has clarity…but even more so, it has the feel, the aura, of Farrix.”
- ... okay... do the Pysks have the ability to sense auras?
- Are they telepathic?
- Or is Jinnarin just talking out of her ass?
- And being quick to answer doesn't make you RIGHT. It actually means that you're probably NOT right, because you're not experiencing any doubts and thinking about this critically.
- And... clarity? Um, dreams can be extremely clear. I just had a dream about a version of Troy where the city was attacked by a Godzilla-sized xenomorph. It was VERY clear. But I don't think it was a telepathic message.
Alamar asks if it's a Death Rede, which is apparently a final message that Elves can send to each other before they die. Why can they do this? No reason.
Jinnarin shivered. “Oh me oh my, what a terrible two-edged gift! Blessing and bane both.”
But it's so convenient to the plot!
(And before anyone asks, this MAY be based on something Tolkien wrote, but I'm not enough of a Middle Earth nerd to know)
“Oh no, Alamar, my dream is not a Death Rede. We have not that gift…or curse.”
Spooning honey into his cup, Alamar glanced at the Pysk. “I had wondered. There is much alike ‘tween the Fair Folk and the Hidden Ones. Many similarities.”
McKiernan, don't mention that there are "many" similarities between two completely unrelated species, and then not mention a SINGLE ONE.
“Nay, Pysk, height is not among the likenesses, though wit is.”
... did I fall asleep and miss the "witty" part?
Jinnarin mentions that "I’ve had it many times, and it seems to me that Death Redes would come but once only, and that in a distressing time." It seems that this is a magical sending, and that Farrix is trying to tell her something telepathically. Because apparently sending a name or a location isn't possible - just sending her a very complicated DREAM every night.
“Something about a crystal castle above a pale green sea?”
“And a black ship,” added Jinnarin.
This is quickly turning into my screensaver.
“Yes, Alamar, a black ship, or so I believe.”
Or so you believe? Are you not sure what a ship looks like?
For some reason, this makes Alamar want to hear EVERYTHING. Because it's not like there's a sense of URGENCY.
“it never starts the same. But no matter where it begins, in time it becomes the echo of nights past—rather like starting out on one path and then being tugged onto a familiar way. And that’s what makes it seem like a—a sending: the bending of each new dream into the shape of the old.”
Welcome to Voyage of the Fox Rider, where everybody takes forever to get to the FRAKKING POINT. That's a whole paragraph devoted to saying that her dreams start normally, then change into the crystal castle... thing.
In fact, this whole chapter is SO padded that Alamar takes ANOTHER paragraph just to mention that dreams are weird shit, yo.
Alamar squinted an eye. “Hmm. The shadowland is a wild, boundless place, with countless tangled pathways through extravagant ’scapes without number…and to start along fancy after fancy but to arrive always at the same destination is most remarkable, portentous, suggestive of no caprice, no vagary of the mind, but of deliberate guidance instead….
“This destination—tell me of it.”
"Castles are wild structures, full of battlements and towers and soaring flags o'ertopping the crenellations, and for one to be made of crystal, t'would be a strange weird castle indeed, for crystal is fragile and might crack easily, suggesting that tis nothing but a symbolic piece of crap."
See? I can waste your time with the bloody obvious too.
Jinnarin finally summarizes her dream: she's flying over a green sea, and then there's a storm with a massive black ship, which is repeatedly struck by lightning but never harmed. She also finds herself in a crystal castle, looking at the same ship all over again. Of course, McKiernan makes it really purple and mildly sexual.
And somehow she knows it's Farrix who is causing this dream. Because... reasons.
"riding up over the churning crests and down through the roiling troughs, bolt after bolt of blinding lightning stroking its thrumming masts.…"
Remind you of anything?
“And there it ends, my dream; there it ends, the sending.”
There it ends, the chapter.