Dominion, or Crioch, is the stone held by Bredych. Dominion is never describe in any of the books, but when Ilythra first “sees” Bredych, she describes him as the red man because of the stone. The stone is not evil. Ilythra often describes it’s song as sounded tortured because Bredych uses it contrary to it’s intended purpose. The keeper of Dominion can influence the world around him, influence the way things grow, the weather, but only in keeping with the natural order of things. Bredych controlled a pack of wolves in Journey of Dominion, but he couldn't make. Crioch's keeper can also fold the space between two places and step from one place to the next, but this takes a lot of energy. We know how Ilythra came to hold a sacred Elder-born stone, but how did Bredych get his? Treachery, of course. Ilythra gets some insight into the event as she’s walking the roads of Teann. (Edited from Journey of Dominion)
He’d known what he was even then. The thought hit Ilythra full force. She blinked, gazing through eyes that were not hers. I’m dreaming. But this was unlike any dream she’d ever known.
The path before her stretched into the distance, shadowed by trees and peppered with fern.
Third-person thoughts and emotions mingled in her mind. She was two people, herself and someone else. She fought vertigo and panic to quiet her thoughts, so the other’s could come through. A man.
Flashes of clear images dissolved and reassembled into something new. Memory.
Slowly a story formed as images and impression coalesced. She felt the poverty, sorrow and lack in his early years. She lived the scorn and alienation of his childhood. And, as the will and fortitude of the man developed and strengthened, she reveled in his intelligence and success. His dramatic rise through the ranks had been merely a by-product of being different from the others and destined for greatness.
As he had every day for many years, while the others dined in the great hall, he’d set off on a path along the riverbank, shunning the crowded table or the halfhearted invitations to sup with inane nobles seeking handholds to boost their positions. The same nobles who spat at his mother while he clung to her skirts as she begged for a crust of bread.
In the fresh breeze that skimmed off the waters and cooled his skin, he marched along the raging river. He’d always thought better in motion. As his mind sharpened, he pondered his circumstance. Now others groveled at his feet; now he wielded authority. He’d learned power was the only thing worth pursuing. And despite all obstacles, he’d grabbed it—from groom to King’s Steward and one of the greatest alchemists in the land. Although few would know his name if they heard it. He didn’t seek popularity or favor from the nobles. He had no need of benefactors or the limelight. He wanted only one thing: more.
A few seemingly random accidents and a well-timed rumor of treachery was all it took to clear his path.
He glanced toward the gate, where the head of his predecessor still swung in the light breeze, a warning to all others who would dare go against the lord of the castle. Miles Santon had gone to the gallows screaming his innocence, not that it mattered.
The man slowed his rapid pace and stared over the span of water, not quite seeing the glint of sun dance along the gentle waves. Miles and the others were weak. He was not. And now? Now he’d wait a few years. It was well known the king’s son drank far too much during the hunt. The scenario would be predictable. Ever the faithful servant, he’d accompany his prince. Once alone in the thick of the woods… The horse could easily be spooked. Accidents happened all the time. And just that easy, he’d be the king’s favorite, and with the king’s daughter of almost marriageable age…
The prospect didn’t fill him with any sense of satisfaction. Too easy. He turned back toward the castle, his mind already on the experiments in his laboratory.
When two strangers materialized on the path before him, Ilythra blinked, missing the man’s reaction. She experienced a moment of self-doubt as their thoughts mixed. She felt his confusion as though it was her own. For a heartbeat, he feared he’d succumbed to the disease afflicting his father. But she knew the strangers weren’t an illusion and soon after, so did he.
Covered in grime and blood, the men tumbled onto the path as though thrown and lay in the dirt where they fell. As she watched, one of the men rose to his feet and looked around.
She saw the men with two sets of eyes, each perceiving differently. She was awed at their beauty. Even wounded and filthy, there was something majestic about the strangers. But she could also feel his greed and growing excitement. He can taste their power. Only then did she notice power swirl around the men, almost encompassing them in its tendrils. One bled heavily. Bind his wounds! Ilythra shaped the thought with urgency. But no, I’m seeing something that already happened.
The man rushed to the fallen men and spoke rapidly. One of them answered, but she couldn’t hear the words. As the man drew near, Ilythra recognized the power. She was seeing herself. No, that was only partially true. It was Ilydearta, but with another keeper. She fought a strange jealousy. Did the other man also carry a stone? She strained for a look. Then as Ilydearta’s keeper and her host picked up the wounded man, she felt it. Crioch. The wounded man was Crioch’s keeper. She hadn’t recognized its power. The melody was different, unrestrained, free.
The scene spun away and as it did, time seemed laid bare, stretched so she could see its path. The wounded man did not survive. She saw him holding Crioch out, his eyes begging. A hand, her hand, his hand reached out to take it, and she felt the certainty that even the gods were aware of her/his greatness and that the man before him was weak and unworthy of his power. He/she took the stone, felt it resonate through his body and promised the man he’d do everything he asked.
And he had. And more.
a Rafflecopter giveaway