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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Psi-Clairvoyance—The Divine Inspiration of Future-sight

In The Beast at the Gate, those blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with Psi-Clairvoyance can glimpse into the future and see events and occurrences before they actually happen. Depending on how talented the individual is, these glimpses may range from a brief, blurred premonition to a finely detailed showing of a scene.  While this may  seem like the perfect talent to have, the reality is that it can cause frustration at best, madness at worst. I wrote a scene that helps illustrate the complexity of dealing with such an ability. Here is an excerpt of the character Orin speaking to Cirderor. Orin is a Psi-Clairvoyant:

If Orin was annoyed, he tried not to show it. “Sir, do you know why the Princess is here?”

“Of course I do. She is here to ask my help in restoring her to the throne. I don’t need a Psi-clairvoyant to tell me that.”

“More specifically,” Orin said, “she is here to make an attempt at overthrowing Nephredom by force and clearing her name, so that she may be accepted as the new Queen. I’ve seen this image before, many times, coming about in many different ways. But only in a few such visions did I see the master mage with her, and of those few, fewer still had the Kuaran and the boy-child in them.”

“The rest were false visions, then?”

“No. No vision is ever false. What appeared in any of them could happen, depending on crucial decisions made at crucial times--far too many to count or track. As time passes, some possible futures become impossible, and clairvoyants no longer see their images; the many possible visions become fewer and fewer. Eventually, as time goes on, there is only one vision--and there is little anyone can do to change the outcome at that point.”

“Then I was right to call you here. I have a feeling there will be some ‘crucial decisions’ made tonight, and I need your advice.”

“You desire to know whether to support the Princess or to turn her away.”

Ciredor sighed as he nodded, meeting Orin’s gaze with his own. He was not accustomed to seeking counsel in others; he had once prided himself in having better judgment than most. But lately he wasn’t so certain. But I love her!  “Perhaps it was one of my own crucial decisions--one I made in the past--that has caused us to lose our way. I don’t want the problem to get worse.”

“You are referring to when you first introduced Nephredom to the Queen?”

“Yes, and I had no way of knowing the Queen would eventually grant regency to that devil.”

“The Subjugator of Joy. Respected, but hardly loved.”

“He harasses and taxes our people mercilessly. He denounced the use of magic among common citizens--the one thing that defined us as a people. Magic gave us our strength, made us whole. Now, to practice magic openly, one must undergo the secret training of the Red Robes--and no honorable man would desire to become one of those things!”

“They are an abomination.”

Ciredor smiled a dark smile. “If I had known the kind of man Nephredom was, I would have let those young urchins stone him to death back in Lamec.”

“I believe you would have.”

“And yet, now that the Queen is dead, he claims she declared him King with her dying breath. If this is true, to oppose him would be high treason--punishable by death.”


Ciredor turned an irritated eye to Orin. “Seer, if I desired a yes-man, I would have gotten one years ago. This is not the time for cautious conversation. I seek your sight, not slavish agreement!”

Orin stared at Ciredor with his piercing gray eyes. “You mistake confession of truth with false harmony. You know me better than that, Your Reverence.”

Ciredor tensed his lower lip, pressing it firmly against his teeth. The only time Orin called him that was when he was offended. Your Reverence. Coming from his calm lips, it sounded like a curse.

Orin smiled, then uttered softly, “doubting in the darkness, sifting through the ashes, I cry out, but death has plugged all ears.”

Ciredor sighed. “A verse to a new poem?”

“Yes.” A short silence passed before Orin spoke again. “I have been your lieutenant in war, your Second in peace, and your friend in both. If you want my opinion, then I will give it freely: You are being foolish.”

It was difficult at times to tell if Orin was speaking of the present or of the future. Did Orin mean that Ciredor was being foolish now, or was he referring to a future time? Ciredor laughed in spite of his displeasure. “You are a man of extremes, I’ll grant you that. I think I liked you better as a yes-man.” Ciredor’s tone grew serious. “Is that what you truly believe?”

“No, but you are missing my point. Being foolish implies that one commits foolish acts. Foolish mistakes. It is what you fear most--the consequences of a foolish mistake.”

“Is that what you see in my future? That I will make a foolish mistake?” Ciredor paused, then added the next logical assumption. “One that could cost us all dearly?”

“That is one possible future, yes. Furthermore, as time has passed, the other possibilities have begun to fade, and the few that remain still show the path you most fear.”

“Which involves me making the mistake you mentioned.”


“I don’t suppose you will tell me what it is, let alone how to avoid it.”

“You know I have sworn never to influence the future in that way. Besides, my visions are muddled and unclear, and I never see the whole picture at once. What may start as a bad path may eventually right itself, and what may appear to be the good path may ultimately lead to ruin.”

Ciredor chucked humorlessly. “It never ends for you, does it?”

“No. The futures I see are endless arrays of branching roads that shed some avenues and grow new ones based on the choices people make.”

“One damned decision after another.”

Orin sighed. “Nevertheless, it is sometimes better to make a decision that could damn than to do nothing and be damned.”

“Another line for a poem?”

“No, a warning for a friend.”

© Copyright December 2012 JK Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

If you enjoyed this passage, I think you will love the book. Order a copy of The Beast at the Gate and immerse yourself in the world of Taren.

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