I climbed the Endless Stair, as Le Aaiun did, and did not, when she reached the source of the Dead River. But as the Dreaming Moon rose above me, with perfect Vloles set upon it, I found that I could speak to it, and it to me, though my approach was both endless and futile.

“Immortal, inscrutable Vloles,” said I, “my family and kin are all gone. Taken from me, but in a way that there are none upon whom I might revenge.”

“Such is the way of things.” Vloles spoke in a multitude of voices, as if every citizen of Korton had lifted their throats up as one.

“I fear that nothing is left for me but the Next Dream, the Dream-to-Come, the Deepest Dream,” I continued. “Tell me if I am right or wrong.”

Vloles did not respond, so I continued walking. In time, I asked afresh: “Should I end myself? Cast me upon the plains of baleful Køs and let her horrid light be my end?

“If your rasp should wear, do you then destroy it?” Vloles, its multitudes, asked.

“No,” I said. “You re-cast it, re-forge it, into a hunting-knife. Or, at least, I have always done so.”

“Then that is what you must do. Seek for the north, for Harbiyyah. That will be your forge, your hammer, your tempering quench.”

“Harbiyyah is vast,” I replied. “How will I know when I have reached my destination? How will I know when I have leave, your leave, to depart to the Dream-To-Come?”

“How did you know to arrive into this dream, or any other images that have danced before your mortal eyes?”

“I do not know,” was my reply. “I just did.”

“Then there is your answer,” the many voices of Vloles said as one.

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