‘You are more or less correct,’ said Qorvass, ‘but there was also more to it than just that.’
‘Oh?’ said Garovel.
‘It is an oft repeated tale that the Dry God was a fool who mistakenly ended his own life, but that is untrue. Rasalased knew exactly what he was doing. He had been searching for a way to die for some time, but as you said, he worried what would become of his people. He made the Shards for his successor, who by that point, was already powerful enough to use them.’
‘I see. Did you know him personally?’
‘Near the end of his life, yes. I took one of his grandchildren as my servant for a time.’
Hector wondered how that relationship had turned out, but it seemed an impolite thing to ask, and of course, if the servant wasn’t here now, then Hector didn’t imagine that it could have ended well.
Hector eyed the Shards again. He’d considered them beautiful before, but now that he knew the story behind them, that they were the remains of a person, he found them rather unsettling. Perhaps that deeply red hue of theirs was no mere coincidence.
Garovel had another question, though. ‘So how powerful does Asad have to become in order for the Shards to reactivate?’
Qorvass was silent a moment. ‘Please do not be offended. I’m sure you can appreciate why I would not wish to share such information.’
‘Ah. Well, I guess that’s better than lying to me.’
Asad soon returned to his room on his own. He was glad to see Qorvass getting along with another reaper so quickly for a change, but there was nothing about their conversation that Asad didn’t already know. He’d only accompanied Qorvass to the gallery in order to make sure their guests had no designs on stealing anything.
Qorvass always worried about the Shards. It didn’t seem to matter that no one had been able to use them in more than seven hundred years or that hardly any non-Sandlords remembered their existence. Still, the reaper’s concern was not without justification, of course. The Shards had indeed been stolen many times in the past, always from some kind of super vault or otherwise absurdly guarded chamber. That had apparently been a difficult lesson for Asad’s predecessors to learn: if the wrong person came for them, it would not matter how many thick walls were in the way. It was better to hide them until they were forgotten.
Now that Garovel had demonstrated memory of the Shards, however, Qorvass would probably insist they be relocated again.