"What is your name?" I ask my penitent.
"I am Tem--"
"Not your real name," I interrupt. I would get an emodo bent on tripping over his own foot-ruffs for this, my last client of the day.
"Right," the emodo says, eyes growing rounder. I wouldn't have thought it possible. "I am . . . the Walker on the Edge of Truedark."
I eye him askance. "That is a perilous name for one seeking the counsel of the Void."
He shrugs, a nervous flip of his richly-braided tail.
Ah, but what do I know . . . I am only the false seer of House Akkadin. I want only to go home, count my shell and have Bilil wield his steady brush on my heavy hair. "What would you have this Fire cast its light on?"
Now my client shifts from foot to foot, piquing my curiosity. He is a well-formed emodo, I suppose. Neither too stocky nor too lean, with nimble enough hands and feet and a flat nose. His ear tufts are magnificent, but other than that and his elegant clothing I would not have looked at him twice. But what the World does not bestow, visible emotion can grant, and now I find him interesting.
"I said I was the walker on the edge of truedark," he says at last. "I am about to leave the edge and walk into its heart. I would know if this is wise."
I am commonly asked to divine answers to truly stupid questions. My clients would save themselves much time if they would accept a simple response rather than requiring an elaborate ritual that allows them to deceive themselves into thinking this is otherworldly wisdom. "Is this matter relating to business?" I ask. "To the House? To health?"
"To love," he says.
Of course. What else drives us to the most idiotic of acts? I take up my staff, twirling it so that the ribbons float through the air with a soft hiss. Spectacle is important. "I shall draw the question's field, Walker on the Edge of Truedark."