There was an old quarry down by the stream.
It wasn't a large quarry, but it was large enough for the purpose it served.
Pure Sagestone, so clear you could almost see through a three-foot brick of it, was mined there.
It was not mined as a diamond would be, no. Sagestone was useful only to those few who knew how to shape it properly and then call forth images from it. It was not called Sagestone for nothing.
The elder man in the quarry wasn't known as a Sage. It was a secret he chose to keep. His small dwelling was only a few miles from a powerful Mage, and he did not want that kind of trouble. He had the boy to think about.
The boy was with him this day. He had not gone to the stream to fish, or to skip rocks on its calm surface, as he normally did when his uncle continued his never-ending search for the perfect seeing-stone.
Instead he had come to the quarry with his uncle.
The old man cursed and hauled stone after stone out of the earth and tossed them aside.
"Ah'll find ye yet," he mumbled irritably.
The boy picked up first one of the stones his uncle discarded (which he also quickly chucked away) and then another. As he bent over, his shorts rode up his leg and the sunlight shone on what appeared to be an odd-shaped tattoo on the side of his upper right thigh.
"What you lookin' for, boy?" his uncle asked.
"A seeing-stone for me," he replied.
His uncle straightened up and looked curiously at the lad, a sly smile played at the corner of his wrinkled mouth.
"Aye. Are ye gonna shape and polish it yerself, then?"
"Aye," the boy said simply and hunkered over again to continue his search, digging in some places with his bare hands.
His uncle watched him for a few minutes, then bent his own back to the pickax again. His thoughts were complicated and troubled.
Is it time already? he thought to himself.
He left the quarry that day empty-handed again, but the boy had a prize. His uncle scoffed when he saw it; a clear but imperfect stone with what appeared to be two hollow bubbles of the exact same size in its depths. But the boy was well pleased. After supper, he took the awkward looking rock immediately to the workshop to begin shaping it.
His uncle came in after a time to watch and advise him. His mind was still wondering.
He is so small, still. So young.
"Turn it, like so..." he said, gently taking the boys hand and guiding his efforts.
So young. But even the smallest stone can cause a mighty ripple in the stream, if it is cast hard enough.
Click on the text to read the epigraph to Part 1: The Spinnerlands