The Vision: Salute the Dark, Ch 14Edit
"1 A city by the lake sits beneath a rain of burning machines. 2 Red hands, long dyed up to the elbows in the blood of others, plunge in one last time. 3 The sky is on fire with the deaths of the brave. 4 The slaves are being beaten. The hand that holds the whip is raised. 5 I see a whole kinden on the brink of oblivion. A man with an iron fist reaches to snuff them out like pinching a candle flame. 6 The proud one is in chains,and though he turns on his great master, he will not shed one drop of his blood. 7 The spinner's webs are burning. The great plotter has out-thought himself.
8 They are fighting now, the warrior-breed, but there are flames around them. They are falling like moths in torchlight. 9 So many, there are now so many rushing to their deaths.
10 The machines of war are turned on your own people. 11 Your friends are loyal to you, and they shall die for it, or be scarred through, and never recover what they once were. 12 Blood is born of blood, welling up between the trees, beneath the gold lightning. 13 Ancient evils brought to light, the dead tradition of the life-drinkers remade, and armies marching under a standard of black and gold and running red. 14 A pillaging of the past for power so that even the worst excesses of the old times are dug up. 15 The worms of the earth. I see the worms of the earth feasting on all our corpses. 16 Autumn leaves, Stenwold Maker. So many that you shall not see again. They fall and fall, the leaves of autumn, red and green and black and gold."
"17 But can we win?"
"18 What is it to win? How much will you sacrifice for it when victory is more costly than defeat?
19 Your future. All our futures. I am sorry."
This section is a mish-mash of opinions and wild mad guesswork.
1-9 Appear to be a vision of the present (could be helpful getting the timeline sorted out?)
1 Very likely the air battle at Solarno.
2 Cesta, assassinating the proposed governor of Solarno
3 Again, likely the battle of Solarno.
4 This could refer to almost any of the oppressed kinden of the Wasp Empire.
9 A summary of all of the above?
10-16 seem to be predictions of the future.
10 Collegium will be under attack soon.
13 Sounds like the Wasp Empire under the rule of Seda.
14 Seda's search for sorcery wherever she can find it.
15 Perhaps a hint of the Centipede??
16 Again, a summary of the above? Notable for including black and gold, implying that the Wasps are in trouble too. Alternatively, this could be a talk about the Battle of Collegium in The Air War?
17 Stenwold interrupts with a question
18 Possibly all rhetorical.
19 Maybe we're not getting a happy ending after all? Thalric as Wasp Emperor ruling the world is the only way to stop Seda or the Centipedes???