“I’m going to explain this to you in terms you can understand: shut up.”
“It’s easier to build a new culture on the graves of the dead than around the homes of the living.”
“Look at your mistakes long enough to learn from them, then put them behind you.”
“I don’t remember that, either. I remember thinking he’d cheated. But maybe there is no cheating, there’s only success and a thousand flavors of failure.” “Thanks.” Old me is a dick. Guess that proves it is old me.”
“They knew you had to be stopped. You, Dazen, are the Black Prism.”
“With no small amount of swagger, Gavin Greyling said, "I remember Gavin fucking Guile, who won the False Prism's War, who outwitted the Thorn Conspirators and ended the Red Cliff Uprising. Gavin Guile, who brought low pirate kings and bandit lords, who ended the Blood Wars with wits and one deadly wave of his hand, who brought justice to the Seven Satrapies. Gavin Guile, who hunted wights and criminals, who built Brightwater Wall in less than a week, who aborted the birth of gods, destroyed at least two bane, and killed a god full fledged at Ruic Head. Gavin Guile, who faced a sea demon and lived, saving all the people of Garriston and the Blackguard, too. Gavin Guile, who sank Pash vecchio's great ship Gargantua with a rat. Gavin Guile, who armed us for war and gave the Blackguard the seas entire with ou sea chariots and hull wreckers. Gavin Guile, heart of our heart, our Promachos, the one who goes before us in war, who came and conquered and will come again.”
“Nah … Sorta … I s’pose you could say … Yes. So you see, arter I lost the first time—my ante the gun-sword, his the ship yonder—he asked me if I wanted to go double or nothin’. I felt real down-like about losing your poky boom stick, plus I didn’t have anything left to lose ’cept this mighty fine jacket what I plundered from an Ilytian pirate king. Plust, whenever has Gunner’s luck been so bad he’s lost twice in a row?” He twisted his ratty beard. “So, uh, arter I lost again, he”
“To realize in an instant that you aren't going to have the life you'd hoped for, but not waste a moment complaining, instead acting instantly to save what good you can? That's more guts than I'd have had.”
“Guile! Brother! If we pull this off, we’ll be legends!”
Gavin sighed. “Gunner… we’re already legends.”
“Every community is a gull gliding over a sea of spite, eager for carrion, all too ready to steal, and all too quick to squawk when stolen from.”
“But Teia had a superpower that no one had counted on: she was completely paranoid. She had thought she was being followed a hundred times since she’d started working for the Order, so she’d figured out a thing or two. One, she was a paranoid mess. Two, she was pretty good at it.”
“This wasn’t shit creek. This wasn’t no paddle. This was shit ocean. This was I can’t even see land.”
“Language isn’t weird. People are weird. Language makes sense until people get their phoneme pukers on it.” Teia”
“Oh, my husband, you beautiful soul. It’s not fair, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. A marriage breathes, and every exhalation is giving, and every inhalation is taking. It can’t live without both, Kip. So … just … breathe.”
“My name is Marissia Pullawr. The White was my grandmother. You were my assignment. I was never a slave.”
“Once a man is convinced to believe the impossible, it’s impossible to make him disbelieve it.”
“A man's face is the surface of a pond, reflecting the sky, reflecting the trees, reflecting whatever is the object of his gaze and his love, the reflection hiding his depths. But when the wave passes, in the swell, for an instant, you can see what lies beneath the waters.”
“We've all heard the stories. It's just that some people don't want to believe them. 'He shall rise from the green' doesn't have to mean coming from the Blood Forest or Ruthgar. It could mean he starts out drafting green. One of the first glimmers of Breaker's magical genius showed whyen he went green golem in the Battle of Garriston - he'd never even heard of going green golem. He intuited it on the spot. His will was so strong, he drafted a green that stopped musket balls, Teia. 'He shall kill gods and kings'? He already done both. 'He'll be an outsider'? How much more outsider can you be than a mixed-blood bastard from Tyrea? Each of those things offend the luxiats, and all of them together make their blood boil - as it makes them furious that a Lightbringer would be necessary to put their worship right - but hasn't Orholam's work always offended those in power? I won't put myself on the wrong side of Orholam. 'In the darkest hour, when the abominations come the sores of Big Jasper, when Hope himself has died, then shall he bring the holy light and banish darkness.' 'Hope himself,' Teia. That's Gavin Guile. He's dead. our darkest hour is coming. We have to pick a side.”
“Magic requires will, but words shape will, turn it, direct it, reflect it from one target to another.”
“Drafting green from a thousand trees shining on each bank of the river in the noonday sun, he threw down steps and made a little platform to stand on. "We", he declared, "are damaged but not dismayed, oppressed but no overwhelmed. We are the Broken, for when our oaths were tested, we broke them ourselves. We were despised: Here are my best friends. This world sees a bastard, an orphan, a hostage, a cripple, an idiot. I call them the Mighty. We - you - are outcasts all, the homeless driven from the lands where our mothers were buried. They have taken the light from our lives. Killed our loved ones, our friends. Taken our homes. Left us to wander as ghosts and feral dogs." [...]
[...]"They have taken the light from us. Yes. But now they expect us to cower like dogs beaten and fade like shades forgotten. But I don't see dogs and shades here. Do they not know what they've begun? I see wolves. I see ghosts..."
He looked around them as if they had forgotten who they were, and he was here to hold up a mirror for them that they might remember.
"Have you forgotten? Have they made you, for this brief houyr, forget? Ghosts and Wolves hunt at night. They thin we cower, waiting for the light? Alone we are broken, bereaved, afraid. together we will hunt. In the darkness, we will usher them into the final darkness. Alone we were weak and frightened. That time is past. Together, today, we are the Nightbringers.”
“And so, nearly in sight of the capital of Ruthgar, they boarded the odd new skimmer that Ben-hadad had dubbed the Mighty Thruster.
Kip had shaken his head. Tisis had muttered, "Boys." Ferkudi had guffawed. Winsen had grinned. Cruxer had blushed and said, "you can't call it that."
"We're the Mighty," Ben-hadad said. "The propulsion units are thrusters, that's all". The damn liar.
"i guess you'll be the first man to ride the Mighty Thruster?", tisis asked.
His brown wrinkled. "That makes it sound..."
"Make sure you take a good wide stance, legs apart, or he'll thrown you."
"He? i didn't..."
"Do you need more instruction? Because I'm getting quite adept at riding a mighty thruster myself," she said.
"You'll want to make sure you have a good grip, and loosen up your hips a--"
"All right! All right!"
Hours later, they sped into the mouth of the Great River -- on the good skimmer Blue Falcon”
“Because you’re safe, Teia. He would never dream of actually breaking his Blackguard vows, and he knows you wouldn’t, either. So your rejections don’t hurt, or not as much. It’s fun to flirt with someone you find attractive anyway.”
“That wasn't snoring," Cruxer said. "I do not know what it is. We all eat the same food, but this man's anus ... If we could weaponize his farts ....”
“A marriage breathes, and every exhalation is giving, and every inhalation is taking. It can’t live without both,”
“could, but the kneecap had been shattered, and”
“Why do men walk to the edge of a chasm? Is the view so different, right at the edge, than it is two steps back? They walk to the edge because it scares them.”
“But mercy ceases to be a virtue when it enables further injustice.”
“I remember Massensen, and Ikkin, and Gwafa, and Mennad. Massensen defeated three great-horned iron bulls on the Melos Plain in the Jadmar Rebellion. Ikkin Dancing Spear killed the Jadmar’s war chief, the giant Amazul. Gwafa demolished the Nekril, the will-casting coven that laid siege to Aghbalu. Mennad gave his life saving the Prism in Pericol when he was there to sign the Ilytian Papers. All these heroes were one man. Massensen took a new name every time he performed another act that would make any other man a legend. Where others would take a name that celebrated their heroic act to remind people of it forever, Massensen did the opposite. He took a new, plainer name each time, and refused to become even a watch captain. He believed that all glory should be reflected to Orholam, and that his own fame should be shared with his companions and his Prism.”
“The seeds of love may sprout where they will, but we choose whether to water them and give them light or to pluck them like weeds from the soil.”
“There wasn't a single thing in there that reminded me of my existence.”
“I'm going to kiss you now,' I whispered. Rhode lifted his eyes to mine. 'I was hoping you would say that,' he whispered back, and we both cracked a smile. 'Lenah,' he said, and I could feel his body heat humming off him. 'What will I do without you?'
I shivered as one word travelled through me.
“One thing she did know was the greatest book on human psychology is the Bible. If you were lazy and did not wish to work, or if you had failed to make your way in society, you could always say, 'My kingdom is not of this world.' If you were a jet-set woman who believed in sleeping around, VD or no VD, you could always say Mary Magdalene had no husband, but didn't she wash the feet of Our Lord? Wasn't she the first person to see our risen saviour? If, in the other hand, you believed in the inferiority of the blacks, you could always say, 'Slaves, obey your masters.' It is a mysterious book, one of the greatest of all books, if not the greatest. Hasn't it got all the answers?”
“Within families, you’re stuck with the character they think you are, whatever you do. You become a war hero and all that your parents ever talk about is something supposedly funny you used to do when you were in nursery school.”
“How many people live in the moment? A few? How many people live for tomorrow at the sacrifice of today?" Dreyfus opened his fist to reveal it to be empty. "...When tomorrow is never a guarantee.”
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