The cards were crisp, almost brittle in Cédric’s hands; he ran his thumbs along the corners as he shuffled, feeling where he’d marked them during the game with the same needle in his ring he’d used to draw the blood to let him keep gambling. It all came down to this hand, this moment. The moment he was going to cheat the dead at their own table.
At that moment I experienced nothing less than a revelation, a moment at which Heaven’s intentions, normally concealed from humankind, are laid bare and perceptible. It was, undoubtedly, the divine that had guided me to that glade of Widow’s-Gown, and from there to Alessa’s house, and would lead me hence to Multzep, where I would fulfill my destiny. My only purpose in life was to wed my cousin Halime. I adored her, and our marriage was Heaven’s design; I had been told as such by a great sage.