It didn't take a seer to see just how fragile the glass-skinned girl truly was.“Take it from a kindred spirit, you've done nothing to be ashamed of. Your High King spoke in anger, as my lord did. In all likelihood he's just as anxious to welcome you back. But first we must restore your confidence . . . Let's begin by shedding some 'light' on the situation—Have a look!”
Clariss stared into the oracle's wellspring, only to have Glib call to her. “Not down there, dear girl—Here!” She looked up to see Glib hovering over a crystal ball. “This show is for your benefit, and requires a window, not a well. For our purposes this glass orb shall be a 'Looking Glass'.”
As I've said, we are not the only ones who have met the Doppelganger. Sooner or later everyone will be visited . . . As you shall see.”
While the scene slowly came into focus within the glass, Glib explained. “Although words were our undoing, Doppelgangers can inflict their will in a multitude of ways. Despite their reputation, these shades have another side. They have been known to incite people to act in extraordinary ways. Ways in which they would not have thought possible without their 'other self'—their Doppelganger—taking action . . . Look.”
The scene within the crystal was sand, sand and a rocky shoreline. A dark and sinister figure loomed over a little girl playing on the beach. Cloaked all in gray and black, this shadowy character spread his arms out wide attracting the youngster's attention and causing her to gasp.
“The child's Doppelganger?” wondered Clariss.
“No. That somber fellow is an alchemist,” said Glib. “We mystics should never jump to conclusions, dear one. He's practicing his latest feat. Observe how that conjuror trumpets himself in front of the impressionable child.”
“Curious, little one? Watch how I transform this coffer of lead coin into golden ducats.” With a flourish of waves and mumbo jumbo, the alchemist gyrated around the coffer, until whipping up a cloud of sand. “ABACADABRA!” he shouted and 'Poof'—when the cloud settled, a coffer of shiny gold ducats rested in the spot previously occupied by the lead.
The girl cocked her head and gasped once again.
“I see by your expression that you are impressed with my transmutation.”
The little girl giggled. “You look FUNNY . . . and act GOOFY. The only change in that stuff you're playing with is the color.” She proceeded to reshape the sand into a castle. “See how easy it is to change the look of things.”