"Call of the Dragon, Part I"
"Call of the Dragon, Part II"
"Ruins and Hopes"
"Shield Maiden" Cornell #3
"Warrior Eternal" Cornell #4
"Childhood of a Fighter"
"The Pledge" Cornell #5
"The Rock of Discontent"
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"A Tale of the Gods"
"The Miracle of Solstice Day" Cornell #6
"The Pilgrims' Trial and Faith"
ye mind bein’ a little less noisy?” the dwarf muttered.
rumbled a voice about four feet above him. “I could catch the pig for
you. That’s much easier.”
Seabourne snorted, sending shivers down his long, dark beard. “Yeah,
right. Ye already caught three this morning, and all I got was half a leg.
And stop dripping that blood all over me!”
leaning over him, the giant furrag shrugged. Nearly eight feet of
whitefurred muscle, barely covered by thin leather straps that held his
belongings, Vobul tore another bite off the raw meat he held in one claw
and started munching loudly while he stuck the rest under one of his
straps. His reddish eyes glinted joyously in the face that reminded some
people of a goat’s. Provided that a goat’s snout held long rows of
wicked fangs, and the curled horns on top were the splotty dark brown that
looked as if gallons of blood had dried on them.
been scaring the hell out of the poor little piggies,” Koyson grumbled
and slowly started again to creep through the underbrush towards the black
boar some ten yards off. He dearly hoped it was still there, despite all
the noise the furrag made. How did I
ever get hooked up with that big thing? he wondered. A
good, honest caidwarf like me!
thought vanished from his thick, gray-skinned skull as he focused on
proceeding as quietly as possible. He’d left his armor at their
campsite; its constant clinks
and clonks would have been too loud. So he only wore a cured leather
shirt, trousers and his favorite boots, the ones that his father had left
him. Koyson had no idea what the black material they were made of was; but
they were sturdy enough to have lasted more than a decade of his own
adventuring across Gushémal, and the dweorgh alone knew how long his
father, Koy Banson Seabourne, had been wearing them.
knew exactly how long the axe in his right hand had lasted. Twelve years
since he had forged it on the day of his Ascension to Manhood, using the
metal of his accursed shaving knife for the handle. It had been the only
time he’d ever used a smithy, and Gareknard, Mount Eringard’s chief
smith, had always stood by with a hammer to correct any mistakes Koyson
had made, ever ready with sarcastic remarks. May
a shaft collapse on him! Koyson had become a smith then, an adult
dwarf, with the right to choose his own path in life – and with the
right to let his beard grow freely.
latter was starting to look very much like a piece of earth by now, with
dry twigs twirled in-between, but Koyson paid it no heed. Just a little
more, and he’d be able to see the boar. His grip tightened on the axe,
as he envisioned waiting for the right moment to leap from the underbrush
and sink his axe right at the neck of the boar. It’d struggle for a
while, but he’d hold on, willing to let himself get carried about a
moment. Let the boar smash him headfirst into a tree, if it would! A
dwarf’s head could withstand a ton of rock collapsing on it, so what
could the creature do to him?
then the loss of blood would make the boar slow down, at which time Koyson
could tear the axe free and hew out its brain. Then it would be all his!
And he wouldn’t again make the mistake of asking Vobul to carry the
carcass to the fire at the campsite. The furrag would only eat most of the
pig on the way, as usual.
final leaves were blocking his sight. There was some noise beyond, some
crunching sound. The boar’s still
there, Koyson reasoned, still
plowing up some roots from the ground. Feelings of triumph scurrying
through his body, he pushed the leaves aside – and gaped.
yawned, seated before a tree. Blood dripped from his fangs, suspiciously
fresh blood. Well, there wasn’t really any need for suspicion, since the
dead body of the boar lay draped over his legs, its head about three feet
aside from it.
startin’ to get on me nerves,” Koyson complained as he joined Vobul
and automatically checked the carcass for any sign of a snack the furrag
had already taken.
always take too long at these things. Just let me do it, and you won’t
have to worry about your nerves.”
leave me nerves alone!” Nothing seemed to be missing from the pig,
Koyson was glad to see, and before the furrag could interfere, he heaved
the carcass onto his back and started heading back towards their campsite.
sighed, snatched the remaining meat from his leather straps and continued
eating while he slowly got up and followed the dwarf. “You’re just
going to burn that meat,” he complained. “How can you taste anything
with all the ash in there? Dwarves!”
didn’t answer. Any reply would have been hard to understand, anyway,
considering the amount of saliva that was gathering in his mouth as he
thought about the feast he’d be having soon. The fire was all set,
including the spit for the pig. Quickly strip the carcass of the fur, put
it on the spit and burn – no, cook
– it before Vobul got hungry again. Hungrier, that is.
had almost reached their campsite when strangely squeaky howls echoed
through the forest. Koyson stopped dead in his tracks, turned his head in
the direction the howls were coming from. “Ratpeople!”
Vobul commented. “They taste awful!” As if to remove any memory of
said taste he rapidly devoured the rest of the strips of meat he had
stored under the leatherstraps.
dwarf shrugged angrily. Ratpeople in the vicinity, that was bad news. They
were a fearful lot, more like orcs. Though not half as smart, he added
with a grin. Still, they had the unpleasant tendency to attack wanderers
in their sleep. Koyson and Vobul had better get on their way as soon as
possible; the dwarf had no intention at all of exploring the inside of a
adjusted the boar’s weight on his shoulders and started moving again,
when another kind of howl was added to the ratpeople’s yells. A cry of
attacking people!” Koyson shouted, dropped the carcass and rushed
stared after him for a brief moment then he leaned forward and tore a leg
off the boar. “He always wastes good food.” With that he shook his
head and started following the dwarf.
half-elf Ha’el Morhawk-Des’Epaes slashed her sword at the ratcreatures
that were trying to haul off Willett. The blade cut bushels of fur, no
skin, no flesh, and another ratman leaped at her, propelled by its
powerful hindlegs, the tusks and fangs flashing at her. All Ha’el could
do was drop to the ground, smash her sword blindly at the creature.
blade connected, but its steel cut through only a few inches of rough fur,
stopped by the intangible mess that was the natural, smelly armor of the
rolled sideways, escaping the fangs, and slammed her knees upwards, into
the midsection of the ratcreature. It howled again, rose to its full size
of unimpressive five feet and drummed its short arms against its chest.
slung her feet around the creature’s legs, swiped it off its balance and
swung her own torso up, sword slashing in a wide arc as it smashed
straight in the ratman’s chest. Blood squirted, splashed into her face.
another set of fangs closed on her left shoulder. Pain shot through her,
she screamed – and then the fangs were gone. Blood streaming down from
the wound, she hurried to her feet, turned around. Just in time to see
Markesh stabbing his gladius
maniacally into the body of a ratman behind her, unwary of the creatures
running toward him.
out!” she screamed, waving her sword about to keep off the horde.
ratpeople didn’t care, and a moment later her blade had to bite into one
of the creatures’ hide once more. Markesh was hauled off his feet by the
impact of one ratman leaping at him, its fangs uselessly clamped around
his armored shoulder.
had no time to pay more attention. She cleaved about her, hacked, slashed,
tried to turn towards Markesh, maybe see him, maybe help him. The pain
throbbed from her shoulder, more so when she thrashed about with it to
keep off the ratpeople. Too many, she knew and cut on.
yer fangs off’em!” an unfamiliar voice screamed, from far away.
could not afford to think on that, concentrated on keeping the ratpeople
at bay. More than once a claw sunk into her flesh, more than once
dizziness assaulted her, but she kept on going. Markesh was to her right,
he had to be. She turned around, hacked and slashed, and all she saw were
furry hides and fangs. No Markesh. And no Willett. A ratman assailed her
from behind, biting at her legs. She jumped up – but another creature
leaped at her, tore her to the ground, its hands clawing at her, its fangs
she dropped her blade, grabbed the ratman and hauled it off her.
was surprised when the ratman made a gurgling sound instead of attacking
her once again.
up, gal, quick,” someone said and held her sword’s handle toward her.
thinking she grabbed it, thankful that a hand reached down to help her to
her feet. Subconsciously she realized that the hand had been very low, but
then she saw more ratpeople coming on. And she saw Markesh going down
under a pile of the creatures, flaying about with his gladius
and shield, barely keeping the teeth away from him.
Ha’el swung her sword at the next creature. It dodged, but she ran past
it, waving her sword about. Ratpeople leaped aside from her, suddenly a
path opened towards Markesh, a path she gladly took – never realizing
that no more creatures attacked her from behind. She just took this for
granted as she stabbed her blade into the first creature around Markesh.
It blurted a squeaking noise, then it died.
flashed through her when she managed to kill two more and saw Markesh, his
face full of blood, but still thrashing his sword about. He injured one of
the creatures, and for a moment Ha’el thought there might be a chance to
survive the attack.
a blood-curdling scream echoed over them, a scream so ferocious and feral
that even the ratpeople froze and fearfully looked at the source. Behind
them, in the middle of the dirt road, a monster towered. A mountain of
muscle and fury, its white fur splattered with gore and brains, deadly
teeth flashing in a snout of terror. Two ratpeople squirmed in its fists,
uselessly trying to escape the grasp.
huuuuuuuungry,” the monster yelled and flicked out its tongue to lick
some blood off its snout.
dropped to the ground, all energy vanished. The ratpeople had been too
much already. She had lost Willett; Markesh and she were the only ones
left, and now this… She knew she would raise her sword again when the
monster came near, but she also knew that she could never hope to injure
stared as the beast came closer.
had taken no more than one step when all the ratpeople vanished all of a
sudden. Ha’el had no idea how they had left, all she knew was that they
were gone. And there was only the monster, still holding two of the
creatures in its paws.
over here, will ye? My axe is waiting!”
sudden change passed over the monster’s snout, strangely transforming it
into something that seemed intelligent and more like a… a face? “You
have murdered enough, dwarf,” the monster said and let go of the
ratpeople. The creatures never took the time to wonder about their
fortune. The instant their feet touched the ground, they were running for
the trees and vanishing in them.
marvelous,” a dwarf said that suddenly appeared in her line of vision.
“The great pacifist at work again. When are ye goin’ to learn that
there’s times when ye just have to kill?”
monster patiently shook its head. “Now, it seems to me that words were
sufficient in this case. After all, the ratpeople are gone.”
the dwarf could reply – and by the near bursting veins on his neck, it
would have been a furious answer, to be sure – Markesh yelled furiously
and ran towards the monster, head bent down, the gladius
preceding him like a lance.
the monster stepped aside, lifted Markesh easily by his armor with one
hand and used the other to gently wrest the sword from his hand. “Now,
now, little one, I won’t hurt you,” he said softly. Markesh wailed
wildly, started hammering his fist and shield against the creature’s
rippling muscles, to no effect at all.
right, all right,” the dwarf muttered, “that’s two. Wasn’t there
another one o’them kids around?”
monster’s eyes suddenly flared. “Goats?! Where?!”
ye stop thinkin’ ‘bout food all the time? I mean the children!”
the monster said, then pointed to a branch a little behind him. Ha’el
breathed deeply when she saw Willett carefully draped across it, hanging
some ten feet above the ground, safely out of the reach of any of the
dwarf nodded, turned to Ha’el and asked angrily, “What’s the funny
idea behind ye children runnin’ about Trebonshire Forest without any
protection? Were ye out t’get yerselves killed?! This place is
dangerous, didn’t yer parents warn ye about that?”
barrage of accusations drove a painful stake through Ha’el’s heart as
she suddenly remembered about her father at home, worrying constantly
about her. Right now he was probably sitting at the window of their small
cottage, staring outside, hoping that she would show up any minute. And he
didn’t even know –
suddenly welled up in her, and she shoved the dwarf back. “What gives
you the right to talk to me like that?! I’m a grown woman, and I don’t
have to listen to you. And you will tell your… your creature to drop my
friend right this minute!”
will I?” the dwarf cried, dropped his axe and smacked his open palms
together. “Gal, ye’d better watch yer words, or someone’s
gonna get her behind whooped.”
won’t dare touch me!”
Ha’el shouted, retreated a step and drew her sword. “Just try it,
he would have tried so, but suddenly the monster was behind him, still
holding Markesh in one hand – then the other paw grabbed the dwarf’s
shirt and lifted him into the air as well. “Could we please,” the
beast said, “talk like reasonable beings? Little one, put your sword
away, there’s no need to use it.”
just stared at the odd image in front of her. Markesh had stopped flailing
about, instead he was staring incredulously at the monster holding him.
And the dwarf – he had folded his arms in front of his chest,
indignantly drumming his fingers on his arms. She couldn’t help it, she
had to laugh. This was too unreal!
uhh, Monster,” Markesh ventured cautiously, “would you please let me
creature glanced at him, reassuring himself that the young man had
recovered his senses, then he put him carefully to the ground.
“Certainly, little one. My name is Vobul, and I can assure you I am not
mad about lifting people into the air,” the irked dwarf muttered.
ignored the comment and said, “My friend’s name is Koyson. And he was
right. You should not have come to Trebonshire Forest alone.”
had to go,” Markesh blurted out. “Sir Vobul, we couldn’t wait
anymore, Sage Urquart would –“
Ha’el interrupted him abruptly, rushed to his side and pressed his hand.
“What he means to say is that the honored sage Urquart would have been
upset if we had delayed our quest any longer. It was decided by the
village elders, and we had to follow their commands.”
chuckled from his perch on the creature’s arm. “Don’t look like yer
village elders had their wits t’gether if they chose ye three.”
took all her strength to contain the instant rage in her, and she damned
her elven heritage for always troubling her so. “Be that as it may, dear
sirs, we are here, and I wish to thank you for aiding us in our peril. If
you would be so kind as to return Willett to the ground, we can part
shook his head and asked, “What are you talking about? Ellie, these
people saved our lives! They
didn’t just walk by and sold us an apple or two. You’d better be
grateful we’re still breathing!”
am, but that –“
I would be happy about just getting down from this tree without breaking a
leg,” Willett said at that time, finally conscious again. “Then,
maybe, someone could tell me what the commotion here is all about.”
half-elf, a wizard and a novice priest of Darawk,” Koyson muttered half
an hour later when they had all gathered around the fire at the campsite.
The pig Vobul had caught was turning on the spit, tended by the furrag who
was watching unhappily as the meat was turning brown and crispy. “Any of
ye older than twenty?”
snorted. “Of course. I am thirty-three.”
don’t mean ye’re adult,” the dwarf retorted. “Ye’re half elf,
an’ ye ought t’be home with yer family. As should be the rest
o’ye.” He cast an angry glance at the other two youngsters, barely
mollified by the contrite look on Markesh’s face and further irked by
the self-assured look on Willett’s. The red-haired boy with the very
beginnings of a – black – Van Dyke beard was a wizard, as he had
calmly related, presenting a medallion from some nearby wizard tower as
proof. Not even the wound to his head, bandaged by now, had dampened his
spirits. And he was getting on Koyson’s nerves more seriously than the
half-elf did. Ha’el at least had a temper – one that was begging for a
she comported herself quite well, the dwarf had to admit. She had brushed
her long, cyan hair into order again, curling about her slim shoulders.
Humans probably considered her pretty, with those long eyelashes, the
small nose and the full, violet lips always on the verge of breaking into
a smile. Well, that latter part was an assumption. All Koyson had seen of
her thus far was angry self-composure.
the novice, was far from composed. His face was scarred by teethmarks from
the ratpeople. His god probably had been watching over him, otherwise how
could none of them have been serious. Vobul had smeared some salve on the
boy’s face, generous enough to make it shine, and Koyson had truly
enjoyed the look of fascination and terror on Markesh’s face while the
thick paws of the furrag were gently applying the salve.
hadn’t cried, though, for which Koyson was grateful. The boy was nervous
nonetheless, and every now and then he wanted to speak up – only to find
his words smothered by Ha’el interrupting him. By this time he was
staring into the flames, shivering despite the heat from the fire and the
warmth of the beginning spring day.
our families out of this,” Ha’el said haughtily. “You have saved our
lives, you share food with us, and we are
grateful. But this is as far as it goes.”
Koyson could comment on that, Willett laughed. “Oh, yeah, right. In case
you haven’t noticed, Ellie, it wasn’t you
who saved us. ‘Never fear, my sword will protect us,’ weren’t those
wasn’t it you who claimed your spells would keep us out of trouble?”
Ha’el shot back.
shrugged. “An unfortunate accident. Anyway, I’ll keep a few spells at
the ready on the rest of our journey.”
will lead where?” Koyson interjected drily. “Another ratpeople
looked up, ready to speak – then he saw Ha’el’s stare. “All
right,” he muttered and returned his gaze to the flames.
half-elf raised an eyebrow at the meekness of the novice, whether in
discontent or approval, Koyson couldn’t tell. After a moment she sighed
and said, “Tell them, Markesh.”
flickered in the novice’s eyes. “Well, it’s –“ he started,
checked himself in wonder as he saw the curious eyes of both the dwarf and
the furrag on him, not to mention the wary gaze of Ha’el’s. He
straightened his shoulders, then began anew, “Our home is the village of
Clearspring, some fifty miles northeast of here, at the edge of
Trebonshire Forest. The elders say Clearspring was founded after the
Unholy Assault… Uhhh, I mean the Tonomai invasion of the Arrufat
peninsula. Anyway, our ancestors once lived in a big city further north,
but they were driven down here. An army protected them, led by the Falken
family, it is said. With Trebonshire Forest so near, the ancestors decided
that this was a place to stay and defend. That is, some of them did, and a
goodly number moved on down to Ibrollene.
has never been very big. The elders claim that once there were many
thousands of people living there, but there are no ruins, nothing to
indicate that our population ever numbered more than the five hundred or
so of today. Probably less in the beginning.
of the Falkens moved on back then, on to Ibrollene. I suppose they’re
still there, some part of the aristocracy. Maybe one of them’s even
stopped abruptly as Koyson cleared his throat sarcastically. “Well,
gwan,” the dwarf muttered then, not willing to explain.
apparently you know more than I do,” Markesh said carefully. “Which is
part of our problem. You see, ever since the days of the Assault, we
scarcely heard any news from outside. It took until the arrival of Sage
Urquart that we learned that the Tonomai had been repelled from the better
part of the peninsula, and that our current sovereign reigns in the city
of Freeport. We know so little! And that… is dangerous. What if there
were another Tonomai attack? We wouldn’t know until the unholy hordes
were before Clearspring’s gates!
what about trade? There are mines around Clearspring where we have found
valuable ores. Iron, silver, gold – and some other metal that seems much
stronger than steel, that… Urquart claims it has to be gadnú,
a dwarven ore, which I suppose you know all about, Master Smith.”
raised both eyebrows at being addressed correctly – so unusual to find a
human who knew proper etiquette -, then he shrugged. “Yer people’re
wrong, lad. Nobody’s found gadnú
this side of the Mine of the Gods, far as I know. Sounds interestin’
it does,” Markesh picked up the cue immediately. “But we can’t do
anything with it! Who could we trade with when we don’t know where to
turn? Who will pay us well, who will reject us, and who will rob us? We
don’t know anything about the world outside our village!”
stopped, stared at the dwarf in hope of his understanding.
scratched his beard slowly, and obviously enjoying the feeling of having a beard. “Excuse me, but I don’t really see yer problem.
There are other villages all about the Wild Coast who ain’t ever heard
of the places thirty miles away from’em, an’ they’re doin’ just
fine. Trust me, I’ve seen at least half o’them!”
got thrown out by the majority,” Vobul interjected while he stretched
out a paw and tested the meat whether it was done.
furrag earned a stinging glance by the dwarf. “Not like ye did any
t’stop’em,” he muttered, then focused on the youngsters once more.
“Look, ye got plenty o’people back home, that’s what ye’re
sayin’. Send out a few expeditions way around, lots o’folks in any
group, an’ hear what they’re sayin’ on their return. Then ye know
what’s about ye. An’ if ye want trade, Freeport’s the best place
anyway. Yer ‘sovereign’,” Koyson violently suppressed a chuckle,
“would be pleased.”
would he pay the proper price?” Markesh asked furiously. “Or would he
just take from us, pleased that his subjects provide for him. Master Smith, he’s
never done anything for us – why should we just give up what we worked
boy has a point,” Vobul commented, “not that you would understand it,
Koyson. If we have the time, I will explain the meaning of ‘hard work’
will ye?” Koyson exploded. “I am the Lord Protector of Verishnat! I
spent twenty years guardin’ their holy shrine! Twenty years, without
sleepin’ more’n a few hours each day, an’ usually fightin’ off
bandits every other day!”
furrag kept his eyes trained on the pig as he answered, “Was that before
or after you spent fifteen years in the siege of Herkoun? Or inbetween
your odyssey around the Cape of Drowning? That took about twelve years as
I believe you mentioned.”
stared at him in outrage. “Ye bloody, furry –“ he screamed, then
suddenly composed himself and turned his seething face back towards the
youngsters. “So, what’s yer
place in this story? Ye’re clearly not goin’ t’Freeport, which would
be the other way around.”
we’re not,” Markesh conceded quickly. “About a day’s journey from
here, there is an old temple of Darawk, the Lord of Knowledge. It was
razed by the Tonomai five centuries ago, that is what the elders tell.
None alive has seen it, ever, but once it was the center of all knowledge
in the Arrufat peninsula. It is there we are headed, and there we will
find the secret of the magiscribe which shall release Clearspring from its
Koyson grunted emptily. Beside him Vobul quietly continued turning the
meat, snacking on a – raw – bit he had saved for himself.
do….” Markesh stuttered, looking at Koyson. “You do know what a
bloody course!” the dwarf yelled. “What do ye take me for? Messages
written on one sheet that magically appear on another paper many miles
away, hah! What I’m wonderin’ is what’s so fornicatin’ great about
that! An’ don’t ye have a proper priest at home, anyway? That sage
oughta know all ‘bout the magiscribe, anyway!”
chuckled. “That’s what I said.”
stay out of this, Willett,” Markesh said urgently and turned back to the
dwarf. “Yes, that is true. But Sage Urquart left his home a long time
ago for what he believed would be a short trip, without learning the
deeper of knowledge of the priesthood. His ship sank before Freeport,
where the galleons of our sovereign rescued him. Thereafter he travelled
along the Wild Coast and finally came to stay in Clearspring, where he
founded a shrine. That is where I was schooled and became a novice, along
Urquart has never learned how the magiscribe works, and that is why we are
looking for the answer. With the magiscribe, we could instantly learn what
transpires in far-away places. We could receive warning of attacks long
before the invaders arrive at Clearspring. We could know who to trade
with, we could know what people need to buy… It would solve all
eyes gleamed dreamily as he spoke, and finally he glanced about himself to
find applause. Instead he got the quiet nods of his companions, but only
dubious looks from Koyson and Vobul.
the furrag shook his head slightly and said, “For that to work, you
would need trustworthy people everywhere who would write regular reports
to your home. Journeymen, perhaps.”
nodded. “Yes, we know. And we are willing to take that task upon
ourselves. For the good of our village.”
smile brightened Markesh’s face at the unexpected support of the
half-elf, and further brightened when Willett grunted and said, “I’m a
wizard, which I take to mean that I journey about the continent and learn
whatever I can about magic. Writing reports home to mum and dad, that’s
fine with me. It’s,” he stopped and grinned when he copied Ha’el’s
serious tone of voice, “for the good of our village.”
nice and honest,” Koyson grunted, “but that’s takin’ a lot
o’trouble on yer heads. An’ I don’t think ye really know just how
much that is gonna be.”
any of the youngsters could cut in, Vobul said, “Everyone has to start
somewhere.” He sighed. “Where is that temple you are looking for?”
smiled. “About a day’s journey to the southeast. We had been hoping to
reach it by noon tomorrow. Would you…” He stopped, looked at his
companions briefly, then leaped up and bowed graciously. “Dear sirs, Sir
Koyson Seabourne, Sir Vobul of the Furrag, would you grant us the pleasure
of accompanying us thither? Your experience, your might, it would ensure
the success of our mission, and you’d be sure of all our thanks!”
gruff remark was quickly cut down by Ha’el who immediately shot to her
feet and stared down Markesh. “You’re still bent on that?! We decided
to do this by ourselves, and we don’t want any outsiders to interfere!
You don’t know anything about these people!”
helped us when we needed help!”
wizard grunted. “He’s right about that, Ellie. And, mind you, they
have no problem speaking to a person of elven descent. So you shouldn’t
be troubled by them, either.”
was obvious that the remark stung Ha’el. Her pretty blue-skinned face
tightened angrily. Markesh quickly stepped to her, gently grasped her arm
and said, “Please, Ellie. This isn’t like Hoordan’s Crossing. Not
everyone thinks that elves are evil by nature, not everyone hates you. Let
them help us, please.”
stared at Koyson as if he were vermin. “Are you so certain?” she asked
bitterly. “We don’t need them.”
looked at Vobul as if the young people had lost their minds. “When did
we say that we were gonna –“
silent,” Vobul thundered and rose to his full eight feet. His giant
shadow fell on Ha’el, and the tall half-elf suddenly felt like a tiny
child. “You know little of the world. That much you have learned in your
encounter with the ratpeople. You need to learn much more to live on your
own. It would be wise to let the experienced guide your path.”
don’t need anybody!” Ha’el shouted – and suddenly her anger
vanished when she realized how much she sounded like a petulant child
chuckled. He understood it as
Markesh asked softly.
stared at him, fully expecting to see him wilt down again, but this time
the novice held her gaze with pleading eyes. “Oh, fine, have it your
way!” she grumbled, then sank back to the ground.
nodded. “A good choice, and now,” he turned to the roast pig with a
look of disgust, “it is time to eat your burnt meat.”
Read on in