You are not to be the Hand of the Hunter. Or at least what she thought was best. Her mother had taught her little of her native tongue, but this word she knew. The scent of fresh earth, overlaid by the foul stench, drowned out all other smells. She felt a hand against her throat.
His eyes shone with a fury Hweilan had seen only in cornered beasts. Especially in front of Soran, who had nothing weak in his entire being. If not a son, then at least a beloved liege. Another man stepped out of the brush on the other side of the path. The fortress of Highwatch is under attack! Just go, she told herself.
She still took lessons from him, still sometimes accompanied him among the tribes, but their once warm affection had turned cold. Soran hadn't chosen the best landing place, not that there were many to come by up here, and it took him awhile to get down. That had been the darkest day of her life, but her mother had given her hope and courage to face a world that had suddenly seemed uncertain and decidedly cruel. What began as a trickle of hopeful Damaran miners soon grew into a flood. I was able to connect with most of the characters. Sounds of pursuit grew closer, and she forsook stealth for speed. Once the glow of their torchlight was gone, Guric walked over to Argalath and his acolytes.
Here, in this corrupt world beneath its cold stars, Jagun Ghen could become a god. Eyes burned from the moving shadows under the trees. Around him, Guric heard the Nar gasp, taking in a collective breath of superstitious fear. Hweilan knew that blade well. He knew the tactics of the Knights, and he placed his men well.
She could hear the men right behind her. How does that serve my people? Thunder shook the sky, and a deep rumbling filled the earth, and Lendri realized that Nendawen was laughing. All peoples-Damarans, Nar, Vassans-were welcome, provided that they maintained the peace. It had never entered into her darkest fears that he would no longer be there. And save the youngest for last. Death comes to us all. He reached out one hand to grab her.
It is a place of peace in the wilderness. A grove of windbent pines, frosted in snow, grew in the middle of the garden, surrounded by bushes and shrubs that sprouted bright white and blue flowers in the summer. The wing of the orethren- jointed like a bat's, the final spur of which curved forward in a sharp bone-gave them their more common name 'scythe wings. When Hweilan escapes Guric's schemes, she is taken in by Lendri, a Vil Adanrath who has stayed in Faerun to help guide Hweilan to her fate. It wasn't until the Nar reached over their shoulders for their arrows that the Damaran guards broke and ran. Her breath steamed in the air before her. Three of the ten had their faces pressed up against the small peepholes.
Light poured inside the path, and Guric got his first good look of the scene playing out before him. Hweilan stood in the corridor that led from the eastern towers to the garden. Shadows fell together and deepened, like a convergence of streams. But they can do nothing about it. Nar used to winter there like cockroaches scuttling away from the light. How to hunt and live off the land.
The rock wall behind them showed many additions-elegant borders and runes carved in the dwarf fashion, Dethek runes praising Torm the Loyal Fury, and over the door itself a graven image of an open gauntlet. But in the years since, Damaran and dwarf craftsmen had hollowed out tunnels, halls, raised a thick wall at the entrance and exit, and built parapets along the cliff wall, both inside and outside. But her eyes were fixed on the antlered figure. Guric was not a man to threaten. Had they beaten it out of Lendri? Her older brother had died defending them in the Gap.
It would be good for one of the family to learn the ways of the land and the native people. But your grandmother does not rule Highwatch, and she does not rule my children. Servants of the Captain of the Guard did not give orders to the High Warden's granddaughter. And then it came to her. She gave Scith a sidelong glance.