Release Date: January 9, 2018
head and wished he hadn’t as a trickle of fresh blood escaped his wound. The
rock that surrounded them was the same that formed the palace foundations,
rendering ineffective any spell that could whisk them away.
imperious voice shouted, and the warths left off their attack, reluctantly
crouching in place. Trahern narrowed his eyes, straining to focus—and saw a
large band of mounted soldiers in ragtag armor. Gray skin was visible behind
their strange helms, and their eyes shone green. He didn’t recognize them at
all, but his sorcerer’s sight could not mistake the crimson aura that
surrounded their swords and spears. Iron weapons. Very few in the Nine Realms
could approach such things, and the cut of an iron blade was a slow but sure
poison to any Tylwyth Teg. Faint and dizzy, he held on to Braith with one hand
to steady himself and pressed himself harder against the rock to bolster his
remaining power. Last, he eased off his boots. The ground was cool beneath his
bare feet, and he drew in energy like drawing fresh breath, pulling it up from
the very bedrock, renewing him, aiding him for one last—
abruptly fell across the forest, and thunder rolled from a formerly clear sky.
The soldiers glanced around uneasily as their horses twitched and danced
beneath them. The warths slunk silently away, and Trahern felt the hair on his
head prickle and rise. Braith, get down!
erupted into white light and noise beyond hearing as a bolt of lightning
crashed to earth before him.
certain if he had lost consciousness or not, but it was an abysmally long time
before he could see and hear again. Braith was on top of him, apparently trying
to shield him. Move, he said in his mind.
better if I could breathe. Move!
slid his bulk from Trahern’s chest, and he rolled over with a grunt, gratefully
filling his lungs. His vision blurred and cleared, blurred and cleared, but he
could make out that only a handful of the mercenaries remained, and most looked
like they wanted to leave. He had to give the leader credit for nerve—but the
man no longer looked at him at all.
Eirianwen of the House of Oak, we have come to arrest the fugitive Trahern,”
the man shouted.
nothing here.” The new voice came from high above, and Trahern struggled to
see. A burly stallion, as glossy and black as obsidian, stood upon the rocky
outcrop behind him, and its tall rider was dressed in dark leathers. His hair
was as black as his mount, falling to his waist in hundreds of braids and
stirred by an unseen wind. Save for the dangerous glitter in his jet-colored
eyes and the glow of the light whip resting on his thigh, it was like staring
at Death itself.
traitor, My Lord, sir. We have a right—”
in the Nine Realms, you have no rights.” The great horse stepped down from the
steep rocky outcropping as easily as if walking across a meadow. The mercenary
captain paled visibly as Lurien, Lord of the Wild Hunt, placed himself squarely
between the soldiers and their intended quarry. “Our laws state that betrayers
and traitors are the rightful prey of the Wild Hunt,” said Lurien, then leaned
forward in the saddle, his next words measured and menacing. “If he lives, he
is mine. If he dies, he is also mine. Stay if you wish to join him.”