[Fanfiction] Wind-Whisperer (1st book) - Chapters 11, 12, 13 & 14

Discuss about all topics which belong to the book series "Shaikan Cycle" by Uschi Zietsch

Moderator: Forum_Manager

Post Reply
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue 8. Nov 2022, 17:06

[Fanfiction] Wind-Whisperer (1st book) - Chapters 11, 12, 13 & 14

Post by Ommariuolo »

Chapter 11 – Silent
“I’ll kill him,” Hag the Falcon hissed. “With my own hand, without a weapon. I’ll slowly choke him. Then I’ll skin him before he's dead, and –”
“Queue up, young friend,” Buldr Redbeard interrupted him. “It's my turn first. With my axe I’ll chop off his hands and feet first. And then I’ll take care of eyes, tongue and ears.”
“Stop it, I feel sick!” Menor the Thin cried. “You should listen to me!”
“Did you forget who put us in this position?” Hag replied.
“I haven't forgotten anything,” the young thief said, depressed. “But we had to count on it, friends. Goren is a Shaikan who change sides in the middle of the battle. Maybe he changed his mind when he suddenly saw his father. I mean, after all they’re of the same blood.”
“It's all the same to me, by Bjarne’s Hammer!” Buldr raged. “You’re right, Menor, we were stupid following Goren, a hothead completely unpredictable, as we have experienced ourselves!”
“And what should we do now?” Menor asked. “I'm afraid when Ruorim interrogates us! He’ll do unimaginable things with us out of sheer pleasure in torment, even if we give him all the answers he wants. But of course we’ve no answers and he’ll not believe us.”
“Menor, finally stop babbling!” Hag hissed. “That’s simply irrelevant. We can't do anything at the moment, because the bonds are tight, Weylin's mouth is gagged, I have no magical power, and neither do you.”
“The snow-white jester may help us,” Menor whined and ignored Hag's accusation. “Zerbo, master of cunning and deception, to which I have committed myself, don’t let it end like this!”
“They should have gagged him instead of Weylin,” Buldr noticed and glanced at the elf, who was crouched quietly and intently on her pole.
They were housed in a small storage tent and tied to the various racks. This was almost torture enough to have to see the strips of dried meat hanging from strings, and the spicy smell of sausages. There were little casks around, sacks of flour, fresh fruit and vegetables; it was probably only today that all of this had been taken away from merchants on the road. No wonder that Humrig the Expert preferred to take unpaved paths.
“What I find strange,” Menor said after a while of pondering calm, “Silent was the only one to escape. I wonder how.”
“Oh, shut up,” Hag growled.

“You could loosen my ties, for it’s very uncomfortable!” Malacay asked. “This young body also needs plenty of food. His strength is waning and I need him in excellent shape.”
“Everything will happen, ancestor, as soon as I can be sure that you have the upper hand,” Ruorim replied. “Let's talk first, then I'll arrange for adequate supplies.”
“You come in accordance to me, boy! Never trust blindly. I forgive you.”
Ruorim smiled. “I'm fifty winter old, Malacay. This form of address sounds strange to me.”
“Well, I died at over a hundred years old and my soul is already more than nine hundred years old, so for me you are a youngster,” the old alchemist replied. “So then, let's get to our plans. It’s an advantage that Goren came to you on his own. He was so driven by thirst for revenge that he could hardly wait. That's why he didn't notice that his strong feelings nourished me and gave me strength.”
“You arrived at the right moment,” Ruorim said. “Hokan and Raith have been watching each other for a few days. I don't think the big battle is far away; so far there have only been a few skirmishes to gain ground, which neither side has succeeded in doing. I assume that the two will have a magical duel while their armies are fighting. And we should intervene there.”
“Mmm. Yes. We can weave a magic together that bundles the energy released by the two and throws it back on them. With combined forces we can wipe them out.” Malacay got Goren's forehead wrinkle. “But it’s a huge effort that I’ve to prepare well for. We’ll start the first summons tonight to prepare the spell. When the time comes, we’ve to be able to act quickly.”
“Will you do it?”
“I guess so. The mana is well protected in my soul, and I still master mental magic best: enchantment, offensive, defensive magic, whatever you want. I can do all this. I can use it to distract them as we prepare the spell.”
Ruorim stroked his beard ruminatively. His disfigured half of the face lay in the shade, the undamaged side was caressed by the soft candlelight. “What will become to Goren?”
“His task is accomplished, Ruorim. Why do you care?” Malacay asked.
“He’s my only son, grandfather. I saw him for the first time today and there’s something about him...” Ruorim hesitated.
Malacay's voice became severe and unforgiving. “Don't suddenly lose yourself in feelings, Ruorim. Goren’s soul can’t survive this spell. You can be happy if you survive! Goren’s body may even die, but it isn’t a problem for me, because through my power over Materia Prima I can resurrect him immediately. And I’ll do that too! This young, energetic body is better than it has ever been my own. I’ll finally be able to give myself some pleasure before I devote myself completely to my further task.”
There was an ice-cold glint in Malacay's eyes. “You knew all of this before, boy. Do you now doubt?”
Ruorim shook his head. “No, of course not, but it’s a little sad to destroy a talented and strong young soul right away. We might have used it like Hokan Ashir for an Iron.”
“In a tent alongside you’ll find a few other souls that you could use for,” Malacay replied. “These young people are all strong-willed and can be good servants after appropriate treatment. After traveling with them for a few days, I really like them.”
“Good.” Ruorim grabbed his cloak, put it on and fastened it on the chest. Then he put on his gloves. “I’m leaving you now because I want to issue orders for tomorrow, because we’ve to be undisturbed for the rest of the night. Gather your strength. When I come back I’ll take off your shackles and you can have food while we prepare.”
“I can’t wait any longer,” Malacay let out a derisive laugh that echoed to the bottom of his soul.
And deep inside his body the locked soul of Goren cried out in despair.

Goren could hear exactly what was being said, but there was nothing he could do. His ancestor was completely awake and had taken control. Goren’s soul was only a guest in his own body. It should exploited one last time, Malacay used all his strength and sucked out the mana like a blood drinker to become even stronger and to be able to compete against the Circle Mages.
Goren wasn’t so worried about the prospect of dying soon. He didn't really want to admit that yet. But the plan of the two Shaikan shook him deeply. He didn’t believe that it would be so easy to erase the two Circle Mages with a spell. That could lead to an unbelievable disaster, maybe also the anger of the Guardians, as Malacay had conjured up before.
Shaikan are godless, they have no gods, and even if you once called Shanna, the Weaver, she never heard you.
But his friends were not godless, and the thought that their souls would soon be abused, silenced, and disfigured in an Iron to be sent into battle, touched Goren deeply. He was responsible for what happened to them.
Wherever he went, death was with him as if he were Raith the Black. First, as a child, he almost killed a boy. Then Derata, Darwin Silverhair, Master Altar. The orcs; certainly, they had been cruel slave drivers and deserved nothing else. But it hadn't been a fair fight, it was magic, Malacay's inheritance that resided in him, and also Ruorim’s. And now it was his friends' turn. Out of fear, he had concealed them the truth and had knowingly let them die. He was as cowardly and ruthless as his father. He had forgotten all of his mother's teachings. She would turn away in shame, if now she could see what her son had become.
Something must happen. He must do something! He couldn't allow Malacay to get the upper hand. He must...
Malacay's voice thundered through the emptiness of his prison and Goren’s soul crouched, whimpering.
Help me, anyone, Goren's soul sobbed.

A tremendous thunderclap followed by a slight tremor made everyone startle. A hot wind, scented with rose and fading leaves, swept over the camp, and high and hoarse sounds were heard in the distance. Winged shapes appeared on the distant horizon in front of blood-red illuminated clouds that were quickly approaching.
“Alarm! To the weapons! Attack!”
The scream rang out over the camp and continued in a hurry; like a sea wave it flooded over the hill to the last man. In no time all the warriors, alive and dead, were on their feet and reaching for their weapons. They got in each other’s way, and quarrels broke out on some fires, which caused great turmoil in the entire army.
On the highest elevation was Hokan Ashir's tent, which now came out and looked around. He was a tall, dark-haired man of the desert, with wide garment and a turban made of dark cloth and covered with characters.
Ruorim run to him with his sword drawn. “Dragonbrood, my lord! They come straight to us!”
The necromancer held the Mask of Belial in his right hand, but he didn't put it on. He watched the sky and nodded to his commander. “You’ve sharp eyes, Ruorim the Shaikan. They carry riders and are heavily loaded with stones. Put archers, spearmen and crossbowmen on standby! Let them move from undead and protect them with shields. Prepare for a violent hailstorm! Ruorim, you and your hundreds of dragon riders will immediately start a counterattack, on the east hill below, where the marksmen are camped. Put them down and then turn back instantly. It’s just another skirmish. Raith wants to mess up my troops because he’ll start the main attack soon. It’ll be a long night, followed by a hard day.”
“Yes, my master,” Ruorim replied and bowed deeply. Then, cursing loudly, he ran back to his tent. On the way he barked his orders; the first two dragons had arrived and a hail of stones fell on the center of the camp, except for Hokan Ashir's tent, which was surrounded by a glowing magical protective field.
Then chaos broke out, and Ruorim had trouble making himself understood. At last he found his general and gave the next orders.
The horses, above all Goldenbolt, had broke loose themselves and raged headlong through the camp, while the first stones fell from above and smashed tents, cars and soldiers.
At least, the first archers lined up and answered the hail of stones from above with a gush of poisoned arrows. One of the dragons shrieked when dozen arrows hit its belly, span and lost riders and its load. But the following ones were not far away.
The dragonbrood was only a faint reflection of the former masters of the air. Their shoulder height was no more than five steps long, yet they were still the largest life form of Fiara. They had little intelligence and almost no language skills, but despite everything they were huge, powerful creatures that were rightly feared.
“Catch the horses and get ready for a loss!” Ruorim roared over the chaos. “Guards, finally get in position, necromancers, raise the shields! The next attack is imminent, do you all want to be killed?”
In large leaps he rushed towards his tent and stormed into it. “Malacay, it's too late, damn, we’ve to think of something else! I’ve to carry out an attack, but we’ll be later –” Only then he realized that the tent was empty.
Ruorim's rage broke even the attack of the dragonbrood for a moment. He raced out of the tent like a berserk and through the rows of his people, who shrank back in panic. One of his dragon riders came galloping with three other horses in the wake, and he kept him at full speed, grabbed the handle and pushed the man out of the saddle to swing himself in. “Dragon riders to me, on the spot, to the east flank and gather!” he screamed. “Let's show the black man that not even dragonbrood can stop us!”
“Damn them all,” he added quietly to himself as he slapped his heels into the horse's belly and galloped across the camp onto the enemy hill. “I don't know how you managed to escape, my son, but I'm impressed. On the other hand, you thwarted my plans, and for that I'll punish you once I've caught you! Don’t expect mercy from me when we meet again.”
Then he suddenly laughed. “Who cares! A delay, nothing more. Malacay has awakened and we’re still coming to act. Whether today or tomorrow, what does it matter? Goren is young and he’s inexperienced! He can’t escape us and he can’t resist the forefather for long. So let's fight this battle today, and tomorrow there’ll be another one. I have waited so long, I have time!”
The horseshoes sparked as he drove it to the race gallop. Laughing, Ruorim the Butcher disappeared into the dark.

“What's going on out there?” Hag stretched his head and listened intently. “Sounds like the whole camp is on its feet and everything is in a mess!”
There was a strange humming and whistling in the air.
“Oh oh,” Menor made and ducked his head.
At that moment a stone crashed into the tent. Luckily only in the stock – the fellows remained unharmed. The flour exploded, the wine barrels burst, meat and sausages flew through the air. The next stone whistled past and tore the remnants of the tent roof. The prisoners now had a clear view of what was going on outside. Indeed everything was in a mess; stones, spears and arrows whizzed through the air, accompanied by the metal shouting of the dragons. The equipment and tents were already on fire and illuminated the scene with a ghostly flickering light. A huge rider black and red thundered past them on a foaming horse with a flaming sword.
“I think that was Ruorim,” Buldr noticed.
Menor stood up, which the others only noticed marginally – to then jump up and stare at him in confusion. The support post to which he was tied was shattered and broken, so far down that he could stand up and brush his tied arms over it. “So we're rid of Ruorim, and the others are too busy to look after us,” he noticed. “Now watch out.”
“Wow,” Buldr made impressed when Menor folded and twisted his long, lanky body until his arms were in front of his stomach; and with a few more twists and turns he stripped off his bonds.
Hag's eyes widened as Menor then released his ankle cuffs with skillful fingers and then continued at Weylin. “How you can do it?”
“Skill is skill, my friend,” the Thin answered. “Bad thief, good runaway. The only problem was that my arms were so tightly tied on my back and around the pole that my fingers didn't have enough freedom of movement. But nevermind, right? Thanks to Zerbo, he has answered my prayers and now offers us a free passage from the warehouse!”
The elf breathed a sigh of relief when she finally took off her mouth gag. Hag and Buldr scoured the remains of the tent for weapons, so as not to be completely defenseless, while other stones thundered around them, shy horses whizzed past and soldiers – and ran, following any roaring orders.
“Back to the forest hill, the horses are still tied up!” Hag cried. “But it’s better to run separately. Good luck, my friends!”
Crouched, using shadows and tents as cover, they ran in different directions to the side of the camp where they had come in. Hag the Falcon couldn’t resist; he glanced at Hokan Ashir. The Circle Mage stood in front of his tent, surrounded by a shimmering blue aura, and seemed completely unimpressed by the events. No wonder, because he could soon resurrect any dead, and he would capture lost souls and banish them in an Iron.
Maybe this was just a distraction by Raith the Black for something completely different, for example a magical spell. Hag hoped that the dispute between the two mages would make them so weak that they would forced to retreat to their towers for a long time.
He paid attention to his cover and avoided every living person. The undead paid no attention to him, their senses only aimed at destroying the enemy of the other camp.
Hag reached the edge of the camp with a few of detours and breathed a sigh of relief when the darkness surrounded him protectively. The air was much better and fresher here. However, he was immediately alarmed when he heard a horse snort. He searched the darkness; his eyes slowly got used to the dim light.
Then a figure stepped out of the shadows towards him and handed the bridle to him. “You?” Hag asked stunned.

Goren murmured to himself. Now and then he nodded, then came to himself, remembered that he was a prisoner in his own body, and surrendered to indifference. There was nothing he could do. He felt Malacay in his near, who had also retreated deeply to gather strength. Maybe at some point he was so focused that the walls of Goren's soul jail became permeable. And then he could get out...
At least that cheered him up so much that he stayed awake and started paying attention to everything around him. He couldn't see because Malacay was still controlling his eyes, but he could hear and smell. Only muffled sounds and faint smells, but it was better than nothing. It showed that part of him was still alive in his body, which Malacay could only extinguish killing Goren’s soul.
He sensed... that there was someone. Not in his mind, but in his body. Quite close. Goren felt the warmth of a living body, and he smelled a scent like sandalwood and thyme, a strange mixture that seemed familiar to him and that he had only experienced once before.
If only he could remember! But his mind was lazy and tired and in the narrow dungeon he got no air, no light, no food.
As if from afar he noticed that someone was shaking him violently – his limp body, not his mind. Stop, he wanted to say, but he didn't have a voice. Besides, it could be pretty irrelevant to him what happened to his body, he finally belonged to Malacay.
Then a dazzling flash of lightning exploded in his dark soul dungeon, and the walls tore open. His liberated soul flowed through, into the light, spread through his body, awakened his spirit to new life, and suddenly he could feel, see, and speak again.
“What’s...” he started in distress. He blinked and stared at the bleeding wound on his finger.
“Shh-shh,” Silent croaked. “Finally come to you, blockhead! Get up, I can't carry you, you're as heavy as cattle.” He gave Goren a few more slaps in the face until he finally raised his hand and hesitantly said: “I'm back, friend, no more reason, I –”
“I had every reason to let you rot,” Silent replied, who suddenly seemed very lively. “And now come, the opportunity is favorable. Ruorim is with Hokan Ashir because Raith attacked. The camp is an absolute shambles.”
Goren somehow got to his feet, tingling as the blood started to circulate. He stumbled after Silent, who slipped behind one of the tapestries and raised a tent strip. He put a finger to the spot where his mouth was, hidden in the hooded shade.
They slipped out and Goren understood what Silent meant. They were just able to avoid a falling boulder, rolled under a cart, and crawled from there between debris until they reached an empty space. Goren stared in amazement at the flying dragons, while Silent dragged him to the edge of the camp. They waited for a favorable moment in a cover, then ran out into the dark.
Goren just made five javelin throws, then he collapsed exhausted and rolled into the wet grass. His chest rose and fell in quick breaths, and he struggled to regain consciousness. Malacay had noticed what had happened and was raging through his body, but so far he hadn't been able to get to the surface. But his anger was so hot that Goren developed a fever and sweat broke out. He almost wanted to give up when he suddenly felt the nearness of a large, warm body. A velvety snout nudged and snorted at him from widened nostrils, and he heard a familiar, soft, gentle neigh.
“Goldenbolt,” he whispered and burst into tears.
“I met him when I wanted to see you at the start of the attack,” Silent reported. “He helped me catching some horses that I could hand over so I got to your tent with no difficulty. Now he's been waiting for you here. I have never experienced such loyalty from any animal.”
“And I’m not from humans or whatever you are,” Goren replied. He sat up, but before he could go on, Silent reached for the handle.
“We have to go back to the forest hill where the horses are tied up. I'll get the others while Goldenbolt stays with you, it's too peculiar.”
Goren stood up, deeply agitated. “I...”
Silent turned to face him. “Later, Goren. First let's escape up.”
Goren struggled onto the saddle; he still felt weak and not quite in control of himself. Malacay had given up his first attack. Apparently he had to gather strength again.
Goldenbolt didn't flinch as Silent sat behind Goren. Then he showed that he was still the fastest, even at night and with two riders.
Arrived at the top of the forest hill, Goren dismounted and watched the spectacle below at the army camps. Flames were almost sky-high, above which the bizarre shadows of the dragons crept. The shouting reached here. There was also fighting in Raith's camp; Ruorim’s cavalry had arrived there and was harvesting bloody crops.
“Come here,” Silent said in a stern tone, which Goren involuntarily obeyed. He was led to a young tree, the trunk of which was not yet too thick. “Sit down.” This area was largely protected, and Goren still had a view outside.
“What...” he started, but then Silent grabbed his arms, turned them back, and tied his hands, then his legs.
“I have to make sure that you don't do anything stupid while I'm away,” Silent said. “Goldenbolt, take care of your master and give him a hoof kick when he gets an odd look and speaks with a strange voice.”
Then he was gone.
Goren sat agitated in the dark. Goldenbolt grazed peacefully in the vicinity, looked at him now and then, and then continued to dedicate himself to his meal.
You'll pay for this, Malacay whispered in him.
You have no more power over me, Goren replied, and Ruorim isn’t near to support you.
But his ancestor didn't give up that easily. However, Goren too.

The night had passed its high point. Goren woke up when he heard the stomping of horse hooves and low voices. Goldenbolt raised his head and neighed.
“That's Goldenbolt, isn't it?” Menor's surprised voice came. “What are you doing – oh.”
Goren looked to the ground when the freed fellows appeared and stared down at him. He could imagine that their faces now reflected the turmoil inside them: stunned, disappointment, anger, hate.
“Yes, you’ve freed him so we can enjoy our revenge!” Buldr Redbeard's dwarven voice threatened through the night. “And tied up, how practical! I can start cutting him right away.”
Goren swallowed and closed his eyes, expecting some sword or axe blow.
“Good idea,” Hags cold voice sounded. “And what do you do with your bare hands?”
Goren opened his eyes again and looked up timidly.
Weylin Mooneye approached him. “Goren, is that you or someone else?” she asked softly.
“It's me,” he whispered. “Look into my eyes. If they aren’t gray, it’s really me.”
“What are you talking about?” buldr ranted. “I see Goren, as how he always was!”
“No,” Silent put himself before Goren. “No, Mooneye realized that it wasn’t Goren who betrayed us, but someone else.”
“Enough pretext!” Hag said threateningly.
“He’ll tell you,” Silent replied. “You’ll listen to him. Then you could still decide whether to hold him accountable. But until then it’s under my protection and you’ll not touch him.”
“I can push you aside with one finger,” the dwarf growled and took a step towards Silent.
“You owe me,” warned the hooded figure. “I have freed you all.”
“Why are you doing this?” Menor asked.
“Because I can understand Goren,” Silent answered. “I know what torments him, I know his loneliness, the feeling of being outcast and having no home. He’s divided, just like me, but his burden is far heavier than mine.”
Silent stepped aside so Goren could see him from the front.

Then he opened the cloak and let it fall to the ground.
No leaf moved, even the wind was silent. The battle below was in full swing. Nobody would care about what was happening up here.
Goren looked into the most wonderful face he had ever seen. It was delicate, illuminated by a shimmering sheen, and yet there was an expression of strong will. This well-proportioned face was young, and yet it showed the traces of a painful life in which there had been little joy. Shiny black hair flowed freely down to the hips and parted like a waterfall on the long, gracefully shaped, pointed ears. The large almond eyes had a purple hue and the pupils shone like two distant stars. Goren suddenly had a vision. He saw the girl's head covered with a metallic, shiny, latticed, dark crown, the claw-shaped teeth framing her face.
Her body was narrow, dainty and delicate. It was much smaller than Weylin Mooneye’s, and as light as that was, this was dark.
The elf backed away with an expression of disgust, but she said nothing. The others gaped with wide eyes.
“I'm Starshine,” said the dark elf. Her voice had changed too, now sounding soft like the murmur of a stream under rocks. “I’m the daughter of a norcaine from the Archon caste, but born of a human woman. Being a hybrid has been my curse since I was born. I wasn’t a member of either of my two peoples, and everyone else rejected me anyway. I was sold very early as a slave and since then I’ve served many masters, most recently the orcs in the Valley of Tears. To bind myself and prevent me from ever escaping, they put on an iron collar on the first day of my slavery.” Her hand brushed back her hair, and Goren saw a deep indentation and a dark shadow on her neck. A scar that she might have had to wear for life, just like the terrifying memory. “That collar was magically closed; as long as I carried it, my powers were locked up. Wolfur Grimbold's axe finally put an end to that, thanks to Goren.”
Starshine took a deep breath and it sounded like a sigh. “I’m now twenty-three years old and free for the first time in my life. I owe all of this to Goren, and so I’ll stay by his side until he no longer needs me. And he needs me to fight the darkness inside. With my strengthening magic, I can help him save his soul.”
“Don't you serve the Darkness?” Weylin asked in an icy voice.
“No, Mooneye. I'm on the side of the Light, that's what I chose. I have nothing to do with the Silverweaver, I try to serve Elen, the Lonely Singer on the River, Mistress of Wisdom and Healing. If you forgive me.”
Weylin seemed to sway. “If Elen forgives you...” she blurted out, “I can’t stop it...”
“How did you escape in the camp?” Menor asked, who is more concerned with this than anything else. People of his guild relieved everyone of his or her belongings, regardless of which people he belonged to. Zerbo's followers generally had no reservations about another's origin.
“I won't be seen if I don't want to,” Starshine replied. “When I realized what was going to happen because I hadn't left my eyes on Goren, I left before he betrayed you. The rest was easy; after all, I was a slave all my life and learned to don’t attract attention.”
Buldr scratched his beard. “Did you suspect what was going to happen?”
She shook her head. “No. But I always expect the worse, and I also learned to watch closely, because a tiny detail can make or break life.”
“But anyway you know more about Goren than we do,” Hag remarked gloomy.
“Only because I see and hear more attentively than you, Hag. He didn't tell me anything, nor did I tell him. But now he’ll make up for it, he promised me.” Starshine turned to him.
Goren felt weak and miserable. He could hardly look her in the eyes, let alone the others. But he would not justify himself, for he had reason for his behavior and believed that he was doing the right thing. He caught his breath and then he told the hitherto silent rest of his story, starting with the life of Janus Malacay, the forefather of the Shaikan.

Chapter 12 – The decision
The night passed as Goren ended. His friends had listened in silence without interrupting him once. They crouched like him in the damp grass between the trees. The horses grazed a little further; now and then he could hear a satisfied snort.
No doubt everyone was very confused and unsettled. Anger and hatred had long since disappeared; Goren could sense that nobody wanted to wring his neck anymore.
“I have to think about this for a while,” finally Hag broke the silence that had followed the report. “That's all a bit much to handle at once. The main question now is what our alliance will become.”
“In any case, Goren isn’t a traitor for me,” Menor announced. “Malacay is responsible for this, whose soul lurks in our friend. But I have to admit, I also don’t know what to do next.”
“Strictly speaking, both of you cannot be trusted,” Buldr Redbeard said seriously. “Goren is unpredictable because we never know when Malacay will regain the upper hand. And Starshine carries the dark legacy of norcaine, plus an Archon. That can lead to nasty surprises, even if she’s devoted to the Light.”
“What do you think?” Hag asked to Weylin Mooneye.
The lovely face of the elf remained unexpressive. “I wouldn’t comment yet,” she replied with a glare at Starshine.
“So what do we do now?” Menor repeated. “We should decide soon, because it’s daytime and two Circle Mages are fighting down there. I also have to point out that we only have four horses for six people. If Starshine and Goren take Gold enbolt, two of us still have to choose the same direction.”
An uncomfortable silence followed. Although for the first time in days the clouds broke up and the first warm sun rays came from a beautiful summer day, they were all shivering. It was clear to Goren that none of them knew how to act now. The bond between them couldn't just be cut; they had been through too much together for that. And presumably none of them had any idea where to go if they parted now. Especially alone, here in no man’s land, day trips from every city. They had no weapons, no stocks, no money, only the ragged things on their bodies. The decision wasn’t so easy.
Finally Goren took the word. “I have to go to Shaikur,” he announced. “The fortress can be reached by horse in four days. I believe Ruorim will follow me as soon as the battle down there is over.”
“Do you think they'll let you in?” Starshine asked.
“After all, I’m one of theirs and descend from high-ranking Shaikan,” Goren replied. “If my grandfather is still alive, he may still be the ruler. He may want to see me.”
“But we can't get in, that's a well-known fact,” Buldr objected.
“Then I just stay outside,” Goren replied. He took a deep breath. “This is my suggestion: we all ride to Shaikur together and hope to find an accommodation there. If so, we can have a rest and I’ll make sure that you are provided with everything you need. And when you have regained your strength, you would make the decision of what you’ll do.”
“That sounds good,” Menor blurted out in his spontaneous way. “Count me in.”
Buldr and Hag looked at each other. Then they both nodded silently.
Weylin stroked her arm. “Are you sure you're doing the right thing, Goren? Malacay may be hoping for just that because he can get support in Shaikur and maybe gain power over you, finally.”
“I'm aware about that,” Goren replied. “But it's my fate. Because I can't go on living like this. I feel more and more torn inside and I can feel my body slowly decaying. I would not spend a day without fighting no matter where I go until I become too weak and either die or Malacay wins. Only one of us can remain. In Shaikur they’ll save either my or malacay's life; I have to let reach it, but then at least I’ll have it behind me.”
The elf nodded. “Then I’ll help you as far as I can.”
They freed Goren from his bonds and rode off.

Chapter 13 – Shaikur
Four days' rides, Goren had said; that didn't sound difficult. But he had underestimated Malacay, who didn’t simply wait until the young Shaikan reached the seat of his ancestors. The struggle between the two souls became more violent and persistent. Goren fainted more and more; sometimes he behaved like an obsessed one, screaming and whipping foam around his mouth. Weylin hardly managed to keep the fever under control, and Starshine had to use all her strength to ensure that Goren didn't lose from the weakness. With that they gradually wither away, becaming dull and tired.
Both of them were sunk in the saddle most of the time and somehow held on. Goldenbolt moved as carefully as possible; with the great sensitivity of a horse, he felt that his master's life depended on him.
The riders feared that they would hardly be able to take a gallop to save time. But Goldenbolt had a flat but very fast trot, the pace of which the other horses could only keep at a gallop. Goren and Starshine were hardly shaken, and so they made good progress.
Unfortunately, they traveled again in the pouring rain that started on the morning of the second day. The ground quickly softened and the riders had to slow down. The horses became moody and drooped their heads disgruntled. Their riders were hardly in a better mood, but at least this time they didn't have to laboriously trudge through the mud. However, they got soaked as well.
They first turned east, as far away from the two camps as possible, and only turned towards the Iron Fields on the second day.
“How will we find the fortress?” Menor once whispered to Buldr as they rode side by side. Buldr and Hag shared a horse as before.
Buldr pointed forward; as most of the time, Goren’s stallion was the leader. “He knows it.”
“Goren? But I thought...”
“Not him. The stallion! Don’t you remember? Goren said that he once belonged to his mother, who took him on her escape from Shaikur.”
“But after such a long time...”
“About Goldenbolt I am no longer surprised, Menor. He’s almost like a human. Please excuse me.” Buldr grinned broadly and patted Hag on the shoulder.
Weylin mostly rode next to Goren and Starshine and made sure that the two didn't suddenly fall out of their saddles. She murmured spells again and again. As soon as they rested, which they only allowed themselves for a very short time, she looked for medicinal herbs. Starshine no longer left Goren's side at all. She mostly kept her eyes closed and showed a strained expression on her face.
“A lot connects that two,” Hag once noticed Menor while he was walking on his feet. “Right from the start.”
“Since we're at it,” said Menor nervously and his voice sank to a confidential whisper, “do you think an elf like Weylin could... I mean... one like me... and so...”
“You should ask her that, not me,” Hag grinned. “I don't know more about things like that than you.”
“Then you have never been in love?”
“Certainly. A thousand times.”
“Oh,” Menor looked puzzled, then laughed. “Oh,” he repeated. “I understand.”
“What are you constantly looking at, Buldr?” Hag turned to the dwarf.
“Maybe Ruorim is already after us, don't you think?” Redbeard answered. “I mean, we are miserably soaked, we don’t sleep and there’s nothing to eat: at least let us keep walking in the night until we can no longer. Otherwise this whole trip will end in disaster.”
Hag nodded. “You're right. We’ll fasten Goren and Starshine somehow, then we’ll go further.”
“And that’s also necessary,” Weylin had come to them unnoticed. “Goren's fever rises again and he becomes weaker. I'm afraid I'll lose him. As well as Starshine.”
“What's that between you?” Buldr asked curiously. “You always say her name as if you swallowed poison.”
Mooneye’s brows frowned. “She’s a dark elf and I’m a light elf. What do you expect?”
“Bah, I’m a dwarf and can also endure your nearness,” Redbeard said with a throwaway gesture. “I thought we were above this nonsense. Starshine belongs to us, and that hasn’t changed even with her revelation.”
“Think what you want,” Weylin returned angrily to her horse.
Buldr chuckled to himself. “I think she’s a bit jealous.”
“Really?” Menor asked with a bitter look on his face.
“She’ll get over it,” the dwarf said and patted Menor's arm. “Come on now, little wretch, climb on and ride further.”

The rain finally stopped around the morning of the fourth day. The riders looked down from the last hill on the vast steppe of the Iron Fields, where a huge rock made of glittering black stone suddenly rose out of the plain. Built into the mountain and carved out of the rock, the outlines of a mighty castle showed up, as height as several men.
Buldr whistled through the teeth. Goldenbolt reared and neighed. That brought Goren to himself, and he looked in astonishment at the fortress of his forefathers. “That's...” he started, then a jerk went through him, and a strange, malicious voice croaked: “Wisely done, you fools!”
Starshine, who hung on the horse like a sack behind Goren, put her arms around him and said emphatically: “Fight against him, Goren, he isn’t as strong as he wants you to believe! Usual tricks and bluff are what he uses, just like your father! You’re still stronger, you can resist him!”
Goren's body twitched and out of his mouth came an inhuman sound that made everyone shiver. Then he shook his head, his breath calmed, and he put his hand on Starshine’s arm.
“Thank you,” he said. “I could feel you reinforcing my strength. It's incredible how you can do it, but I'm afraid that you...”
“Goren, don't linger!” she interrupted him sternly. “I can't help you if you don't have your feelings under control! Come on, we can make the last step. I’d say we only have half a day left, what do you think?”
Goldenbolt gave the first answer with a loud neigh, then he galloped forward.

The closer they got to the castle, the more powerful it became. More and more facets became recognizable. Its highest pinnacles reached almost the top of the mountain. One could only guess how deep it reached inside. On the outside, towers connected to each other by corridors existed in different grades, the highest reaching the farthest. Plus innumerable oriels, balconies and green terraces connected by bridges and walkways. High up the proud flag of Shaikur, the golden dragon head on a red background.
“By Niethalf’s hammer!” Buldr burst out impressed. “I can truly call this a fortress.”
“Even with the Finon Mir’s elves it’s legendary,” Mooneye agreed. “A masterpiece of architecture.”
“And probably impregnable,” Hag guessed. “Goren, don't fall asleep, look at it!” He shook his friend's shoulder, who had just lost consciousness again. His face was glowing with fever, his cheeks were sunken. It was clear that, unless something happened soon, he wouldn’t be alive for long.
This concern now drove everyone on. The horses seemed to be feeling it, because they were running fast and persevering. As it had guessed, they arrived at the huge castle gate shortly before the golden hour, where they were already expected. They weren’t surprised because nobody could sneak up on the almost treeless plain without being seen.
“We come like beggars,” Hag stated bitterly. “They’ll reject us with a fleer.”
“They’ll throw rotten fruit and vegetables at us,” Menor assumed.
“They’ll use us as targets,” Buldr said.
“They have never let strangers in, they say,” Weylin murmured.
“Pull yourself together!” Starshine scolded. “What we need now is confidence – and an exorcist very quickly, because Goren has passed out again. I fear he could die under my hands, and I’d better go with him.”

Chapter 14 – The conjuration
At the huge iron gate, several men long and cut in the rocks, two guards carried heavy armour and the Shaikan coat of arms. They were armed with swords, axes and daggers and held spears in their hands. Their faces were covered by closed helmets.
Goldenbolt could hardly be held any longer, he rushed ahead with sweeping steps. The other three horses floundered in a row with their heads hanging tired.
The fellows prepared themselves for everything. They had tidied off their torn clothes as much as possible, wiped their hair a little, and tried to take a proud but not challenging stance. All of them had exhaustion and hunger written on their faces, no less than the skinny horses.
Goldenbolt was the only one who was still lively and seemed in excellent shape. He stopped before the guards and neighed.
The rest of the fellows stopped, too, and looked at each other uncertainly and with beating hearts. None of them knew how to deal with the Shaikan, what courtesy rules they followed, or whether they were willing to listen to them at all.
Then a man stepped out of the shadow of the gate and moved towards them. He was tall and handsome and had long white hair; he might be in his early sixties. On his left hand he wore an iron glove that was designed like a hand made of meat and blood.
He wore the Shaikan coat of arms, but no armour nor weapons.
The fellows looked at each other in astonishment.
The man paused about ten steps in front of the stallion. Then he reached out his right hand and said softly: “Goldenbolt. My boy, come on, see what I have here...”
Goldenbolt neighed softly, his nostrils flared. Then he came forward carefully, stretched his neck, sniffed and snuffled. Finally he reached his outstretched hand and there was an apple, sweet and juicy on it. The stallion took the apple with cautious lips, exhaled deeply, and began chewing.
With tears in his eyes, the man patted his neck, stroked his forehead. “Welcome home, my boy,” he said in a cracked voice. “I wanted so much to see you again... but what are you carrying...?” He stepped to the side of the stallion and gently touched Goren's black-haired head, which was lying on the horse's neck.
The man pulled himself out and turned to the fellows. “Welcome,” he said to them. “I’m Darmos Ironhand, lord of Shaikur. For a long time we haven’t had any guests with us who weren’t dragonblood. Ur already announced your appearance to me, but unfortunately not until noon today, shortly before we could see you. If I had known earlier I would have sent help. After all, Ur told us what we’ve to do and we’ve already prepared everything. We know that time is running out. Young lady, let yourself be helped with the descent.” He stretched out his arms, and Starshine, who had only been able to hold onto the stallion with the last of her strength, loosened her cramped arms that had wrapped around Goren and simply let herself fall. A third guard came running and took the unconscious dark elf from Darmos to his arms.
“Please follow this man,” Darmos Ironhand continued. “You’ll be well cared. About Goldenbolt and...”, now the tears shot out from his eyes and he quickly turned to the horse, “my grandson... I take care of personally.”

Darmos Ironhand led Goldenbolt on the “fast way”, as it was called; this was a secret path that led to a very special place high up in the mountain. It was a steep, curvy and long way, and Goldenbolt had to climb up again and again. But even now he made sure that nothing happened on his back.
The lord of Shaikur swung the further he went up; he hadn't taken this route in a long time. Only a narrow beam of light fell in from above, illuminating the path just enough the horse didn’t become nervous. One couldn’t simply lose orientation; Goldenbolt only barely fit through, but he was used to that from before and there were no crossroads.
Finally they reached a huge, high chamber, the dimensions of which couldn’t be seen, since only part of it was illuminated by a window. The wind whistled softly and gently tousled Goren's hair as if he had missed it for a long time.
Darmos effortlessly lifted Goren off the horse and carried him to a booth near the window. Goldenbolt huffed and snorted, then turned and walked all the way down with clattering hooves, where his fine nose had smelled the scent of sweet apples and heat mares.
Darmos put down the boy gently and stroked his feverish face. Goren had opened his eyes, but they were looking into the blank.
“How beautiful he’s,” Darmos Ironhand whispered with a cracked voice. “So similar to his mother... and these eyes... I've never seen such a color…”
“We’ll have to hurry, old friend.” A deep, reverberating voice, which didn’t belong to a human being, came from the shadows of the ridge. “I can feel his heart beating.”
“Will we make it?” Goren's grandfather asked quietly.
A sigh came from the depths of the dark. “Darmos, I know what position we are in. I’m obliged to save Malacay's soul. But I’m also obliged to protect Goren’s life. I swore by Malacay and its descendants alike. So I can't let Malacay return and kill Goren. I would become a perjurer and forfeit my life. The old alchemist got caught in his own trap. He only succeeded if Goren voluntarily sacrifice himself, but the boy made it clear that he don’t want that. Now I’ll do the only right thing.”
“I just hope that it works, because Malacay will want to prevent it,” Darmos said worried.
“Then he has to release me from the oath, which also means that I no longer have to preserve his soul. He’s in an extremely delicate position that he had never considered before. This happened because the life of others means nothing to him. He saw only one benefit in extending my oath to his descendants because he couldn’t foresee the gods curse.”
Darmos nodded. “We Shaikan always considered our forefather a curse, and I certainly can’t be responsible for the fact that my grandson has to give his life for Malacay’s. Our ancestor has to look for a volunteer, because I’ll not allow him to be destroyed, even in memory of my daughter. I have to respect her decision, unfortunately too late...”
The boy's eyes suddenly turned gray, his expression distorted into a wild, hateful face and he screamed: “You dare to stand against me and behind my back connect with the dragon to pull him to your side? Do you forget who made all this possible? You’re mine, you must obey me!”
Darmos recoiled in horror.
“No,” came the Ur’s quiet voice. “That wasn’t part of our pact, Malacay.” A huge scaled paw emerged from the darkness, and a claw pressed against Goren's chest. “Remember, my blood brother,” the dragon continued. “My life for your blood, as long as it exists. You bound me to protect your life and your offspring’s. I have to do that. I have no choice.”
Goren's mouth closed and his gaze became stiff again. Darmos ran a trembling hand through white hair. “Hopefully Marela will come soon so we can start.”

It went steadily uphill on a wide, winding path, twist by twist, inside the mountain and upward. Torches provided enough light, the air was stale, but cool and easy to breathe.
“This castle is really impregnable,” it was not the first time Buldr noticed this, while the path didn’t seem to end. Every now and then other passages led into the dark.
Finally they reached an expanded level and found themselves in the stables. The guard had carried Starshine all the way up and wasn’t even out of breath.
“Here you could leave the horses, then it goes on foot over a few steps. Can you do it?”
Menor looked a little jealous of Starshine, but nodded like the others.
There were many levels. On the hundredth Menor thought to retreat and surrendered to his fate.
But at some point the stairs also came to an end. “Your bathroom is already prepared, you can have your first meal in it. Afterwards you’ll be shown your rooms where you’ll find new clothes. And then we wish you a good night's sleep. The ruler will receive you tomorrow. You’ve nothing to fear here.”
The fellows looked at each other. “If it's a dream,” Menor sighed contentedly, “then I don't want to wake up so quickly.”
Only Weylin Mooneye felt uncomfortable amid the mighty, gloomy walls. But she followed, because the view of a bath and a decent meal soothed her.

Darmos Ironhand paced the chamber nervously as Marela the Gentle finally arrived. Breathing heavily, she stepped on her cane. “At last!” he shouted. Then his eyes widened in surprise when he saw that the priestess wasn’t alone. “The girl...” he started amazed.
“I couldn't stop her,” Marela explained. “She arrived, jumped out of bed and clung to my heels like a leech.
“You need me!” Starshine said, whose arms were packed with a lot of things that she obviously had to haul. She dropped everything, it rattled and rustled, and rubbed her arm’s muscles. “I have given Goren strong all the time, and I’ll do that now. You couldn’t stop me, I owe him and I’ll not stand by and watch him die.” She turned pale when she saw the huge body of the dragon shimmering in the dark – rather, a part of his skull and a front leg, because more couldn’t fit in the chamber.
Worry torn Darmos' forehead. “And the time has come, it seems to me. Malacay almost did it. He already cursed us all several times and vowed to wipe out the whole fortress, if he should be able to return.”
The dragon priestess shook her head. “I told you that he was insane, Darmos, but now it will become clear whether eighteen years of preparation were sufficient.” she leaned over goren, and a delicate expression flitted across her face. “You did well, Derata,” she whispered. Then she went to work vigorously and gathered the things that were ready and brought with her, mainly appointing Starshine.
Then Marela set up a large steaming bowl and emptied a bag of prepared herbs and other additives into it. She drew a circle with red chalk around Goren's booth, divided it into sections and wrote magical runes into it. “Summons, spells, counter-spells for curses and mental influences and a lot of protective formulas,” she murmured. “Learned everything by heart, practiced a thousand times. I finally have enough time.” She waved her index finger in the direction of Ur. “And a few days ago, our scaly friend finally saw that I was right and promised to support me. That will make some things easier, wasn't it, old dragon?” Instead of waiting for an answer, she put in a circle several magical, decorated with many runes, rods with holders, in which torches were stuck.
Goren moved restlessly. “What are you doing?” Malacay’s voice hissed through the chamber.
“Tie him up, Darmos,” the priestess ordered. “Ur, I have all the formulas and now ignite the smoke; then we can start. Or have I forgotten something?”
“The crystal.”
“Ah! Thank you. Of course.” She pulled a glowing green crystal out of her pocket and placed it on the Goren’s chest. “We put his heart into it, because Malacay will try to kill him during the summoning to jump into the next carrier.”
“Who could be?” Darmos asked pale.
“You, me, pretty much everyone in the fortress who is dragonblood,” Marela answered indifferently. “That's why we have to keep Goren alive, you know? Unfortunately we cannot destroy Malacay's soul,” she glanced sideways at Ur, “because one of the present here is against it. But we can banish him and Goren's tormented soul would be free.”
“I can't do anything to Malacay,” Starshine said. “I’ll keep Goren's heart.”
“I bet,” Marela murmured.
The dragon priestess ignited a pinewood chip and threw it into the large bowl. She cut Goren's little finger, caught his blood and dripped it into the rising smoke. Then Ur lifted his leg over it and three black drops of dragon's blood fell into the bowl.
It hissed and steamed and an oddly shaped rune-like cloud rose. Then thunder rolled through the chamber, causing the fortress to shake. Marela stood with her arms spread over Goren next to his bed and began to sing the ancient formula of a targeted healing spell.
“Hold your hand over his chest,” Ur said quietly to Starshine. “Darmos, stand next to the girl and support her. You, child, concentrate on his heart. Imagine that you have it in hand. And then put Goren’s heart in the crystal.”
Starshine and Darmos obeyed, while Marela's voice gradually grew louder. She was already in deep trance. Malacay in Goren tried unsuccessfully to free the body from the shackles. Ur’s head hovered above him, and the dragon also mumbled words in an ancient language.
Starshine had closed her eyes; her lips moved silently. Darmos saw excitedly how the green crystal suddenly glowed even stronger. A shadow now loomed inside it resembling a heart – a rhythmically beating heart.
Goren's body went limp, his eyes became blank. Darmos wanted to back away from the shock, but Ur warned him: “Remain! Guard Starshine, she keeps the heart! Trust her! And above all: don’t deviate, concentrate, don’t wander in your thoughts!
Malacay panicked when the body died around his soul. He began to screech inarticulate and raged through the boy's body as a glistening red spot.
Sweat broke out in Darmos while he watched it. But Goren's heart beat powerful in the green crystal, and so he bravely stayed with it and held on to Starshine. Marela and Ur sang alternately with ritual rhythmic movements. The smoke from the bowl had turned crimson and filled the entire chamber. Darmos suppressed a cough when he had to inhale it. The smoke seeped into Goren's skin, into his eyes, his nose, his ears, his mouth. Malacay's screams had swelled to an infernal shriek, and Darmos could see the glowing point of light slow down and finally stay in the throat.
“We have you,” Ur grumbled. “Now we withdraw your strength. And then we’ll banish you...”
Marela swayed from exhaustion. The sweat trickled down, but her voice was unbroken.
The booth swayed and the rune flickered in the torchlight. A black shadow fell over the spell circle, and Darmos felt an ice-cold breath that penetrated his bones. He understood that Malacay was trying to break out, but the runes held him. There was no gap in the summoning, no spell was forgotten. Malacay's screams had sunk to a pitiful whimper that sounded weaker and more desperate, like the last whine of a dying old dog.
Darmos wondered how Marela had managed to keep this secret from him all these years, all her research and preparations, the knowledge of Malacay's resurrection, and... the reason of Derata’s escape.
Since this morning Darmos Ironhand knew that he had a grandson from his only child. But his life was now in extreme danger.
Since this morning Darmos Ironhand’s life had gone in ruin for the second time since his daughter's escape.
But maybe it started all over again.

The summon now reached its high point. Even the rock walls were sweating, the air was heavy and muggy in the chamber, and the tremor was still going on while Ur and Marela sang continuously.
Starshine swayed from weakness, she held her heart, but she noticed that her strength was running out. If the summoning didn't end soon, Goren would be lost. His heart would stop beating and the crystal would extinct forever.
She turned her head to Darmos, who was standing next to her, to ask him to better support her.
Then she saw the look of his eyes, which had turned gray, and a demonic twitch in the corners of his mouth. Her eyes widened in shock and she wanted to give a warning cry, but at that moment Darmos slapped her face. Her head whipped around and she fell to the ground.
The crystal heart rolled down from Goren's chest and fell...

Marela let out a scream as Darmos put his hands around her neck. “I’ll break you now, old hag, like a dry branch,” Goren's grandfather hissed in Malacay's voice. “And didn’t hope for Ur! If he interrupts his singing, I’ll finally free and can leave the chamber. But it won't be long, rely on it,” he blurt out.
The smoke turned black and the torches cast a shadow on the wall that didn’t show Darmos' outlines, but that of a tall, lean man – Malacay’s.
Ur didn’t move and continued to sing, but his voice had intensified and the claw on Goren's shoulder trembled slightly.
Malacay saw the heart crystal on Goren's chest roll and fall off the booth. He was going to shatter on the ground and smash Goren's heart. For a half blink, the mage regretted that he could no longer go back into the young body. But Darmos Ironhand’s body was still powerful enough for his purposes.

Starshine saw red glowing sparks before her eyes, she felt dizzy, and her cheek burned where Darmos' hand had hit her. Through the veil of pain she saw a green glow and pulse that moved, floated through the room, no, fell...

Marela was no longer the youngest and certainly not the strongest. But she was tough. If it mattered, she didn't need a stick to support her legs; she used it partly for coquettishness and partly to make others believe that she was much weaker than she actually was. Being underestimated could do a mage invaluable service...
And this lesson was given by the dragon priestess to Malacay. He had only been distracted for a tiny moment, as short as the heartbeat of a racing mouse, and the woman took advantage of it. She lifted her right foot and stepped so hard on Darmos Ironhand's boot that he loosened his grip in surprise. That was enough for Marela. No longer gentle, as she was used to, whirled her around and stabbed Darmos' eyes with both fingers of her right hand; with the other hand she held her aching neck and gasped for air. Malacay in Darmos' body let out a scream and backed away. “Stato!” Marela cried with a raised hand, and the man froze.
Starshine jumped and stretched out her hands just in time before the crystal reached the ground. He landed unscathed and she felt his warm and throbbing heartbeat. Panting and staggering, she came to her legs. She was still dizzy and had to lean on the booth. She carefully put the crystal back on Goren's chest and held her hand protectively over it. I swore it, she thought. I’ll not give way. You’ll live.

“You old fool!” Marela croaked. “You forgot how to move a body properly, how to live! You’ve been a ghost for far too long, so I’ll now give you back where you belong – in the deep abyss!” She rubbed her neck, coughed and then continued her singing. Malacay in Darmos Ironhand backed away. He obviously wanted to defend himself, but Ur, who hadn’t interrupted his singing, continued to keep him spellbound. The dragon only slightly changed the pitch and continued the summons with a sharp one.
The body of Darmos Ironhand trembled, its outline blurred, and he staggered back forcelessly, almost colliding with a Starshine, and then sank to the floor next to the bed.
The red spark glowed again in Goren's throat. “You’ll pay for this...” A last lamenting sound echoed through the room.

Then Goren let out a sigh and the light in his throat went out.
Marela immediately changed the pitch. Again she sang the song of salvation for the heart, but this time spoken backwards. Starshine, her hands over the pulsating crystal, was about to collapse. But her voice sounded clear: “I take your heart out of the crystal in my hand and put it back where it belongs. Beat, heart, and give life.”
The crystal went out.
And then it was all over.
Post Reply

Return to “SpellForce - Shaikan Cycle”