Thursday, April 12, 2018



What do you seek, that you come to the Lake of Ice? she asked, and didn't flinch when her impatience made her voice snap and boom across the ice.

The enchantment brought the image of a man in the Warhawk's brown and gold livery to her mind's eye. He dropped to both knees on the pebbly edge of the Lake of Ice.

"The Warhawk has sent me to ask you to bring his heir to him, Queen of Snows. Treachery rises in the Court. He is ill, and his enemies will trick him into naming one of them heir unless his son comes to him now."

The man, far too handsome to be trusted, in Meghianna's opinion, was an unfamiliar face. She pegged him as a Moertan, or of the new generation of Rey'kil Valors who hadn't trained at the Stronghold. She pushed a little against the enchantment, to test the harmonies of the Threads wrapped around him.

Her impatience turned to anger when she found the Threads too tight, held with an iron fight so they didn't chime at her testing touch. He couldn't tell that she had tested him, and that was a foolish trick she would never have allowed one of her students to use.

Liar. She gripped the arms of her chair to keep from leaping to her feet or reaching out physically to slap him. I am well aware of the health of Efrin Warhawk, who knows his heir is not in the Stronghold.

Her voice crackled and snapped across the ice and made the pebbles of the shore vibrate. The false messenger jumped to his feet, visibly trembling now, and looked around him in all directions. Meghianna's magically produced voice rang off the surrounding high walls of rock, the boulders, and shredded the mist that clung to the shore of the Lake of Ice, so that the bodies of the enemies of the Stronghold were revealed. She thought it particularly gruesome to leave skeletons scattered all around the shore in their rotting shreds of finery and rusting fragments of armor and weapons, but Meghianna had learned never to cast aside any tradition of her predecessors. There were plenty of places along the Lake of Ice where the inhabitants of the Stronghold could walk in undisturbed tranquility and enjoy the landscape. The only places visitors would ever see were filled with the fragments of cruel punishments and death.

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