The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
extended several hundred feet straight up until it ended in the plateau at the top.
The crack was big enough for him to slide through, but not big enough for a grown man.
He put the phasor in his right hand and side stepped with the left side of his body into the crack, and
continued in this manner for fifteen yards, until the rocks under his feet began to incline steeply. He climbed in
a side step fashion for another ten yards up the nearly vertical crevice, and then came to a halt. He knew Priskin
could never reach him here, but if Priskin took a couple of shots with his phasor at about a twenty-degree angle
he could possibly hit Sven. So, Sven waited and listened.
After a few minutes he heard Priskin calling out. "Where are you, boy? I just want to talk to you."
A few moments later Priskin called out again. "Are you in here?" His voice echoed through the crack.
Priskin aimed his phasor into the dark and fired, but it was too low.
Sven knew he was in a bad situation. He could go further up, in fact he could go all the way to the top, but
Priskin would hear him, which would make it easier to locate the correct angle and fire.
Sven aimed his phasor at what he guessed to be four feet from the bottom of the crack and fired.
He heard a thud and then something that sounded like a phasor clattering on the rocks. It lasted for a few
seconds and then stopped.
He waited, listening. If Priskin was pretending, he could easily shoot Sven when he came into sight. On the
other hand Sven couldn't wait here all night. It was starting to get cold and his mountain coat was lying on a
boulder near the pit.
So, he continued to listen as he made his way down the crack toward the opening and toward what he was
hoping would be a dead man. His dad had talked often about being brave; especially necessary for survival in
the mountains, and now was one of those times. He was either going to die or he wasn't.
As he stepped out of the crack he saw the man lying on the rocks - head sloping down and face up. There
was a hole where the phasor bolt had gone through the left eye, through his brain, and out the back of his head.
Sven stood staring at the man for short while. Finally the cold, which was getting more intense with the
passage of every second, reminded him he had to go to the villages and go quickly.
It was three nights later, and the turn out for the meeting included every clan in the Borgus Mountain Range.
As Rayz Moonmaid, of the Raven Clan, looked around she saw Clan Chieftains, who in past times having had
vowed death to each other were now sitting together, talking, laughing and actually building what seemed to be
a comradery. For centuries, the clans had been warring with each other over boundary rights, hunting territory,
water rights, stealing of women, and more recently mining territory. And if these were all resolved they would
fight over petty squabbles—anything for a hateful fight. But tonight, here they were, sitting together in peace
for the first time in history—for the first time since their ancestral fathers and mothers took to the mountains.
And they were here because Everette, known as Everette the Unifier, had raised a fury over the merciless
slaughter of innocent children.
Rayz knew that if things didn't go right, if just one chieftain reverted to his old ways, this meeting could turn
out to be an exploding powder keg. Could Everette, the giant man of the mountains, pull this off? Could he
keep the hatred of Hurd burning so fierce that they would stay unified? She damn well wasn't sure, but she was
for it if he could do it.
The giant lodge, which Everette had built specifically for this purpose, had filled up quickly. Because many
of the wives, husbands, and relatives of the chieftains had come along, which Everette hadn't counted on, all the
seats were taken. This forced other chieftains and their families to sit in the aisles or lean against the walls
along the back and the sides of the room. There were still more people filing in—those who weren't chieftains
nor related to chieftains, but had a desire to watch the proceedings.
Finally, Everette's assistant, Tosk, noting that all the chieftains were present, had to close the doors to keep
others from crowding in.
Three years previously, when Everette started his unification process, Rayz had been the first one to sign a
treaty with him, joining their two clans. She had become disgusted with the continual fighting and killing
between the clans. So, when Everette came to her with his plans, she readily accepted, but with reservations.
She doubted he could make it happen, but as it turned out, what she overlooked or underestimated was Hurd's