Having just survived a vicious attack, Dreibrand contemplates a new threat to his realm...
He dug the grave himself. The physical exertion provided his anxiety with an outlet. While the men gathered stones for the cairn, Dreibrand recalled the image of the male creature who had loomed in front of him. His weapon had been refined and beautiful but the being had been a wiry wild thing and naked except for a primitive bit of covering. This killer born of the Tabren was powerful, vicious, and utterly intimidating.
As Dreibrand shaped the grave, he wondered if Nufal’s haunted past had coalesced into a monster. The sable creature that had confronted him was the incarnation of every strange noise in the night. It made real every tingle of superstitious fear, and Dreibrand believed that it threatened everything that he loved.
After they buried Pel Ton, Dreibrand kept a vigil at the trailhead. For the first time in his life, he envied Shan’s power and wished that he were a rys so that he could send his mind over the land and find his friend. Repeating Shan’s name in his head, Dreibrand clasped the warding crystal on his sword and hoped that Shan would answer him—that Shan could answer him.