1.0.7 – Life’s Debt  

Rina and the old hunter held conference at the edge of our hollow, well away from the edge of the broken circle. They spoke in low voices that I didn’t listen to, Rina’s tone purring, confident, the old man’s harsh and gruff. See, what was his name again, lass? Rina just told us.    “I…don’t […]

1.0.6 – Stir the Serpent  

Fury hung on my belt like a lump of lead. Aidan hovered at my  left, just at the corner of my eye. Grannine wrapped Herself around me from behind, while I stood with my right hand on Eris’ shoulder. The four of us, and the fifteen druids without the circle, watched, as Rina pressed her […]

1.0.5 – Intercede  

Fourteen druids descended into the hollow. Talvec was the first to approach us, hands empty, hood thrown back. He offered us a bow, hands at his sides.   “Dermot of Raven Lake. Well met on the common path again.”   “Hell of a path, Talvec of Starfurrow.”   “Thank you for vouching for us.” Eris offered her hand. […]

1.0.4 – Harvest

The old druid nodded. He beckoned to the woman who accompanied him. She was only just his height, features hidden by hood and shawl, hands hanging loose at her side. No weapons on her belt, not that she’d need any. “What is she, my Dermot?” Grannine broke a silence I hadn’t realized She’d been keeping, […]

1.0.3 – Flint Knife 

The forest bounded up and down with each step. I didn’t bother to ration my strength; I ran flat out, scabbard in one hand, the walking staff abandoned.   Cold air sank its claws into my throat, gnawed down to my lungs. I blew it back out again hot and sulfurous, crashing down the old forest […]

1.0.2 – Birdsong 

Dawn came slow. More than once, I saw the light of it through shut eyes, groaned, and rolled over, with Grannine’s quiet laughter chasing me back to sleep. Birds rustled and sang in the trees all around, searching for the last scraps of food before winter came on. I did my best to ignore their […]

1.0.1 – Cold Hands 

Small hours of the morning, in the river-side stretch of forest at the southern edge of Near Runing. The wind in the trees was a breath of winter, a warning. I felt the fear of it in my bones, a fear that wasn’t only for myself, which was new. New and unpleasant; fear for them […]

Prologue – Mariead Dawnsong

Music had always been mine. I could always sing. To lift my voice in music, for any occasion, large or small, joy or sorrow. The Church of the Saints taught that it was holy to sing in praise of God’s work. I had no shame to bury, no fear to overcome. I could be free […]