…Dusk falls quickly as the mists in autumn and here in the sheltered valley the light is fading. The thin grass is wet and dew-cold as they alight from their ponies, setting them to graze and drink from the wide, slow moving stream. They leave the sheepskins over the ponies’ backs.
It will be cold tonight. The sky is clear and a smell of frost is in the air.
Those who are to remain set camp, kindling a small blaze…
…They cannot ride the last stretch of their journey,
the hill before them is steep, the path narrow
and strewn with rocks.
He looks back at his companions and smiles grimly.
They are clever, the Old Ones.
Their place is high above the valley, an island between deep gullies and tumbling streams, well protected. This is the only way…
and any who attempt it could be picked off one by one…
…But that is not their way, nor is he an attacker.
He, chieftain though he is, mighty in arms and father of many,
tonight he is a supplicant. He studies the calm, pale face of the Weaver. Tall, slender… with that faraway look in his eyes… eyes that see little of the world, yet see into Beyond. They meet his and the Chieftain looks away…he cannot hold that gaze…it sees too much. It sees his soul and the lies there…
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