Firedrake 1

Seven years will have passed when we meet up with Tidac again. He is a young man now, on the run from Melcer, who has placed a price on his head. He has no wish for revenge, and no wish to become enmeshed in the affairs of the Valley of the Menhir. To him, his father’s lands hold only bitter memories of being different and alone. He remembers nothing of the  powers he possesses and used briefly as a child.

Marquart is dead. The few who knew him well have mourned him. His own son has not. Melcer is alive, and in command of the Valley; when Tidac thinks of Melcer, he sees his father’s face, and knows fear.

Little else in the world holds any terror for him. He has learned many lessons in the seven years since his escape from the fall of the citadel, but the reader won’t know what those lessons are for a long, long time.

Here are the opening paragraphs of the next section of Valley of the Menhir, so you can at least get a glimpse of the character around whom the menhir series really revolves.

The Retscon Road

19.

In the third hour of the morning, with a good part of her chores behind her, Mynna stepped outside of the inn to let the crisp air wash about her and to breathe something besides peat smoke. The sun was just up, low and red in the southeast, sending slanting light that emphasized the dunes and hollows of the snow. It had been a deadly night, cold and clear with harsh crackings as the trees froze harder in wind that rolled in from the Retscon and the land of the Dzikakai. It was still harsh; a breeze licked around her and snapped the edge of her cloak. The long winter had truly begun.

Mynna shuffled her feet, enjoying the brittle crunch of the snow. The sky was pale blue green, unclouded but tinted by high ice crystals. Across the rolling plains of snowdrifts no tracks remained after the night wind had done its work. In the distance the blanket of snow was seamed by lines of bare trees where watercourses would run in springtime and hold their precious moisture through the brown summer.

She strained her eyes for movement. Sometimes, when the snows were new and heavy, and the deer had not yet lost their autumn fat, there would be a chance for hunting. Even the old men of her village could track and kill a deer on such a day as this.

There was movement. She reached to draw her cloak tighter and turn to get the men, then hesitated. This was no deer.

It was upright and furred, but it was not a red bear. It strode too tall and it did not sink into the snow. From time to time, it stumbled. It came up the valley of the River of Souls, straight toward her. Of course it was a man, and he was heading for the smoke that curled and whipped above the chimney of the inn. But to Mynna, he seemed to be striding straight toward her. more tomorrow

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