Chapter 30

The strange breeze from the south was disturbing for the dark cloaked figure standing at the top of his tower far in the north. His servants had reported Narva’s death almost a year before, but they had been unable to locate any trace of Naiya’Nal except for a ring that she had discarded where he would find it. One of the shadows shifted and stepped into the light to stand beside the cloaked figure. “The witches were thwarted at Mount Chozea,” the shadow said. “A disturbance among the Awa has ended their neutrality and shifted their anger against you. A man has ransacked the enemy outpost on Mayve and killed the enemy Dezhothokh. The last giant of Tayve has fallen and Erom’Reven has spread his wings to gather the skies.”

“Have there been any...” The cloaked figure began to speak, but suddenly stopped and turned his head to look at the shadow beside him. “Did you say that Dezhothokh was killed by a man?”

The shadow nodded. “He was pierced by a blade that was once held by Tathel. It was wielded by the man who has been crowned king over Tanarad. I too would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes.”

The setting sun partially illuminated the white face beneath the hooded cloak to reveal a slight frown. “Tell me of this king. Who are the people that accompany him?”

“The Red Exemplars and a handful of other soldiers,” the shadow answered. “There is also a woman, but I could not determine if she is Naiya’Nal or not. She does not bear any of your signs.”

Voth struck the shadow and threw it to the floor. “You were among those on Ka who healed a woman of her wounds. You should have known to look for the permanent marks of her injury rather than trinkets that she could have removed.” He scowled. “It has to be her. Today’s breeze from the south can only mean that the three rings have been combined.”

The shadow slowly rose to its knees. “If the time has come, then we are ready to leave the depths and fight once more.”

Voth walked over to one of his tables and ruffled through a box of old parchments. He found it near the bottom of the box, an ancient chart predicting the positions of the heavens at the time of the final prophecies. He frowned as he traced the patterns predicted centuries before. Three dragons, two against one, would fight the final battle before they fell from the sky and the stars lost their familiar shapes. He looked up and shook his fist at the clouds. A dark cloud began to form and spread outward from his castle.

“I did not spend five hundred years breeding an army in Etnyben for nothing. Awaken the others and assemble at Jarvzin,” he ordered. “It will take the powers of all darkened Lunari to blow the Huvudet armada north across the Kiremo Desert from Jarvzin and we must move fast. Send fifty thousand troops to Tanarad and the other three million to Nasad. The end has begun and I will darken the lands as we move. The king must be destroyed and the queen taken back.”

The shadow stood up on its feet and dived over the side of the tower. As it sped toward the black waters below, it let out a loud yell that filled the air. “Mis dapro me jovindru tarsil elo Vygoth burop me ruk dixbeld elo me derenorto elo Ka!”