Chapter 1 7

Tizer and Riklaun spoke in hurried whispers, anxious to reach Modar before Ebonstarr made her next move. Riklaun, along with Starrbolt, Nalynn, and Brisid decided to search for Modar.

"Rik, remember that Rand still has vital information concerning Ebonstarr's activities," Tizer pointed out. "I will go on to Nightsedge to find him. I don't believe you two were on the best of terms anyway."

Tizer glanced at Sheilandri and Dae Draug. "Will you two accompany me to Nightsedge? If this is just another of Ebonstarr's tricks, we are more likely to prevail if we are a group."

The two Elves nodded and Tizer, Sheilandri, and Dae set out towards Nightsedge. After walking a few paces, Dae stopped, chuckling, and informed the other two Elves that it would be faster to ride Klack, his eagle, who was waddling awkwardly along the path beside them.

"Well that is indeed a bright idea!" Sheilandri giggled.

Even after the day's grueling battle, Tizer had to crack a smile at his silliness. They all climbed upon Klack's giant saddle, and he soared upward towards the sky. From their vantage point, they could see Nasher's castle, a small grey spec against the green of the forest and the blue of the ocean. They flew for two hours and landed in Nightsedge.

Other than a bit of tangled hair from the blowing wind, each Elf was intact. As they approached the west gate, they encountered a group of drunken Orcs, looking rather disheveled, marching towards them with sword tips bared. Pulling an arrow from his quiver, Tizer notched his bow and shot the missile at the orc leading the pack. It felled him in one blow.

However, the rest of the smelly bunch did not realize that their leader had fallen, and simply continued marching, trampling his body in the process.

Sheilandri summoned a cone of freezing wind to blow the foul creatures away. Several got caught up in it and they were tossed high into the sky, never to be seen again. "Well, that was effective, perhaps we need a bit more power..." Dae pondered.

As the remaining Orcs advanced on the three Elves, Dae whispered a command in Klack's ear and the giant bird rose to its hind legs and let out a deafening roar. It flapped its wings with awe-inspiring force, and the Orcs could not hold their footing. They were blown backwards with such velocity that they were skewered upon the tangled branches of the trees in Nightsedge's forest.

"Poor creatures... Why they even bother is beyond me," Tizer chuckled nervously. Sheilandri winked at him and said, "They were drunk out of their heads. We probably appeared as mugs of ale in their deluded eyes."

With the Orcs no longer a threat, the three Elves entered Nightsedge through the west gate. They proceeded to the third house on the left and knocked three times quickly and twice slowly, as Riklaun was instructed by Gmanfandan in the Rankled Boar Inn several days earlier. They waited several seconds, and when there was no sound of activity coming from within, they again knocked three times quickly and twice slowly. This time the door opened a crack and a raspy voice asked, "What is the password? I must have the password to let you inside."

Tizer quietly spoke the word "Omens" and a hand appeared to gesture the trio inside...

Continue to Chapter 18