It was now half a week after the mud disaster.
Currently watching the scene below them in dismay, Talenn caught a disgruntled huff from beside him. Both of them were lying flat, their stomachs pressed into the ground. There really wasn’t much to conceal them, only the elevation was keeping them out of sight of what was below.
It was a good thing the wind was blowing the other way.
‘I hate surprises,’ the Sunhawk muttered, quietly.
‘You do?’ Talenn said. It wasn’t really a question. He didn’t even bother hiding the sarcasm that dripped from every syllable.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yet you insist on inflicting them on others.’ Me, especially, Talenn wanted to add. He didn’t say that out loud, though.
‘That’s different,’ the Sunhawk shot him a roguish grin over his shoulder. ‘Let’s go. There’s nothing more to learn here.’
‘How can it possibly be different?’ Talenn grumbled.
They carefully retraced their steps. From this direction, the small pack of golshaes might not have caught their scent but if they made too much noise they were certain to hear them. And seeing how they were both on foot, they’d have no chance of outrunning them if one, or all, came charging.
‘They’re between us and the next village,’ Kiras stated gruffly once he’d consulted the map after their return. He hadn’t much cared for the news the two scouts had brought back. But he didn’t seem surprised by it. It had only been a matter of time now that they’d gotten so far from Litania.
‘Of course they are,’ Talenn said, throwing his hands up in annoyance. It seemed as if, every step of the way, there was always something.
‘Can we not go around them?’ Miriya asked. She tried seeing the map over the dwarf’s shoulder.
‘We could attempt to lure them away,’ Erendael suggested. He was stroking his chin thoughtfully, as if picking at a beard he didn’t have. ‘We really only need to draw them away far and long enough to get past them.’
‘Golshaes? Why did it have to be golshaes?’ Ardian shuddered.
‘Nasty creatures,’ Kiras agreed. He spat on the ground. ‘Did ye get a good look at the beasties? Fast or slow ones?’
Sharing a glance with the Sunhawk, or trying to, he’d gotten used to his presence enough that he didn’t even remember about that blasted hood, Talenn shook his head.
‘We didn’t get too close,’ he said. ‘Mostly average sized, I’d say. There were only two or three of them.’
‘Four,’ the Sunhawk corrected him.
‘Stop interrupting me,’ Talenn snapped. ‘I was getting to that. I meant two or three types. But yes, four individuals.’
‘Either way, they’re between us and the next village and, even more unfortunately, they’ve set up camp right on the road,’ Kiras said, staring down at the map.
The Sunhawk nodded again. ‘Though, going by how overgrown it was, we didn’t realize that at first. Right where it goes into the old gully, too. Maybe we could wait until there’s a really big rainstorm,’ the Sunhawk threw an angry, unseen, glare at the grey sky. ‘That shouldn’t be long at this rate. And then they’ll all get washed away!’
He sidled out of the way of the jab coming his direction, chuckling.
Of course, it’d take a lot more than a bit of rain to dislodge any golshae. And the last thing they wanted was having to try to outrun a dam break. There were still a few around, though none in this area. Without fail, they were all old, large scale, constructions that seemed quite impossible when you saw your first.
Lord of the Wind
is set during the Fifth Age of the Seven Stars Universe. Most of the great civilizations have fallen. Magic users have become rare and the world is slowly being overrun by golshae’s – monsters born from people and creatures alike.