I woke up the next day with a snort, and it made Ripper jump where he’d curled up in my arms. Siolaan was tapping me on the shoulder, and the sun hadn’t even fully risen yet. I blinked blearily at the shaman, and before I could utter a weary expletive he attempted to whisper, “Up and at ‘em, future Magus! We’ve got some planning to attend to before we set out!”
The puppy murred in protest when I got up from the bedroll, but was content to snuggle into my warm spot. I tucked him in under the blankets, then paced over to where Siolaan sat with a map in front of him.
I’ll spare the details, because t
When Siolaan went around and woke everyone in the morning, I realized I had a problem on my hands. I groaned as I sat up, and looked around the camp. Siolaan was packing his bedroll away, Tanrakath, Varlian and Ghaelen were just rousing as well. It had to have been only a little after sunrise, nobody really wanted to be awake yet.
I spotted Laevrith. He had been awake on the third shift night watch with Siolaan, and had finished studying his spellbook and packed away his bedroll already. I got a bit of a devious smile on my face as I had an idea.
“Hey, Laevrith?” I called out to him, and he looked up from his book in sur
Working quickly and efficiently, the warband got the dead Roc bundled up and wrapped in a tarp looking thing, which I recently learned is called a kill drag. Oiled canvas folded in half over the carcass, which dragged easily over the snow and ice allowing the caribou to tow the Roc despite its grand weight. The kill drag was connected by ropes to the back of Ghaelen and Tanrakath’s caribous, the two riders pulling next to each other to make the haul easier on the animals.
When everyone was ready to go, I sidled up to Siolaan’s leg and looked up at him. I wanted to ride with him, I had about a thousand questions to riddle him w
I estimated that I had ten to twelve seconds to cross the distance between where I stood and the ridge, before the massive claws of the Roc that chased me speared into my spine. It was descending fast from out of the cloud cover, almost invisible against the dreary gray sky. If I hadn’t been out there actively looking for it in the first place, it likely would have swooped down and eaten me before I’d even seen it. It had a curved, razor beak to match the deadly talons, silvery and fast like lightning in a storm of feathers.
Twelve seconds. That was a bit on the generous side, since my pack and my chainmail weighed me do