The Callindra Chronicles Book 3: A Fall of Stars – Chapter 48

Durrak stared through the eyeglass, squinting his left eye shut against the glare of the rising sun.  The harbor was busy with crews intent on cleaning up the few remaining Taken who still shuffled about, mostly filling them with arrows or dispatching them with polearms.  The battle had been short and brutal, the Taken who had congregated around the docks were overwhelmed by the far superior numbers of warriors who had boiled up from the sewers.

“What do they be doing?”  He muttered, fumbling a cigar from his belt pouch.  

“That’s probably not advisable.”  Lorin said, frowning at the light yellow smoke that drifted lazily around the Dwarf’s head.

“They no will be seeing it.”  Durrak said with a shrug. “Surely they do be knowing the docks do be a lost cause.  The creature do hold sway over the deeps beyond.”

“They have some plan.”  Lorin mused, “Perhaps they’ve found a way to bypass the creature.”

“But what do be the purpose?”  Durrak asked, “They no do wish to leave and claim no to desire to be attracting attention, so why this?”

They watched the scene for a quarter candlemark before the answer was revealed.  A ship sailed toward the harbor under full sail. A white flag with a black hourglass containing red sand was its banner.  The Leviathan that waited to guard the deep water just outside the harbor writhed, making the surface ripple.

“They do be dead men.”  Durrak rumbled, “I no do be wishing that fate even on enemies.”

Before the beast could rise to shred the ship to splinters, it flickered.  There wasn’t any other word for it; the ship simply stopped being where it had been and appeared just outside the mouth of the harbor.  It was still under full sail and was piloted swiftly and expertly up to one of the long quays that extended out for deep water vessels. As before, instead of slowing gradually, it flickered and was abruptly docked with anchor and gangplank down.

“Thraingaar’s balls, what do that be?”  Durrak’s voice was a bit shaken. He was used to seeing displays of power, but this was beyond what he would have thought possible for any but the great adepts who had studied in this very city.  They used it so casually; not for a great last attempt to defend a city, but to dock a ship.  

“Disciples of Tido.”  Lorin said, his voice tight with tension.  “Dangerous heretics who twist reality about themselves regardless of the havoc it wreaks on others.”

“They do be what?”

“Tido is the goddess of time.”  Lorin said, still staring at the banner through his eyeglass.  “She does things. Terrible things. Her disciples get a measure of her power and they never use it for the benefit of others.”

“If they do be coming at the request of Ellen Eth we do be having problems.”  Durrak muttered, “Well, more problems.” He amended as the Elf raised an eyebrow at him.

“What possible reason would she have for bringing them here?”  Lorin mused, “Ellen Eth usually likes to be the most knowledgeable and powerful person in the room.  They obviously have power beyond what she can wield.”

“They do be bringing advantage that no do be available to her enemies.”  Durrak said, “It could be she no does know just how powerful their magic do be.”

Lorin rolled his eyes, “I’ve known you for over a month and I still get turned around by your way of speaking.  If they came at her request, I doubt she underestimated them. She is not the type of woman who makes mistakes of this magnitude.  If she brought them here, and it seems likely from the welcome they’re receiving, she has a plan for how to use them and for how to control them.”

“You do be right about one thing.  Ellen Eth no do be the type to make mistakes.”  Durrak puffed on his cigar and frowned at the harbor in thought.  “I do be having a bad feeling she do be using their power to fulfill her promise.”

“A bad feeling?  I thought you wanted to kill that dragon.”  Lorin said, “If she gives you the chance at Cerioth why would it be a bad feeling?”

“Because it do mean she do be taking steps to be making sure I do be successful.  Which do be meaning she do have plans for me after.” Durrak tucked the still burning stub of his cigar back into the pouch and as afterthought thrust a handful of dead leaves that had gathered in the corner of the balcony in as well.

“What’s your plan then?”  Lorin asked, leaning against the wall and crossing his arms.

“I do be intending to be making it clear that I no do be easy prey.”  Durrak said as a savage grin split his face. “If she do be bringing Cerioth here, I do be ready to be showing her exactly how dangerous it do be to be within reach of my Femurslicer.”

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