on with glee.
They rode what seemed like ten bells, and it all merged in his mind into a
blend of rushing wind and the stench of the animal's sweat. They had begun
to ride through snow-covered fields, a sure sign that they were nearing the
N'one called a halt, and about time as Twado was about all in.
"Gaah," he muttered, as he slithered off his mount. "tis a rest I need, and
Svana and Luna did not seem to hear him. They were busy arguing quietly.
"It's freezing here," moaned Svana, "I said we should have gone via the
river Upus and Sweeland. They would not have expected us to go that way"
"So just to save your own skin, you would risk such a waste of time!" Luna
was trying to contain her anger, " We have not the time or supplies for any
length of journey. This way through the Safo range will take long enough as
"Err… we have no supplies…" interjected
She looked around, N'one had chosen a small
dip in the land to rest. It had begun to snow thick and fast, now that they
were close to the hills, and all around her began to the look blurred and
N'one interrupted her thoughts, "Ladies, when you have a moment to spare,
we must look for a suitable place to camp for the evening bells, as it is
but a few candles 'till the fall of the
lightbringer, and travel under those
conditions is impossible. We need to make the most of the lightbringer's gift."
"A sound notion," Lobsang interrupted, "as sleep is of the moment, but
provisions are also of import and we have but enough to moist the lips of a
"Tis a ponderable problem," replied N'one, "and one which I have given much
thought. We should…" He broke off, eyes wide.
"I hear it too, N'one," whispered Svana, "The assassins are drawing
"I thought we would have had until morn," said Luna.
"Quick," said Twado, leaping up, "it is our scent they are following, we
must hide in the snow."
N'one was quick to see the sense of this, as the snow neutralises scent.
They all rushed to cover themselves. Twado could hear the silent screams
closing in, as he buried himself, taking care that none of himself
protruded. The blood-curdling howling homed in on the band…
"Err… What in hellspawn are you doing? Are you
all suffering from snow-blindness!?" enquired Lobsang, " What about the
N'one shot Twado an evil glance.
"Shattered hellbandits!" exclaimed Twado, and collapsed in to the snow.
"Methinks he is still suffering from excessive Minerva; and you N'one? Have
you been ingesting vast quantities of that putrid liquid?" wondered
Lobsang, busily readying his fans, "Do you have any shots left in your
"Only a couple, three at most," looking up.
"Just as well it is only snowbeasts chasing our scent and not assassins. I
don't know if anyone noticed, but there was nothing even close to our
shrebberidder's speed in the stables."
N'one readied his skewers and Svana leaped to the front, sword at the
"We shall sup well tonight," smiled Lobsang.
Bordran Olaween whistled a merry tune to himself as he strolled along
North-Rat Alley - one of the many evil-looking alleys in Prendersbard - on
his way to collect his sister from her job at the airship builders.
He passed a walnut mill. He wasn't entirely sure what a walnut mill did,
and he had puzzled over it every time he passed it by. Why in the name of
anything cleansed did walnuts (or any other type of nut for that matter)
need milling? Perhaps he'd ask around next time he was in the Spinge Mallet
- someone was bound to know.
Rhomina was waiting outside the shipyards, and they chatted of advances in
construct technologies while walking back.
While, like Twado, Bordran was a ranger, he also had a trade of miniature
constructs. Rho (as he called her) specialised in constructs of a grander
scale, such as airships. Both had come to Prendersbard to take part in the
construct boom. That was 5 puttocks ago, but though the growth had slowed,
it was still the most advanced city in the known lands.
"Succulent!" beamed Svana, fat from the dripping hunks of roasted snowbeast
flesh dripping from her fingers.
All agreed. Except for Luna who did not eat the flesh of animals slain in
anger. She was eating leaves.
Twado leant back with a contented sigh. They had
found a comfortable cave on the edge of a gully, and after sackcloth had
been draped over the entrance and a cooking fire lit, it was almost
pleasant. Of course there was the strange screeching noise and the
occasional glimpse of red eyes from the dark far end of the cave, Luna had
assured him that they were simple Skrites and of not harm to anyone. But
remembering how she had laughed as she had kneed his already broken nose,
he did not feel inclined to trust her.
Luna, seeing Twado fingering his nose, smirked, "You might want to get that
reset when we reach Belltown, it appears to have