Lord of the Wolves Chapter Twenty-Six

March 11th, 2018  |  Published in Haventon Chronicles  |  1 Comment

Start | LoTW Chapter Twenty-Five | Index | LoTW Chapter Twenty Seven


Colin sat by his Aunt Rachel and listened quietly as the other’s plotted.​ He’d arrived with the rest of Maelin’s pack to help with the attack, but had soon realised that he was not going to be sent in either party. Apparently Lucy said he wasn’t recovered enough from his malnourishment to be going into a pitched battle yet and Maelin deferred to her. It made him feel useless but no amount of arguing had shifted her or Maelin on the matter.

“Hey, cub.”

Colin looked around and saw the young woman Maelin had introduced as Abigail standing there.

“Don’t look so downhearted,” she said. “They won’t let me help either. And it’s not your fault. I’d blame your parents from what I’ve heard.”

“Yeah, but at least you got to get the sword off the Summer Warrior,” he said. “I can’t help at all.”

“Really?” Abigail snorted and rolled her eyes at him. “That’s what you think? If you hadn’t had that vision Maelin wouldn’t have known to warn Lady Morna about the attack on the farm, and if she hadn’t burst an escape route through to us the Winter Warrior and I would both be dead. I’d say you did more than I did. Anyway Lu and Daniel will need help here, so we can still be useful.”

“Lucy’s staying?” Colin asked in surprise.

“Of course I am,” Lucy said. “There’s likely to be injuries and this is a good place to bring them to be treated.”

“Oh, of course,” Colin said. He looked over to where Philip was on his mobile phone to someone and frowned. “Who is he calling? Are you sure we can trust him?”

Lucy tilted her head. “Yeah, we can trust him, kid. And I would imagine he’s trying to contact Cerian. It’s what I would have done in this situation.”

“Cerian?…. You mean…” Colin trailed off. He had an inkling that if Maelin didn’t like people calling Sabren the blood traitor he probably didn’t like people insulting Cerian either.

“I mean his daughter, yes,” Lucy said. “The woman who broke with him to keep an ancient oath. It’s all a mess.”

“What?!” The exclamation from Philip drew everyone’s attention. He was staring at the phone in his hand with naked shock. After a moment he lifted it to his ear again. “Are you sure?” He listened for a moment then held it out to Maelin. “She wants to talk to you.”

Maelin stared at the telephone for a moment then reached out and took it hesitently. “C-Cerian?”

Even from where he was sitting Colin could hear the yelling that erupted from the phone. He wasn’t quite sure what she was saying though because she wasn’t speaking English. A snorting noise from Sabren made him look over at her to see her shoulder’s shaking with repressed laughter, so she apparently understood what was being said.

“Is that the language I speak when I have a vision?” he asked.

Lucy just nodded and watched the scene unfolding with a wry expression.

“Do you understand what they are saying?”

Lucy shook her head. “Languages aren’t my strong suit but I can hazard a guess. She’s probably chewing him out for being an idiot. A whole lot of pain and suffering could have been avoided if he had just got someone else to explain what had happened once he realised he couldn’t.”

“Pretty much,” Sabren said. “Cerian has always thought he must have a reason. I doubt she thinks it’s good enough, I certainly don’t, but it’s at least it’s semi-comprehensible. But those patsies of his…” She waved her hands meaningfully.

“I keep telling him to do something about the Outer circle,” Lucy said. “He’s lost control of most of them.”

“That’s almost precisely what Cerian told me.” Maelin handed the phone back to Philip. “My daughter has always been too forgiving for her own good.”

“That shouting didn’t sound especially forgiving,” Rachel said dryly.

Maelin chuckled. “She wasn’t threatening to rip my throat out which qualifies in this case.” He turned to look at David who was looking rather uncomfortable wearing a set of milky crystal armour that Morna had produced from somewhere. “Are you ready?”

“As I’ll ever be,” David said. “I wish I’d had chance to learn to use this properly.” He stroked the hilt of the Winter Blade. “I’ve never used a sword in anger and one lesson hardly seems enough.”

“You’ll be fine,” Keran said. “You can always ask it to take a form you’re more comfortable with for now.”

“What like a crystal stake?” David asked wryly.

“That’s one possibility but I was thinking of a knife actually,” Keran replied. “I know you can use one of them.”

“Oh, that’s a point.” David drew the Winter Blade and closed his eyes. The Winter Blade seemed to flow and shift before Colin’s eyes, becoming a large, well balanced knife. David looked at it for a moment before sticking it in his belt.

“You know the stake thing isn’t a bad call,” Morna said. “Iron and gold spikes would be a useful weapon given his sensitivity being silver and one he would be used to–” She broke off as Liam put a bag down in front of David.

“Just what I was thinking, Lady Morna,” he said. “Alchemically bonded rowan-gold-iron stakes – I don’t have occassion to pull these out very often. Not many ghouls in Britain and draugr are rare everywhere these days. But they will be a fair weapon against Mistwalkers as well.”

“Gosh, don’t ever show those to Moira,” Sabren said. “She’d think you were threatening her.”

“Well she did used to be a draugr,” he said. “Does she still have a sensitivity to iron then?”

“She does,” Sabren said. “Though the rest of her bloodline escaped it.”

David in the meantime was strapping several of the stakes onto his armour. “Hopefully I won’t need to use these,” he muttered.

“Hopefully,” Maelin said. “But I don’t hold out much hope.”

“This armour feels weird,” David said. “But I think I’m ready.”

“Okay,” Morna said. “We’ll sally forth to attack the summer palace but leaving enough people around to hopefully make Gwen think we’re guarding something. Once we’re fully engaged you, your pack, Lorekeeper Cheryl and David will slip out my backdoor and head for the Winter Palace.” She bit her lip. “Good luck everyone. We’re going to need it.”

* * *

Waiting was still terrible, Anna decided, as she stood near the door after the not so small army of allies that they had gathered had left to attack the Summer palace. She chewed on her nails and looked over at Tyler who was standing very publically with a large axe in his hands. The Daemon winked at her.

“I never got the chance to thank you for helping rescue me from Ragnar,” she said.

“It was my pleasure,” he said. “But​ hardly needed. You managed to rescue yourself.”

“You gave me the distraction I needed,” she said.

“Are you going with David?” he asked.

“I am,” she said. “He’s my friend and someone needs to watch his back.”

“Good,” he said. “I’d hate him to be going into this surrounded only by such dubious allies.”

“Yeah.” Anna glanced towards Maelin’s pack. “Though they are nothing like I expected.”

“No,” Tyler said. “There’s something interesting going on there. His core supporters seem to think a lot differently from the majority. I wonder what he hopes to gain from the monsters he allows to worship him?”

Anna just shrugged. “Who else is going with David?”

“I am,” Emma said. “Sal wanted to go too but Uncle Philip overruled her. I think he’s worried that she might let that temper of her’s get the better of her. But pretty much everyone is either here or with the attack on the Summer Palace.”

“It’s an infiltration, Anna,” Lucy said. “The more people go the more likely they are to be spotted.” She folded her arms and tutted softly. “And I really need to have a long talk with Sarah – and probably her superior as well – if I can. Someone needs to tell them what was really going on that day and what nearly happened to her.” She tilted her head. “I think Karen is going with you as well. At least she got Morna to let her use the bar’s generator to feed.”

Anna blinked a couple of times. “Wait? You mean all those ghost hunter shows are right about ghosts eating electromagnetic energy.”

“Something like that. I think the Night King could explain it better.”

“I’m sure he could. Though you might not understand the explanation,” Tyler added. “Liam tends to get a bit jargony when he gets going.” He paused as the faint sound of a horn reached them. “That’s the signal. You’d best make a move.”


* * *


The room Laurel found herself in as she retook her physical form was perfectly round with plain stone walls, unadorned but polished smooth. By contrasts an intricate design of green, red, yellow and white marble tiles was worked into the floor. Laurel was no mage but she could almost smell the magic coming off them. This was some sort of last line of defence to stop anyone reaching the thing that stood on a plinth at the centre of the room. The thing that had been calling her. The thing that was still calling her.

Laurel stood with her back pressed against the door to avoid disturbing the magical patterns on the floor and stared at the object at the heart of the room in confusion. It was a crown wrought in the form of a stylised garland of roses, the stems were a delicate filigree of gold and silver wires, the leaves appeared to be agate and the flowers themselves were carved rubies. Sorting through what she had heard from Michael and the others about the Court of Seasons she was certain this must be the Summer Crown, but why was it calling her? And how did she get across this floor to get to it. Somehow she doubted that her mist form would work to cross this mystical barrier.

She studied the pattern thoughtfully but it was meaningless to her. Certainly it mimicked the form of the crown, which was probably significant, but how was she supposed to reach the crown when she couldn’t cross the floor.

You must walk the path of thorns, lost child.​ The thought came to her unbidden. She stared at the crown suspiciously, suspecting that it was the source of the thought, then looked down at the floor again. The yellow marble tiles of the stylised thorned stem ended just in front of where she was standing and if she walked on them they formed a path that spiralled inwards and she would eventually reach the crown.

“Walk the path of thorns indeed,” she muttered, looking down at her bare feet and wished that her captors had not stolen her shoes. “Why do I think this is going to hurt?” She braced herself and stepped forward.

Sure enough the soles of her feet began to sting like she was walking on briars and looking down she could see blood smearing the tiles where she stepped. Another couple of steps and her feet were on fire, like walking on a path pf razor blades. It was all she could do not to flee back to the door, but somehow she knew that was not an option. She had commited herself and the only permitted way now was forward. She blinked away bloody tears and carried on, forging on through the increasing pain until she could barely keep enough focus to stay on the path. Then just as suddenly as it had started the pain was gone and Laurel found herself standing on the plain white tiles that circled the Summer Crown. She looked down at her feet and was only vaguely surprised to find no sign of blood.

“Okay.” She looked at the crown again. “You called me. I’m here. Now what?”


Start | LoTW Chapter Twenty-Five | Index | LoTW Chapter Twenty Seven

One Response to “Lord of the Wolves Chapter Twenty-Six”

  1. torvawk says:

    Becka!!!!!! noooooooo!!!!! damn it!! why? why there? you you you……
    Again! you are doing it to me again!!!

    LOL Great entry. I really cannot wait for the next one.

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