“Oh, I see you now,” (Leana) said. “He’s called Wycan, you say? And a young man? I cannot believe it.” “Here. Take my hand, we’ll go up so you can see for yourself.” Leana reached out, grasped his fingers. The instant she did so, Gom cried out, his life force streaming out—and down.
Gom couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. Was it a waking dream, coming upon him as they used to up on Windy Mountain? Out of nowhere, born of some urgent need, to warn him of some danger, or show him something hidden from his normal sight? “Gom, what is it?” Wycan’s faraway voice faded into echo. Then everything went dark. Note: Today, I started a new series on You Tube, presenting excerpts from books already posted in this space. Since at present I am still working on the Gom books, these presentations are based on them. The first features extracts from Chapter 7 of Book 1, Gom on Windy Mountain, focusing on the relationship between Gom and his brother Horvin. You can find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbLSpKhjZnk
The massive gate ground inwards, just wide enough to let men through in single file. A fresh squad moved out smartly, the returning crew went in. The gate groaned shut. The bars screeched back into place. Gom and Wycan were inside.
“We must move out, heal wounds, repair the damage between the lake folk and us. Take chances, offer what we have for mortal folk out here. Share our knowledge, put our gifts at their service.” “Yul Kinta? Helping mortals? Hah! It is not in our nature.” “Yet I once heard that you would turn aside to save a stranded minnow.”
“You mean you can hear what someone’s thinking?” Gom didn’t sound so friendly any more. “Not words,” Wycan explained quickly. “More like a feeling or mood. I’m not very good at it yet. I only just found that I can do it.” “Oh, really.” Gom was looking positively hostile.
Gom pulled the stopper and dripped its fulsome contents onto Wycan’s tongue. . . . Wycan swayed, grabbed for the table, and held on . . . Gom watched him anxiously. . . . “Are you alright?” Wycan looked up, glassy-eyed. . . . “I’m fine. . . . What is that muck?” “I can’t say. At least, not exactly, you see—” Gom broke off. The spell had worked.
In frustration, Wycan reached inside his shirt, pulled out the tag and chain. Cupping the chain in his palm, he pointed to the woman’s clasped hands. Gom stared down in dismay. Whatever Kyr meant, the woman who had held that chain was certainly Leana up in that mountain. Alive—or dead?
Going out the door, he paused. When Wycan was done bathing, there were questions to be asked—and answered. But how? Gom ran to the back of the workshop, fetched out chalk and slate, then ran downstairs.
Wycan was waiting. But what could Gom say? That he now knew to call him Althlafor? . . Leana had scored it through. . . . .Gom turned the tag over. Three words he found there, two together with a single one beneath. Ëalfgren, halfling, the first two words read. Under them, a short and simple name oft-used in the common tongue. Hal. Bonus Item: Harga’s Kitchen
The helmet pressed against his chest, Wycan eyed Gom over the top of it. “Well?” Gom stared back. “Oh my,” he whispered. Bonus Item: Wycan in his protective suit
. . . . At first glance, he didn’t seem so old, maybe a year or so younger than Wycan, but a second look at those eyes and he was not so sure. Frowning, the youth opened his mouth and let out a series of piercing shrieks. Wycan started, goosebumps popping out all over. Here was the second bird!
One hour to dawn, they mustered: Feyrwarl, Vala, Hanselor, and two dozen fellow-pilgrims. Yul Kinta journeying back to the ruins of their old home. Their baggage stowed, they mounted their horses and rode swiftly like fleeting shadows from their fastness by the High Vargue’s edge, heading west.