The sun was just up when Gom awoke, his dream strong upon him. “Mother,” he said drowsily. “At last I know.”
“The whip snicked past his ear, but he never felt it, for in same moment the horsemen, the wide dawn sky and the waving plains vanished like smoke, and he with the cίto were engulfed in a whirl of sound and light.”
Jofor smiled coldly. “You like to dance, Gom Gobblechuck of Windy Mountain? Then you shall dance for us.
A huge colt moved up through the cluster. Gom gazed at it in awe. It was totally black save for a gleaming silver ringmark on the brow, and stood a full hand above the others . .
A refugee, a short-term stowaway in the solahinn’s caravan: that’s all he’d meant to be, but now, without intending it, he was their prisoner.
…a figure moved out from the back wall, a burly shape dressed in black shirt and bright green britches. Zamul!
Gom turned to run back through the door, but the figure darted forward and caught him by the arm.
That bird was huge, with wings bigger than any raven’s. It couldn’t be, Gom told himself, slowly sitting up, but even as he tried to get to his feet, it came at him—the skull bird!
“It was just like her,” (Gom) murmured brokenly.
“No, it wasn’t,” Ganascz answered. . . . “You think your mother would treat you thus?
Young one, just you wait. When at last you meet with Harga, you will know the difference.”
Book 2 from Tales of Gom in the Legends of Ulm
“If Katak is after magic, why does he want your treasure?”
“Because . . . from precious gold and silver and priceless gemstones is much magic made.”
As Gom lay there on his back, water running from him, the huge beast leaned down his long neck and peered closely into Gom’s face.
“Harga?” he said.
He pictured the bone-white skull hovering in the darkness, above whatever hideousness it possessed for a physical body, its dark eye sockets staring toward the tunnel, waiting for Gom to emerge.
Gom blinked to accustom himself to the darkness, and looked about. With a cry, he ran the length of that short space and back again.The cleft was empty.
Zamul was gone!
The death’s-head stared in on him, two dark eye sockets set in a bone-white skull. As Gom stared back at it, the skull grew brighter, and brighter, exploding into silver light, filling him with terror.
“Them eggs, Gom,” she said. “What shall I do about them?”
“It’s like this: for every one you take, leave one.” Gom’s voice caught. “That’s all.”
“It is? Well, I never!”
. . . He took off the rune and flung it into the darkness. . . . For a moment he lay rigid, feeling guilty, and not a little afraid, half-expecting something bad to happen. But nothing did. With a defiant shrug, he turned over and went to sleep.
. . . Gom began to struggle, twisting in the man’s grasp, and as he did so the sun caught the silver bracelet on the man’s upraised arm: a plain wide band . .
except that on its center was embossed the unmistakable shape of the death’s-head.
“Wanderer?” Mudge repeated. “What kind of no-good occupation is that to make a woman leave her boy with neither mother nor father now to tend him?”
From Air and Earth comes seed;
By Fire and Water is tempered:
In Wood is kernel’s secret essence known, And purpose comes to light.
“Suddenly a cold came upon him, colder than the chill of the winter plain. Icy hands touched him, as though exploring his shape . . .”