The Coming Storm
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Elon of Aerilann, Elven advisor to the High King of Men, helped negotiate the treaty between his people, Dwarves, and men. He suddenly finds that fragile truce threatened from without by an unknown enemy and from within by old hatreds and prejudice. With the aid of his true-friend Colath, the wizard Jareth, and the Elven archer Jalila, he searches for the source of the threat.
To preserve the alliance, though, Elon will have to choose between duty and his Elven honor...
needed to be told, as one they ran for the doors. Guards were trying to lead their horses away. Laes, instructed to stay, fought the Guard trying to lead her while Smoke kicked. Ailith and Jalila sprinted, leaped and vaulted onto their horses, reached to wrench the reins free. Zo reared, pulling his reins out of the hands that held them, striking out with his hooves. Jareth scrambled awkwardly into the saddle no sooner than Zo’s hooves hit the ground. The Guards on the parapets turned,
his look didn’t bode well. “I did,” he said, and eyed Daran warily in return. “Lady Ailith,” Daran said. Restraining a small frown at something she heard in his voice, Ailith bowed her head a little, “Your Highness.” She didn’t like the way he looked at her, and something, some instinct warned her that whatever he was about to say wouldn’t be good. A chill went over her and her stomach knotted. This would be difficult and uncomfortable. Daran disliked both emotions intensely. Such a little
chancellor’s own feelings on the matter were mixed. Rumors were whispered through the city that something unusual was happening in the high reaches, in the mountains along the borderlands. Nothing much yet, wild stories but they had reached his ears. It was enough to worry him. He said nothing to the King. It wasn’t his place. Daran turned away as soon as the man left. He scowled briefly at the masters of the treasury. Not yet. He looked out the window to the distant rolling sea beyond. It
in surprise. Intent on the reports from Doncerric, Elon looked up. They’d only returned yesterday but their people healed quickly. He looked more closely. Colath was himself, but he’d changed. It was subtle but it was there. He was a little thinner, the hollows of his cheeks a little more pronounced. It was something in the eyes. He’d lost one of his people and it had marked him. As it must mark all who led. Elon knew something of it, for it had been his loss as well. For Colath, though, it was
when he returned in the early dawn it would have risen again and be ready to bake. Other loaves awaited his attention. The fire was banked, so the light was low here, too. On light feet she darted across and slid out the kitchen door. To stand for a moment in the shadow of the wall and let her eyes adjust to the shift in light. Most of the folk of the castle were done for the day and had retired to their quarters or their homes in the village. The guards on the wall looked outward, not inward,