Shadows of Doom (Forgotten Realms: The Shadow of the Avatar, Book 1)
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It was the eve of the Time of Troubles. The chaos of spilled blood, lawless strife, monsters unleashed, and avatars roaming Faerûn was still to come. The gods were about to be summoned to a reckoning, and among them was Mystra, goddess of all magic. She knew it was likely she, along with the other gods, was about to be stripped of godhood.
Yet to shatter governance over magic would mean ruin for the world she loved. So Mystra made certain preparations, looking always for a worthy successor . . . yet until the Ascension of that worthy one, her power must be preserved.
A lone mortal must carry the greatest share of her divine energy, the silver fire, until the mantle of magic could be reclaimed. It was the fate of this mortal to risk being destroyed or driven wild, without warning.
It was Elminster's Doom."
nearby a man was sobbing, and smoke was so thick in the air that he could see nothing of trees or lights or the men who had preceded him. Then, without warning, fire came again. Kalassyn staggered in helpless, sightless pain, struggling to stand amid the roiling winds of the bright, searing blast. Off to the left, a man screamed, and an instant later Kalassyn fell over a huddled, armored form. He landed hard atop another guard, whose black armor was hot enough to burn. Kalassyn rolled off as
that.” The Lord of the High Dale went down the stairs, feeling cold eyes on his back all the way down. He kept his shoulders broad and square, taking satisfaction in his daring at turning his back on Angruin for so long. No one else in all the dale dared to. Jatham Villore looked out of his shop, up at the frowning bulk of the High Castle looming above the trees. “Yet the eating of bad bread may make a haunt of the dreams of even a lord,” he echoed the quotation. No, the word had been
earlier. “For freedom!” He swung the axe around his head and started to run, lurching and staggering as he wrestled with the hammering pain in his chest. There were Wolves still standing in his sight, still work to be done. “For the dale!” he cried again, wildly, as his running feet brought him to the Zhents. He took a sword blow on his raised axe and blundered on into the Wolf who’d swung at him, knocking the armsman down. A farmer who’d been fencing with that Wolf, scythe against blade,
heard a shout, and the shield shuddered under a heavy blow. The head of a quarrel appeared beside her arm. Had she not been holding the shield well in front of her, it might have pierced her breast. Sharantyr snarled and dodged against the parapet, risking a lowered shield for an instant, to look. At least one other crossbow was ready, but she’d have no time to worry about it. The three Wolves whose quarrels had just missed her had crouched down to winch their bows into readiness again.
Interrupted, they were rising with drawn blades, perhaps two paces away. Sharantyr snarled and hissed the wand’s command word again, staring at one Wolf under the edge of her shield. This time the wand brought her pulsing, purplish light and an intense feeling of icy cold. No missiles of force appeared, and her opponents did not slow or seem to feel anything. Sharantyr slipped the wand into her shield hand and backed hastily away, snatching out her own sword. They came at her in a rush.