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woman lunged at him suddenly, and as she did so, her form blurred and became indistinct. The Ranger adroitly sidestepped as she leapt, and she fell onto the ground. When she got back up, she was no longer a beautiful young woman. The illusion of the scanty clothing that she wore had disappeared, and the warm, pale tone of her flesh had gone a milky white with shimmering highlights. She no longer had long thick black hair, but a shifting mane of salt crystals, and her facial features had
wisely," was all the gamemaster said in reply. "Gith's blood!" the templar swore in frustration. "This is a stupid game!" She threw down her dice and left the table. "We seem to have an empty chair," the gamemaster announced, calmly, glancing at the onlookers. "I will join the game," Ryana said as she sat down. The other two players elected to remain. They paid ten ceramics apiece for the privilege of creating new characters and remaining in the game, though they lost not only their previous
found the spot where they had left the road. And it was to the right. He grinned. Just as he had anticipated. They had doubled back. Did they really hope to fool him that way? However, his grin soon faded when he saw that their trail led not back the way they came, on a course doubling back parallel to the road, but north, toward the slopes of the lower foothills. They were going in the exact opposite direction, toward the mountains! Why? After a while, he came to a pagafa grove, and there the
him? If he wished, he could return to the villichi convent in the Ringing Mountains, where he had been raised. They would always accept him there, yet he was not truly one of them and never could be. And somehow, he believed his destiny lay elsewhere. He had sworn to follow the Path of the Preserver and the Way of the Druid. Could there be any higher calling for him than to enter into the service of the one man who stood alone against the power of the sorcerer-kings? The Sage was testing him.
curiosity. Kivara was a willful creature of the senses, and any sort of stimulation fascinated her. She was a child in many ways, and utterly amoral. However, the Guardian and the Watcher could not countenance such a relationship, and so Sorak was left with loving Ryana the only way he could-spiritually and chastely. He knew that she returned that love, for she had broken her vows for him and left the convent, following his trail because she could not bear to be separated from him. She knew the