41: Dwarven Halls.

Ayrin’s body pitched into the dark water, unconscious. The slurry steamed around his hands, rolling in a sudden boil. Some part of Isiri’s mind, behind the shock and fatigue and medicines, coldly took in the scene. “Energetic overflow.” It diagnosed with no discernible tone. “Too much energy passing through one single point.” It sounded like…

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40: The Frozen Crown.

Ayrin felt the cold press into him from all sides but he ignored it as best he could, he could do nothing about the cold. He stood on a hilltop, exposed to the bitter wind. He would have liked the warmth of a fire but he had a job to do. Ayrin looked back, northwards.…

39: Madness.

Shep was talking. He had his back to Isiri and was leaning heavily on a balcony, staring out over Riverend. Night had fallen and the port-city was aglow with the soft collective presence of a thousand-thousand candles, torches and lanterns. "The hunter will find the boy and he will fall. The boy shall fight the…

38: Spears of the East.

The demon had its petty revenge in Ayrin's dreams. They were horrible things of fire and blood, dark nightmares that Ayrin woke from in fear. His heart leapt through his chest and his breath came cold and sharp, cutting off what would have been a scream. He opened the eyes and was met with a…

37: Clash at the End of The World

The wind whipped over the ancient walls of the ruins, howling as it tumbled into the meagre camp. It tore at the snow and old stones, threatening to collapse the walls. Ayrin eyed the stones with suspicion as he pushed snow from the centre of camp and helped Ashkr string out a waterproofed canvas low…

36: Voices in the Snow.

A now-familiar face greeted Ayrin. His own, mirrored and grinning. "We're going north." The demon smiled wider. Behind him, the endless white-blue of the north was broken by sharp spikes of grey. They were too far in the distance to make out any details but held the unmistakable shape of mountains, a jagged crown of…

35: Northerners.

Fear crawled up Ayrin’s spine and he sat up, tense as a drawn bowstring. The knocking stopped briefly, time enough for Ayrin to find his feet. Adrenaline pushed its bitter way through the ice in his veins and his weariness faded to the background. One breath seemed to drag on forever. The knocking. Something living…

34: Shelter.

Dreams of darkness faded to a too-warm morning. Cold nothingness turned to a close heat. The crackling of a fire filled the air. Ayrin opened his eyes and groaned, his throat now felt swollen and uncomfortable. The muscles of his neck felt stiff and torn, raw where the fibrous is rope had dug it's claws…

33: True North.

Ayrin felt sore, dry, shrivelled. He was curled on the cold ground, hugging himself, sobbing quietly. He was alive. He sucked in heavy breaths past a throat that felt too small for the air he needed. He was laying in the snow, sinking down deep. It chilled him to the bone. He forced his eyes…

32: Departure.

They wanted to execute Ayrin. That was what he'd heard. He was lying still in the red-dyed snow, bound in rope and iron chain. His mind went to the dark-wood gallows he'd seen in the stockade-turned-stockpile. The ropes and dark-winged birds. Superstition was thrown into the discussion. After all, the boy was a demon. It…