Midnight Tides
Dramatis Personae Prologue
Frozen Blood
Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Prows of the Day
Chapter 6 Chapter 7
Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10 Chapter 11
All That Lies Unseen
Chapter 12 Chapter 13
Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16 Chapter 17
Chapter 18 Chapter 19
Midnight Tides
Chapter 20 Chapter 21
Chapter 22 Chapter 23
Chapter 24 Chapter 25
Epilogue Pagination

You may be written this way
Spun in strands sewn in thread
Blood woven to the child you once were
Huddled I the fold of night
And the demons beyond the corner
Of your eye stream down
A flurry of arachnid limbs
Twisting and tumbling you tight
To feed upon later
You may be written this way
Stung senseless at the side of the road
Waylaid on the dark trail
And the recollections beyond the corner
Of your eye suckle in the mud
Dreadful fluids seeping
From improbable pasts
And all that might have been
You could be written this way
Could you crack the carcass
And unfurl once more
The child you once were

Wrathen Urut

A young grey-skinned man is washed up on the beach. Withal and the Nachts arrive. He reaches down to the young man who wakes up screaming in terror and pain, followed by weeping. Withal tells the young man (Rhulad Sengar) that his master waits inland for them. It is also apparent from their conversation that Withal has a good idea of the nature of the weapon he has been asked to make and that he also has received 'gifts' from the figure in the tent, the Crippled God.

Rhulad learns that he has been chosen because the Crippled God felt that Hannan Mosag had betrayed him. He wanted the power of the weapon, not to use for conquest, but to make his people unassailable. To the Crippled God this was anathema. He continues by telling Rhulad of the power within the sword, that in order to wield them he has to die, in combat, again and again. Each time he dies, he will become stronger. At a gesture the mottled sword appears beside Rhulad, ambition glimmers on his face and he grasps the swords handle.

It is two days since the Warlock King's audience with Buruk the Pale and four days before the arrival of the Letherii delegation. Buruk is happier because he does not want war and neither does Hannan Mosag. Seren also feels as if a weight has been lifted from her shoulders. They make their way into the Edur citadel to sell iron when a procession can be seen approaching. Edur leave their homes to stand and witness the return of the Sengar brothers, wounded, and with a body on a sled.

Udinaas watches the party return, knowing that as a slave of the Sengar's he will have to dress the body of the dead Rhulad. The Warlock King and his K'risnan intercept the party. He asks Fear a question and is staggered by the reply. As Tomad Sengar joins them he hears Fear and Binadas tell the Warlock King of the attack on them by the Soletaken Jheck and their desperation for the sword. Uruth wants to know about the sword but the Warlock King will not discuss it. He wants the sword which Rhulad's hands will not release and suggests the hands be cut off, but as Rhulad died a blooded warrior this is not an option and Uruth will not hear of it. Udinaas takes the body to the House of the Dead.

Seren Pedac and Buruk discuss the scene they have witnessed and speculate on the sword and its importance to Hannan Mosag. The funeral will coincide with the arrival of the Letherii delegation.

Udinaas is preparing the body for burial. Gold coins to be burnt into the skin as befits a noble-born, blooded warrior. The other Letherii slaves dream of robbing the barrows to collect the gold coins and pay off their debts, but Udinaas warns them of the wraiths guarding the barrows.

The slave sets to work burning the coins into Rhulad's body, and finishes by coating the first side in wax.

Meanwhile Fear tells Trull that he feels the Warlock King thinks they betrayed him, and Trull voices his fears on the nature of the "gift" they had been sent to collect. He mentions the blade being wrought of strange shards trapped within the iron and speculates on the nature of the sorcery invested in it. The two brothers discuss Binadas healing and Trull drifts into thinking about the Jheck being Soletaken, musing over it being a gift that belonged to Father Shadow and his kin and not belonging to others.

Udinaas is ready to turn the coin and wax coated body over, the weight of the gold making it difficult to manoeuvre, and causing the wax to crack. He turns to the cauldron of wax to begin repairs when a snapping sound causes him to turn round, to view a crack all along the jaw line. As he approaches the head jerks back and the corpse screams.

Trull wakes from a nightmare of amber eyes and teeth, of fighting with charging wolves to hear screaming. Fear comes to wake him and they emerge to see figures running to the House of the Dead, Trull notices the Letherii Acquitor and Buruk approaching hesitantly. Mayen and Feather Witch are standing outside the open door. Inside they find Rhulad hunched over, covered in wax and gold coins, being talked to by the slave Udinaas. He removes the coins from Rhulad's eyes. Trull asks the slave to wait with Rhulad until others arrive. Rhulad still has sword and smiles to feel its grip. Uruth and Tomad Sengar appear in the doorway and with them is Hannan Mosag.