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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Valdemar world, characters, events belong to Mercedes Lackey and Tor Publishing

Tests of Blood - 15. Chapter 15

“You think they might be heading this direction, sir?” The middle-aged man asked Dalen with a frown on his face. His dark beard was liberally streaked with gray, and he stroked it down near where it reached his chest as he considered what Dalen had been telling him.

“If they haven’t reached here yet, Goodman Balder, they won’t.” Dalen said with more confidence than he really felt. Every lesson he’d ever had in leadership, no matter the source, said expressing confidence was essential. Around them the farmyard bustled with activity in the hot afternoon. The presence of nearly sixty armed troops was attracting a lot of attention, but a few short words from Balder had sent the other people scurrying back to their work. In the fields, men and boys were doing what looked like preparations for the harvest. The wheat certainly looked ready to be taken in and prepared for shipping.

“You sound mighty sure of that, sir.” Balder said skeptically. “I can’t help but wonder how you can be so sure when most of our army is down south fighting for those heathens.”

“Those heathens saved Valdemar when we needed their help.” Dalen’s retort was sharper than he intended, but he didn’t wince like he wanted. Instead he fixed the man with a steady gaze, just short of a glare.

“That’s not what I’ve been reading.” The man said firmly and Dalen raised an eyebrow briefly. Balder took the hint and explained further. “We may be in the middle of nowhere, but we do have schools and we do learn to read. Every now and then, the peddlers come through here with books and papers and the like. We buy the ones that are not profane, of course. It makes for something to do in the evenings, to read of the goings on in the rest of the kingdom.”

“What pray tell, have you been reading that said the Shin’a’in didn’t help us during the Ancar Wars?” Dalen asked and almost wished he hadn’t dismounted from Moana. The extra height would have made him more intimidating. As it was this man was tall, and he looked Dalen in the eyes without having to look up.

“Now, they didn’t really provide us much in the way of troops at all, did they?” Balder asked with another stroke of his beard. “Then, well those nasty mage storms, why my grandfather spoke of a beast that came with one of those change circles. You can even see what was one of them just north of here. What good did the Shin’a’in do with them? You can’t tell me the Shin’a’in did some magic to help us. They don’t use magic, never have and never will.”

“Do these stories you have been reading leave out what they did to help us stop the storms?” Dalen asked with an arched eyebrow since he didn’t have a beard to stroke the way the man was doing.

“What?” The man scoffed. “So they let us onto their precious plains? Where’s the sacrifice in that? If they hadn’t, we could have just sent troops down there and taken what we needed like the Black Kings are doing now.”

“Really?” Dalen asked in total surprise and the man took his rhetorical question for a real one, nodding in support of his words. “Tell me, Goodman, how would we have gotten the troops down there?”

“Well, I s’pose we could have had our own mages build one of those Gate things.” Balder stated after a moment of thought. “I thought you would have known that, being who you are and all.”

“What I do know, is that without the cooperation of the Shin’a’in, we’d be lucky if the Mage Storms had stopped by now.” Dalen said angrily. How blinded was this man by some stupid tract, and who had written the drivel. “Since I am descended from the primary Herald-Mage of that time, I would remind you that Herald Elspeth was the only mage Valdemar had that could have made a Gate at that time, and she would have been the last to support sending an army against the Shin’a’in.”

“That’s not what your lady mother says, lad.” Balder said with a snort and a shake of his head.

“What does my mother have to do with this?” Dalen asked in shock.

“Why, she wrote the pamphlet that said the Shin’a’in have never done anything worthy of the cost we’ve been paying to keep the Black Kings off of them.” Balder stated flatly and Dalen rocked back on his heels. Lee reached out and steadied him while Bard Lackley looked on in surprise as well.

“Pardon me, Goodman, but would you have a copy of this pamphlet still?” Lackley asked while Dalen closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose and praying that his mother really had nothing to do with this.

“Lara, get me that copy of ‘What Have They Really Done for Valdemar?’!” Balder said loudly and Dalen flushed. That wordy title had his mother written all over it, and he barely suppressed a grown. Fifteen minutes later, he was resisting the urge to throw the detestable five-page pamphlet to the ground, or burning it in a fit of mage fire.

“I have never read such unadulterated balderdash in my life.” Dalen fumed as he handed it over to Lackley who had been reading it over his shoulder.

“Talk about substandard type.” Lackley said with a shake of his head as he took the pamphlet. “Why, this isn’t even standard ink. It’s some cheap imitation. Look at the way it smears, and the quality of this paper! I swear this was not done on a Bardic Press.”

“No, it says on the back it was done on Free Press.” Balder said, pointing to the bottom of the back page where small type proclaimed it was indeed by some group calling themselves the Free Press. “The peddler that sold it to us, he says the Free Press is a new organization that doesn’t depend on the Crown for its presses, so they can print the whole truth.”

“That sounds like an insinuation that Bardic Presses do not tell the whole truth.” Lackley said in a dangerous tone.

“I wish they didn’t some times.” Dalen said angrily and took a deep, calming breath before looking Balder in the eyes. “Tell me, Goodman, who led the mages that entered the Dhorisha Plains and stopped the mage storms?”

“Adept Firesong, one of the Hawkbrothers did that.” Balder answered immediately. Dalen nodded in appreciation of the fact that the man at least knew the basics of Valdemaran history. “He led a team of Karsites and ex-Imperial mages as well as some of our own Valdemaran folk down there. Herald Elspeth and her Hawkbrother consort went to Hardorn to hold the line there. All the histories say that, including that pamphlet.”

“Yes, it makes quite a deal of the efforts of the Hawkbrothers.” Dalen agreed. At least his mother had not tried to pervert that truth as well. “Now, do you remember what caused the Mage Storms?”

“Uh, they were some type of recoil from Mage Wars that happened a long time ago, before there was even a Valdemar.” Balder said after a moment. “I never really understood that part of the history lessons when I was a boy. Plus, all that magic stuff, well that’s the concern of the likes of you, sir, not regular folks like us.”

“Thousands of years ago, a mage named Ma’ar conquered a kingdom whose capitol was once located in the middle of what is now Lake Evendim.” Dalen said with a great deal of patience. “Urtho, called the Mage of Silence, was a councilor of the old King and led the loyal elements of the old kingdom in a fight against the evil Ma’ar. The Kaled’a’in tribes supported Urtho. Eventually, Urtho was losing because of treachery within his ranks. He sent a gryphon into Ma’ar’s palace with a magic weapon, killing Ma’ar while Urtho himself was dying. Both mages died at almost the same time, within moments of each other. Their deaths released great forces of power because so much of their lands were run by the magic that each mage had created. Those were the first Mage Storms that affected the world for centuries before they calmed down.”

“The Kaled’a’in split into two people after the death of Urtho.” Lackley took up the narrative when Dalen paused. Dalen was surprised, but didn’t protest as the Bard continued. “The Tayledras were one group of the Kaled’a’in, and they swore to use their magics to heal the land that had been corrupted by the Mage Storms.”

“That’s right.” Balder said excitedly. “I remember that part now. The Shin’a’in gave up magics and swore to guard the Dhorisha plains to keep any mages from rummaging around in that Urtho’s tower, or what was left of it. That’s where Adept Firesong found the magic devices to stop the mage storms!”

“Yes.” Dalen said with a slight smile. At least the man remembered that much of history. Maybe there was hope yet. “The Hawkbrothers and Shin’a’in never forgot they were once the same people, and have helped each other out when in need ever since. The Shin’a’in helped Herald Elspeth find the Hawkbrothers that trained her in magic, and they helped the Tayledras that kept the evacuation points open during the final days of the Ancar War. In fact, they freed up the need for Valdemar to guard those points, letting us send more troops to the front. Then, they helped during the Mage Wars again.”

“Do you think the Hawkbrothers would have helped us if we tried to invade their brothers, the Shin’a’in?” Bard Lackley asked in a very serious tone. Balder was silent for several minutes as he rocked on his heels and stroked his beard. When he spoke, it was to none of the men facing him.

“Lara!” Balder shouted, and the same stout woman that had gone inside to get the pamphlet scurried forward with a worried expression on her face. She’d stayed close enough to listen to the entire conversation.

“Yes, husband?” She said with a meek bow of her head. Dalen understood Holderkin customs and didn’t try to talk directly to her.

“Find everything printed by these ‘Free Press’ people and gather them together.” Balder demanded angrily. “We will burn them in tonight’s forward, and from this day forward we will not purchase another! This family does not forget that Valdemar has protected our people through all these years, and we will not forget again that the Shin’a’in have helped Valdemar.”

“One moment, Goodman.” Dalen said softly. “Would you, instead of burning them, give them to me? I think I need to examine them.”

“As do I, sir.” Lackley said seriously and the man looked at both of them for a long moment before nodding.

“Lara, get those things gathered and into some saddlebags.” Balder ordered. “Also, get three bags of those apples from the west orchard. These soldiers are hunting down folks who would harm us, and they deserve fresh food. It is getting late, sir. Are you sure you do not wish to camp here tonight? Our womenfolk could bake bread and make fresh food for you in the morning to see you on your way.”

“Thank you for the offer, sir, but there are men out there that we must stop.” Dalen said with a genuine smile on his face. The Holderkin had been pains in the side of more than one Valdemaran monarch over the years, but they were good, solid, dependable people. Once things were explained to them, they could be counted on to do the right thing, eventually.

“The apples will be appreciated, though, especially when we stop tonight.” Lee said with a nod towards the head of this Holderkin family.

“Alsense is the next farm south of here.” The man said as Lara disappeared in the house with several other women in tow. Two little girls ran out minutes later, and were seen disappearing into the barns and other outbuildings, including two outhouses. “He is a good man, but his farm is more than half a day’s ride away. You won’t reach it tonight, even if you don’t stick to the road between here and there.”

“We’ll reach him in the morning, then.” Dalen said with a shake of his head. The Gate had come out further north than he’d thought it would, but in a way that was for the better.

“You don’t worry about those pamphlets, my lord.” The man said after there had been silence for several minutes. “I’ll spread the word, reminding people of what you reminded me about. No Holderkin will believe another word from their ilk. I just worry that they are using your lady mother’s name like that. Good folk hear her name, and they believe what it says. We are good Valdemarans, and we know the Royal Family have their hearts in the right place.”

“That is why the pamphlet bears her name, good sir.” Lackley said when he saw that Dalen wasn’t going to respond. The Bard didn’t quite lie, but Dalen would have choked on the misdirection of that statement. “It is meant to misdirect the truth.”

“That is putting it lightly.” Lee said with disgust.

“Thank you for at least listening to me.” Dalen said after another minute of silence had stretched between them.

“We Holderkin are stubborn, sir.” Balder said with a chuckle. “That’s a reputation we’ve well earned, but we also have learned that sometimes it pays to listen instead of just react to things. No, it is far better to listen and judge things on their merits. That is why we allow the schools. Our boys and girls see what the rest of Valdemar has to offer, and they either leave or they stay. Either way, they are happier than if we closed them off from the rest of the kingdom and didn’t listen first. We’ve even found the occasional outsider who’s heard about us in their own schools, and they decide that our way of life is what they want. We take those in as well. Sometimes they make it, sometimes they do not, but the ones that do, they are some of our best folk. I have a daughter married to one of them, and a finer marriage son I’ve not had.”

“That is the way of Valdemar.” Dalen said with a shrug.

“I haven’t seen Sherie since spring.” Balder said. “Her oldest, Blake, was nearing sixteen and they were bringing him up here to see if any of the fosterlings caught his eye. He’ll be taking over a man’s duties soon, and it’s time we found him a wife. I think she was mighty disappointed when they returned to Alsense’s farm and there was no young lass that had caught his interest. To my way of thinking, he’s got the wandering eye and will want to leave for a city when the time comes. The boy has his father’s hair, and I think he’s bored with farm life and our ways.”

“We’ll do our best to see he has the chance to decide for himself.” Dalen said as Lara reappeared with a small army of women, all bearing bags of one kind or another.

“I have brought these men all the pamphlets and other things from those people.” Lara said to her husband, but her words were meant for all of them. “I have also brought three bags of the best apples, as well as several pounds of that smoked meat we finished up the other week. We have plenty of time before winter, and slaughtering another cow will not harm us this year. I have also brought some of the rolls we baked this morning. Not having bread for one dinner will not harm us at all.”

“We appreciate the food, but we do not…” Dalen started to protest, wisely looking at Balder instead of the woman. That would have been rude by Holderkin standards.

“Nonsense.” Balder said flatly. “My first wife is correct. It will do us well to do without bread tonight. Maybe we will contemplate our studies more, and maybe for the next fortnight we will open the little’s history books and refresh our memories on what has happened in the past. That will be better than reading such things as we have been.”

“Our husband is a wise man.” Lara said to the ladies standing behind her and it was like a sea of bobbing heads for a moment. Dalen wondered how crazy a man had to be to marry so many women. Ten minutes later, he was back on his horse and heading south with Lee and Lackley behind him; all of their horses bearing quite a bit of extra weight. Their troops had already started south when Dalen had sent up the mage signal after ascertaining everything was fine at the farm.

“Amazing.” Lackley said after they’d traveled for nearly a half-hour.

“What?” Dalen asked quietly. The Bard had been reading the pamphlets collected by the farm folk.

“How they twist the truth.” Lackley said while shaking his head. “They take things that are true, things we’ve known and that the Crown has supported for centuries. Then they twist it just a tiny bit and make it into this whole big production that makes things look really bad. How can they do that?”

“You’re the wordsmith, here, Carl.” Lee said with a smile. For some reason he and the Bard got along great, much to Dalen’s consternation. Both nights so far he had found his bedroll scrunched up between theirs in the center of the camp.

“Yes, but what they’re doing goes against everything the Bardic Circle stands for and is about.” Lackley said with a shake of his head. “Look at how they’ve forged Princess Selenay’s signature on this one! Even that is against the law!”

“It is not a forgery.” Dalen said with a sigh and both men looked at him with alarm evident in their faces.

“You mean they’ve somehow forced her to sign these?” Lackley asked. “This is real ink on here, a signature, not a platen copy from a press. Even the ink is of a different type.”

“It is her signature.” Dalen sighed again. “I have known for quite some time that my mother has been supporting the plebiscite movement, and I am willing to bet good gold that this so-called ‘Free Press’ is part of their movement. The Crown is going to have to do something about them, and I’m afraid about her as well. When we’re done with this mess down here, I think I’m going to make a trip back to Haven. Burnham can get by without me for a fortnight.”

“I will make the trip with you and inform the Bardic Circle of this.” Lackley said as he held up one of the pamphlets. “With any luck, they’ll know about it already, though. The thing is, the writing in these pamphlets is inflammatory, but they are not seditious. They somehow manage to stay just on this side of outright sedition. I thought at least if they are forging your mother’s signature that we could get them for forgery, but, well, they are violating no laws.”

“They are distorting history.” Dalen growled.

“They will claim in the courts that they are merely expressing their viewpoints, as allowed by Charter.” Lackley retorted and Dalen frowned at him. “Don’t look at me like that, Prince Dalen. I am on your side on this issue. Still, you know that is what they will say, and probably using fancier language. I would swear whoever wrote some of these must have trained at the Bardic Collegium. They use techniques that are discussed there.”

“Bards practice distorting the truth like this?” Dalen asked with surprise.

“No, we are taught how to recognize such writing and to see to the truth of what is being attempted through such writing.” Lackley replied angrily. “Would you rather we didn’t know the dangers of such writing styles as this?”

“No, it is better that you are familiar with them.” Dalen agreed reluctantly. “Still, if whoever is responsible for these, besides my mother, trained at the Bardic Collegium, I would think you Bards have some thinking to do.”

“Yes, we would.” Lackley agreed and then he sighed. “Then again, we have had rogue Bards before, and dealt with them appropriately.”

“Yes.” Dalen agreed after a moment and after he’d dredged up several examples that he remembered studying before heading down to Burnham. The King had suggested he read them after a comment he’d made about Bards during one of their rides.

“I’m sure this will take up a great deal of your time in the weeks and months ahead of us, but if we are to get to the point where you truly have the leisure to consider such problems, we have other problems to solve first.” Lee Mayweather said in a long, complicated sentence that caused both Dalen and Lackley to stare at him for a moment.

“You mean take care of the trouble at hand rather than the one around the corner?” Lackley asked, paraphrasing another Shin’a’in saying and earning a groan from Dalen. The Bard had figured out Dalen’s distaste for Shin’a’in sayings and had now progressed to the point of paraphrasing them in order to torture Dalen.

“Yes, that works nicely.” Lee agreed with a smile.

“I haven’t been able to scry, or See for that matter, the enemy troops our scouts spotted.” Dalen said with a sigh. It was almost time to do a search again, and this time he’d use his augmented Farsight again. Scrying left too much of a magical trace and could be attacked if his enemy was prepared.

“That only confirms what we knew.” Lee said comfortably. “They do have a mage with them.”

“Yes, and it has to be at least a Master-class mage to stop the spells “Dalen supplied as he gave an irritated growl. “Skill can only account for so much.”

“Well, they haven’t attacked any of the other farms yet, and we’ve got just this last one to go.” Lee said as the rearguard of the troops came into sight. The sun was getting low on the western horizon and they would soon have to prepare to make a camp for the evening. “Maybe we got far enough ahead of them with your Gate so we’ll be able to ambush them.”

“We can always hope that is the case.” Dalen said with a grimace. The troops had noticed them behind them, and Lee broke his mount into a trot that Dalen and Lackley kept up with. While Lee exchanged greetings with the sergeants, and news, he mulled over the various problems he had now seen.

The simple truth, he concluded as he moved Moana into a position near the middle of the formation was that he was in way over his head with all this. These were matters for the King and his advisors to deal with, including the King’s Own Herald, and Herald-Mage Dellinar. They had the experience and training to deal with issues like this, and would know far better what to do to resolve the problems.

Valdemar was obviously in one of those trying times, the times when the historians had a busy life, recording the events that would shape Valdemar for years to come. Dalen might wish he’d been born in some other time, but the truth was he was here, now, and both by position of his birth, and the abilities that he was born with, he would have some part to play in the events of his days.

That didn’t make him necessarily happy though as he rode with the soldiers surrounding him. He remembered the tales of his ancestors, and others who had defended Valdemar from its enemies. Most of them ended up dead long before they’d lived to a ripe old age. Herald-Mage Elspeth was an exception more than the rule for Valdemar’s heroes.

She’d also had a lot of help surviving the times into which she’d been thrown. He knew very well that only a confluence of special people on Valdemar had saved it from a fate similar to that following the death of Vanyel Ashkevron centuries earlier. While the people of this, Dalen’s time, were quite capable and dedicated, he knew instinctively that there weren’t as many superbly trained heroes like there had been back then.

Still, they had people like Dalen’s father, Lofar, and Herald Dellinar, and the King himself. Rothar was quite smart, and had to see the danger signs as well as Dalen did, and probably better because as King he’d have more resources looking into the problems. That was what was important. Dalen wasn’t out here on his own; he was just one tool in the King’s arsenal to deal with the problems facing Valdemar.

“You look like your mind is running in circles.” Bard Lackley said in a conspiratorial tone as he drew his horse up alongside Dalen’s.

“Let’s just say the big picture is getting scary.” Dalen said with a sigh.

“You’re not comparing the people of our time to the people of the past are you?” Lackley asked with a little smile. “I have a word of advice for you. People in the past were no more capable than what we have here, today.”

“Sorry, but I doubt there’s another Herald-Captain Kerowen running around out here.” Dalen said with a strong dash of sarcasm added to his voice.

“General Lofar seems to be shaping up to be a challenge for her reputation.” Lackley replied with a shrug. “I’m sure the comparisons between you and your mother’s great-grandmother are easier to see, and of course King Rothar is every bit as good a monarch as the legendary Selenay – the Queen, not your mother.”

“I got that part.” Dalen frowned. “As for the rest of what you say, I don’t know if I’d necessarily agree with that assessment.”

“You might not, but they do.” Lackley said with a nod to the soldiers around them. None of them were close enough to hear what was being said. Up ahead, Lee was beginning to issue orders after taking the report from a scout. It sounded like he had a good place for camp that night.

“What do you mean they do?” Dalen asked quietly.

“They have confidence in you, and in the other leadership of Valdemar to handle the situations we are facing.” Lackley observed. “Isn’t that what is important?”

“Be careful, Bard.” Dalen warned the handsome man with a sharp look.

“Am I offending your highness?” Lackley asked with a raised eyebrow.

“No, you’re actually helping and not hurting.” Dalen said with a shake of his head and what was threatening to turn into a smile on his lips. “You are going to ruin my opinion of Bards if you keep this up.”

“I thought you already thought us a waste of time.” Lackley asked with a slight furrowing of his eyebrows.

“That’s just it,” Dalen sighed theatrically. “I might actually start to like you if you keep this up.”

“Ah, I see the problem.” Lackley observed with a chuckle, and before Dalen could think of a retort, the Bard was urging his mount into a trot. Dalen saw him talking with Corporal Talen, who was moving up and down the formation, handing out assignments for the camping. Although he couldn’t overhear their conversation, Dalen was fairly sure the Bard was trying to get out of cooking.

The Bard was an awful cook, so that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing as far as Dalen was concerned. The fresh supplies from Balder’s farm would be very welcome with a decent stew. They still had preserved meat and vegetables that would go great in a stew if left to simmer for an hour or two.

Dalen had created several magical field stoves back at the valley camp. The field devices were great replacements when fires would be too risky and because they used only stored magical energy, they weren’t detectable like Dalen would be if he used his own magic to cook the food. They could be detected, but not easily.

Captain Helgenberger’s troops had brought a half-dozen of them, but all of them had been given to scouts, and to the Herald scouting group. Dalen hadn’t known he’d need them for this group, but having them at hand was proving beneficial. There were other things like the camp stoves that he had worked on as well. In fact, he was surprised at how much he had gotten accomplished before setting out on this expedition. So far, this trip was proving to be more relaxing than the twenty-hour days he’d been putting in at the valley camp.

“Let’s get set up here.” Lee ordered when they reached a spot near a small creek that was running east to west. Dalen nodded his agreement as the troops began to get their camp established, and sure enough Corporal Talen was the one heading over to the packhorse that was carrying the camp stoves. At least tonight’s stew would be tasty.

For his part, Dalen also had things to do, which he’d done every night since they had Gated out here. He dismounted Moana and took some things out of her saddlebags before heading down the creek. This time he actually hopped across the small rivulet of water before filling the small silver bowl with water. He was going to try Farsight first, and then if that failed to find anything, he was going to switch to scrying.

The soldiers getting water for the horses and the night’s stew, as well as filling empty canteens didn’t disturb him. They knew he was using his gifts, searching the landscape around them with his Farsight even as the sun began its final descent over the horizon. His first check was of the area surrounding the camp, making sure there were no bandits or enemy soldiers hidden in nearby bushes. The second check was of the farm they were heading towards, and he noted with relief that the farm folk were sitting down to dinner.

It was quite easy to pick out Balder’s daughter based on the description of the fair-haired son as well as the older version of the boy sitting on the side of the woman at the main table of the farmhouse. Like many Holderkin farms, this one was actually two or three families, loosely related that worked the farm together. The two fair-haired men were easily discernible from the other dark or brown-haired folks.

Everything there was peaceful, as was everywhere else he looked that night. By the time he made his way to the camp, most of the stew and all but a few pieces of bread were long gone. Luckily, Lee had saved him a few pieces and a full bowl. Even though he hadn’t found anything, he had used a lot of energy in his searching.

“Don’t worry, Dalen.” Lee said in a reassuring tone. “We’ll find them sooner or later.”

“I just hope it’s not too late when we do find them.” Dalen groused, but there was little else to say or do, except to cast the night wards around their camp and then prepare for bed. By the time he crawled into his bedroll, this time on the other side of Lee from the Bard, dawn was only six hours away, and he knew he’d be getting another night of more sleep than he had back at the valley.

It almost made him feel lazy.

Valedmar and its world belong to Mercedes Lackey. Everything else belongs to dkstories. Copyright ©2013; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Valdemar world, characters, events belong to Mercedes Lackey and Tor Publishing
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More misdirection and unanswered questions. Is his mother really involved with the Pamphlets? In any case, a counter propaganda campaign needs to be forged with the direct backing of the crown. And now we have the stage set for a battle but nothing is happening. The calm before the storm perhaps?

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On 01/28/2013 10:34 AM, Rebelghost85 said:
More misdirection and unanswered questions. Is his mother really involved with the Pamphlets? In any case, a counter propaganda campaign needs to be forged with the direct backing of the crown. And now we have the stage set for a battle but nothing is happening. The calm before the storm perhaps?
One of the important aspects of this chapter is that we see a holderkin settlement that is more...tolerant of the Valdemaran viewpoint than the last one we saw.
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you owe us a chapter one of those days only had one lol. i feel like how i suspect Dalen feels, after all this built up to the fight a chapter goes by and nothing happens, but i am still on edge but becoming a little complacent. It is troubling how the free press' as they call themselves are railing up the people to revolt against the crown for their support of the south, on one hand they are saying they nobles are doing this to get more money and use the poor because they is no war and on the other hand they are saying they have no right to help them because they didn't do any big favour to the country whoever these people are they are most definitely in favour of the black kings.


All the same a great chapter, i was thinking about reading the books by the original author but i figured i better read this story first.

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I think I'm going to enjoy this calm before the storm moment with Dalen and stop clenching my teeth in anticipation.

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