Child Of Storms (Volume 1)

Child Of Storms (Volume 1) by Alexander DePalma Read Free Book Online

Book: Child Of Storms (Volume 1) by Alexander DePalma Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alexander DePalma
plunder?”
                  “I do not know,” Braemorgan said. “I also don’t know where he found so many wizards, either. Whoever is financing Einar in all of this has many resources to draw upon.”
                  “I think we know who – or what! - that is,” Wulfgrim said.
                  “We cannot be certain of that right now,” Braemorgan said.
                  “I can,” Ardabur said. “And I’ll tell you one more thing I’m certain of. We’re going to need more men. Thousands more come spring. For now, we need to keep Einar’s forces pinned down. If I move against The Westmark from the south, using every man I can haul into service, it might be enough to freeze Einar’s forces there for fear of my advancing any further. That might buy us the spring, maybe the summer, to raise more men.  If the king lends us his support, we would have enough strength to beat back Einar’s gruks.”
                  “The king!” Wulfgrim snorted. “We’ve begged for his help. He has his own problems to the east, battling the King of Frostheim over some frozen swamp. The king!”
                  “We will deal with these strategic problems in due course,” Morag said. “Braemorgan, you said you received two dispatches.”
                  “Indeed I did,” the wizard said, picking up the second sheet of parchment. “The other message merely says the following: ‘Einar dispatched a pair of seasoned assassins to northern Linlund this morning. They left along the West Forest Road this morning. Their purpose is unknown.’ Well…I think we can all guess their purpose.”
                  “Einar has moved against the bastard,” Wulfgrim muttered. “Damn, he’s a clever bastard.”
                  “The good news, if there is any in all of this,” Braemorgan said. “Is that I sent Ironhelm along the Hill Path, due east over the Clegr Hills to the coast. We still hold the roads east and north out of The Westmark, so Einar’s hired killers will have to take a longer route to reach Jorn at Falneth than Ironhelm. Ironhelm will likely arrive in Swordhaven the day after tomorrow. From there it is a week north to Falneth, and he should be ahead of the assassins the entire way. With any luck he will be on his way back with Jorn by the time Einar’s assassins arrive at Falneth.”
                  “That dwarf had better not dawdle,” Ardabur said.
                  “Let us hope not,” Braemorgan said. “For if Ironhelm does not reach Falneth in advance of the assassins, I do not know what we should do.”

Three
     
                  Durm Ironhelm was in a rotten mood.
    It was bad enough the weather had been so damned cold of late, but now a freezing sleet had begun. There were a few things to be happy about were he inclined to make the effort, however. There was hardly any snow at all so far into the Clegr Hills, for one, unlike to the west at Loc Goren. Here were only a few scattered patches of icy whiteness.
    Another cause for happiness was that they were also almost out of the wilderness. With any luck, they should be in Swordhaven before midday tomorrow. There they could buy horses and head up the Northern Road to Falneth.
    Ironhelm sat on a log at the front of his little tent eating his dinner. The tent was little more than a large canvas sheet hung over the ground, but crouching under the front of it kept the rain off his head and the wind out of his face. The sausages he was eating were good, at least, nice and greasy like the dwarf liked them. The ale, however, was awful. But it was ale, after all, and that was what counted. He finished the last of the sausages and put the plate aside. He drank down the rest of his ale and belched loudly, wiping the foam off his beard.
    They were camped along the Hill Path that ran over the rocky Clegr Hills from Loc Goren

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