This is another part of the journal kept by a Teir’Dal, relating experiences during the War of Fay.
Another volume from the diary of one young Teir’Dal soldier, written during the War of Fay. This volume tells of the Teir’Dal ships landing on Faydwer.
The ships passed beneath the teleportation arch.
There is no sound save a soft thrumming that hangs in the air above us. Mist curls up from the surface of the sea, covering each ship in thick draperies.
No matter how often I have made this journey, I am always amazed that no ships have ever collided in the fog.
When my ship clears the mists, I can see the prows of the other vessels breaking through as well.
Behind me, I hear the rich voice of the Cantor rising in song, calling forth the winds again to propel us toward Faydwer.
Was her name really Death, as she had told me? Or was she trying to frighten me, seeing only a youth with one shortened leg?
In many ways, I am surprised that I am on this team, on this mission.
I will not set down our plans in advance, lest something go awry and my thoughts are revealed to the enemy.
When the commander named those who would be in this elite unit, there were sounds of surprise when they chose me.
Yes, I walk with a limp; but I run like the wind and am deadly besides.
The singing stops, and I feel her beside me again.
She crouches down on the narrow plank and touches the shoulder of the Teir’Dal in the seat before me. As she had with me, she pulls him to his feet and walks him to the small deck at the stern of the ship.
I make an effort not to turn my head; what she chooses to do or say to the others aboard the ship is none of my business.
But it is long before he returns to his seat, and he smiles, looking over his shoulder toward her.
Suddenly before us, I see the lead ship raise a smaller yellow flag.
Immediately, the ogres put their oars into the water, joining their brute strength to the winds in our sail. That signals that landfall is near.
Around me, the other members of my team grip their knives. Our task is not to fight upon landing, but we must be prepared.
The Cantors stop their songs and two of the ogres rise to dismantle the mast, which they cast overboard.
Without that weight, the ships skim faster across the sea, pulled along by the strength of our oarsmen.
The ogres are perfect for this task, for it involved only dipping the oar in, pulling, lifting, then dipping the oars in again. This is as much as their simple minds can grasp.
Ahead, there is a dark ling marking Faydwer.
There are lights set at various points along the way, supposedly to allow the fools to guard their shores.
The reality is that they will light our way directly to a good landing. Some of the ships head further north to land closer to Kelethin.
My first destination is Kaladim.
Without their sails, the ships are low to the water.
The slight splash of the oars is masked in the rolling of the waves onto the shore.
We pull our ships up behind us onto the shingle and the ogres knock holes in their sides.
There is only one way home now – through Felwithe. Weapons are drawn. We run up the beach, and they are surprised.
My unit must stick close together; we each have a role in this.
An arrow whistles through the air and spears the Teir’Dal beside me – the one who had dallied with the Cantor aboard ship.
He staggers, then slides toward the ground clutching at my arm and pulling me down with him. Another arrow whistles over my head.
“Her name…”gasps my comrade before drawing his last breath,”…is Death”
“Death? You’re mad!” I hiss, shaking his lifeless hand from my arm.
I crouch, checking my path across the beach to the cover of the trees when suddenly, the Cantor is beside me – and him.
She kisses his forehead and closes his eyes, then grabs my hand.
“Come!” she cries.
We race toward the concealing darkness ahead.