Download Lackey, Mercedes - Valdemar - Mage Winds 02 - Winds of Change PDF

TitleLackey, Mercedes - Valdemar - Mage Winds 02 - Winds of Change
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.4 MB
Total Pages459
Table of Contents
                            Prologue
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-one
Chapter Twenty-two
Chapter Twenty-three
Chapter Twenty-four
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Winds of Change
Mage Winds Book 2

by Mercedes Lackey

Page 229

wanted to know. Not that he had not asked her questions, for he had. Until now
she had shown great distress when he had asked her those questions about her
current state, so he had stopped asking them. He feared she might stop coming to
him; he was afraid he might have frightened her with all his queries.

"When you started asking me questions—I didn't want to think about them,
but I had to anyway," she told him slowly. "Like this, there is no sleep, no
dreams to run to. Once I started thinking, I started asking questions myself...."

She stared off somewhere above his head for a moment, and he held his
breath, as much to try and still the pain in his heart as in anticipation of what she
might say next. She could say she had to go, leave him forever, for the Goddess
willed it so.

This was far from easy for him. He had dreamed of this woman for years,
ever since becoming a man. Since he had been initiated as a shaman, the dreams
had more power. He had known in the way of the shaman even then that this
woman was his soul-partner, and yet he had never seen her. When Kra'heera had
asked him to stay and learn of her, he had thought no more of it than any task the
Elder Shaman had set him.

Until she had first come to him on the Moonpaths, this Dawnfire, this
transformed Tale'edras. Until he had seen face, and not the hawk-mask of the
Avatar.

Now he knew who and what she was, and after the initial joy of discovery,
the knowledge was a burden and an agony to his soul, for she was untouchable
—out of reach—not truly dead, but assuredly not "alive" in the conventional
sense. There was no way in which she could become the partner his dreams had
painted her as. How could his dreams, the ??? a shaman, which were supposed to
be accurate to within a hair, have been so very wrong?

"There are threats and changes on the winds," she said, finally, bringing his
attention back to something besides his own pain. "Terrible changes, some of
them—or they have the potential to bring terror, if they are not met and
mastered. One is a lost man of your own people, whom we have faced once
already. No Shin'a'in, no Tayledras, no Outlander has the answer to these

Page 230

changes, only pieces of the answers."

He groped after the answers that her words implied. "Are you saying that the
time for isolation to end is at hand?" That in itself was a frightening thought, and
a change few Shin'a'in would care for.

"In part." She did not breathe, so she could not sigh, but he had the
impression that she did. "It is easy for me to see, but hard to describe. All
peoples face a grave threat from the same source, but three stand to lose the
most; the Shin'a'in—"

"For what we guard," he completed. was a truism, and always had been.

She nodded emphatically. "Yes. The Tayledras, also, for what we know—
and the Outlanders of Valdemar, for what they And somehow those threats
are as woven together as the lives of the Outlanders and the Sundered Kin have
become in these last few days." She shook her head in frustration. "I cannot

you, and I do not have the words that I need; that is the closest that I can
come."

But Tre'valen understood; what she said only crystalized things he had half-
felt for some time now. "This is no accident, no coincidence, that things have
fallen out as they have," he said firmly.

"It is less even than you guess," she responded immediately. And that
confirmed another half-formed guess—that it had been the careful hands of the
gods that had worked to bring them all here together. Him—and the Outlanders.
"This path that we are all on was begun farther back than even our enemies
know. I can see it stretching back to the time of the Mage Wars. There were
cataclysms then that are only now echoing back to us."

A cold hand of fear gripped his throat at that, driving out other thoughts.
"What do you mean?" he asked, carefully.

She searched visibly for words, her gaze unfocused as though she were
watching something that she meant to describe for him, like a sighted woman
describing the stars to a blind man. "Neither Urtho nor his enemy were truly
aware of what they unleashed upon the world. It is as if what they did has
created a echo, except that this echo, rather than being fainter than the
original catastrophe, has lost none of its strength as it moved across time and the

Page 458

those days when he may not be able to. In training the birds, there no "bird-
breakers." The falconer must do all of his training himself. Unless, of course, he
happens to be so wealthy that like the nobility of old, can employ a falconer
to man "his" birds—though in that case, they will never be "his", for they will
truly answer only to the hand that trained them. By contrast, papers and
magazines are full of advertisements for horses in all stages of training. The
falconer must have access to land in which to train, exercise, and hunt with his
bird. That means that training and hunting with the bird will put many miles on
his vehicle. The trained bird requires working every day of the year.

Acquisition; there are captive-bred birds available to the General and Master
falconers, but for the Apprentice, obtaining a bird means hours—days—weeks
spent attempting to trap a passage redtail or kestral. The horseman must visit
many breeders or dealers and try many horses before he finds one to his liking.

Care; once again, since there are no boarding-stables for raptors, the entire
burden of care falls to the falconer. And a big bird like a redtail produces an
astonishing amount of… leavings. Houses must be scraped and scalded
periodically, as must perches; the sand in the house and weathering yard must be
raked daily. The bird must be offered his daily bath under conditions that will
not leave him open to catching disease. Yards must be inspected and repaired,
since many predators—including the large owls—regard a bird on a perch as a
meal waiting to be taken.

Outside dangers. Horsemen have to contend with people who honk their car
horns at horses ridding along the road, with dogs who attack horse and rider, and
with people who, out of pure maliciousness, will attempt to injure horse, rider, or
both. Falconers have to contend with those who are under the mistaken
impression that all birds of prey are lawful targets, that birds of prey are taking
the game that "belongs to them," and with those who regard birds of prey as
"vermin." And with those who, out of pure maliciousness, will attempt to injure
or kill the bird.

Both sports require substantial investments of time and money. Neither
should be undertaken lightly, or without serious thought. For someone
considering becoming a horse owner, there are usually excellent stables offering
training in care and riding. For someone considering falconry, the best place to
consult is the State Fish and Game department; they will have further
information on falconers and regulations in your area.

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