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A wolf recognizes the howl of its pack
.
So the og re was sensing his brother s touch! Mogweed crawled forward. How was
this possible? The og re was at least three times their weight. No si lura had
ever come close to matching this size.
 Come out, little man. Do not be afraid. I will not eat you.
Mogweed noticed the og re s eyes had picked him out of the black shadows. The
og re stared directly at him now. Its vision must be keen, heightened by life
in the caverns.
 Come. The voice boomed.
Mogweed stayed where he was, still partially hidden behind Fardale s form. But
the og re s words had somewhat calmed the terror around his heart. He loosened
his tongue.  What do you want of us? he called out, his voice a mere squeak
when compared to the og re s.
 Come out. I then see you better.
Mogweed tensed. Fardale turned his eyes on his brother.
A hawk with a broken wing can t fly. Forest cats prowl in the bushes
. Fardale hinted that they would need help if they were to pass through og re
lands.
Fardale hopped on his three legs closer to the lumbering creature, leaving
space for Mogweed to climb out. Still Mogweed hesitated. He knew he had no
choice, but his legs refused to budge.
 I will not harm you, little man. My word be my heart. The beast tapped a
bloody claw to its chest. The og re s words had a trace of sorrow and
weariness. It was more the voice than the words that finally freed Mogweed s
legs.
He climbed from under the overhang and straightened to face the og re. Its
flat, crushed face, with huge nostrils and thick lips, caused Mogweed s mouth
to twist in disgust. Its mountain of muscle and bone trapped Mogweed s tongue.
og re was not going to attack.  He is not a wolf. He is my brother. I am
called Mogweed.
 I be Tol chuk. The og re nodded his chin in greeting.  But how be this wolf
your brother?
 We are si lura shape-shifters. We can speak through our spirit tongues to one
another.
Tol chuk stumbled back a step. His voice cracked across the stone.  You be
tu tura! Deceivers. Stealers of babies!
Mogweed cringed. Why were his people so persecuted? A twinge of anger
penetrated his fear.  That is a lie! We are simply a people of the forest, and
much maligned by the other races. We harm no one and live our lives
peacefully.
Mogweed s words sunk visibly into the og re. Mogweed saw Tol chuk narrow his
eyes in thought.
When he spoke again, his voice was softer.  I hear truth in your words. I be
sorry. I hear bad stories.
 Not all tales are true.
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The og re sagged, and his shoulders slumped.  I be taught that many times
today.
 We only mean to pass through here. That beast you killed drove us into your
lands. Please let us pass.
 I will not stop you. But you will not survive in our lands alone. The og re
tribes will hunt you down before you clear the pass.
Mogweed winced.
A pack grows stronger as it grows in size.
Mogweed found himself nodding, but he could not take his eyes from the long
fangs of the og re before him. Let s just hope, he thought, that the pack
doesn t get eaten by one of its members.
Tol chuk stared across the fire at the two brothers. They had traveled well
into the night before finally stopping to rest the few hours until daybreak.
The wolf-brother already lay curled with his nose tucked under a sodden tail.
The splinted forelimb stuck out and pointed at the crackling fire. Tol chuk
watched his even breathing. Fardale was fast asleep.
Movement caught Tol chuk s eyes. The other brother lay wrapped in a blanket on
the far side of the fire, but from the open eyes reflecting the firelight,
this brother did not sleep. The one called Mogweed had remained wary of
Tol chuk throughout the journey.
 You need sleep, Tol chuk said in a low voice, still struggling with the
common tongue.  I guard. I do not need much sleep.
 I m not sleepy. But Mogweed s voice cracked with exhaustion. The man s eyes
were bloodshot, and bruised crescents outlined them.
Tol chuk studied him. How frail was the human race. Such tiny arms, like
budding sapling limbs, and a chest so small he iou cannoi cnangc:
 No. There was& an accident& and we became stuck in these forms. Like you, my
brother and I are on a journey, to try to find a way to free our bodies. We
seek a city of trace magick among the lands of the humans, a city named A loa
Glen.
 The trip you take be a dangerous one. Why not be happy with the way you are
now?
Tol chuk saw Mogweed s lips curl in disdain.  We are si lura. If we remain in
one form longer than fourteen moons, the memory of our si lura heritage fades
until we become that form. I do not want to forget who I am or where I came
from and most of all I don t want to stay a man! Mogweed s voice had risen
enough to cause Fardale to stir in his slumber.
This was obviously a sensitive matter to Mogweed. Tol chuk crinkled his face,
then rubbed his chin with a claw. When he spoke next, he changed the course of
their talk.  Your wolf& I mean your brother&
he sends me the same picture over and over: A wolf sees a fellow brother. Over
and over. I do not understand this picture.
Mogweed hesitated. The silence stretched. If it weren t for the reflection of
the fire revealing Mogweed s staring eyes, Tol chuk would have thought him
asleep. Finally, Mogweed spoke.  Are all og res like you?
This question startled Tol chuk. Were his deformities so obvious that even
another race could spot his ugliness?  No, [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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