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.”The clouds of Zeboim’s confusion parted, shredded by a chill wind of terror.She had loved Ariakan, adored him, doted on him.His death left a void that all creation could not fill.She looked at the eyes of the khas piece and the eyes of the piece looked back at her, raging, furious, helpless.Zeboim gave a hollow cry.“Chemosh!” She stared wildly about the room.“Chemosh!” she repeated, her voice rising to a howl of fury and fear and dismay.“Free my son! Free him! Now! This moment! Or I’ll-”“You’ll what?” said Krell.Reaching out his hand, he plucked the figure of Lord Ariakan from Zeboim’s shaking fingers.“Threaten all you want, Madame.Bluster and blaze.You can do nothing.”He placed the piece back onto the khas board.The figure of the goddess lay at the feet of the black king, and now she could see that the king was done in the likeness of the Lord of Death.Zeboim stared at it, her throat closing, so that she could barely speak.“What does Chemosh want of me?” she asked in low, tight tones.“He wants the seas calm.The winds dead.The waves flat.He wants a certain monk to stop making a pest of himself.Beyond that, no matter what happens anywhere in the world-or beneath it-you will take no action.You will, in short, do nothing, because there is nothing you can do, not without endangering your dear son.”“What is Chemosh plotting?” Zeboim demanded in smothered tones.Krell shrugged his shoulders.Picking up the figure of the queen, he moved her off the board and set her to one side, away from the battle.Then he picked up the figure of the knight.He held the knight in his hand, the head pinched between his thumb and forefinger.“Do you agree, Madame?”Zeboim cast the figure a tormented glance.“Chemosh must promise to free my son.”“Oh, yes,” Krell replied.“He promises.On the day of his triumph, King Chemosh will set free the soul of Lord Ariakan.You have his word.”“King Chemosh!” Zeboim gave a bitter laugh.“That will never happen!”“For the sake of your son, Madame, you should pray that it does,” said Krell.“Do you agree?” His gloved fist engulfed the khas piece, hiding it from her sight.“I agree!” Zeboim cried, unable to think of anything except the tormented eyes of her son.“I agree.”“Good,” said Krell.He placed the knight back on the board, stood it in front of the black king.“And now I want to get back to my game.You have leave to go, Madame.”Zeboim’s fury pulsed in her temples, throbbed in her breast, came near to choking her.All over the world, the skies went dark.Seas and rivers began to rise.Ships rocked precariously on turbulent waters.People cried out that Zeboim’s wrath was soon to be unleashed, bringing hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, floods, death and ruin.They stared up into the swirling, boiling clouds and waited in terror for the violence of the goddess to break over them.Zeboim searched the heavens for help.She cried to her father, Sargonnas, but he had ears only for his minotaur.She sought her twin brother, Nuitari, god of the dark moon, but he was nowhere to be found.They could do nothing, anyway, she realized.She could do nothing.The goddess gave a deep, shuddering moan.Small droplets of rain fell from the skies.The clouds disintegrated into ragged wisps.The wind died to nothing, not so much as a whisper.The ocean waters went flat.On Storm’s Keep, the waves licked meekly at the rocks.The thunder clouds rolled away and the sun shone brightly, so brightly that Krell, who wasn’t used to it, found the light annoying and he was forced to leave his khas game to close the shutters.3The ships of the minotaur expeditionary force crawled like bugs over a sea that was flat as a mill pond.The rowers of the enormous triremes labored ceaselessly, day and night, until many collapsed of exhaustion.Food and water had to be rationed.Crew and passengers began to sicken and to die.All over the world, ships languished on lifeless oceans.Sailors everywhere prayed to Zeboim for relief.None came.In desperation, some turned to other gods to intercede with Zeboim on their behalf.Sargonnas, especially, would have been glad to do so.His armies were due to make landfall in Silvanesti in mid-summer, to take advantage of the fine weather to fortify defenses, conquer new lands, build new homes for the immigrants.As slowly as his ships were moving, they might arrive in time to celebrate Yule.Those that arrived at all.In a rage, the horned god stomped through the heavens in search of his daughter.He had no idea what perverse whim had seized Zeboim, but her latest tantrum-throwing snit had to end.His plans for the conquest of both the mortal world and the plane of heaven were being thrown into jeopardy.Sargonnas searched the seas and the rivers, the streams and creeks.He searched among the clouds that no longer boiled and churned but gathered in a gray mass that lay thick and weeping upon the quiet seas.He shredded the mists and tore apart the fog and thundered her name.Zeboim did not answer.She had vanished and none of the other gods, even the far-seeing Zivilyn, knew where she had gone.Rhys was also searching for Zeboim.Though much humbler than the gods, he searched for her with equal zeal and so far with equal luck.Rhys and Nightshade remained in Solace for several days, pursuing their investigations of the robust, life-loving dead.Rhys kept close watch upon his brother, while Nightshade roamed the town, searching for other living corpses.Their numbers were growing.The kender noticed more every day.All of them laughing, talking, drinking, carousing.All of them dark, empty, lifeless shells of flesh [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]