Of Armor and Bone: Chapter 16
“Keep moving.” Shiloh grumbled, his patience wearing thin. The mountain trail wavered back and forth, following the curvature of the rocky hills and crumbling outcroppings. The frozen snow crunched loudly under the heavy tread of the horses as they trudged slowly onward.
Zethurus slumped forwards against the mane of the animal. The rope bonds wrapped around his wrists had been tied down to the saddle, with one end trailing off for Shiloh ahead of him to hold onto. The mage’s horse moved as if reacting the the rider’s own apathy.
“Excuse me if I’m not eager to head so quickly to my incarceration, and likely worse.” Zethurus sneered. “Do you have any idea what they’ll do to me here?”
“Not a clue.” Shiloh mumbled, keeping the rope just taught enough for the horse behind his own to stay at attention.
“Me neither.” The mage grumbled. “But it can’t be good. Are you willing to bear the weight of your guilt after having brought me to some horrible fate?”
“Me, I’m following orders. It’s you who sealed your fate long before we set out. Why take up dark magic if you know the consequences will be so dire?”
“One does not take up dark magic, it’s the magic that draws itself to you.”
Shiloh sighed and tapped at the side of his horse to speed up its gait. “Trying to discard the blame from yourself will do you no good. I assume your… Arcanus, you called them, will know how to respond to your wordplay.”
In the distance, the sharp, triangular shaped canopies of towering timbers began to come into view. Arkyan was a small city, wedged in between the northern stretches of the Sing mountain range to the west and the sea to the east. In this part of the province of Tulefore, the trees grew like no other; bark rugged and thick, surrounding trunks that were as thick as wagon wheels or greater. It was deep in the forest where the city had been built atop the Aegien river that flowed down from the North.
The path met with another in a fork that continued under the wide canopies and eventually towards the city, where the group of two horses and two men were headed. Under the shelter of the thick intertwining branches, the ground had escaped the thick deposits of snow. Continue reading “Tallest Trees of the Land”