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.And where her daughter's extraordinary gifts had been nurtured and researched by mages whose nervousness outweighed their excitement.In the year the Dordovans had tried to help, they had produced nothing Erienne had not already known or that she and Denser hadn't guessed.The fact was that Lyanna was beyond their introverted comprehension.They could no more develop her talents safely than they could teach a rat to fly.One magic, one mage.The Dordovan elders hated that mantra and hated the fact that Erienne believed in it so fervently.It went against the core beliefs that drove Dordovan independence.And yet, at first, they had taken on Lyanna's training with great dedication.Maybe now they wereaware of the scope of her abilities, it was affecting their desire or, more likely, they felt threatened by it.But the whole time someone had understood.Someone powerful.And their voices had spoken in her head and, she knew it, in Lyanna's.Supporting her, feeding her belief, keeping her sane and calming her temper.Urging her to accept what they offered – the knowledge and power to help.And then had come that particular night.She had realised then that, not only could the Dordovans no longer help Lyanna, their fumbling attempts were putting her at risk.They couldn't free her from the nightmares and she was no longer being allowed the space to develop; her frustration at being kept back would inevitably lead to disaster.She was so young, she wouldn't understand what she was unleashing.Even now her temper wasn't long in the fraying; and in that she was very much her mother's daughter.So far, she hadn't channelled her anger into magic but that time would come unless she learned the boundaries of what she possessed.The nightmare had set Lyanna screaming, her shrill cries scaring Erienne more than ever before.She had cradled the trembling, sweat-soaked child while she calmed, and knew things had to change.She remembered their conversation as if it had just occurred.'It's all right.Mummy's here.Nothing can harm you.' Erienne had wiped Lyanna's face with the kerchief from her sleeve, fighting to calm her thrashing heart.T know, Mummy.' The little girl had clung to her.'The darkness monsters came but the old women chased them away.'Erienne had ceased her rocking.'The who, Lyanna?''The old women.They will always save me.' She had snuggled closer.'If I'm near them.'Erienne smiled, her mind made up for her.'Go back to sleep, sweet,' she had said, resting her back on her pillow and smoothing her hair down.'Mummy has some things to do in the study.Then perhaps we can go on a little trip away.''Night, Mummy.''Good night, darling.' Erienne had turned to go and had heard Lyanna whisper something as she reached the door.She'd turnedback but Lyanna wasn't speaking to her.Eyes closed, her daughter was drifting back towards what, Gods willing, would be a calmer sleep, free of nightmares.She had whispered again and, that time, Erienne caught the half-sung words and heard the little giggle as if she were being tickled.'We're co-ming.We're co-ming.'Their night-time flight from Dordover soon after still made Erienne shudder, and her memories were of anxiety, fear and the perpetual proximity to failure; though it was now clear that they had never really been in great danger of capture.Eight days in a carriage driven by a silent elven driver preceded their uncomfortable three days in Thornewood.At the time she'd thought that ill-conceived but it had become obvious since that the Guild elves had left very little to chance.There followed a final urgent carriage ride south and east towards Aden before they had taken ship and her cares had eased effortlessly away.The ship, Ocean Elm, was a tri-masted cutter, just short of one hundred feet from bowsprit to rudder.Sleek and narrow, she was built for speed, her cabin space below decks cramped but comfortable enough.Kept spodessly clean by a crew of thirty elves, Ocean Elm was an attractive ship and felt sturdy underfoot, her dark-brown stained timbers preserved against the salt water and her masts strong but supple.Erienne, whose experience of ocean sailing was very limited, felt immediately comfortable, and their firm but kind treatment by the busy crew helped the air of security.In their off-duty moments, they delighted in Lyanna's company, the little girl wide-eyed in wonder at their antics on deck, juggling oranges, tumbling, singing and dancing.For her part, Erienne was glad for a while to be somewhere other than the centre of attention.And so they had rested, drinking in the fresh air, the complex smells of ship and sea, and seeing their guides at last smile as Balaia was left behind them.Ren'erei, their erstwhile driver, had found her voice and introduced her brother, Tryuun.Tryuun had done little more than bow his similarly cropped black hair and flash his deep brown eyes, the left of which, Erienne noted, had a fixed pupil and was heavily bloodshot.The socket around it too, was scarred and shewas determined to ask Ren'erei about it before they reached their destination.Her opportunity came late one night, four days into the voyage.Supper was over and the cook pots had been stowed, though the ship's carefully netted fires still glimmered.Above them, the sails were full, the wind chasing up cloud to cover the stars [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]