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.Always there had been ten or twenty senior Rodmistresses on call to assist if there was trouble, and never had a gate been held open long enough for so many to pass through.She hoped Herewiss knew what he was doing.Herewiss didn’t move, but from where Khávrinen’s point rested against the ground, a sudden runnel of blue Fire uncoiled like a snake and shot out across the sand.It put down swift roots to anchor itself, then leaped upward into the air.The atmosphere prickled with ruthlessly constrained Power as the line of blue light described a doorway as tall as Herewiss and twice as wide.When the frame was complete the Fire ran back along its doorsill and reached upward again, this time branching out like ivy on an unseen trellis, filling the doorway with a network that steadily grew more complex.In a few breaths’ time the door became one solid, pulsing panel of blue.Sweat stood on Herewiss’s face.“Now,” he said, still unmoving.The blue winked out, all but the outline.From beyond the door a wet-smelling wind struck out and smote them all in the face.Lake Rilthor, their destination, lay in the lowlands, a thousand feet closer to sea level than the Waste.Through the door Segnbora saw green grass, and a soft rolling meadow leading down toward a silver-hazed lake, within which a hill was half-hidden.“Go on,” Herewiss said, and his voice sounded strained.“Don’t take all day.”They led their horses through as quickly as they could, though not as quickly as they wanted to, for without exception the horses tried to put their heads down to graze as soon as they passed the doorway, and had to be pulled onward to let the others through.At last Segnbora was able to pull the reluctant Steelsheen through after the others.She was followed closely by Herewiss and Sunspark, behind whom the door winked out with a very audible slam of sealed-in air.Segnbora turned to compliment Herewiss and found him half-collapsed over Sunspark’s back, with Freelorn supporting him anxiously from one side.He looked like a man who had just run a race; his breath went in and out in great racking gasps, and his face was going gray.“I thought there’d be no more backlash once you got your Fire!” Freelorn said.Herewiss rolled his head from side to side on the saddle, unable for several moments to find enough breath to reply.“Different,” he said, “different problem,” and started to cough.Freelorn pounded his back ineffectually while Segnbora and the others looked on.When the coughing subsided, Herewiss rested his head on the saddle again, still gasping.“—open too wide,” he said.“What? The gate?”“No.Me.”Confused, Freelorn looked at Segnbora.“Do you know what he’s talking about?”She nodded.“In a worldgating, the gate isn’t really the physical shape you see.The gate is in your mind—the ‘door’ shape is just a physical expression of When you open a gate, you’re actually throwing your soul wide open.Anything can get out.And anything can get in.It’s not pleasant.”“I don’t know about you people, but I can hardly hear,” Dritt said rather loudly.“Swallow,” Herewiss said.“Your ears’ll pop.” At last, his strength returning, he looked around with satisfaction.“You’re better than I am with distances, Lorn.How far from Lake Rilthor would you say we are?”Freelorn shaded his eyes, looking first at the Sun to orient himself.“It’s a little higher—”“Of course.We’re sixty leagues west.”Freelorn looked southwest toward the lake, and to the mist-girdled peak rising from its waters.“Four miles, I’d say.”“That’s about what I wanted,” Herewiss said, pleased.“Not bad for a first gating.”“It’s so quiet,” Harald said, looking around suspiciously.“It’s a holy place,” said Moris, unruffled and matter-of-fact as always.Segnbora looked around at the silent green country, agreeing, opening out her undersenses to the affect of this place.Like most fanes or groves or great altars, the Morrowfane made you feel that Someone was watching—Someone who would only speak using the heart’s own voice.Yet the feeling here was less personified, more remote, than any she’d experienced before.Above everything hung a waiting silence, as when the hawk sails high and no bird sings.Below the silence was a slow, steady throbbing of incalculable power, as if the world’s heart beat nearby.A ruthless inturned benevolence slept at the center of Lake Rilthor, and slept lightly.It was no wonder that there wasn’t a town or a farm or even a sheepfold for miles around.—It was not a smell, or a feeling, or a vision precisely, that started to creep up on her.Segnbora stood up straight, glancing around at the others.None of them sensed what she had.Herewiss and Freelorn were leaning against Lorn’s dun, Blackmane, together, speaking quietly; Moris and Dritt had walked off a little way to look southwest at the Fane; Lang was rubbing down the perpetually sweaty Gyrfalcon; Harald was seeing to yellow-coated Swallow’s cinches.Sunspark had disappeared on some mysterious errand of its own.She turned and looked east, her hand dropping to Charriselm’s hilt.There it was again, another flash of othersight—vague and odd, focus bizarrely rounded, colors all awry.And smell too, acrid, terrible, enraging.That’s familiar, I know that—Then the memory found her: that one time in the Precincts when the novices, carefully supervised, were allowed to shapechange and feel what a beast’s body was like.“Herewiss!” Segnbora said, turning to him in alarm.He put his head up to the wind, gazing eastward as she had, but saw nothing.“You just did a wreaking,” she said.“You may still be overloaded.Taste it!”Herewiss closed his eyes and reached out his undersenses.Segnbora did too, standing swaying in the long grass, and caught the impression again, stronger this time [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]