31d (Argentum’s Song – PG)

Martha shook her head.

“It’s just a different language. I heard it once in the capital with people who looked similar … their faces I mean. I think maybe they were originally turned far from here. They just don’t understand you.”

“Exactly! Turned beasts who don’t understand. The oath only works if you take it with your mouth and your heart. You can’t do that if you don’t understand.”

Argent brought his flute out.

“Actually, I think they might have understood this. I remembered what Ferus told me in the cave. He wanted me to w -”

“We don’t have time for this, your father is dying!”

Bildad turned his back on Argent, brandishing an Argentum Sword in each hand. Argent moved back into his line of sight.

“There is a difference between the weirs and the brutes. Martha is proof.”

Bildad snorted and Argent tried a different tact.

“Look we’ll know for sure once she quests but I really th -”

“We have no time!”

“I gave her my word.”

“She’s already gone. Your father isn’t.”

“She helped save his life.”

“You’re really going to choose this beast over the greatest man who’s ever lived? Argent, I’ve never seen anyone come back from anything this bad. You owe him to be with him if he passes. No more talking.”

Bildad swung both arms and the wide eyed man fell in three pieces.

The women scrambled to his remains and let out an undulating wail. Argent couldn’t believe what he had just seen. Bildad was a Warrior, a defender of the helpless how could he – the blades flashed again and the woman fell silent. Bildad turned on Martha who was just as frozen in shock as he was himself.

“In the presence of three True Warriors I call your actions in dispute Bildad …”

Argent’s words must have penetrated Martha’s shock as she dodged Bildads first swing. Argent sped up his words trying to get the whole formula out in time.

“As a Quorum of Warriors is already assembling within a cycle in Phenton …”

He lunged and clung to Bildad’s leg as he spoke, trying to slow him down. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Sven circling behind Martha.

“I demand a binding arbitration on this matter before either you execute Martha or I help her quest.”

Bildad roared in frustration and Argent let go. Either He would honour the ways or he wouldn’t. Acting like he didn’t trust him to would only make him less likely to. Bildad charged, and Martha stumbled as she backed away. Bildad brushed past her and slid to a stop by Sven’s horse. Slowing barely long enough to clean them, he put Crimson Blade and Wolfripper in their respective sheaths, and climbed up behind Simon. With one hand on Simon’s belt and the other on the reigns he whirled the horse back towards the trail.


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