By David Cook
An extreme, own tale of survival, a departure from the extra sweeping "battle opposed to nice evil" stories that represent the remainder of the Harpers books. traveling a long way north in defiance of her Harper superiors, Martine of Sembia reveals herself trapped within the lonely, snowbound valley of Samek. Illustrations
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Extra info for Soldiers of Ice (Forgotten Realms - The Harpers, No 7)
It was once an realization to aspect born of behavior. The curl of a float, the switchbacks in their path, even the grating shifts of crumbling snow underneath her toes have been like islands of fact in a nightmarish sea of ice. The slide they have been on used to be now not clean. She may well inform incidentally the wind had sculpted the snowy blocks and through the stiff-crusted drifts that nestled within the hollows. close to the bottom, the place the slope tapered off, the trail crossed a ribbon of ice that left the ranger careworn. Even within the starlight, it glinted with transparent purity, reflecting the evening again within the delicate ripples of its floor. it's going to were jagged and cracked, the way in which ice will get whilst it warms and freezes, yet she may perhaps in basic terms think it as a flowing river. She spotted, too, that there has been whatever concerning the ice that spooked the gnolls. Their speedy speed broke as they neared its aspect, and so they crossed nearly gingerly. The eyes of these closest to her have been full of worry, consistently straying to each other as though anticipating a few hidden peril. after they have been off the ice, the strain pale as speedy because it had risen. on the leader’s barked name, the pack plunged around the snowy moraine on the glacier’s base. They the winding moraine directly into the woods, relocating alongside a well-packed music that lower during the waist-deep snow. within the darkness of the screening branches, Martine had no chance to take sightings and consequently had no transparent notion the place they have been whilst the pack ultimately rounded a dense thicket and broke right into a shimmering clearing. 5 darkish arches of primitive longhouses have been nestled on the forest’s part. The tang of pine smoke and burnt meat crammed the air. “Harrrooo! ” the pack’s chief howled earlier than getting into the clearing. A deep-throated howl mixed with the echo. chuffed, the pack moved quickly around the trampled snow, prior chilly hearth pits and snow-buried mounds of wooden to the biggest of the longhouses, an arch of bent wooden clad in birch and leather-based that flapped within the breeze, as though welcoming the hunters with ghostly applause. The chief threw open the thick disguise doorway and barked at Martine to move inside of. She stumbled on the sill, and a gnoll shoved her via, mistaking the close to fall for hesitation. the interior curtain was once pulled apart, unleashing a thick rush of humid odors, a mix of leather-based, blood, smoke, flesh, birch, and sweat. A mumbled snarl emerging from a horde of throats greeted her front. The inn used to be full of hot yellow glints of fireplace that made Martine blink. The lengthy corridor used to be draped with furs and hides. The paintings was once sloppily performed. The coverings didn’t constantly fit up, leaving the body of woven saplings that shaped the longhouse’s arch uncovered. Elk skulls and antlers hung from the arch as macabre undefined, along soot-black strips of jerky. the overall influence was once that of a moldering cellar. The ranger may possibly wager the remainder of the lodge’s construction—a layer of pine boughs for insulation, capped by way of the surface shell she’d already noticeable. This position is a tinderbox anticipating a spark.