Nallindia, Jangi, and Sekinmor decided to quest to destroy the Bad Dogs. Jangi asked his mother Vornathendra for help. They prepared for two weeks.
They performed rituals to summon the Alkothi they had fought at Ernandel, then Sekinmor drove his chariot to the other side. A messenger arrived with the news: the Shargashi were attacking Varknathendar. They rode to the plundered temples, to discover wild men licking the marrow from human bones.
A Shargashi smashed Verdun, but Martog turned the blow back on him, and they both fell. Feolam the Doughty cut off the scalp of one Alkothi, but was struck down from behind. Martog knocked down one foe and rushed to heal Feolam. Nallindia cut the leg off her foe, and he fell. Jangi clawed down two. Martog enveloped the last one in darkness.
Nallindia found tendons on one of the corpses, and gave them to Sekinmor. With two steps, he carried everyone back to the starting point. Everyone rejoiced that the clan would be strengthened against attacks from Alkoth.
Kuleneth had held council with the other city lords of Lakrene, and had gotten agreement for the Army of Lakrene to attack Dara-ni the following year. But he was concerned that Erilindia would be siding with Dara-ni, and wanted more allies. He decided to send to Dorastor, asking Furlam to offer his stout spear, and make sure to bring back Ironbreaker in return. Furlam swore to return with the sword, and Kuleneth gave him ten pounds worth of goods as gifts for the Council.
A group set out in Snapper. They stayed with Havaranal the Stout, Lord of Endeel. Havaranal was impressed with Furlam's oath, and made sure his daughter Ranella served him. Ranella impressed Furlam with her beauty and learning.
Thanks to Snapper, they made it to Relain the next day. The Lord of Relain was Doburonth, who considered himself the leader of the Lanisti. Many said he was jealous of Kuleneth.
Doburonth's big concern was, what was Kuleneth going to do about the Vargdoli? He didn't want the "damned King of the Heortlings" breathing down his neck.
Two days later, they reached a temple to Issaries. It was located on the conjunction of three trade routes, and ruled by Garenath of the Vargdoli. He said that the Dara-ni hadn't affected his clan's wealth, but he was fully supportive of Kuleneth's attack. He told Nallindia that Lanist was a Heortling, and that the Vargdoli were rightfully the inheritors of one of the star tribes. He and Nallindia exchanged oaths of friendships, and he gave her a pound of silver. He referred to her as Vinga, and himself as Sedenor the Star Hero.
They arrived at Dora, and gave gifts to Vyrope, the priestess of Dorasta.
Furlam's fame was unknown in Anorel so they were forced to pay for lodging at an inn.
The passed through the singing posts into Dokat. It was a large city of at least ten thousand, with diverse architecture, though it had no walls. The Hall of the Great Council was a huge round building with columns, dwarfing the other buildings, and temples to every god. Many of the buildings even had running water and toilets.
The Odrangings stayed in Faltham's villa. The next morning, they headed to the Hall of the Great Council. Furlam arranged an audience within the season, an almost unheard-of accomplishment.
Dorastor had at least a dozen ruins which were fused then shattered, including in Dokat. They were called by scholars the Feldichi ruins, although no one had found any trace of the original inhabitants, not even a ghost. One cave yielded ice which didn't melt until placed in liquid. The mostali were intensely interested in these ruins, and additional excavation was being sponsored by the Council. A mostali called Ironskull Fanak was in charge of the investigations.
Kothar knew a mostali named 1-800, who was in Dokat associated with the investigations. The mostali finally decided that Kothar was an acceptable storm man, and asked him to investigate a segment of his map for ruins.
Kothar asked Nallndia, Sekinmor, Verdun, and Martog to come with him. They found the going difficult, and sidetracked through Telsland. Continuing up Vorios, they became lost. Sekinmor finally found a path up into the ice fields, but they found themselves separated in freezing mists. Nallindia and Sekinmor made their way down and found each other, but discovered that the others were still lost.
The group still on the mountain tried to make warmth, without much luck, while their uz companions eyed them hungrily.
Nallindia managed to return up the mountain, and with difficulty, they returned to where Sekinmor had built a fire. Eventually, they returned to Dokat. The mostali accepted their report.
The members of the Council included five elder races: an aldryami, a mostali, a dragonewt, an uz, and Speaking Wheel. There were two humans, the Seri-Phy representing Dorastor, and one appointed by the High King of the Heortlings.
Furlam gained an audience with Korolf, who was one of the High King's close advisors. Furlam told him how Erilindia of Durleel was extending her power, and allying with the Shadzorings. Korolf attempted to convince him that it would be better to attack Durleel, but eventually agreed that Kuleneth's plan was better.
Furlam then spoke with Seri-Phy-Ranor. Although he came from a notable family, he was very well regarded by the farmers and the citizens of Dokat. Ranor didn't want to get Dorastor involved in what might turn into a war with the Dara Happans. He pointed out that the Council had already stripped her of her title as Director, but it had not blunted her ambition.
Hrothgar the Mighty performed the Arming of Kulebras, equipping Furlam with Kulebras's Stout Spear.
The day of the meeting arrived, and everyone went before the Council. The human Councillors were accoutred in their ancient regalia. The others were a tall aldryami, a jeweled statue, a dragonewt as long as three men, a hulking Mistress Race troll, and a fiery wheel spinning on a marble pillar.
Furlam presented his arguments, offered the Stout Spear, and asked them for Ironbreaker. Seryph-y Ranor, the aldryami, and Speaking Wheel were against, Korolf, the uzuz, the mostali, and the dragonewts agreed to send the army of the Council to Dara-ni, led by Lord Demon of Death.
On their return, Furlam asked Ranella, daughter of Havaranal the Stout, to marry him, and she agreed. The ceremony was the richest in living memory.
Part Two | Part Four
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