5 - WARDWICK
I don't know that running was the right thing to do. People died who might not have if I'd stayed. People I loved. But it seemed the only option at the time.
What had appeared rational and adventurous in the dark of night seemed a lot stupider in the morning light. But no better plan presented itself.
As we came down out of the foothills, Tyrfannig lay ahead of us. The scattered buildings, touched by the pink light of dawn, were as familiar to me as Hurog's scarred walls.
I turned to Oreg, who was riding beside me, and murmured, "Can you tell what's going on at Hurog from here?"
"From anywhere," he said. His body relaxed, and his gaze grew faraway. "You've been discovered. Garranon is saddling horses in the stable."
"Thank you." Tyrfannig was four hours' ride at top speed. We'd taken nearer to five. I wanted us to be at least an hour out of Tyrfannig when Garranon arrived.
"Penrod," I called. When he approached, I said, "I'd like you and Axiel to buy what supplies we don't have. I'll get a room at an inn for Bastilla to rest in and leave Oreg and Ciarra there for protection while I go on a few errands of my own."
"Right," he said. "I'll tell Axiel."
When Penrod had ridden off, Oreg asked, "May I come with you?"
I wanted no company, but something in his voice made me ask, "What's wrong?" instead of refusing outright.
"I cannot be too far from you when I'm away from Hurog."
"What do you mean?"
"Unpleasantness for me," he said with a brief, apologetic smile. "Not much for you."
"How far is too far?" I asked. "My business is no more than a mile from the inn. Is that close enough?"
He stared at the tips of his horse's ears for a moment, then said with clear reluctance, "It should be all right."
Since Newtonburn was the next major port on the coast, I didn't have much trouble finding a ship going there. A ship that was leaving before the pursuit from Hurog would make it to Tyrfannig was more difficult. At last I found that the Cormorant was sailing with the tide, and I had to scurry to find her clerk before he left their official list of passengers at the Ship's Office.
I paid for our passage as he warned me that the captain wouldn't wait for late passengers. I assured him that there would be no trouble; if we missed it, we would catch the next one. The clerk thought me a rich fool, which bothered me not at all. Ward of Hurog's name and seven silver each for six passages went down upon the lambskin list, easy for Garranon to find.
From the docks I strode to the south side of town. The streets were a little more unkempt, the buildings smaller. I passed three taverns, several chandleries, and a smithy before turning into a cooper's shop briefly. I backtracked to a scruffy little tavern with a sign proclaiming it the Horned Lord. The name was either blasphemous (the horned god was a reviled figure from ancient times) or audacious (a horned lord could be a lord whose wife slept with other men). Either way, it was sure to appeal to sailors.
As could be expected at this hour of the day, no one was in the tavern when I entered except a ragtag minstrel too involved with the tune he was fingering on an old harp to pay attention to me. I found a clean mug on a shelf just inside the kitchen door and helped myself to ale from an open barrel.
Taking a seat, I listened to the music. The harper was better than I expected, given his youth, though he would have done well to replace the old harp with something better crafted.
"The owner will expect payment for that ale," said the minstrel at length, brushing pale gold hair out of his eyes.
"I have a few coppers," I replied.
"I heard that the Hurogmeten died." He played a few sorrow-laden notes as he watched me.
I nodded and sipped the beer. "I didn't think you'd want to come for the funeral."
He didn't say anything.
At last I set down my empty mug. "I thought to find you working wood at the cooper's, Tosten, rather than playing tunes for a rabble lot of sailors."
My brother's chin came up defensively. "I've no talent for wood. But I can play the harp. It may not be real work - "
I broke in, "Real enough with your skill. Don't confuse me with Father. Music probably pays better than being a cooper's apprentice." He looked away, so I guess it didn't. I cleared my throat. "The reason I left you with the cooper had more to do with your safety than your talents. A handsome lad like you has to be careful around sailors." He stiffened, understanding what I meant, which he wouldn't have when I left him in Tyrfannig.
"You are the new Hurogmeten." He changed the subject abruptly. I couldn't tell what he was thinking.
Tosten had always been a secretive person. I don't believe he'd ever liked me much. My loud, good-natured idiot self had made him uncomfortable, like a noisy dog and a hot-bred horse. My father's rages and beatings - though Tosten experienced them less often than I did - had been worse for him. He'd fought and fought to be what Father wanted, not seeing that Father would never be satisfied.
"No, I'm not the Hurogmeten." I stopped to consider it. Actually, I didn't know what the king's writ did with the title. "At least I don't hold Hurog right now."
I'd gotten his interest. "Why not?"
"It seems our father decided to declare me unfit, and politics have lent him posthumous aid. Unless our uncle decides to get greedy, Hurog belongs to you."
There was a long silence that stretched until the back of my neck tightened with tension. If he wanted Hurog, it was his. I didn't think he would, but he might. He was my brother; I would not fight him for it. Tosten stared through the dark wall of the tavern as his fingers, long and graceful like Oreg's, flexed on the table.
"How?" His voice cracked, as if his mouth were dry.
"After me, you are our father's heir," I said.
"I know that," he said impatiently, "but no one knows where I am...except you. I meant, how are you going to do it?"
I frowned at him. His voice laid some significance on the last two words. "Do what?"
He snorted. "You don't think I could watch you and Father spar all these years - " He sounded as if he were several decades older than he was. " - without knowing what Hurog meant to you. After you got me out, I thought about why you'd pretend to be stupid when you weren't, and I realized that you were intent on annihilating anything that got between you and Hurog. Father destroying his children; you destroying him." He set the harp aside and stood up to face me. "So you have me here alone, now. You'd better hurry, though. The tavern owner will be back soon; he's gone to get another keg of beer."
I stared at him, feeling as stupid as I'd pretended to be. I had not a clue what he was talking about. Why should I care that the owner was coming back?
"Look," I said. "I have to leave here one way or the other, or else I'll end up in the King's Asylum for Unwanted Nobles and Embarrassing Relatives. If you want to go to Estian and train at the Minstrel Hall there, I can give you money. The cooper knows people; he can find an escort for you. If you want Hurog...well, I think Duraugh's all right; but you might keep close to Stala for a while. I'll send Penrod back with you, too - " And Oreg if I could manage it. "Maybe Axiel as well." If he wanted Hurog, I wouldn't need an army. I looked around. "I don't want to leave you here, though; it's not safe. If you can think of anywhere else you'd like to go - " I stopped midsentence as I suddenly understood what he thought I was here to do. "You think I'm here to kill you."
I was stupid for it to take me so long. The thought that I could kill my brother was so far from the truth, it had never occurred to me he might believe it.
Tosten, watching my face, flinched.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. His hand moved as if he would reach out, but he jerked it back and wrapped it around his harp so hard it must have hurt.
I felt light-headed at the sudden insight into how he saw me: battling for Hurog, so caught up in the struggle that Father's death was the merely the final punctuation.
"If you died, the king would just claim Hurog for the throne," I said, stepping back. I needed someplace to curl up in and nurse my wounds; I needed to sleep away the nagging fatigue that reminded me I wasn't on Hurog soil. I needed to leave here.
"You left the cooper's because you thought he was my man," I said, knowing that was part of the truth, though Tosten had always loved music. "Well, enough. As long as you bring in money, the tavern owner should protect you from harm." To my surprise, my voice sounded just as it always had.
I took out the heavy bag of coins that Oreg had given me and divided its contents in half. I took one pile and slid it back into the purse. There wasn't enough left to hire a band of mercenaries, but I'd find some other way. Half would be enough to pay Tosten's way through whatever school or service he wanted.
He said my name as I walked out the door.
I met up with the others at the inn. They were ready to leave, and it wasn't long before Tyrfannig was behind us. We didn't dare take the main highway to Estian; we might run into Garranon by accident. So we traveled the rougher tracks. We rode through the day and stopped before it got too dark to see.
Stala's admonitions about knowing the men fighting for you ringing in my ears, I assigned Bastilla with me to the first watch. She was still so tired she was drooping, but I was still fresh enough to stay awake until Penrod relieved us.
There was a knoll just above the camp, and I motioned Bastilla to follow me as the others were laying themselves down to sleep. She limped, but it didn't seem to slow her much.
While I sat on a fallen log, she folded her arms and leaned against a tree. Though I couldn't see her clearly in the shadows of the evening, I'd watched her as we rode today, my eye drawn to the flawless beauty of her profile. Oreg had managed a bath for her, and clean, her dark hair glinted with red highlights. She was older than I, perhaps a few years older than Mother even, but I doubted she'd seen her fortieth year.
"So," I said. "Tell me about yourself."
"What do you want to know?"
I smiled. "We may not have slaves at Hurog, but I've been to court. Slaves don't act like you. Slaves are meek and quiet. A slave wouldn't, for instance, have tried to hide how much I was hurting her when I cleaned her feet, because slaves know that making light of pain just invites more of it. Tell me who you are and why Black Ciernack would want you so badly."
She was silent.
"She's a mage, my lord," said Oreg. It was difficult to see him in the dark. I hadn't heard him approach.
"So much I did know," I said. Bastilla had looked around when he'd spoken, so I knew that he hadn't been using his trick of being unseen and unheard by anyone except me.
"I am a slave, whatever you believe," she said finally. "And I'm not a very good mage, but I am the only slave Ciernack has who is also mageborn. He finds me useful." She gestured, and a cold white flame appeared in her hand. She held it up and stared into my face for a long moment. Her complexion was pale, but that might have been because of the brilliance of the light she'd called. Her eyes glittered with stress. I don't know what she was looking for in my expression nor if she found it before she extinguished the light.
"I see," I said. "Where did he get you? Avinhelle?" Her accent sounded western, all soft consonants.
She hesitated, then nodded. "From the Cholyte refuge."
"You were sworn to Chole?" The patron goddess of Avinhelle demanded mages to serve in her temples: slaves in truth, but not ordinary slaves. For the first time I believed her claims. "How did he get you out?" I asked. The Cholytes were very well defended.
I could hear the bitter smile in her voice. "My life was dearly bought. I understand the Cholynn was in need of wealth to gain more power with the high king."
"She sold you to him."
Bastilla inclined her head.
"You are free to go where you will, you know. We're about as far from Avinhelle as we can get and still be in the Five Kingdoms, but I can pay for an escort home." And not much more, if the rest of us were going to make it to Oranstone.
She shook her head. "My family sold me to the Cholynn, my lord. They would be obliged to return me, and the Cholynn would simply send me back to the man she sold me to in the first place. I have no place to go. If you take me with you, I'll make myself useful." She lowered her head and shifted against the tree.
"How did you know about Hurog?" asked Oreg suddenly. "Hurog has not been a refuge for runaway slaves for a very long time. If you'd arrived few months earlier, my lord's father would have had you returned to your owner immediately."
She laughed without amusement. "Ciernack has a slave boy whose job it is to keep the fire burning in the room where the men drink. He told me that once a great lord came in and told stories about a fabled keep called Hurog. He must have listened very hard, for the boy knew three or four stories by heart."
I laughed, feeling even more stupid. "No, he probably heard them any number of times. Last time I went to court, I went to Ciernack's place several times and told those stories over and over to anyone with the misfortune to be in my company." I'd been trying to help a friend out of Ciernack's clutches. I'd failed.
So it had been my stories that caused Bastilla to come to Hurog. Even that straw in my downfall had been by my own doing.
I rubbed my face. "You are certain you want to stay with us? If you come, you're likely to find yourself in the middle of a full-scale war in Oranstone."
"Better with you, my lord, than out selling myself in the streets."
"Ah, then," I said with casual cheerfulness, "you'll just have to hire on with a mercenary band." I leaned closer to her and purred, "For you know, 'tis an ill-prepared mercenary who doesn't have his own mage to counter the magics sent against him."
There was a little silence, then she said, "How do you do that? One minute a stupid lout, the next a lord, and an instant later a...a..."
"Tavein Kirrete at your service," I bowed with more flourish than grace.
Oreg snickered suddenly. "I'd forgotten about him. He was a mercenary who came to train with the Blue Guard a few years ago," he explained to Bastilla. "Thought an awful lot of himself, and he left the day after Stala, Ward's aunt, wiped the dirt with his face. Couldn't stomach being beaten by a woman. You play him better than he did himself."
I bowed shallowly to acknowledge the compliment. Even Oreg didn't see the whole truth. Everyone I portrayed, including the lord, was an act as well. He was gleaned from stories of Seleg and from Seleg's journals hidden in the library. I hadn't been a real person since I was twelve.
"A younger son," I said out loud. "Too many people have met Tavern."
"What?" asked Bastilla.
"I can't be Ward of Hurog; he's too likely to get sent to Estian, eh? Everyone knows he's an idiot who belongs in the King's Asylum. I think I'll be a younger son in disgrace and trying to restore his good name. I took horses and money from my home when I escaped in the night with my faithful retainer...Now, let's see, should that be Axiel or Penrod? Penrod, I believe, he has that old-retainer air about him - and my squire, Ciarra, whom we shall call Ciar because it's safer for her to be a boy. Axiel will be a man we met upon the road, destitute, a fighter whose master died due to illness...the scourge. Oreg will be my cousin or bastard half brother or something."
"Is he?" asked Bastilla, sounding faintly intrigued.
Drawn back from my tale-telling, I frowned. "Yes, but he doesn't like to talk about it."
"I don't?" asked Oreg, raising an eyebrow.
"No," I replied firmly.
"What about me?" asked Bastilla leaning forward.
"She's the cause of your disgrace?" offered Oreg.
"No," I shook my head. "Too melodramatic. I think we hired you at Tyrfannig. An Avinhelle-born wizard stranded at a northern seaport."
"Rescued from a shipwreck?" she offered enthusiastically. "Stranded too far from home to afford passage back, so I took employment with a likely-looking group of soldiers?"
"Sure," I nodded. I liked her, and not just because she was beautiful.
"I thought you were against melodrama," muttered Oreg.
"This is strange," Bastilla said with abrupt seriousness. "I would never have thought to end up here, so far from home. Cholytes are forbidden to leave the Tower. Some of them walk around with a permanent glow from talking to the goddess. But I never felt her. The potions that we were given to help us reach her never worked on me. The Cholynn was very upset because I did neither the goddess nor the Tower any good." Underneath the stiffness, I heard shame.
Oreg snorted. "Drugged the lot of you so they could siphon your powers. You don't need drugs for the gods to touch you. Ask the ascetics at Menogue. They have Aethervon's power, enough to crisp the Acolyte Tower, and their people aren't drained husks after a year's apprenticeship."
I cleared my throat, hoping Bastilla, Avinhelle-born, didn't know much Tallvenish history.
"Menogue? The ruin outside of Estian? I was told it was destroyed in the Reformation Wars." Several hundred years ago. "And Aethervon's order with it."
There was a long silence, then Oreg said, "I'm something of a historian. Sometimes I think I live more closely to the past than the present."
Of course she accepted it. The truth was much less believable.
"How did you two meet?" asked Bastilla after a moment. "Axiel and Penrod don't know you. You're too young to be as good a wizard as you are; even the Cholynn couldn't teleport herself without a complicated ceremony, and you do it in the blink of an eye."
I assumed she was talking to Oreg, as I hadn't teleported myself anywhere.
"Oreg's one of the family," I said.
"Bastard," confirmed Oreg truthfully enough. "I'm older than I look. There was this spell..." His voice trailed off, then started up again briskly. "I decided I wanted to see the family estates. It was easy to get in without anyone knowing, but Ward and his sister found me out."
He lied as well as I did; use as much of the truth as you can to give the wrong impression. Perhaps it was something in the blood.
The night was still dark, when I awoke to a touch on my shoulder, and Penrod kneeling beside me. I rolled to my feet with as little noise as I could and gathered my sword. I followed him into the woods and back to the rise I'd occupied earlier, where Oreg was waiting.
I saw immediately what he'd brought me to see. Not a half mile away was the unmistakable orange glow of a campfire.
"Have you checked it out?" I asked.
Penrod shook his head.
"Stay here. I'll take a look, but you keep watch. If you see a scuffle, wake the others."
Walking quietly in the woods is difficult. Doing it in the dead of night with nothing but the light of the moon proved impossible. I was fairly sure that unless the campers were deaf or asleep, they knew I was approaching before I got there.
There was only a single figure visible in the camp. He was wrapped in a thin cloak and perched on a large rock in front of the fire with his back to me. There was only one bedroll.
"I thought it would be safer if you found me than if I tried to ride all the way to your camp," said my brother conversationally, though I was fairly sure he couldn't see me where I crouched under a nearby tree.
"Staring into the fire is bad for your night vision," I commented without approaching closer. I couldn't imagine what Tosten was doing here.
"I don't want to study with the harpers in Estian," he said. "I don't want to be a cooper. I don't want to work as the entertainment for an inn. Most especially, I don't want Hurog." His voice was tight with strain. "I'm sorry, Ward. If not for you, I'd be buried in the hillside with the rest of our ancestors who took the easy way out of this life."
I sighed and stepped out so the light of the fire made me as visible to his eyes as he was to mine.
"Don't fret," I said. "You don't know me well, not really. Just enough to know I'm not as stupid as you thought me." I fed a small stick to his fire.
Tosten had only known what I'd shown him. Our midnight ride to Tyrfannig several years ago had been only slightly less dramatic than the confrontation last night. He'd been weak from loss of blood and I'd been in a hurry. There hadn't been time to talk.
It wasn't his fault that when I looked at him I saw the cheerful hellion he'd been as a toddler while he saw a stranger who looked like our father.
I spoke again. "Father would have done it. Would have killed you for standing in his way."
"As he tried to kill you." Tosten's voice was soft, non-judgmental. "Some Oranstonians stopped at the tavern today. They were cursing a ship that had already sailed. The older one, the dangerous one, said he'd send a man to Newtonburn, but the likelihood was that you - he used your name - were gone. He said Ciernack would have to accept money to replace his slave. It would cost more than they could afford, and the money would come out of the younger man's inheritance. Does that sound right?"
I nodded, glad to turn to less painful subjects. "What did you do, spy upon them?"
"No, I played for them. Likely that everyone heard them for a block - at least the younger man. He was vociferous about his objections to spending the rest of the year in Buril - wherever that is."
"Buril is Garranon's estate in Oranstone. Landislaw, his younger brother, is court-raised though. He'll view it as the far side of nowhere." I'd intended on avoiding Buril, but it was good to know for certain. I outlined the events that led to my escape in as few a words as I could.
"So what do you intend to do now?" Tosten asked, the firelight shifting over his face so I could not read his expression.
"I'm going to fight a war with Vorsag in Oranstone."
Tosten, like Axiel, merely nodded, leading me to question his sanity, too. "It might work. War heroes are hard to dispose of neatly." There was no doubt in his voice that I'd be a hero.
"So I thought," I agreed.
Tosten tucked his head down, hair falling over his face. "I would like to go with you."
It was guilt. He'd hurt my feelings and wanted to make up for it.
"Go learn from the minstrels in Estian," I said. "I have enough fighters."
"I'm good, Ward. You know that."
He was. Oh, not like Father and me. His technique was speed and agility not strength, but that made him no less deadly, no matter what Father had said. Tosten would strengthen our party. Five fighters and a sorceress, with only Ciarra to guard.
"If you want to help me, I could use you in Estian," I said. "I need somewhere safe for the Brat."
His face came up, and I saw the same stubborn look that Ciarra had. "I'll not go to Estian. You don't have to let me travel with you, but I'll follow. Don't forget I have plenty of money to travel."
I closed my eyes. There were many reasons to welcome him and only one to send him away. I didn't want to put my brother in danger. I'd take a look at the situation in Oranstone. If it looked too bad, I'd send him away with Ciarra. He'd go if it was to protect the Brat.
"Get your bedroll," I said. "You might as well camp with us now."
I helped him put the fire out and gather his things.
When dawn came, I called everyone together. Ciarra sat near Tosten, occasionally patting his face as if to reassure herself he was really there. Tosten kept sliding unobtrusive glances at Oreg.
"From now on," I said, "we are a team. We work together, helping each other if we can. Every morning, we'll train. For today, Axiel will teach Oreg, Bastilla, Ciarra, and Tosten."
"Axiel," I continued, "I don't know how much Oreg and Bastilla know. Ciarra is a beginner, and Tosten, you remember, is very good at knives and hand-to-hand. Penrod and I will work out together. In the evening, I'll work out with Axiel and Penrod with Tosten. As we improve, we'll change things, but training means survival, so we're going to train as hard as we can and still travel."
The pace I set, both in training and travel, was brutal. We all lost weight, even the horses. A week of hard traveling saw us roughly three days outside of Estian.
"Elbow in, Bastilla." I called, watching her fight with my sister.
She'd known quite a bit about fighting, proving the reputation of the Cholytes was not undeserved, but she hadn't had my aunt as a teacher. Bastilla's footwork in particular was still rudimentary, partially because her feet were still tender. Ciarra, smaller and younger, was a much better swordswoman.
My sister hardly looked like the delicate child she'd seemed in Hurog. Hard muscle shaped her arms and shoulders as she countered one of Bastilla's swings.
Penrod tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to Tosten and Oreg's bout. Frowning, I walked across the camp and observed them.
Like Ciarra, Oreg had thrived on our journey. His horsemanship had improved until he could ride most of the horses we had with us. His fighting was indeed somewhere between mine and Ciarra's, but much closer to mine. Watching him fight with Tosten was like seeing two flitting shadows, one gold, one dark. Their hands moved so fast it was hard to follow the action, which was why Penrod had called me over.
My brother's fighting had been rusty at first, but he'd quickly improved. It was his attitude that remained a problem. Like everyone else, he'd accepted that Oreg was a bastard relative, but it only seemed to increase his resentment. In truth, Tosten seemed so unhappy, I wondered why he'd chosen to come with us. He barely spoke to anyone except Ciarra. Oreg, he despised. Had Oreg been a normal boy, I'd have been worried for him. Instead, I worried about Tosten.
Oreg was having to work at keeping Tosten's sharp blade away from his body.
"Remember, this is practice, Tosten, not an all-out," I called and watched grimly until the fervor of his strokes diminished.
Axiel looked up at me from where he was fixing our breakfast and nodded his agreement to my words.
"Axiel," I said, keeping a wary eye on Tosten and Oreg. "Tell me about the siege at Famish Keep."
"Not Famish Keep again," gasped Oreg, ducking my brother's sword. "Please, anything but that."
Axiel was a better fighter than even Stala, and under his tutelage, I was fast improving. Better yet, he had a firm understanding of army tactics. Penrod was quick and clever. He quite often beat me in training bouts. At every opportunity I picked their memories for campaign stories about Oranstone, about fighting battles, and about strategies for winning. They teased me about it, but they talked until they were hoarse because I asked it of them.
Axiel began with the mistakes the defenders made. I listened and learned.
After breakfast and stories, we rode through grasslands all day. The travel was easier on the horses than the rough coastal roads had been, but it was disheartening for the riders. One mile looked much like the last and the next. It was difficult to believe we'd ever see Oranstone.
After practice and dinner, I stole the last hour before dusk to ride out alone on Pansy as always. Sometimes I used the time for hunting; sometimes I just worked with the stallion, teaching him the kinds of things a warhorse should know and a few others besides. It kept me fresh and gave me time to be myself - whoever that was. With the others, I was Seleg, my legendary hero, borrowing his calmness and leadership abilities, which only Oreg noticed with quiet sarcasm. And, as we approached Estian, I could see them responding to Seleg's calm confidence with confidence of their own - even Oreg. Only Pansy heard my doubts.
"So, Axiel," I panted, lying on the ground belly first and watching Oreg run Ciarra through her paces. "What do you think of us as a mercenary band? Are we big enough, or does someone need to travel to Estian and recruit?"
"Someone trained him as an assassin," he replied with a nod in Oreg's direction. Axiel wasn't nearly as worn out as I, but I gained some satisfaction from his sweat-dampened clothes.
"Oreg, an assassin?" I watched the fight more attentively.
"I wasn't speaking of Ciarra." His tone was dry. "He's modified them, but they're assassin's moves, all the same. Where did you find him? There can't be many assassin-trained mages scattered about."
"He found me," I replied truthfully. "He's a Hurog - a bastard, but still a Hurog. I don't know a lot about his background, but I'll be damned if I'll treat him the way my father did."
"Ah," said Axiel. After a moment he said, "I don't think we need any more men. Hit and run, midnight raids - that's the best work. More skill and less chance."
"Less glory," I said. "But I suppose I don't have the belly for close-fought battles won against the odds. Stala has seen to that."
"Never was a good general who won a close-fought battle," agreed Axiel, somehow managing to imitate my aunt's voice with his bass.
I finished the quote. "A good general never gets in a close-fought battle. Hit them where they are weak."
"Avoid them when they are strong," added Tosten, coming from the fire to sit cross-legged next to me. "Hit their supply trains and their payroll."
The fight between Oreg and Ciarra degenerated into farce when she broke into giggles at the fierce scowls he was sending her way. The sounds were atonal and odd, but they made me smile. Oreg hoisted her over his shoulder and spun around until he staggered.