Lyssa pointed toward the slain riding pony, where gorcrows now squabbled again.
The pony tracks show that it was running from the direction of the pass when it was brought down. The rider—this gnoman—managed to leap clear. He ran from the road but was pursued by his killers. He had no chance afoot, and they caught him here and slew him. Then they did this. She gestured at the hideous length of gutted esophagus and stomach and entrails strung out through the grass and sliced open, and at the torn and slashed clothing strewn 'round.
What would bring a gentle gnoman out from under his mountain, asked Rith, her eyes looking everywhere but at the mutilated corpse,
and who would do such a horrible deed?
Lyssa shook her head.
I don't know, she muttered, and waved a hand toward the road,
but whoever did this—she fished the black stone tip from her pouch—
used blades of obsidian and came on cloven-hoofed steeds.
Drakka? That cannot be! They were shut away from Itheria after their defeat in the demonwars.
Ky seemed stunned, but she shook her head as if to clear it, then pointed at the gnoman and asked,
When did this happen?
Lyssa turned up a hand and looked to Kane. The big man squatted beside the corpse and dipped a finger into a small pool of red gore, breaking through a thin crust to do so. He studied the ruddy tip of his finger for a moment, then rubbed a thumb 'round and across the grume. At last he said,
From the state of the blood, no more than sixteen candlemarks past, and no less than twelve.
Sometime after sunup, muttered Arton, looking up at the late morning sky as clouds thickened among the peaks of the range and a chill wind blew down.
But that's impossible! exclaimed Ky.
Even if they could cross into our plane, drakka are demons of the dark, creatures of the night. For them, to step into sunlight is to step into death.