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The Dragonbone Chair re-read – Part Three – Simon Snowlock

This is the last part of The Dragonbone Chair re-read. I may have gotten a bit over-zealous with maps and charts this time….but Tad made this section longer than the previous two so it required more notes…

The introductory post is here, if you are interested.

The re-read post for part I, Simon Mooncalf is here.

The re-read post for part II, Simon Pilgrim is here.

This first book is 766 pages – paperback. Part  Three: Simon Snowlock goes to page 473 to 766.

A note on the obvious: if you have not read the book, since this describes said book…here there be spoilers!

Chapter 30: A Thousand Nails - Simon awakens in Naglimund, in the room of Father Strangeyeard and goes in search of his companions (Binabik, Marya and Qantaqa). He finds Binabik, who is bandaged but healing. Simon has a great quote while talking to Binabik that is innocent while wise:

“And you have saved my life,” Binabik pointed out.
“Is that important?” Simon distractedly patted the small hand and stood up. “You have saved mine as well, several times. Friends are friends.” (pg 477)

Simon recognizes Sangfugol, Josua’s harper, who helps him find the stables. He finds Qantaqa being kept in a pit, which he rescues the wolf from and reunites her later with Binabik. Sangfugol takes Simon on a tour of Naglimund, showing him the “nails” that it is named for (Naglimund means “nail fort” in Erkynlandish. The nails were to keep the Sithi out, since the Sithi can’t stand iron.

Sangfugol gives Simon some background on Josua and Elias (Josua was bringing Hylissa, Elias’ wife, to him, when they were attacked by Thirthings; Hylissa was killed and Josua lost his hand). Simon is a bit peeved that Josua has not yet seen him, but Sangfugol says he will mention Simon to the Prince. Simon then sees the giant that attacked him in the last chapter being thrown on a pyre to burn, and thinks he sees Marya in the crowd watching…but it is not her.

Chapter 31: The Councils of the Prince – Father Strangeyeard, who is Naglimund’s historian, asks to see Morgenes’ manuscript. Simon is brought before Josua by Towser, who barley recognizes the boy through years and drink. Josua and Simon have a brief discussion of the defense of Naglimund and Josua’s rescue. Josua instructs Simon to seek out the captain of the guards to be trained on using a sword. Simon asks after Marya, and Josua states vaguely “Even in our darkest hours we cannot keep our minds from them, can we?” but says he cannot help.

Binabik comes to his room the next morning, with a letter from Marya, signed “M”, calling him “friend” and sending his hormones into an uproar.

Simon is given over to Haestan by the captain of the guards, who gets him a bow and then proceeds to train him/beat-the-snot-out-of-him with “cloth-padded wooden poles.”

Binabik takes Simon to the council that Prince Josua calls:

“Grave and troubling times. The High King in the Hayholt – and yes, he is my brother, of course, but for our purposes here he is the king – seems to have turned his back on our hardships. Taxes have been raised to the point of cruel punishment, even as land has suffered beneath fierce drought in Erkynland and Hernystir and terrible storms in the north. At the same time that the Hayholt reaches out to take more than it ever did under King John’s reign, Elias has pulled back the troops that once kept the roads open and safe, and which helped to garrison the emptied lands of the Frostmarch and the Wealdhelm.” (pg 506-507)

“I have no wish to be king, Baron. My brother knew that, yet still he captured me, killed a score of my men and held me in his dungeons. (pg 509)

To give testimony that the King may be “crossing over into madness”, Josua brings in a witness…and, that witness is Marya, Simon and Binabik’s traveling companion who was Malachias, and who is actually Miriamele, daughter of Elias and princess.

Chapter 32: Northern Tidings – Simon drowns his sorrows on feeling betrayed by Miri with Towser (who best to drink with if not a professional drinker?). Towser tells him tales of the Battle of Naarved, where John Prester defeated King Jormgrun and became the high King. Simon perceptively asks if the sword Bright-Nail was there.

Simon runs into Princess Miriamele after training, and young love is once again awkward. She admits to following him around because he was “…on your own, no one telling you what to do, where to be, who to smile at and talk to…I was envious.” Miri is an admitted stalker!

Binabik drags Simon back to the council that evening, and Duke Isgrimnur has returned. He tells of how he was finally let leave the Hayholt by King Elias, then of the ambush at St. Hoderund’s, the attack of the Bukken and his trip north to his homelands. He finds, as suspected, that Elias has named him traitor and given control to Skali Sharp-Nose.

Isgrimnur also picked up Jarnauga (the Duke and his men were whom Jarnauga was waiting for in Chapter 28). Jarnauga, first heckled by the council, explains that he is of the League of the Scroll (Binabik recognizes his name), and he tells them that their real enemy is not Elias, nor Pryrates, but …the Storm King (cue the eerie music).

 “He has waited five centuries to take back what he feels is his, and his hand is colder and stronger than any of you can understand.”

“Your enemy…our enemy…died five hundred years ago; the place where his first life ended lies beneath the foundation of the castle where your life began. He is Ineluki…the Storm King.” (pg 529)

Chapter 33: From the Ashes of Asu’a – Jarnauga tells his tale. The parallels between the mostly dead Inuelki and Tolkein’s Sauron are significant, and would be worth a long article (maybe a three-way comparison between LOTR, MST and ASOIAF…one day after my wife wins the lottery).

I wish I could put the entire chapter here, as it (and the next chapter) gives the history and the background to setup the entire conflict and the paths of the rest of the story.

We learn several pieces of information:

  • King Eahlstan the Fisher King founded the League of the Scroll two centuries earlier;
  • “The Sithi lost their last human allies at the Summerfield, Ach Samrath and with the Hernystiri routed there was none among the Sithi who could stand against northern iron.” (pg 531)
  • The Sithi, sensing defeat, go into mourning for their way of like, except for the Sithi King’s son, Ineluki.
  • About this time, Bishop Anodis leaves the council, not willing to sit and listen to these heretical words.
  • A bit of dragon family tree: Inueluki, together “…with his brother Hakatri he had fought the worm Hidohebhi the Black, mother of the Red worm Shurakai that John Prester slew, and mother as well of Igjarjuk, the white dragon of the north.” Hakatri was injured by the worms fires, and sent over the ocean in hopes that he “might be whole again.”
  • Ineluki, seeking a way to defeat men, turns to the dark side of the Force.
  • He merges black iron with the witchwood trees beneath Asu’a. From this, he makes a terrible sword. His father condemns the sword, but Ineluki in his madness strikes his father down, and, mourning his action, names the blade Sorrow…Jingizu.
  • About this time, Simon says “I think I will have a flashback” and starts to remember what he saw on the Angry stones while running from the Hayholt.
  • With five servants – which have been named the Red Hand by northerners – Ineluki took the battle to the humans, and came close, but they were outnumbered.
  • Ineluki pulls down one final big black magic, killing many of the invaders, setting Asu’a on fire, and burning he and the five to a crisp.

This finally jars Simon’s memory – he cries out, freaks out and passes out. He once again has a vision of the Storm King. He comes to with Miri taking care of him, with several around him. Binabik has told the council of their adventures, and they go back in.

  • Jarnauga tells Simon that it was not the Storm King he saw, but a Red Hand…and he is surprised that Simon survived even that.
  • Jarnauga describes King Eahlstan Fiskerne setting up the League of the Scroll after finding evidence deep in the Hayholt that Ineluki did not completely perish.
  • The council adjourns, and Binabik and Simon remember walking the dream road and seeing the book on the Weird of the Swords.

And, just because this chapter isn’t long enough already, it cuts to Pryrates in the Hayholt, down at the same forge where Ineluki made Sorrow. He now has put Inch in charge of making siege machines. Pryrates speaks of the coming attack on Naglimund to Elias, and of Jegger hunting Miri and Simon (“it has become something of a grudge.”)

Chapter 34: Forgotten Swords – In this chapter, we get the description of the three swords Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. And the start of the search for Thorn based on Towser’s memories.

First, Josua and Vorzheva have a spat. Ok, that’s done.

Binabik, Father Strangeyeard and Jarnauga have searched the Naglimund archives for a copy of Nisses’ Weird of the Swords, but have not found it. Instead, they have found in Morgenes’ book on the life of John Prester, a description of the three swords and how they are tied together.

The first Great Sword came, in its form original, from out of the Sky one thousand years agone….Now from this molten wrack was taken a great piece and Imperator’s swordwrights found it Workable, and the sky-metal was hammered into a great blade. In mind of the scourging branches which had flaid Usires’ Back, the star-sword – as I supposed it to be – was named THORN, and a mighty power there was in it…(pg 552) 

The second of the Great Swords came from the Sea, traveling across the salt ocean from the West to Osten Ard…Thus it went that the keel was given to the Dvernings, a secretive and crafty race, and they separated out the Pure and Significant metal by means unknown, and smithed a long and shining blade…In thought of their coming to this new country, Elvrit named the sword MINNEYEAR, which means year of ‘memory’. (pg 553-554)

The last part quotes from Nisses’ book says the Three Swords must come together.

Tracing the story and path of Minneyear, it  “…went through Elvrit’s line…to his son Hjedlin, and then when Hjedlin fell from the tower – with Nisses dead on the floor behind him – Hjedlin’s lieutenant Ikferdig took it…”. And Ikferdig was fried to a krisp by the red dragon Shurakai. Which implies to the group that the sword Minneyear/Memory is still somewhere in the Hayholt, along with SORROW which Elias has.

That leaves Thorn for them to attempt to retrieve. They thought the sword called Thorn, which was wielded by Camaris (who fought King John and later became his friend) went with him into the ocean. But Towser, who was with King John most of the time, tells them that Camaris gave it over to his squire Sir Colmund. Sir Colmund heard of treasures guarded by the dragon Igjarjuk (shades of the Hobbit and the dragon lording over the dwarves treasures!) and headed to get them.

Josua decides to send a group to search out the sword Thorn, lead by Binabik, with Sludig the Rimmersman, and three of Josua’s men..and Simon, who at first is pissed off at not being asked what he wanted to do, and says he is not going. Since they may be parted, Binabik gives Simon the ring that Morgenes had tied to one of the escaping sparrows, no doubt the same ring his mother dropped while dying while giving birth to Simon (way back in Chapter 3). Simon has a chat with Miriamele, who gives him a scarf and a kiss, and convinces him to go north.

A quick conversation between Lady Vorzheva and someone unnamed about doing something unnamed….more later in the book.

Simon, Binabik and the men depart under cover of night on horseback…observed by Ingen Jegger.

map-osten-ard

This very cool map is from Jonadab the Unsightly One, used with his permission (thanks, Nathan!)

Chapter 35: The Raven and the Cauldron – Another quick trip around the rest of Osten Ard to see wassup. I found the above map online using my Google-Fu, and it helped me visualize the lay of the land. The maps in the book make me squint.

It was about at this point in the book, with all of the different lands and peoples that I felt the need to draw up who’s who and who is on who’s side…though, of course alliances change. There is a glossary and who’s who in the back of the book which describes characters and tells which country/area they are from, but it doesn’t set up the alliances. So, using World War II (for no other reason than the fact that I study it a lot) as structure:

AXIS
Allies
Neutrals (for now)
Erkynlanders: King Elias
- Guthwulf
- Fengbald
Erkynlanders: Prince Josua
- Deornoth
Rimmersmen: Skali
Ingen Jegger
Rimmersmen: Duke Isgrimnur
- his son, Isorn
- Einskaldir
- Sludig
Hernystir: King Lluth
- daughter Maegwin
- son Gwythinn
- Count Eolair
Nabann: Duke Leobardis
- son, Benigaris
- daughter Antippa
PryratesLeague of the Scroll
- minus Morgenes and Ookequk)
Simon
Miriamele
Binabikother Qanuc (trolls)
Norns and InuelukiSithi
Wolves: Qantaqaother wolves who may not yet have voted

Maegwin is helping get the Taig ready for a siege. Count Eolair and his men had an encounter with Skali. Since Elias is marching toward Naglimund, and King Lluth has not accepted his terms, Elias cannot have an enemy like Hernystir behind him (see? maps are good). So he sicks Skali on them, while Gwythinn, the King’s son, is at Naglimund with several Hernystir knights.

Josua tried to convince Baron Devasalles to in turn convince Duke Leobardis to bring Nabban to Josua’s aid, not knowing the Devasalles had already recommended just that. The Baron does say that the Duke’s son, Benigaris, and the Duke’s wife, favor aiding Elias instead. Josua and Isgrimnur go off to find Miriamele to tell her the good news.

Tiamak the Wranman has a copy of Nisses book that everyone is searching for to learn more about the swords.

Josua finds out that Vorzheva sent Miriamele off with Cadrach to go win Nabban to Prince Josua’s side…even though they were already there (this was the unnamed conversation in the last chapter). Cadrach is certainly not who he seems to be to anyone.

Chapter 36: Fresh Wounds and Old Scars – Simon, Binabik and friends are riding north. There is ancient animosity from the Rimmersmen toward the trolls, and this comes out a bit as Sludig questions Binabik’s honor…and then apologizes.

Miriamele and Cadrach come across the dead from the battle between Skali’s Rimmersmen and King Lluth’s Hernystir, seeing that the Hernystiri are retreating back to the Taig. They later find a dying man who calls Cadrach “Padreic”.

As they continue north, Simon has visions/dreams again of the wheel. The group figures out part of the riddle for where they are supposed to look for Thorn, piecing together that it is near the legendary Uden tree, a tree made completely of ice, one that Simon had seen in another vision and then sees again from suggestion.

Check out the map above again. The dashed line shows Simon’s path; pretty sweet, eh? They pass several towns where it looks like the people have been driven out, then they see Ingen Jegger’s dog helm behind them. Sludig recognizes Jegger as the leader of the raid at St. Hodenrund back in Chapter 19. They are outnumbered, they run, they fight. Jegger gets to Simon, says he’s been looking for Simon…and then the Sithi appear.

Coincidence? How do the Sithi happen to show just at the right time? And how coincidental that the same Sitha that Simon saved is in this group, at a location many days north where they met?

Chapter 37: Jiriki’s Hunt – Of course, Binabik speaks a bit of Sitha, and he gets Simon to show his White Arrow. The Sitha have killed the remaining members of Jegger’s band (most of them Skali’s men) but Simon saw one of his team fall, and tells the Sithi they must go back and give him a proper burial.

Deornoth returns to Naglimund with tidings, good and bad. Duke Leobardis has set sail from Nabban to come to Josua’s aid, but the Hernystir have been routed and have retreated to the kills, with King Lluth wounded. His son, Gwythinn, is still in Naglimund, and tired of waiting.

Jegger was not killed when the Sithi saved Simon and his group, buried under snow. This is a bit of a stretch – not only should the Sithi have found him, but why wouldn’t Simon and especially Sludig want to make sure he was dead, given all the havoc he has caused? He gets one of his hounds to drag him to safety, builds splints and crutches, and starts on his way again. His is “Her sacred hunter – he, a mortal”, and the now dented hound’s helm was given to him at Sturmspeik.

The Sithi take Simon and friends into a hidden ice cave, where they bind their hands and take them in front of other Sithi. Simon recognizes Lord Jiriki as the Sitha he freed, who gave him the White Arrow.

As the newly freed prisoners rubbed feeling back into their wrists, Jiriki held up the arrow. “Forgive the wait. An’nai misjudged because he knows how seriously I take the playing of shent.” His eyes moved from the companions to the arrow and back again. “I never thought to meet you again, Seoman,” he said with a birdlike chin tilt and a smile that never quite reached his eyes. “But a debt is a debt…and the Staj’a Ame is even more. You have changed since our first meeting. Then you looked more like one of the forest animals than your human kindred. You seemed lost, in many ways.” His eyes burned brightly.
“You’ve changed too,” Simon said.
A shadow of pain crossed Jiriki’s face. “Three nights and two days I spent hanging in that mortal’s trap. I would have died even if the woodsman had not come – died from shame.” (pg 633)

The Sithi had been hunting giants, and want to know what Simon and friends are “hunting in Jiriki’s father’s hills.”

Chapter 38: Songs of the Eldest – Isorn, Duke Isgrimnur’s son, arrives at Naglimund having escaped Skali and torture by the Black Rimmersmen.

The Nabbani arrive by ship at Crannhyr on the shores of Hernystir; Duke Leobardia is surprised that only his youngest son Varellan is there to greet him; Benigaris shows up later with his friend Count Aspitis Preves (interesting name, that) who were suspiciously riding around after the landing. Leobardis thinks for a moment about turning his army to Hernystir, to hit Skali’s men and break and siege at the Taig (see map) “it seemed to him like something his brother Camaris might have done – swift, forceful, a stroke like a snapping whip”; but Benegaris talks him out of it.

With Isorn back (and telling tales of Black Rimmersmen from Stormspike helping Skali), Josua asks Duke Isgrimnur to go after Miriamele.

Jiriki asks Simon and company where they are heading. They tell him “We go to the dragon mountain for searching Camaris-sí-Vinitta’s sword Thorn”, “It’s to save us from Ineluki the Storm King,” Simon blurted out. The Sithi feed them, give them wine, do some wrist-wrestling (and we never find out who wins) and drink more wine. Jiriki takes Simon up to a viewpoint, where he points out the direction of the peak called Urmsheim, where they go in seek of Thorn.

Chapter 39: High King’s Hand – Simon, Binabik and friends, after checking their horses, make ready to resume their journey. Jiriki, as he gives Simon back his White Arrow.

“I know you cannot read these writings,” Jiriki said slowly, “but I will tell you that they are words of making, scribed on the arrow by Vindaomayo the Fletcher himself – deep, deep in the past, before we of the First People were torn apart into the Three Tribes. It is as much a part of my family as if it were made with my bone and sinew – and as much a part of me. I did not give it lightly – few mortals have ever held a Staj’a Ame – and I certainly could not take it back until I paid the debt that it signifies.” So saying, he handed it to Simon, whose fingers trembled as they touched the smooth barrel.

Three Tribes? The Sitha, the Norns and who? The Dvernings that are in the quote about the making of the sword Memory? Is this a Last King of Osten Ard clue?

Josua, speaking with Jaurnauga on the walls of Naglimund, finds out the Pryrates was once a member of the League of the Scroll. Jaurnaga, with his good eyesight, spots Duke Leobardis approaching.

Benegaris and Aspitis (hence forth known as “I spit this”) convince the Duke to attack a lead force lead by Guthwulf.

Duke Leobardis son, Benigaris, commits patricide, stabbing his father in the neck, just as Josua’s knights and the Nabbani’s are closing with Guthwulf (the King’s Hand) and his knight. Well planned treachery and trap, and Earl Fengbald’s men who were hidden in the woods try to trap Josua’s force. They make it back to the confines of Naglimund.

Chapter 40: The Green Tent – Elias has set up a nice green tent outside of Naglimund, and has invited Josua to parley.

The Hernystiri have headed for the hills (again, see the wonderful map). Maegwin listens to Skali threaten to kill hostages if he is not given “the wizard’s boy and the princess”, and then leaves the mutilated head of Maegwin’s brother Gwythinn in a box. King Lluth of the Hernystir is on his deathbed.

The leaders of the Allies are not faring well. Time for another table that details how the alliances have changed:

AXIS
Allies
Neutrals (for now)
Erkynlanders: King Elias
- Guthwulf
- Fengbald
Erkynlanders: Prince Josua
- Deornoth
Rimmersmen: Skali
Ingen Jegger
Rimmersmen: Duke Isgrimnur
- his son, Isorn
- Einskaldir
- Sludig
Hernystir: King Lluth
- daughter Maegwin
- son Gwythinn
- Count Eolair
Nabann: Duke BenigarisNabann: Duke Leobardis
- daughter Antippa
PryratesLeague of the Scroll
- minus Morgenes and Ookequk)
Simon
Miriamele
Binabikother Qanuc (trolls)
Norns and InuelukiSithi
Wolves: Qantaqaother wolves who may not yet have voted

Simon, Binabik, Jiriki and the others continue into the north toward where they hope to find the sword. The Sitha An’nai is along because he bound Simon’s hands, even though he was a holder of a White Arrow. Jiriki’s speech during camp just north of St. Skendi’s gives perspective; this is not just good vs. evil, for who are truly the victims?

“Then know this,” Jiriki said stiffly. “Though the years that have passed since we were sundered from the Hikeda’ya – those you call the Norns – are as numerous as snowflakes, still we are one blood. How could we take the side of upstart men against our kin? Why should we, when once we walked together beneath the sun, coming out of the ultimate East? What allegiance could we possibly owe to mortals, who have destroyed us as eagerly as they destroy all else…even themselves?”
None of the humans but Binabik could meet his cold gaze. Jiriki lifted a long finger before him. “And the one you whisperingly call the Storm King…he whose name was Ineluki…” He smiled bitterly as the companions stirred and shivered. “Ah, even his name is fearsome. He was the best of us once – beautiful to see, wise far beyond the understanding of mortals, bright-burning as a flame! – if he is now a thing of dark horror, cold and hateful, whose is the fault? If now, bodiless and vengeful, he schemes to brush mankind from the face of his land like dust from a page – why should we not rejoice? It was not Ineluki who drove us into exie, so that we must always hide among Aldheorte’s dark trees like deer, wary always of discovery. We strode Osten Ard in the sunlight  before men came, and the works of our hands were beautiful beneath the stars. What have mortals ever brought to us but suffering?” (pg 686-687)

Elias wants his daughter and “the boy” (Simon is popular). He and Josua almost make a connection in the Green Tent, but Elias touches the sword Sorrow and sends them back: “I will ruin you so completely that God-All-powerful will search for a thousand years and never find your soul.” Truly touching brotherly love.

Chapter 41: Cold Fire and Grudging Stone – The siege of Naglimund begins, with the siege engines that Pryrates was having Inch build in the bowels of the Hayholt finally seeing some action.

All through the afternoon the tide of King Elias’ army dashed itself against Naglimund’s stony cliffs. The weak sunlight struck glinting shards of reflection from polished metal as wave after wave of mailed and helmeted soldiers swarmed up the ladders, only to be repelled by the castle’s defenders.Here and there the king’s forces found a momentary breach in the ring of stern men and grudging stone but they were always pushed back. (pg 701)

 Jarnauga and Father Strangeyeard keep reading Morgenes’ manuscript on the life of Preseter John searching for clues.

Simon is having dreams, and ask Binabik for interpretation. Killing off both of their masters provides “the author” a way to have them have to learn anew many of the things their masters did not get to teach them. Binabik does not know how to traverse the dream road alone. Simon is having one of his “woe is me” moments, wondering why he is there with the group, with Jiriki notices his ring.

“So you are one of your kind who knows the Secret?” Jiriki askd, watching him intently. The depth of his golden eyes, rust-tinged by the fire’s reflection, was frightening.
“S-Secret? N-n-n-no. I don’t know any secret!”
Jiriki stared at him for a moment holding him still with his eyes as surely as if he had grasped Simon’s head in his hands.
“Then why should he give you the ring?” Jiriki asked, mostly to himself, shaking his head as he released Simon’s hand.  “And I myself gave you a White Arrow. The Ancestors have made for us a strange road indeed.” (pg 707)

I don’t remember what “the Secret” is either…but this predates the “think it and it will come true” psuedo-science movie so that can’t POSSIBLY be it!

They reach Urmsheim, at a place to leave the horses. Jiriki says he has never seen the peak’s far side, the southernmost part of the Norns’ realm. “Everything north of the mountains was ceded to them at the time of the parting.”

Duke Isgrimnur, dressed as a monk, finally finds a tavern where Cadrach and Miriamele once were, but they are already on a ship heading for Nabban.

Chapter 42: Beneath the Uduntree – After 42 chapters, 736 pages in…here there be dragons!!!

After a fortnight (that’s fourteen days, ya’ll) of beating on Naglimund, King Elias rejects Guthwulf’s plan for starving them out over months and sells his soul to the devil…or at least to Utuk’ku, the Norn Queen. He makes a bargain for their help, one assumes with Naglimund, but no telling what else Elias will have to pay.

Jiriki shows Simon the mirror, made from the scale of the Great Worm (who all dragons are descended from). Simon had already looked into it when they re-met, and says that he saw someone far away. Jiriki says that Simon is strong-willed or touched by powers to be able to use the mirror. He uses it to show Simon summer in Enki-e-Shao’saye, the last city where the Hikeda’ya and Zida’ya lived together before the Parting.

Simon, Jiriki, Binabik and friends find the Uduntree, the tree made of ice (a particularly “frozen waterfall, the accumulation of years of icy snowmelt captured in a million icicles, a crystalline tracery down the jagged stone spine that formed the Uduntree’s trunk.”). They find the sword Thorn, but two men cannot lift it. Then Ingen Jegger (relentless bastard) puts an arrow in Grimmiric’s back. The two sides trade arrows, then draw swords. Then as Simon races out carrying Thorn (which he can lift), the ice dragon awakens.

A snakelike head as long as a man thrust out of the newly-formed crevice, white-scaled above a toothy mouth, the staring eyes blue and occluded. It waved sinuously from side-to-side on its long neck, as though curiously observing the minute creatures who had awakened it from years-long slumber. Then, terrifyingly swift, it darted out and caught one of the huntsmen in its jaws, biting him in half and swallowing his legs. His crushed bloodied torso fell into the snow like a discarded rag. (pg 736)

An’nai jumps on the dragon, and is thrown away. Jiriki falls with the ice vanishing underneath him. So our hero Simon, weilding a sword two stronger men could not lift, shouts “I am…Simon” and strikes Igjarjuk the ice dragon in the head, spattering himself with black dragon’s blood…which of course knocks him out…because we need another opening chapter with “simon awakens…”

Chapter 43: The Harrowing – King Elias’ army retreats. Josua has a bad feeling about it, Jarnauga has dreams of Simon’s pain. A black storm comes, and with it, an army of Norns (White Foxes), and Hunen (giants)…and the five Red Hand. With arrows passing through them, they use a chant of black magic to blow open the doors to Naglimund. Bukken start digging in, and the slaughter begins.

Father Strangeyeard remembers an escape tunnel, and Josua and a small group get away and head into the forest. Jarnauga stays behind to blow up the passageway and block those who follow. The League of the Scroll is losing members left and right!

Josua swears he will take the crown from Elias.

Chapter 44: Blood and the Spinning World – Yeah, Simon is asleep again, and dreaming. The dragon’s black blood enters him, changes him.

The dragon’s black blood had spilled over him, burning like a fire. In the instant of its touch he had felt his own life subdued. The dreadful essence coursed through him, scalding away his spirit and leaving only dragon-life. It was as if he himself had become – in that failing moment before darkness came – the Worm’s secret heart. (pg 761)

An’nai and Grimmric are dead, buried together. Binabik and Sludig were taken prisoner by the trolls. Jiriki shows Simon how he looks in a mirror:

A long swath of his hair had turned as white as the Urmsheim snows.
“You have been marked, Seoman.” Jiriki reached out and touched his cheek with a long finger. “For better or for worse, you have been marked.”

Thus ends book one, The Dragonbone Chair. I’l stick my old copy back up on the shelf, perhaps to bring it down only to have a family member read it. Next up, Stone of Farewell, another 700+ page paperback.

Here is a link to the next post in the re-read.

These re-read posts and other essays have been collected into an eBook, available by clicking on the image below. Please consider supporting this blog by purchasing the eBook.

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Even after you read the re-read, I highly recommend reading the books and Tad’s words. Click on the covers below to find them on Amazon.

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Re-reading MSandT

Re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

click on the image for more info and to support this blog

Dusk Before the Dawn

Dusk Before the Dawn

Software By the Kilo

Software by the Kilo

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