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The Gathandrian Trilogy 01 - The Gifting

The Gathandrian Trilogy 01 - The Gifting

Titel: The Gathandrian Trilogy 01 - The Gifting
Autoren: Anne Brooke
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Prologue: The Beginning

    It is silent in the elders’ cave. The dark-haired man with the blue eyes waits. Beside him, his sister is dressed only in black. Her fair hair catches the light from the two torches mounted on the wall. She is in mourning, but he knows it is time for her mourning to end.
    “There is no need for us to be here, Johan. Every moment that passes means another Gathandrian dead.”
    His sister Isabella Montfort’s tone is bitter, but he doesn’t question it. Over two moon cycles since the death of her lover, Petran, and still he hears her weeping in the morning. Neither is she the only one, but he cannot admit the full reasons for this now. They have all failed; it is not simply himself. At least, he prays it is not. In any case, this battle has been a bloody one. Even though it has been fought largely in the realm of the mind, already it has claimed too many. And destroyed too much. In the land of Gathandria, they have not been used to war. Even the name stands against them: in the old language, it means the place where peace dwells . There is no peace in the mind’s battles. Only one chance to stop it now, and even then success seems so unlikely. Given the circumstances. Given the man who is supposed to save them.
    Simon Hartstongue of the White Lands. If it wasn’t so serious, Johan almost believes he would laugh, but he swallows down the emotion out of respect for the place they are in, and also because it is he himself who has proposed this solution to Gathandria’s troubles. Even now, he can’t quite believe it. He has been searching for an answer to the wars for some week-cycles now that their mind-skills have failed—damning for him in so many ways, as Chief Advisor to the Sub-Council of Meditation, but it is true. The only answer that has risen in his thoughts has been Simon. With that has come the slow and possibly shameful tingling of excitement. At last, here is something he can do for the land, something he can offer. Something that perhaps will not fail this time, in quite so blood-soaked a fashion. Not that Johan does not love his job—he does. The minds of men and women are indeed the last great adventure. He has always understood that, although emotions sit less easily in his blood. Knowledge and understanding is all—let others deal with those more untidy urges: love, hate, passion. He will keep to what he knows and excels at: mind-skills and teaching his people the same. But recently he has found himself longing for more… More what exactly? More decisive action that will bring these battles to a swift finish? More clarity? More adventure? Yes, more adventure. That is what he finds thrills him most—the call of the unknown. And, yes he admits this too, the chance to leave the city. For Johan, schooled since their parents’ death many year-cycles ago to be cautious and plan for all eventualities and to love Gathandria above all things, this new feeling has come as a surprise. More than anything, he wants to leave and bring Simon back, to save them all. He knows he has the ability and the strength to do that. At least, he thinks he has.
    And it would be almost perfect, were it not for the fact that Johan no longer believes that Simon will have the power to save himself, let alone others; he is simply a scribe, not a soldier. His mind-skills, such as they are, have been abused and he is a coward, too. Naturally, he has voiced none of these doubts to his sister. He wants so much to give her hope.
    Because it might just have worked—if not for Simon’s bad character. Since Johan made the suggestion one cycle of seven ago, based only on the knowledge of the existence of the cousin he has never met, he has been busy. Over the last seven day-times, while the war raged and Isabella wept, Johan has made it his mission to find out all he can about Simon Hartstongue. He has focused his mind one moon journey’s distance away, in the Lammas Lands and he has gleaned as much information as he can from the minds of the people there. What he has discovered has changed his decision about his mission. Hartstongue is not worth the effort of bringing him here. Let him rot in Lammas. It is what he deserves. The only good act Hartstongue has achieved in the last two year-cycles is the teaching of the people he lives amongst. And his treatment of the boy whom he calls his apprentice. It is a mystery to Johan why this boy has no name, but his seven-days’ study of the Lammas
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