Vavaun: The Shadow of the Revenaunt
CHAPTER 1 – CALLED HOME (Excerpt)
‘Wella! Help, Adalien... Come quickly!’
A faint voice echoed in Uwella’s mind, killing her sleep. She lifted her sleek silvery head and stared at her mate.
‘What’s that?’ Damion said sleepily.
Uwella shook off the cover of dry leaves and rose to her forepaws. Her whole, supple mountain lion’s body was tense, on high alert. ‘The kerran Adalien called me. There must be something wrong.’
Damion yawned, showing two rows of razor-sharp incisors. ‘Your home? Who was it?’
‘I don’t know.’ Uwella felt a wave of angry frustration. ‘It was a woman’s voice, but I didn’t recognize her. She called me Wella. Only my siblings and a few of my oldest friends still use that darned pet name.’
‘Strange,’ Damion said. ‘Someone who has known you from the cradle calls you home, even though we’re six hundred miles away?’ He rose, his massive black-and-white tiger bulk brushing aside the bushes as he padded into the open. ‘You’re sure you didn’t dream it?’
‘Of course I’m sure,’ Uwella snarled. ‘You caught it too, didn’t you? We’re going home.’
Damion’s whiskers twitched. ‘I caught the echo from your mind, love,’ he said calmly. ‘But I agree it was far too vivid for a dream. Only, what could threaten a whole settlement full of powerful wikken and their high priestess?’
Uwella thought of her home, the kerran Adalien, main center of the Gray Order of Arikal she’d been part of for six years, and a vague fear came over her. She didn’t answer, but listened to the forest around them; the talking birds, the smell of the earth, and the great oak rising over them. Here, no danger threatened. Not here.
‘They need me,’ she said. ‘We were going to see Archodea anyhow. We’ll go to the kerran and if anything is wrong, she’ll tell us.’ Perhaps, she added mentally. As the high priestess, Archodea doesn’t confide readily. We’ll probably have to twist her arm a bit.
Damion growled; a deep, soul-shattering sound that always delighted her with its strength.
‘All right,’ he said. ‘If we hurry we’ll make the temple portal in Jenetrazt before dawn. A teleport to Din-Werdzom and from there you can guide me to Adalien.’
For a moment she thought of the buck they’d killed yesterday. A pity to let all that fresh meat go to waste. Ah well, they could always have a snack rabbit along the way.
‘Let’s go,’ she said.
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