Dragon’s Ring — Snippet 19
“What must be done, must be done, ‘Brys,” said Margetha. “And it is fitting that it should be you doing it. It’s an honor, as well as a fair reward for being far too clever for your own good.”
“Virtue is its own reward,” said Hrodenynbrys wryly. “I should have guessed.” In actuality, he was quite pleased, even if the whole idea of a merrow going on land let alone on land and out of sight of the sea, was an odd one. It had been done before, of course. Just not recently.
“Yes, indeed,” said Margetha sourly. “Next time you find a human mage, try to make it one with straighter hair.”
“Fussy! I’m the one who’ll have to deal with the workings you do on it. She seemed a relatively simple fisher-lass, even if she had a fine tongue on her. She could swear a demon out of the fire-pit, that one.”
“Good. Should make her easier to deal with,” said Margetha, tying the net-knot.
Hrodenynbrys looked at her work. The net of hair was hardly visible, it was so fine. A sprat would be able to tear it . . . except that the spells and the very nature of it would make it hold what it was intend to hold. Compared to the simple charms on the cages this was high magic — which was why Margetha had to do it. “I’ve got me doubts. She’s a strong minded lass for all that.”
“We’ll bind her soul, ‘Brys. She will have no choice,” said the chieftainess grimly.
“We could follow her. We have a part of her.” And the part remained bound to the whole, no matter what the distance, Hrodenynbrys knew.
“And then? Ask her nicely to get the Angmarad back for us?” Margetha said sarcastically.
‘Brys shrugged his fins. “Human magic is a dangerous thing, we’ve learned. Why not do a scrying at least? It would at least tell me where to go. Where the nearest water is.”
She rolled her eyes. “Very well. A strand I can spare.”
The scrying surprised both of them.
“That’s both easier and more difficult than I had expected,” said ‘Brys.
Margetha showed her teeth. “And it means that you have no time to waste.”
“You need to finish that,” He pointed at the soul net.
“And you need to collect your cape. I will be ready for you, and of course will have a calling bracelet for you. Go.”
“I’ve never been that fond of fresh water . . .”
“Go! I have work to do,” she said crossly.
So Hrodenynbrys went. He swam to his home, collected the red cape — it was actually made of dyed seal-fur — and his next best trident. The cape was something all of his kind had, but rarely used.
By the time he got back to the palace she had the soul-net ready for him, as well as a plaited loop of hair which had the threaded seed-pearls and ear-bones of giant Cod on it. It pulled towards the source of the hair . . . In case he did not know where to go.