Old Toad

A short story by Geary Gravel.

Publishing History

Timeline Notes

  1. p40. Ander & Bereth.
  2. p41. Romsgarth, a town in Estcarp.
  3. p41. The witch Raven guarded Mountain Gate for 28 years.
  4. p43. 'Ander had tried to accept long ago that Uncle's occasional coldness toward him was not the result of wrongdoing on his own part, but rather a reaction to his resemblance to his mother, the Falconer woman that his father had taken to wife against all customs of both races. Bereth suffered less in this reflected disapproval, in appearance a true child of the Old Race with her pale skin, black hair, and dark, storm-coloured eyes. Ander's ruddy face was framed by light brown curls and his own eyes held flecks of gold and amber in their brown depths.'
  5. p45. Old Toad: "Till a few weeks past I never thought to make the journey—nor to leave Lormt for any reason in the few left to me. I was well settled there."
  6. p48. Raven: "—but we were able to piece together that she'd come from a Falconers' village far to the west…"
  7. p49. Raven: "As for the girl, she's as curious as a flannan and I think she'll come into the talent in a year or two."
  8. p61-62. Old Toad: "Recently a young man came seeking knowledge at Lormt, a battle-wounded man searching the old records for something. About him I sensed what Raven felt when you and Berry were near: the presence of the Power! I kept watch over this young man when he did not know I was near, took out the records he chose after he departed and studied them myself. They spoke of the past, the past in the East! I showed the records to others and they could not understand what I was talking about. For only among the Guardians, the witches, is there knowledge of what occurred in the East ages ago, or why the Old Race fled from there."1
  9. p62. Old Toad: "They came to Estcarp fleeing something, a thing so terrible that when they arrived they turned behind them and raised up a barrier of mountains, churned and splintered the very land behind them to create a wall against that which they fled. Mountain Gate lies in the southernmost portion of that barrier, where the witch-made mountains join the natural ranges that separate us from Karsten. Then, having wrought their barrier, the wise of that time enspelled their own people, setting wards in the mind to prevent any of the Old blood from ever seeking the East again—or even thinking of it, so great did they fear what had driven them forth."2
  10. p67-71. The Turning.
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