The Long Retreat No. 27

Fifteen minutes saw them to the base of the gorge. As they descended, they could, at intervals, see the river between the trees. As the road drew alongside it, its rapid, turbulent flow became evident. Grevdarsflod ran in a course thirty yards wide at the bottom of a steep-sided gully, some five yards below the level of the road. For the whole length of it they could see, its surface foamed over obstacles and into eddies. The sound it made was tremendous, a thunder that made conversation impossible.

A few minutes later, the road turned in toward the river.

“Where’s the bridge?” Sif shouted.

Falthejn wondered the same thing. The road reached out toward the river, but the massive edifice he’d crossed on the march south was simply missing, leaving a twenty-five yard gap. He doubted it had collapsed; the road ended in a sharp edge just past the river’s bank, the sort of precision he expected from magiker. Nobody had yet seen an ontling work the earth with their brand of magic, in the manner of the jordenmagiker, but Falthejn supposed it was a possibility. He was more concerned that he hadn’t seen it coming. Either someone had destroyed the bridge on a whim, some plan put into motion since he had taken the time to look forward in the morning, or he was faced with an enemy more dangerous to him than any other—one who knew he faced a diviner, and knew how to hide his actions from Falthejn’s sight.

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