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Location: Between North and Sacor City
POV: Karigan G'ladheon

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SummaryEdit

Karigan rides for two days through a clear cur. She gets a sunburn. There is a stone marker, but it is too old to read. She passes merchants hauling timber. She sleeps only briefly at night, her sabre drawn. Three days out of north, she enters farmland. She sets a very hard pace. One night, she camps in an abandoned barn. She sleeps soundly.

The next day, she continues. That afternoon, she enters a wooded area. She sees the ghost of F'ryan, briefly. She finds the shade pleasant. A aquirrel startles her; Condor is upset. Karigan is ambushed by Immerez and Shawdell. Sarge and Thursgad block her escape in the other direction. The soldiers drive her into the sunlight. She fades out, but is clearly visible. In her grey vision, the Shadowman (Shadwell) fades out of sight. She drops the fading, Shawdell becomes visible again.

Immerez strikes her with his whip. It wraps her chest and he drags her out of the saddle. The soldiers try to get the message from Condor but cannot; he fights. Their horses are afraid of Condor.

Karigan is dragged some distance by Immerez's whip. Immerez dismounts and questions her about a spy in House Mirwell. She is defiant. She claims she stole the horse from a dead messenger. She stalls Immerez and works on drawing her sword, which is pinned under her. She gets her hand on the sword hilt. Immerez picks her up to threaten her, and she loses her grip on the sword. She insults him further, claiming she is not a Green Rider.

Immerez demands she stand. She does; sword in hand. The whip falls away, and she lunges, but he punches her in the stomach and she doubles over. Immerez tells her to drop the sword, lashing her his whip. He jerks a foot out from under her, the whip wrapped around the same ankle the creature from Blackveil Forest dragged her by. She tries to chop through the whip, but cannot. Immerez laughs. He makes to whip her again. She hears the sound of hoofbeats in her ears. She leaps to her feet and severs Immerez's hand. She recognizes the scene as one she saw in the telescope. She calls Condor, but he is already at her side. There is an energy in the air. A voice commands her to mount, and she does.

The world is distorted and off balance. The mirwellians move slowly; Karigan hears hoofbeats thundering in her ears. Only the Shawdell is undistorted, sitting serenely on his horse. A bow appears in his hands. He draws two arrows, nocking one. The voice commands Karigan to ride. She obeys. Two arrows streak after her, but she rides at incredible speed and the arrows do not hit her. Ghosts of green riders surround her, riding with her. They command her to ride, calling it the Wild Ride. The ghost of F'ryan joins her on Condor's back. The ghosts cheer her on.

Behind her, the black arrows burn and fall behind. The ghosts and Condor stop, but the world continues to streak by. F'ryan dismounts. Karigan asks why they are helping her. F'ryan says he cannot rest until the message is delivered. Joy's ghost steps out of the crowd of ghosts. She tells her that this goes beyond earthly matters. The ghosts dissipate. The Wild Ride continues.

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