Location: Lost Lake
POV: Tomas Mirwell; Karigan G'ladheon; Captain Mapstone, Karigan Again
- Lord Tomastine Mirwell II
- Major Beryl Spencer
- Karigan G'ladheon
- Lord Alton D'Yer
- Ghost of F'ryan Coblebay
- Rider Ghosts
- King Zachary Hillander
- Shawdell's Bound Ghosts
- Captain Laren Mapstone
- Prince Amilton Hillander
- Lil Ambriodhe
- Berry Sisters
- Armsmaster Rendle
- Estral Andovian
- Abram Rust
- Mornhavon the Black
- Soul-stealing Arrows
- Bunchberry Flower
- Beryl's green rider brooch
- Karigan's green rider brooch
- Professor Berry's Moonstone
On the King's hunt, Mirwell is bored. D'rang asks if he is tired. He laments that Beryl has been made zombie-like by the Grey One's magic. He tells his party to wait, so as not to get caught in the ambush.
Below, groundmites attack, while the terriers attempt to defend against them and the courtiers panic. Through the telescope, Karigan sees the Grey One on the opposite ridge. Karigan says they must do something, but she is not armed. She tells Alton about the Shadow-man and his arrows. Alton makes as if to charge down into the valley, but Karigan stops him and tosses a bunchberry flower petal to the wind.
Ghosts appear all around them, including F'ryan. He says they have come to help one last time. Below, the groundmites have king and Weapons surrounded. F'ryan tells Karigan to break all the arrows and end his pain. The Wild Ride carries Alton and Karigan cross the valley at tremendous speed to Shawdell's ridge. The Grey One is watching the valley. He is hooded. Alton commands the Shadowman to call off his attack. The grey one laughs and drops his hood, revealing that he has been Shawdell all along. The ghosts are upset.
The ghosts whine and revolve around the three like a cyclone. He summons his own bound spirits. They fight against the Rider ghosts. Karigan can hear the trumpet of a spectral horn. Alton dismounts and places himself between Karigan and Shawdell. Karigan dismounts. Alton calls Shawdell a traitor. Shawdell says he never owed Sacoridia any allegiance. He explains he wants the power in Blackveil Forest. He claims no allegiance to Eletia, calling them fools. Shawdell looses an arrow at Alton. Alton uses his ability to stop the arrow, amazing everyone. Shawdell looses another arrow, this time skimming across the barrier and hitting Alton in the side.
Another trumpet sounds, a real one this time. Below, five Weapons still defend the king. Nine Green Riders charge into the valley to aid the king. Karigan fights with the Eletian, using Alton's sabre. Karigan is no match for Shawdell. He cuts the buttons off her coat. Her sword snaps. Shawdell mocks her, saying he has been at the sword for hundred years. Shawdell sheaths his sword and summons an orb of tainted wild magic, which he throws at Karigan..
Karigan collapses in agony. She cannot scream, bound by ropes of black fire. He takes up his bow and watches the valley below.
Captain Mapstone leads nine Riders into the valley at a charge, passing Lord Mirwell on the way. They don't consider him a threat for now. She can see the mist of ghosts on the wind, and hears a rider call in the mist. Laren sees the image of the First Rider in the mist. Riders fight groundmites. Many are unhorsed. Laren is injured by a groundmite on the calf. Laren fights to reach the king. Suddenly, there are no more to fight. Some surviving groundmites flee. Laren takes stock of the losses and feels guilty. Only the king and one Weapon, Rory, have survived from the hunting party.
Laren goes to confront Lord Mirwell. She draws her sword on him. D'rang is nervous, Mirwell unworried, and Beryl catatonic. Laren notices Beryl's brooch is missing. Laren cannot read her. Mirwell watches the fight on the ridge. Laren can see that Karigan is fighting the Eletian. Mirwell speaks of his plans to conquer L'Petrie province. Laren orders that the Mirwellians dismount. Only D'rang obeys. Lord Mirwell sics Beryl on Laren. Mirwell says that the Grey One has assured her loyalty to Mirwell Province. Beryl attacks. Laren knows she is not a match for Beryl, backing away. A longsword swipe catches Laren across the scalp. Laren is blinded by blood. Beryl's horse rams into Bluebird, knocking Bluebird over. Laren rolls away. She looks up to see Beryl standing over her, mid-swing in a sword strike Laren won't be able to block.
On the ridge, Karigan struggles not to faint. She has visions of people from her life. Armsmaster Rendle shares tea with the Berry Sisters. They lament her failure, saying that least she tried. Rendle says she forgot to watch her back. Estral plays a lute in her dorm room, promising to write a song in Karigan's memory. Abram Rust tells her that the tree fell long ago. Torne and Garroty mock her. Ghosts tell her to break the arrows. Karigan just wants to sleep. Karigan sees King Zachary on his throne, patting a ghost dog. Overhead, artists are painting his portrait on the ceiling.
Shawdell tell her that the arrow he aims is for her king. She staggers to her feet and tackles Shawdell, making his arrow fly wild. Shawdell draws his sword again, enraged. Karigan tries to think of what he can do to fight him, and eventually draws out her moonstone. This breaks the wild magic spell. She thinks of the king's advice. The moonstone blazes and forms a blade of light, like a sword. They fight. The moonstone helps her put together all of her experiences to fight effectively. He is still a skilled opponent, but now she stands a chance.
At one point, she feigns surrender and then leaps at him, knocking him over. But he jumps quickly to his feet, and she gains nothing. Karigan begins to feel very fatigued. She despairs. But the moonstone was made long ago to fight the dark. She feels hope when the moonstone blazes more. She springs forward and attacks the sword, chopping it in two, and stabs him in the gut, disemboweling him. Karigan says he has underestimated mortals. But before her eyes, his wound knits back together.
The moonbeam coalesces into a sphere and he cowers. Shawdell's black shield falters, and moonbeams probe at it. One stabs him. Shawdell runs away, mounting his horse and is chased by moonbeams into the forest.
Below, in the valley, the spell on Beryl breaks and she turns aside the blow that would have killed the Captain.
Karigan closes her eyes. She looks at her moonstone, which has shattered. She sits down beside Alton, who is still alive but feverish and unconscious. Eventually the captain approaches. Laren is pleased to discover that Alton is alive. She yanks out the arrow and staunches the wound. Karigan breaks the black arrow. Alton improves immediately.
Karigan walks down into the valley. She breaks all the arrows she can find. She approaches the king, who is sobbing in grief among the dead. All of his terriers are dead. Karigan walks back to Condor, stumbling over a groundmite shield with the dead black tree of Mornhavonia painted on it.