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By Poul Anderson

Thor has damaged the sword Tyrfing in order that it can't strike on the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree that binds jointly earth, heaven and hell. yet now the amazing sword is required back to avoid wasting the elves of their battle opposed to the trolls, and purely Scafloc, a human baby abducted and raised by means of the elves, can wish to cajole Bolverk the ice vast to make Tyrfing complete back. yet Scafloc should also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling who has taken his position on this planet of men.

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Have the Sidhe that many ears? ’ he requested. ‘No,’ stated Gulban, ‘but they recognize whilst whatever of serious portent nears – and what might it hindrance this time store the battle of the elves and the trolls? So we hunted for an elf to come back bearing unusual tidings, and that i feel you're that one. ’ ‘Elf – definite! ’ acknowledged Skafloc with searing bitterness. there have been deep traces drawn in his lean face, and darkish hollows of sleeplessness approximately his eyes. Sea-salt streaked his war-gear – which was once atypical, notion Gulban, because the elves have been cautious in their visual appeal even within the so much determined instances. ‘Come,’ he acknowledged. ‘Lugh of the lengthy Hand needs to imagine this a superb subject, for he has referred to as the entire Tuatha De Danaan to council within the Cave of Cruachan, and the chiefs of all other folks of the Sidhe to boot. yet you're drained and hungry, Skafloc. First should you come to my dwelling house. ’ ‘No,’ stated the fellow with a impolite bluntness both unusual to elves. ‘It can't wait, nor do I take care of extra leisure and meals than i must retain going. Take me to the council. ’ The chieftain shrugged and grew to become away, together with his nice night-blue cloak swirling approximately him. He whistled, and of the beautiful light-footed horses of the Sidhe got here galloping up. yet they snorted and shied clear of Skafloc. ‘They like no longer your burden,’ acknowledged Gulban. ‘Nor I,’ spoke back Skafloc presently. He stuck an extended silky mane and sprang onto the pony. ‘Now speedily! ’ Away they went, nigh as quick as elf steeds, hovering over hills and dales, fields and forests, tarns and frozen rivers. within the nightfall Skafloc observed a number of the Sidhe glimpse-wise: a tall flashing-mailed horseman with a spear of vibrant terror, a gnarly little leprechaun on the door of his tree condominium, a unusually beak-like face on a gaunt cloak-wrapped guy with grey feathers for hair, a flitting shadow and a faint skirl of pipes in mystery forests. The willing wintry air held a faint mist in it, the moving mysterious Irish fog glimmering above the crusted snow. Now they neared the Cave of Cruachan, and their hoofbeats rang among the wooded hills within the softly accumulating evening. Stars blinked forth overhead, brilliant and transparent as Freda’s eyes – No! Skafloc wrenched his brain from such recommendations. 4 tall warriors stood open air the cave, and so they lifted their spears in grave salutation. They took the curvetting horses, and Gulban Glas led Skafloc inside of. It was once immense and dim inside of, an eerie sea-green mild filling the rugged vaulting of the cave. Flashing stalactites hung from the groined roof, and the shields held on the partitions gave again the transparent glow of tapers. Rushes have been unfold at the ground, and the tender rustle of them underneath his ft used to be the entire sound Skafloc heard as he neared the nice council desk. At its foot have been the chiefs of the folks of Lupra, small and powerful and approximately clad: Udan Mac Audain, king of the leprechauns, and Beg Mac Beg his tanist; Glomhar O’Glomrach, powerful of girth and muscled arm; the chiefs Conan Mac Rihid, Gaerku Mac Gaird, Mether Mac Mintan, and Esirt Mac Beg, clad in hides and uncooked gold.

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