Read Storm Warning Online

Authors: Mercedes Lackey

Storm Warning

Table of Contents
 
 
Herald? White Demon? Hellhorse?
 
Oh, glorious God—
Rubrik was a Herald. A White Demon. And that beautiful horse that Karal had admired so much—the horse with the blue eyes, and the silver hooves which made a bell-like sound when they struck the ground—
was no horse at all!
He stared into the fire, stunned, quite unable to move. It was a good thing he wasn’t holding anything, or he would have dropped it, his hands were so numb. He didn’t even realize that Rubrik had excused himself and gone back to the inn for something, until the door closed behind him.
“Child, you look as if someone smacked you with a board,” Ulrich observed dispassionately. “Are you all right?”
Karal rose to his feet, somewhat unsteadily, and stared at his mentor, trembling from head to foot in mingled shock and fear. “Didn’t you hear what he said?” Karal sputtered. “He’s one of
them!
Demonspawn! The—”
“I know, I’ve known all along, and I thought you knew as well,” Ulrich replied, a hint of stem rebuke in his voice. “We
are
in Valdemar. We
are
envoys from Her Holiness. The Heralds
are
the most important representatives of their Queen. We’ve always called them
White
Demons. It should have been logical.”
Karal tried to get a breath and couldn’t.
A
Herald.
He had never seen a
Herald
in all his life. The descriptions in the Chronicles were composed of all the horrors mothers used to frighten little children into obedience, rolled into one and put into a white shroud. Not a neat uniform, a livery like Rubrick’s, but a tattered, ichor-dripping shroud of death. And no matter what other things he’d learned that had been
wrong
about Karse’s former enemies, somehow he had still expected Heralds to be monsters. He just couldn’t handle this. How could he act normally around Rubrick ever again?
Karal flushed in confusion and wondered how he was ever going to make the scattered pieces of his life fit again....
NOVELS BY
MERCEDES LACKEY
available from DAW Books:
 
THE HERALDS OF VALDEMAR
ARROWS OF THE QUEEN
ARROW’S FLIGHT
ARROW’S FALL
 
THE LAST HERALD-MAGE
MAGIC’S PAWN
MAGIC’S PROMISE
MAGIC’S PRICE
 
THE MAGE WINDS
WINDS OF FATE
WINDS OF CHANGE
WINDS OF FURY
 
THE MAGE STORMS
STORM WARNING
STORM RISING
STORM BREAKING
 
VOWS AND HONOR
THE OATHBOUND
OATHBREAKERS
OATHBLOOD
 
THE COLLEGIUM CHRONICLES
FOUNDATION
*
 
BY THE SWORD
BRIGHTLY BURNING
TAKE A THIEF
EXILE’S HONOR
EXILE’S VALOR
VALDEMAR ANTHOLOGIES
:
SWORD OF ICE
SUN IN GLORY
CROSSROADS
MOVING TARGETS
*
 
Written with
LARRY DIXON:
 
THE MAGE WARS
THE BLACK GRYPHON
THE WHITE GRYPHON
THE SILVER GRYPHON
 
DARIAN’S TALE
OWLFLIGHT
OWLSIGHT
OWLKNIGHT
 
OTHER NOVELS
 
THE BLACK SWAN
 
THE DRAGON JOUSTERS
JOUST
ALTA
SANCTUARY
AERIE
 
THE ELEMENTAL MASTERS
THE SERPENT’S SHADOW
THE GATES OF SLEEP
PHOENIX AND ASHES
THE WIZARD OF LONDON
RESERVED FOR THE CAT
 
And don’t miss:
THE VALDEMAR COMPANION
Edited by John Helfers and Denise Little
 
*Coming soon from DAW Books
VALDEMAR
And Surrounding Kingdoms
Copynght @ 1994 by Mercedes R. Lackey.
eISBN : 978-1-101-12787-2
All rights reserved.
 
 
For color prints of Jody Lee’s paintings, please contact:
The Cerridwen Enterprise
P.O. Box 10161
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone: 1-800-825-1281
 
Interior illustrations by Larry Dixon and Victor Wren.
 
All the black & white interior illustrations
in this book are available as 8” x 10” prints;
either in a signed, open edition singly, or in
a signed and numbered portfolio from:
 
FIREBIRD ARTS & MUSIC, INC.
P.O. Box 14785
Portland. OR 97214-9998
Phone: 1-800-752-0494
 
Time Line by Pat Tobin.
Maps by Victor Wren.
 
DAW Book Collectors No. 958.
 
DAW Books are distributed by Penguin USA.
 
All characters and events in this book are fictitious.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First Paperback Printing, September 1995
 
DAW TRADEMARK REGISTERED
U.S. PAT. OFF. AND FOREIGN COUNTRIES
—MARCA REGISTRADA
HECHO EN U.S.A.
 
S.A.

http://us.penguingroup.com

Dedicated to Elsie Wollheim
with love and respect
OFFICIAL TIMELINE FOR THE HERALDS OF VALDEMAR SERIES
by Mercedes Lackey
Sequence of events by Valdemar reckoning
Emperor Charliss
One
Emperor Charliss sat upon the Iron Throne, bowed down neither by the visible weight of his years nor the invisible weight of his power. He bore neither the heavy Wolf Crown on his head, nor the equally burdensome robes of state across his shoulders, though both lay nearby, on an ornately trimmed marble bench beside the Iron Throne. The thick silk-velvet robes flowed down the bench and coiled on the floor beside it, a lush weight of pure crimson so heavy it took two strapping young men to lift them into place on the Emperor’s shoulders. The Wolf Crown lay atop the robes, preventing them from slipping off the bench altogether. Let mere kings flaunt their golden crowns; the Emperor boasted a circlet of electrum, inset with thirteen yellow diamonds. Only when one drew near enough to the Emperor to see his eyes clearly did one see that the circlet was not as it seemed, that what had passed at a distance for an abstract design or a floral pattern was, in fact, a design of twelve wolves, and that the winking yellow diamonds were their eyes. Eleven of those wolves were in profile to the watcher, five facing left, six facing right; the twelfth, obviously the pack leader, gazed directly down onto whosoever the Emperor faced, those un-winking yellow eyes staring at the petitioner even as the Emperor’s own eyes did.

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