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Михаил (19.04.2017 - 07:11:11)
книге:  Петля и камень на зелёной траве

Потрясающая книга. Не понравится только нацистам.

Антихрист666 (18.04.2017 - 22:05:58)
книге:  Дом чудовищ (Подвал)

Классное чтиво!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ладно, теперь поспешили вы... (18.04.2017 - 21:50:34)
книге:  Физики шутят

"Не для сайта!" – это не имя. Я пытался завершить нашу затянувшуюся неудачную переписку, оставшуюся за окном сайта, а вы вын... >>

Роман (18.04.2017 - 19:12:26)
книге:  Если хочешь быть богатым и счастливым не ходи в школу?

Прочитал все его книги! Великий человек, кардинально изменил мою жизнь.

АНДРЕЙ (18.04.2017 - 17:42:55)
книге:  Технология власти

ПОЛЕЗНАЯ КНИГА. Жаль, что мало в России тех, кто прочитал...

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Я не жалею ни о чём,
Я сожаленьям - не товарищ,
Ведь на струне тоски смычком,
Как Паганини, не сыграешь.
Её слезоточивый звук...
Так осень плачет ночью длинной.
Порви струну и вспыхнет вдруг
В тебе ликующий Россини!

31.08.10 - 15:25
Владимир Ванке

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The Wizardwar   ::   Каннингем Элейн

Страница: 4 из 80

Several men in warrior's garb stalked into the room, their eyes scanning for further resistance. When they perceived none, they set about freeing the captives. A tall, strongly built man came to Kiva's cage, a man with a scimitar nose and a single long braid of dark chestnut hair. He took a small wand from his belt and lowered it to the skull-shaped lock securing her door.

"Don't!" croaked Kiva in a voice left raw by too many screams, too little song. She reached through the bars and seized the wizard's wrist. With her free hand she pointed toward the "mirror" and the suddenly calm and watchful demon.

The monster grinned in anticipation. Bloody saliva hung from its fangs in long strings.

"You cannot," Kiva repeated. "Disturb the lock, and you unleash the demon."

The wizard glanced at the drooling fiend. "Don't fear, child. We will not let it harm you."

"Lord Akhlaur will soon return! You cannot fight him and the demon both," she argued.

"Neither can Akhlaur fight two such battles. Has the demon any loyalty to him?"

Loyalty to Akhlaur? she echoed, silently and incredulously. "The demon is a prisoner."

"Then you need not fear its release. It will not be you or me whom the creature seeks. Just be ready to flee as soon as the door opens."

Suddenly the wizard's eyes clouded, as if he were listening to distant voices. After a moment his gaze sharpened, hardened. He spun toward his comrades. "Akhlaur comes."

They formed ranks, their wands held like ready swords or their hands filled with bright globes that coursed with the snap and shudder of contained power.

A tall, black-haired man strode into the tower. Rich black and crimson robes swirled around him, and he gazed about with the faint interest a courtier might display upon entering a ballroom. Behind him came Noor, his favorite apprentice, a doe-eyed young woman of soft beauty and ironclad ambition.

Cradled in Noor's hands was a ruby-colored crystal nearly as large as a man's head, sparkling with thousands of facets and shaped like a many-pointed star. It glowed, quite literally, with life. Kiva's gaze clung to the crimson gem with a mixture of longing and despair.

"Well met, Zalathorm," Akhlaur said with a hint of amusement

The name startled Kiva. Even here, a prisoner in an isolated estate, she knew that name! She had heard stories of the wizard who was slowly bringing peace and order out of the killing chaos spawned by Akhlaur's rise to power.

A second shock jolted through her when one of the wizards broke from the group and strode forward. The great Zalathorm was a man of middle years and middling height. His hair and beard were a soft brown, a pallid color by Halruaan standards. Nothing in his face or garb suggested power. His hands were empty of weapons or magic. He stood a full head shorter than Akhlaur, and his somber, plain-featured face provided sharp contrast to the necromancer's aristocratic features. An image flooded Kiva's mind of a jousting match between a farmer's dun pony and a raven-black pegasus.

"I wondered when you'd get around to visiting," Akhlaur said. His gaze moved from Zalathorm and slid dismissively over the battle-ready wizards. His smirk sharpened into a contemptuous sneer. "This was the best you could do? Transformation into mindless undead could only improve this lot!"

A white-haired wizard spat out a curse and lifted his wand to avenge this insult. As he leveled it at Akhlaur, Kiva noted the expression of pure panic flooding Noor's face. The apprentice uttered a strangled little cry and flung out a hand as if to stave off the magical assault.

Light burst from the old wizard's wand. It veered sharply away from Akhlaur and streaked toward Noor like lightning to a lodestone. As magical energy flowed into the crimson gem, Noor's black hair rose and writhed about her contorted face. The old wizard's wand quickly spent itself, blackened, and withered to a thin line of falling ashes.

The magic came on, flowing until the wizard's outstretched hand was little more than skin-wrapped bone. Where there was life, there was magic, and Akhlaur's crimson star drank swiftly and deeply of both. The brave man died quickly, and his desiccated shell fell to the ice-covered floor with a faint, brittle clatter.

Stunned silence fell over the wizards. Only Zalathorm maintained presence of mind. He beckoned to the crimson star. The gem lifted out of Noor's slack hands and floated over to him. To Kiva's astonishment, Akhlaur did not intervene.

"You cannot harm me with that," the necromancer said, still with a hint of amusement in his voice.

"Nor you me," Zalathorm returned grimly. "With this gem, we entrusted our lives to each other's keeping."

The necromancer lifted raven-wing brows in mock surprise. "Why, Zalathorm! Take care, or I shall suspect you of harboring doubts about our friendship!"

"Doubts? I don't know which is the greater perversion: the use you have made of this gem, or the monster you made of the man I once called friend."

Akhlaur sent a droll glance toward his apprentice. Noor stood over the slain wizard, both hands clasped over her mouth and tears streaming down her lovely face. The necromancer took no notice of her distress.

"Tiresome, isn't he?" he said, tipping his head in Zalathorm's direction. "What can one expect of a man whose family motto is 'Too stupid to die?'"

Zalathorm lifted the gem as if in challenge, then swiftly traced a spell with his free hand. Every wizard in the room mirrored his deft gestures.

The room exploded into white light and shrieking power. Kiva dropped and hugged the floor of her cage as the tower wrenched free of its moorings and soared above the forest canopy.

Again she smiled, for the power of this casting was as great as any magic she'd endured at Akhlaur's hands. Moving an entire tower, a wizard's tower-Akhlaur's tower!-was an astonishing feat! Immediately she sensed Zalathorm's intent, and again she dared to hope.

When the tower shuddered to a stop, Kiva closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, as if she could draw the forest into herself. Senses she could never describe to a human told her where the tower now rested. Deep in the swamp was a rift carved into the land by a long-ago cataclysm known to the elves as the Sundering. The rift was a hidden place, a suitable tomb for Akhlaur's tower-and a place far from the laraken and its magic-draining power.

Kiva hauled herself to her knees and looked about for the necromancer. He stood crouched in guard position, brandishing a skull-headed scepter and an ebony wand like a pair of swords. Her throat clenched in dread, for she knew the spells stored in these weapons and knew Akhlaur could hold off magical attacks for a very long time.


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