Chaosbound

Chaosbound Read Online Free PDF Page A

Book: Chaosbound Read Online Free PDF
Author: David Farland
to speak.
    Then at last her eyelids fluttered, and Erin’s piercing blue eyes rolled back into her head. Her chest stopped rising, and now a gurgle escaped her throat as her chest fell one last time. It was a sound that Borenson associated with strangling.
    Life fled from her.
    Borenson sat cradling his sweet daughter Erin; Myrrima cried in despair.
    There was nothing left to do but mourn.
    A vast gaping void seemed to yawn wide and black in Borenson’s soul.
    There is no beauty in death, he realized.

2

THE CROW RIDER
    The eyes of the Great Wyrm are upon you, though you see her not, for she can ride the mind of the rat and the roach, the crow and the owl. She is aware of all of your doings, and will take vengeance for those who are weak, and offer blessings to those who serve her well
.
    â€”From the Wyrmling Catechism
    In the cool light of predawn, a carrion crow searched a tidal pool, tilting her head to the right to listen for prey and to get a better look into the pool. The water was flat and as clear as crystal. In the shallows the crow spotted myriads of anemones, bright starbursts of green and purple, while orange starfish grazed along the rocks among gray-blue barnacles. In the deeper water an ugly sculpin fish, mottled in shades of muddy brown, lay finning in the sand. The crow held back from gulping it down, for the fish was full of bones that could lodge in her chicks’ throat.
    She was seeking for soft young shrimp that might be trudging about in the shallows, but saw a cockle in the sand, its heart-shaped shell wide open. She grabbed it in her beak, but it snapped closed instantly.
    So she hurled it against a rock until the shell shattered. Then she held the cockle under one talon while she pulled the sweet meat free with her beak.
    Suddenly the carrion crow felt a cool touch, a wind that hinted at winter, and looked up in alarm, ruffling her feathers. She cawed in warning to others of her kind, though the beach was empty, and then peered about, her black eyes blinking as she searched for the source of her fear.
    There was a shape above her, hiding beneath a twisted pine on a craggyledge. It was not moving. It was large and white of skin, much like the wyrmlings that the crow sometimes saw marching along the ridge in the predawn. But it was ill-shaped, and though it had sockets for eyes, she saw nothing in its eye holes but empty shadows.
    Suddenly the bloated figure dropped, its ugly white skin deflating, like a bubble in the water that has popped. In that instant, a shadow blurred toward her, and the crow recognized the source of her fear. . . .
    Crull-maldor lunged from the shadows, abandoning her cloak of glory, her malevolent spirit but a darker shade among the morning shadows, and she seized the crow. She did not grab it with physical hands, did not rend it with teeth or fingers. Instead, she took it with her mind and her will, forcing her spirit into the tiny shell of its body, grasping hold of its consciousness.
    Almost, Crull-maldor could imagine the voice of her ancient master Yultonkin warning, “Do not be too eager to seize the mind of a bird, for birds are prey to many, to the hawk and coyote, the bobcat and the mink, and if you should die while your two minds are joined, you may never be able to return to your flesh.”
    So once she had seized control of the bird’s mind, Crull-maldor blinked, peering about for signs of danger, looking out from the eyes of the crow.
    The world was distorted. The crow’s eyes were set upon the side of its head, and so it had a vast field of vision, and it could focus with only one eye at a time. The crow saw a wider spectrum of colors than Crull-maldor could with her own eyes. The crow saw the blacks and whites and reds that a wyrmling can see, but it also saw greens and blues and yellows, and everything had a crystalline clarity that Crull-maldor envied.
    So Crull-maldor scanned for danger.
    The beach was a wasteland, rocky and
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