Farciya and Tiris, each carrying both a load on their back and a load on a sled slung behind them, were days out from the Last Refuge, northward. Always northward.

Temperatures had been dropping steadily, and flurries of snow were now falling with increasing regularity. But, Tiris noted, the days were also becoming longer. Often, when they made their exhausted camp for the evening, the sun still lingered near the horizon. In order to sleep, they both found they had to blindfold themselves against the midnight sun.

There were strange tracks, too. Some were simple deer and rabbits, but others were asymmetrical and vile, a mockery of life and of gait. Farciya had never seen anything like them, and Tiris had no desire to make their acquaintance. Harbiyyah Stretched before them both, increasingly barren, but the sun’s odd behavior made Tiris hope, as he never had before, that the Dreaming Moon was somehow near.

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