As the spheres spiraled inward, they grew in size, from pebbles to boulders, and at the center of the spirals, there was a great bare patch, untouched by snow yet stained by gore. A great mound filled the hollow, guarded by stone sentinels, and even from the hilltop at distance Tiris recognized what they were, preserved by the cold even as they had been mangled by their creation.

“Arms,” he said. “Left arms, as you said. And icy waters as far as the eye can see on either side of the isthmus. What shall we do?”

“We cannot turn back,” said Farciya. “Not after all we have been through, all we have seen. We press on, and if death comes at the bellowing jaws of a frost-paguro, then so be it, and roll on the Next Dream, the Dream-to-Come, the Deepest Dream.”

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