The land continued, narrow and rocky, as the frost-paguros continued their relentless pursuit. Tiris and Farciya had abandoned their sleds, their provisions, their fuel. All they carried were the clothes on their backs and a knife apiece as they made their final dash northwards.

Staggering over brown and lichen-covered rocks, they soon saw the deep white-flecked blue of the sea in front of them, as well. Trapped, herded onto a peninsula at what might have been the furthest north it was possible to walk in the dreamlands, they were set upon by their pursuers.

A frost-paguro batted Tiris aside like a toy as he tried to stab at it, casting him, limp, upon the gravel shore. Farciya, in rushing to his aid, sunk her own knife into the back of another, which responded with a savage strike of its long claw, opening up lines of crimson on her chest as she skidded to a dead stop mere yards from the water.

Though their intruders were unmoving and vulnerable, the frost-paguros did not press the attack. Instead they retired whence they had come, huffing noisily in the thin, cold air.

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