“I mean, Gnashing Peaks? Mountains of Wailing? What sort of superstitious nonsense is that?” Ryk said. “If you’re trying to frighten me, there are better ways of doing it.”

“Frighten you?” Kuni scoffed. “Those named have been earned, lowlander. It’s a thousand leagues or more to the next pass in these hills, and sometimes being able to struggle a few wagons of food through after a bad harvest is what makes the difference for those of us who live here.”

“So they gnash and wail at you? Typical of you yokels up here, ascribing a malevolent will to whatever you can’t understand,” said Ryk.

“The gnashing and wailing is ours, lowlander, when our children and elders die because a caravan was snowed in at the pass.” Kuni pointed at the serpentine road winding its way up between the Gnashing Peaks, splitting the Mountains of Wailing in twain. “If you want to march up there, be my guest. But the only way you’ll see your lowlands again is from the hereafter.”

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