Let us tell you a tale.
≈ VII ≈
xiii. The Saga of Frostwood
Trickles of blood flowed from a thousand tiny wounds as Mithrilon fell to the ground, overwhelmed by this unforeseen army or surprising ferocity. He had never been party to a fight that had tickled as much as it hurt.
The squirrel in his breeches was getting dangerously close to his delicates, the capybara had taken off with his boot, and a team of mice were making quick work on his belt leather.
His eyes swam with prismic light from above, rainbows dancing in his vision and he closed them hard, rolling one way then the other, feeling small things smoosh beneath his weight.
Low at first, then gaining in strength, a rhythmic ululation reached his ears, and his eyes snapped open to a battalion of guinea pigs bearing down upon him, led from the air by a cackling, rainbow winged gerbil whose eyes blazed with a manic frenzy.
Regaining his hand from a pack of rabbits, which, he was displeased to discover, now overflowed with dark brown pellets, he reached for his belt to touch the sun yellow Ether Stone. The world around him stopped. Mithrilon rolled over and pushed himself to his knees.
He had traveled far and wide in the realm, heard the tales and legends and hard reports in exchange for good coin at the tap rooms of every inn he had stayed in on his travels. No one, not even once, had mentioned a rodent army in the Southern Sea.
The current had been fast. He had given the Destruction Stone a tiny little rub, just chipping away that bit of the glacier that indeed, as king Rínor had said, held the shining white Míresgal of the ice lands.
But when it fell, straight into the swift current of Spiritbrook, the current rushed it further out into the Southern Sea, straight toward the little green isle off the coast.
He tracked it down near an enormous gnarled oak, focused so much on the stone that he hadn’t noticed the skittering all about his periphery.
But now he had it. Seven out of nine.