"We left the city by secret ways and took with us only that which we could carry. But outside the city there was no safety. Men of the Wyvern set upon us. They slew us, but I fled with Zaki in my arms. And the cries of the slain were terrible to hear. And I hear them yet in dreams."
Then was Eviane silent and Akai waited upon her.
Eviane stroked the hair of Zaki who slept with his head in her lap. And Eviane said, "Through many hard and perilous ways we came at last to Titiri and my people welcomed us. But if others escaped as I did, I know it not."
Akai continued in Titiri and was as a brother to Zaki. Never were they apart and Akai taught Zaki all that he had learned of the Holy Man of the Wilds and Izar the tutor. He taught Zaki also the way of the warrior and Zaki learned quickly the way of the sword and the spear, the bow and the staff.
But of M'a'lak and Pothos Akai spoke not. And they weighed heavily on his heart.
Then when the sorrow was most heavy Akai would go to Eviane Lord of Titiri and beg leave of her that he might take the vows of priest. And Eviane would hear his sighs and deep groans and wait upon him. And she would call for Zaki and send her sons hither on some errand until Akai might be restored and speak no more of priests for a time.
But Eviane said in her heart, "It is not meet that Akai should bear such a weight of sorrow. It is ill for his spirit. Would that someone might lift this burden from him."
Word came to Titiri saying that gadungan had come out from the lands of the Free Peoples and into Titiri. Then did Eviane call unto Akai and say, "Take one hundred of my men and go forth and slay the gadungan that have invaded our lands."
And Akai said, "I will."
But when Zaki would have gone with Akai and the one hundred, Eviane Lord of Titiri said, "You must not go with Akai and the one hundred."
Then Zaki said unto his mother, "I know the way of the sword and the spear, the bow and the staff. Am I not a prince of Titiri? Should my people not see me ride forth to protect them?"
And the Lord of Titiri said, "You shall not go. Your time to lead is not yet upon you."
Akai and the one hundred went forth from the gates of the walled city; but Zaki followed and they knew it not.
They came to the place where the gadungan had come and found a village. And the village was half burned and many lay dead. And the people said, "The gadungan came upon us in the night and fed upon our wives and daughters and our husbands and our sons. And we could not stay them."
"It is an evil thing that has happened here," said Akai. "We will go forth and take vengeance for you."
"No," said the people of the village. "You must not go forth, for the day comes to an end and surely shall the gadungan attack you on the road."
And the one hundred said, "We have ridden long and hard. It would be good to rest for a time."
Then the people brought forth food and drink for Akai and the one hundred; but as was his custom, Akai drank only water.
When was come upon them and all slept, the villagers took their true gadungan form and some were wolves and others lorrii and others great serpents.