It was obvious to him when he reached the thing that had frightened everyone. It felt like someone had hit him in the head and ripped his body apart. Flashes of colour assaulted his eyes. It felt like it lasted forever.
When it ended he was under a different sky. It was simple to assume it was another world since his planet had only one moon and this one had three. He heard the hunter gasp from under the wagon. At least he wasn’t alone in this strange place. In front of Ciamon was a large semitransparent stone. The stone flashed different colours. He gasped, realizing it was the Bilfrost of legend.
It had been daytime before, but now the moons were high in the sky. The caravan only paused briefly before continuing its journey. Whatever ramp they were on now was curving right and down. He tore his eyes away from the Bilfrost long enough to see that they were on a high mountain. The road below was pure silver. The silver moved like it was slithering. Again he gasped, thinking it was the great serpent Mulciber.
Looking closer, he saw that it wasn’t a serpent but a great army, hundreds of thousands of men in silver armour. Ciamon’s mouth went dry and he said as loudly as possible, “If someone in my land touched a tower and said, ‘Haski Fra Utan’ they would summon our most powerful wizards.”
Slipping out of his bonds, he howled. Grabbing one of the unsuspecting guards with one hand he lifted him and tossed him down the mountain. His other hand took the bent piece of metal that the guards had pointed at him.
There was a small trigger on the bent piece of metal that reminded Ciamon of a crossbow. He hoped it was a weapon and pointed it at the army. A bolt of lightning shot out and took down a half dozen of the crowded soldiers.
If it had happened to a Panos hunting group, they would have scrambled away, but this army only moved forward, stepping over or on the dead to fill the gap. Ciamon started firing wildly while he avoided capture again.
The hunter was halfway to the Bilfrost before the caravan and soldiers realized what was happening. The hunter avoided several guards and dove through the Bilfrost and hopefully to home.
Once the hunter was gone, Ciamon used the weapon to destroy the door on his wagon and free the people. He then shot at anything that tried to stop them from getting to the Bilfrost.
Distantly he heard a voice yell, “Shut the bridge down. NOW!”
A voice, equally as loud but terrified, replied over the distance, “We can’t turn it off without destroying it.”
“Then send them somewhere else!” the voices were coming from black metal boxes that each of the soldiers had on their shoulders.
The Bilfrost changed from colours to solid stone and then to a watery blue colour. Ciamon didn’t know what to do, but he knew he couldn’t stay here. He ran towards the Bilfrost and jumped through, the other captives close on his heels.
As he passed through the Bilfrost, he felt the same pain as before, but this time instead of colours, he just saw blue. As he came out the other side realized he was falling. Looking down he could see the water of a lake far below him coming up much faster than he’d like.
Doing his best to get into a diving position he took a deep breath and hit the water. It hurt terribly, but he was able to get to the surface and swim to shore.
Exhausted, he collapsed onto his back and looked up. The Bilfrost was suspended into the clouds so high he could barely see it. He couldn’t go back home. Hopefully the hunter had made it in time to warn the Battlemages that an army was going to invade.
As for himself, Ciamon had no idea what to do next. Exhausted, hurt, and sad, he started to drift to sleep. As he drifted he could have sworn he heard Aleenia’s voice saying, “My turn! I’ll find you.”
“As I know you will,” he mumbled.