WARRIOR OF KORONOS;
RIDER IN THE WILD HUNT
. . . NURSEMAID
Denoriel Siencyn Macreth Silverhair was a warrior in Koronos' band, a fierce rider in the Wild Hunt, but when he was summoned he came obediently to the valley of the FarSeers.
A glow of power lifted about the crystal lens. "Here is the nexus of our future," said the FarSeer in the dress of ancient Greece, and a mist seemed to pass over the surface of the lens. A moment later, the surface cleared, and within it, Denoriel saw the image of a human infant, red-haired and scowling, swaddled in fine, embroidered linen and lace . . . and glowing with power. The babe was being held by a figure that Denoriel recognized—the mortal king of England, Henry, eighth of that name.
The lens misted again, and scene after scene played out briefly before him—briefly, but enough to show him a future very bright for the mortals of England, a flowering of art, music, and letters, of great deeds, of exploration and bravery. Oh, there were problems——twice, if Denoriel read the signs aright Spain sent a great fleet against England, only to be repulsed at minimal cost. But the troubles were weathered, the difficulties overcome, and the result was nearly an age of gold.
"And this," said the lady of the ancient ways, "Is what will come to pass if that child does not reign."
Fires . . .
Black-robed priests, grim-faced and implacable, condemned scores, hundreds, to the Question, torturing their bodies until they would confess to anything, then burning what was left in front of silent onlookers. Others, whose intellects burned as brightly as the flames, did not need to be tortured; they confessed their sins of difference defiantly . . . and were also burned. In place of a flowering of art and science, came a blight. Darkness fell over the land, pressed there by the heavy, iron hand of Spain and the Inquisition.
"You are the key to all of this." The FarSeer's emerald eyes held his. "The red-haired child of Great Harry of England must live, and thrive, and grow up to rule. You must go to it in the mortal world, and become its protector."
"But I am a warrior, not a nursemaid—" he said, feebly.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Mercedes Lackey is the author of the Bardic Voices series and the SERRAted Edge series (both Baen), the Heralds of Valdemar series (DAW), and many more. Of her writing, Stephen King has stated, "She'll keep you up long past your bedtime," and Locus raved, "Lackey is one of the best storytellers in the field." She has her own fan club with over 1,000 members, and was one of the first writers to have an online newsgroup devoted to her writing. Among her popular Baen titles are The Fire Rose, The Lark and the Wren, and The Shadow of the Lion (with Eric Flint and Dave Freer). She lives in Oklahoma.
Roberta Gellis is author of over 25 novels in different fields. New York Times best-selling author John Jakes has called her "a superb storyteller of extraordinary talent," Publishers Weekly has termed her "a master of the medieval historical," and Romantic Times has praised her as "a master spinner of tales." Her many awards include: The Silver and Gold Medal Porgy for historical novels from West Coast Review of Books and the Golden Certificate and Golden Pen from Affaire de Coeur. From Romantic Times she has received both the Award for Best Novel in the Medieval Period and also the Lifetime Achievement Award for Historical Fantasy. And the Romance Writers of America have presented her with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Her previous fantasy titles for Baen are Bull God and Thrice Bound.