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By Harry Turtledove

Rhavas used to be a great, holy, and pious guy - and the cousin of the Avtokrator. He may most likely became ecumenical patriarch of the Empire within the capital, Videssos the city...if his global had now not without warning and tragically fallen aside while the Empire of Videssos erupted into civil conflict and the Khamonh barbarians swarmed over the borders. because the domestic he enjoyed was once brutally sacked, Rhavas needed to flee for his lifestyles, then make his method via lands swarming with fierce nomads and with infantrymen dependable either to his cousin and to the insurgent. He may well by no means see Videssos the town back, not to mention preside in its excessive Temple. He has continually Phos, the god of sunshine and goodness, Videssos' god, and despised evil rival Skotos. those that fall off the Bridge of the Separator in the course of judgment within the afterlife tumble right down to Skotos' ice forevermore. but if evil turns out to have swallowed the complete international, what's a cleric who reverences good judgment in addition to goodness sup- posed to think? it is a tougher query than Rhavas needs it have been.

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Extra resources for Bridge of the Separator

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It's possible that Stylianos has already summoned them. Many of them will have served under him and will be well-disposed toward him. " Rhavas' face didn't lose that expression. " He'd thought about it for Maleinos. He hadn't liked it, but he'd thought about it. Why was he surprised Stylianos might have thought about it, too, and might have done something about it? Because Maleinos is the Avtokrator, and is blood of my blood. Stylianos is a man who would murder his way to the throne . His own grandmother's brother had murdered his way to the throne.

A sorcerer called. "Sheep," Ingeros answered. Never had Rhavas heard such an innocent word sound so sinister. " he asked. "Sure looks that way to me," Ingeros said, and then, "Ha! " Rhavas sketched the sun-circle over his heart. The plainsmen had traveled better than half as fast as the news of their coming. Their mobility had always plagued the Videssians, who'd had to defend a long frontier against them. Two or three times, imperial armies had come to grief going out onto the steppe in pursuit of the elusive Khamorth.

They're on the move the year around, and live off the flocks they drive with them. If the frontier is empty, what's to stop them from swarming into the Empire? " In a low, troubled voice, Rhavas answered, "I'm afraid this thought also crossed my mind. " "Phos! " Petinos tilted back his head, emptied the silver winecup at one long draught, and then poured it full again. "If Maleinos and Stylianos keep hammering away at each other, who will drive the nomads back to the plains where they belong? " He didn't answer his own question.

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