In which Jedar of Amadicia gains a new name, and the world a new Hunter for the Horn...
Jedar leaned against the wall, rubbing his hands together for warmth, as he waited. In the grey darkness before dawn, the black coat he had donned made him all but invisible. Which, of course, was the reason he had worn it.
Half an hour. Just half an hour before those pompous fools in their white cloaks come riding out the gates... He grinned, unseen in the night. The higher you walk the harder you fall, as some wise man once said, and it's just about time the Children of the Light took a fall.
Everything was set, the work of several nights' work, and after this he planned to be out of Amadicia. He'd have left long ago, in fact, if it hadn't been for Whitecloak interference and, after a while, a desire not to go before taking his revenge. Now that barrier wouldn't be in his way any more, and... well, the world lay before him. The Hunt for the Horn's been called again. Maybe that's the way I should head?
He considered. Hunters made legends, no matter that not one of them had ever found the Horn. Hunters rode on adventures, and had tales and songs written about them. Hunters were probably the freest, most unbound people in the land. Yes, Jedar decided, he would definitely head for Illian.
He cocked his head suddenly as the sound of hoof beats came to his ears.Here they come - the pride of Amadicia, the glory of the world, the Children of the Light out on dawn patrol. A sardonic grin crossed his face as the first armed rider came into view. What a pretty sight they make. And I calculate it should get a lot prettier about - he glanced upat the sky - now.
Then he folded his arms, leaned back against the wall, and got ready to enjoy.
The first man rode through the gate and started down the hill. Right then, as a slow-burning fuse reached its end, fireworks shot up into thesky with a bang and a flash of light. The horse, unsurprisingly upset by the explosion, bolted, its unprepared rider clinging on. As more fireworks flashed, the rest of the patrol followed it in a mad gallop.
Right for the ditch - and now comes Part Two...
Part Two was a good deal simpler. Instead of fireworks and a cooperative Illuminator, all that he'd needed was a shovel.
The horses, riders still staying on if precariously, reached the bank of the ditch - the bank that Jedar had spent several nights carefully digging under. With the weight of the patrol atop it, the bank gave way -
- sending the Whitecloaks head-first into the mud.
The higher you walk the harder you fall indeed... Jedar struggled to keep from laughing.
Then, he didn't bother, bursting into laughter at the expense of the now not-so white cloaked men. I can laugh as loudly as I like -and he nearly doubled over again - because they're stuck so deeply in the mud that there's nothing whatsoever they can do about it!
He had planned to leave quietly, but on second thoughts, this really required a dramatic exit. A few of the fireworks still lay in their bundleat his feet, unused; he reached down to pick them up, and at the same time took a piece of flint from his pocket.
"A gift for you, Children of the Light -"
He struck a spark, hurled the lit fireworks to the ground, and ran, leaping the ditch and seizing the bridle of one of the horses. Swinging into the saddle, he shouted over his shoulder -
"- with the fond regards of Jedar Blackcoat!"
And to the accompaniment of exploding fireworks, outraged shouts and his own laughter, Jedar, newly renamed Blackcoat, rode off into the sunrise.