“Silence!” he bellowed again.
Danielle guessed there to be several hundred gargoyles positioned around the canyon. She and the others sat on the valley floor, in front of the dais on which sat the War Council. In addition to Quarastohr, there were eleven other gargoyles on the dais, including Kimar, each seated upon an ornately carved, immense stone chair. They were already in the deepening shade cast by the mountains behind them, as the sun began to dip behind the ridge. But they were easy to spot because of their glowing eyes. The sight reminded Danielle of sunlight glinting off of broken, colored glass. She felt a shiver go down her back, thrilled and awed by what she saw.
“As you have all heard from Kimar, it is clear that Kahrnahrgx and his followers intend to reacquire the Key, which these humans found unwittingly,” Quarastohr said, then gestured towards the entire group of humans, not distinguishing between Danielle and her parents and all the others. Although Ercen was sitting with them, she didn’t seem to be included in Quarastohr’s wave.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Paign hissed under his breath. “That didn’t sound very nice.”
Before anyone could respond, the large gargoyle continued.
“Whether we wish it or not, it is now come to us…this Key. Its evil has twice entered into this valley, our haven, the rookery of our young ones. It cannot stay. But whither shall it go?” His voice reverberated throughout the canyon.
A cascade of voices fell down from the cliffs above, in support of Quarastohr’s question.
Ercen shifted next to Danielle. “Well, there’s not much question about that, is there?” she murmured. “It can’t stay here. You can’t take it back to your time…”
Before she could finish, a squat gargoyle, with a deep reddish hue, rose to his feet, just a few chairs to the right of where Kimar sat. “My esteemed colleagues of the War Council,” he said, then bowed, his voice so low it seemed to Peter that he felt it, more than heard it. “Quarastohr.” He bowed even lower. “My countrymen,” he said, lifting his hands into the air and slowly circling around the dais.
“That’s Uud-Rement. He’s a fierce commander,” Ercen whispered in Danielle’s ear. “And he’s absolutely fearless. Some would say even reckless. This should be interesting.”
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