Bridge of the Separator by Harry Turtledove

By Harry Turtledove

Rhavas was once an outstanding, holy, and pious guy - and the cousin of the Avtokrator. He might most likely became ecumenical patriarch of the Empire within the capital, Videssos the city...if his international had no longer without warning and tragically fallen aside whilst 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 approach via lands swarming with fierce nomads and with squaddies unswerving either to his cousin and to the insurgent. He may well by no means see Videssos town back, not to mention preside in its excessive Temple. He has constantly 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 common sense in addition to goodness sup- posed to think? it is a tougher query than Rhavas needs it have been.

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Complacence at his own cleverness filled Zautzes' voice, even though the idea had been Rhavas'. Zautzes pointed at the prelate. "You should go with them, you know. Wizards are only men—sinners like anybody else. " Rhavas said in surprise. Zautzes nodded. Rhavas thought it over. He'd never tried to travel in the northern part of the Empire of Videssos during winter, either. People did; he knew that. The courier now drifting toward sleep in Zautzes' guest room was living proof of it. Rhavas dipped his head in assent.

Hares and ferrets and foxes went through the same color changes. Rhavas wondered. They had no calendars. They didn't pray and then roister on Midwinter's Day. But their changes were as reliable as the seasons themselves. The prelate shrugged, there in the saddle. He had no idea how the animals guessed the turning of the year. " A wizard named Koubatzes rode close by Rhavas. He had the highest reputation of any mage in Skopentzana. Many wizards went out of their way to impress those who saw them, wearing gaudy robes and long, elaborately curled beards and letting their hair grow long.

You should go with them, you know. Wizards are only men—sinners like anybody else. " Rhavas said in surprise. Zautzes nodded. Rhavas thought it over. He'd never tried to travel in the northern part of the Empire of Videssos during winter, either. People did; he knew that. The courier now drifting toward sleep in Zautzes' guest room was living proof of it. Rhavas dipped his head in assent. "I'll do it. " Zautzes exclaimed—by which he no doubt meant that Rhavas was doing what he wanted. " Whatever else it would be, it would surely be that.

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