The group does not come up with any very satisfactory way to convince
Annafrid's parents that the much-changed girl is in fact their daughter
Hannah, still alive but who would before long be leaving this world
As it turns out, however, this proves not to be a problem, since the
is not where Annafrid remembers it to have been.
She looks down into the empty valley in front of her in shock and confusion. She is sure this is where the village should be. "Could this be the wrong valley?" Joan asks her gently. "No, I'm certain this is the right place. I don't understand it." "Chelene said you had encountered this world's version of Belboz," Jarlath said, "though you never told her just what had transpired between the two of you. Supposing that for some reason of his own he had given you a false set of memories? Maybe there never was a Hannah?" "So that would mean my Fred memories were the true ones?" Annafrid asks, looking unhappy at the idea.  "Not necessarily," says Jarlath quickly, sensing that Annafrid did not want to believe that she had once been a man. "It could be that both sets of memories are false." "In which case, I've no idea who I really am," says Annafrid with a sigh. "Does it really matter, so long as both Jarlath and I love you?" Astra says, and gives her a hug. Annafrid brightens. "I suppose not, but it came as a bit of a shock."
"With no village here, we must hope to find one somewhere else before too long," Joan says. "The journey will be a tediously long one if we can't get horses, and we could do with more provisions. And I wouldn't mind having a comfortable bed in an inn for the night, rather than sleeping in the open. If this world corresponds closely enough to my own home world, then if my memory is accurate we should find a village if we follow the river flowing through this valley downstream some fifteen miles."
Meanwhile Prang attempts to trace the killer or killers of "his" dragon. This would be easy if they had taken any of the dragon's hoard, for every item bears a geas that makes it easily locatable by one suffiently skilled in such matters. But whoever has killed the dragon seems to have taken not so much as a single coin. Prang can hardly believe it. Surely even the noblest knight would have taken something?
He tries another, much less reliable, method.
9/30/2000 1:37:29 PM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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