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"His forge was no more, but there was power yet in Brokk’s old hammer. The artefact had once belonged to Klaggi himself, and his father before that. By Brokk’s reckoning, it could trace its lineage back as far as the Age of Myth, and each blow to the surface of the anvil was like anathema to the approaching storm. With every strike, it wrested the winds from the air, plucking with them aelves, spirits, and things that could have been either or both. He knew he couldn’t stop the charge bearing down on him, but he did what he could to strip it of its impetus.

"Six times he struck the anvil, lost to familiar rhythms and well-practiced movements, a solitary figure working at his bench amidst a storm, his hammer’s head a blazing beacon in the whipping shadows. His ears popped, and for a second, silence engulfed the glade. Then the hunt swept through them.

"Steeds galloped bodily into his remaining guard, bearing ranks of the old duardin from their feet. Spears and arrows sang through the air, accompanied by befuddlements of sprites like motes of magic with sharp claws and the faces of newborns. Other faces flashed in the storm, screaming aelves and wild beasts and the crows, laughing over and over as they descended on Brokk’s brethren with beak and claw.

"Climbing atop his anvil, Brokk stared back at the vast creature that leapt and pranced through the swarm, undeniably aelven yet so much more, its spear plunging over and over into his embattled kin. Before Brokk’s eyes, it drove its antlered head into his guard, and when it next reared up, the face staring back from its long horns belonged to Svari. For the first time in all his long years, Brokk understood what it meant to be dispossessed."

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