Krondor: The Betrayal Book I of The Riftwar Legacy [111-066 3] icon

Krondor: The Betrayal Book I of The Riftwar Legacy [111-066 3]



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1. /Feist, Raymond E. - Riftwar Legacy 1 - The Betrayal.docKrondor: The Betrayal Book I of The Riftwar Legacy [111-066 3]

Krondor: The Betrayal Book I of The Riftwar Legacy [111-066-4.3]


By: RAYMOND E. FEIST


Synopsis:


Based on the game Betrayal at Krondor Published by Dynamix, Inc.


Story by Neal Hallford, John Cutter, and Raymond E. Feist.


Also by Raymond E. Feist


Magician


Silverborn


A Darkness at Setbanon


Faerie Tale 311


Prince of the Blood


The King's Buccaneer


Sbadow of a Dark Queen


Rise of a Mercbant Prince


Rage of a Demon King


Shards of a Broken Crown


With Janny Wurts:


Daughter of Empire


Servant of Empire


Mistress of Empire


RAYMOND E. FEIST


Krondor,


The Betrayal


Book I of the R@(twar Legacy


Harpercollinspublisbers


Voyager


An Imprint of harpercollins publishers 77-85 Fulham Palace Road,


Hammersmith, London w6 Sib


The Voyager World Wide Web site address is

http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/voyager


Published by Voyager 1998 13 5 7 9 8 6 4 2


Copyright @ Raymond E. Feist 1998


The Author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of

this work


A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library


ISBN 0 00 224694 5


Typeset in Adobe Caslon by


Palimpsest Book Production Limited, Polmont, Stirlingshire


Printed and bound by

Griffin Press Pry Ltd, Netley, South Australia


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any

means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,

without the prior permission of the publishers.


This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of

trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated

without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover

other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition

including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Again I am in debt to many people.



The original Midkemians, for the universe in which I work, and for their

understanding of what makes a good story, a good game, and how the two

are different.


My agent Jonathan Matson, for shepherding me through major difficulties

in creating these games, with his usual deft touch and quick wit.


John Cutter, who thought it up in the first place.


Neal Hallford, who created a very nifty story for the core of the game

which provided the basis for this book.


The rest of the creative team at Dynamix who managed to squeeze the most

out of the processor to give us music, pictures, sound and story.


And to Jerry Lutrell, for keeping me apprised of what was what early on.


My wife, Kathlyn S. Starbuck, for being who she is.


My children Jessica and James, for keeping me in touch with what's

important daily and for being the most wonderful children any father

could ask for.


Raymond E. Feist


Rancho Santa Fe, CA


March 11, 1998


For John Cutter and Neal Harford with thanks for their creativity and

enthusiasm


CONTENTS


PROLOGUE: Warning I


CHAPTER ONE: Encounter 8


CHAPTER Two: Deception 24


CHAPTER THREE: Revelation 43


CHAPTER FOUR: Passage 57


CHAPTER FIVE: Mission 74


CHAPTER SIX: Journey 89


CHAPTER SEVEN: Murders 105


CHAPTER EIGHT: Secrets 124


CHAPTER NINE: Suspect 141


CHAPTER TEN: Nighthawks 156


CHAPTER ELEVEN: Escape 178


CHAPTER TWELVE: Preparations 197


CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Betrayal 212


CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Instructions 229


CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Quest 244


CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Tasks 258


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Misdirection 274


CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: Regroup 293


CHAPTER NINETEEN: Encounter 307


CHAPTER TWENTY: Retribution 323


EPILOGUE


Dedication 345


Afterword 350


PROLOGUE


4 warning


The wind howled.


Locklear, squire of the Prince of Krondor's court, sat huddled under his

heavy cloak, astride his horse. Summer was quick to flee in the

Northlands and the passes through the mountains known as the Teeth of

the World. Autumn nights in the south might still be soft and warm, but

up here in the north, autumn had been a brief visitor and winter was

early to arrive, and would be long in residence. Locklear cursed his own

stupidity for leading him to this forlorn place.


Sergeant Bales said, 'Gets nippy up here, squire. "The sergeant had head

the rumour about the young noble's sudden appearance in Tyr-Sog, some

matter involving a young woman married to a well-connected merchant in

Krondor. Locklear wouldn't be the first young dandy sent to the frontier

to get him out of an angry husband's reach. 'Not as balmy as Krondor,

sorry to say, sir. " 'Really? "asked the young squire, dryly.


The patrol followed a narrow trail along the edge of the foothills, the

northern border of the Kingdom of the Isles. Locklear had been in court

at Tyr-Sog less than a week when Baron Moyiet had suggested the young

squire might benefit from accompanying the special patrol to the east of

the city. Rumours had been circulating that renegades and moredhel -

dark elves known as the Brotherhood of the Dark


Path - were infiltrating south under the cover of heavy rains and snow

flurries. Trackers had reported few signs, but hearsay and the

insistence of farmers that they had seen companies of dark-clad warriors

hurrying south had prompted the Baron to order the patrol.


Locklear knew as well as the men garrisoned there that the chance


of any activity along the small passes over the mountains in late fall

or early winter was unusual. While the freeze had just come to the

foothills, the higher passes would already be thick with snow, then

choked with mud should a brief thaw occur.


Yet since the war known as the Great Uprising - the invasion of the

Kingdom by the army of Murmandamus, the charismatic leader of the dark

elves - ten years ago, any activity was to be investigated, and that

order came directly from King Lyam. 'Yes, must be a bit of a change from

the Prince's court, squire, " prodded the sergeant. Locklear had looked

the part of a Krondorian dandy - tall, slender, a finely garbed young

man in his mid-twenties, affecting a moustache and long ringlets - when

he reached Tyrsog Locklear thought the moustache and fine clothing made

him look older, but if anything the impact was the opposite of his

desired intent.


Locklear had enough of the sergeant's playful baiting, and observed,

'Still, it's warmer than I remember the other side of the mountains

being. " 'Other side, sir? "asked the sergeant. 'The Northlands, "said

Locklear. 'Even in the spring and summer the nights are cold. "


The sergeant looked askance at the young man. 'You've been there,

squire? "Few men who were not renegades or weapons runners had visited

the Northlands and lived to return to the Kingdom.


With the Prince, "replied Locklear. 'I was with him at Armengar and

Highcastle. "


The sergeant fell silent and looked ahead. The soldiers nearest


Locklear exchanged glances and nods. One whispered to the man behind

him. No soldier living in the north hadn't heard of the fall of


Armengar before the hosts of Murmandamus, the powerful moredhel leader

who had destroyed the human city in the Northlands and then had invaded

the Kingdom. Only his defeat at Sethanon, ten years before, had kept his

army of dark elves, trolls, goblins and giants from rending the Kingdom.


The survivors of Armengar had come to live in Yabon, not far from

Tyr-Sog, and the telling of the great battle and the flight of the

survivors, as well as the part played by Prince Arutha and his

companions, had grown in the telling. Any man who had served


with Prince Arutha and Guy du Bas-Tyra could only be judged a hero. With

a reappraising glance at the young man,* the sergeant kept his silence.


Locklear's amusement at shutting up the voluble sergeant was shortlived,

as the snow started to freshen, blowing harder by the minute. He might

have gained enough stature with the garrison to be treated with more

respect in days to come, but he was still a long way from the court in

Krondor, the fine wines and pretty girls. It would take a miracle for

him to get back in Arutha's good graces any time before the next winter

found him still trapped in a rural court with dullards.


After ten minutes of silent travel, the sergeant said, 'Amother two

miles, sir, and we can start back. "


Locklear said nothing. By the time they returned to the garrison, it

would be dark and even colder than it presently was. He would welcome

the warm fire in the soldiers'commons and probably content himself

sharing a meal with the troops, unless the Baron requested he dine with

the household. Locklear judged that unlikely, as the Baron had a

flirtatious young daughter who had fawned on the visiting young noble

the first night he had appeared in Tyr-Sog, and the


Baron full well knew why Locklear was at his court. On the two occasions

he had since dined with the Baron, the daughter had been conspicuously

absent.


There was an inn not too far from the castle, but by the time he had

returned to the castle, he knew he would be too sick of the cold and

snow to brave the elements again, even for that short distance; besides,

the only two barmaids there were fat and dull. With a silent sigh of

resignation, Locklear realized that by the arrival of spring they might

look lovely and charming to him.


Locklear just prayed he would be permitted to return to Krondor by the

Midsummer Festival of Banapis. He would write to his best friend, Squire

James, and ask him to use his influence to get Arutha to recall him

early. Half a year up here was punishment enough. 'Seigneur, "said

Sergeant Bales, using Locklear's formal title, 'what's that? "He pointed

up the rocky path. Movement among the rocks had caught the sergeant's

eye.


Locklear replied, 'I don't know. Let's go take a look. "


Bales motioned and the patrol turned left, moving up the path.


Quickly the scene before them resolved itself. A lone figure, on foot,

hurried down the rocky path, and from behind the sounds of pursuit could

be heard. 'Looks like a renegade had a falling-out with some Brothers of

the


Dark Path, "said Sergeant Bales.


Locklear pulled his own sword. 'Renegade or not, we can't let the dark

elves carve him up. It might make them think they could come south and

harass common citizens at whim. " 'Ready!"shouted the sergeant and the

veteran patrol pulled swords.


The lone figure saw the soldiers, hesitated a moment, then ran forward.

Locklear could see he was a tall man, covered by a dark grey cloak which

effectively hid his features. Behind him on foot came a dozen dark

elves. 'Let us go amongst them, "said the sergeant calmly.


Locklear commanded the patrol in theory, but he had enough combat

experience to stay out of the way when a veteran sergeant was giving

orders.


The horsemen charged up the pass, moving by the lone figure, to fall

upon the moredhel. The Brotherhood of the Dark Path were many things;

cowardly and inept in warcraft were not among those things. The fighting

was fierce, but the Kingdom soldiers had two advantages: horses, and the

fact the weather had rendered the dark elves' bows useless. The moredhel

didn't even attempt to draw their wet strings, knowing they could hardly

send a bowshaft toward the enemy, let alone pierce armour.


A single dark elf, larger than the rest, leaped atop a rock, his gaze

fixed upon the fleeing figure. Locklear moved his horse to block the

creature, who turned his attention toward the young noble.


They locked gazes for a moment, and Locklear could feel the creature's

hatred. Silently he seemed to mark Locklear, as if remembering him for a

future confrontation. Then he shouted an order and the moredhel began

their withdrawal up the pass.


Sergeant Bales knew better than to pursue into a pass when he had less

than a dozen yards'visibility. Besides, the weather was worsening.


Locklear turned to find the lone figure leaning against a boulder a

short distance behind the trail. Locklear moved his horse dose to the

man and called down, J am Squire Locklear of the Prince's court.


You better have a good story for us, renegade. "


There was no response from the man, his features stiff hidden by the

deep cowl of his heavy cloak. The sounds of fighting trailed off as the

moredhel broke off and fled up the pass, crawling into the rocks above

the path so the riders could not follow.


The figure before Locklear regarded him a moment, then slowly reached up

to throw back his cowl. Dark, alien eyes regarded the young noble. These

were features Locklear had seen before: high brow, close-cropped hair.

Arching eyebrows and large, upswept and lobeless ears. But this was no

elf who stood before him; Locklear could feet it in his bones. The dark

eyes that regarded him could barely hide their contempt.


In heavily accented King's Tongue, the creature said, 'I am no renegade,

human. "


Sergeant Bales rode up and said, 'Damn! A Brother of the Dark


Path. Must have been some tribal thing, with those others trying to kill

him. "


The moredhel fixed Locklear with his gaze, studying him for a long

moment, then he said, 'If you are from the Prince's court then you may

help me. " 'Help you? said the sergeant. We're most likely going to hang

you, murderer. "


Locklear held up his hand for silence. Why should we help you, moredhel?

" 'Because I bring a word of warning for your prince. "


Warning of what? " 'That is for him to know. Will you take me to him? "


Locklear glanced at the sergeant, who said, We should take him to see

the Baron. " 'No, "said the moredhel. 'I will only speak with Prince

Arutha. " 'You'll speak to whoever we tell you to, butched' said Bales,

his voice edged in hatred. He had been fighting the Brotherhood of the


Dark Path his entire life and had seen their cruelty many times.


Locklear said, 'I know his kind. You can set fire to his feet and burn

him up to his neck and if he doesn't want to talk, he won't talk. "


The moredhel said, 'True. "He again studied Locklear and said, 'You have

faced my people? " 'Artnengar,'said Locklear. 'Again at Highcastle. Then

at Sethanon. "


'It is Sethanon about which I need to speak to your prince, "said the

moredhel.


Locklear turned to the sergeant and said, 'Leave us for a moment,


Sergeant. "


Bales hesitated, but there was a note of command in the young noble's

voice, no hint of deference to the sergeant; this was an order.


The sergeant turned and moved his patrol away. 'Say on, "said Locklear.

'I am Gorath, Chieftain of the Ardanien. "


Locklear studied Gorath. By human standards he looked young, but

Locklear had been around enough elves and seen enough moredhel to know

that was deceiving. This one had a beard streaked with white and grey,

as well as a few lines around his eyes; Locklear guessed he might be

better than two hundred years old by what he had seen among elvenkind.

Gorath wore armour that was well crafted and a cloak of especially fine

weave;


Locklear judged it possible he was exactly what he said he was. 'What

does a moredhel chieftain speak of to a prince of the


Kingdom? " 'My words are for Prince Arutha alone. "


Locklear said, 'If you don't want to spend what remains of your life in

the Baron's dungeon at Tyr-Sog, you had better say something that will

convince me to take you to Krondor. "


The moredhel looked a long time at Locklear, then motioned for him to

come closer. Keeping his hand upon a dagger in his belt, should the dark

elf try something, he leaned close to his horse's neck, so he could put

his face near Gorath's.


Gorath whispered in Locklear's ear. 'Murmandamus lives. "


Locklear leaned back and was silent a moment, then he turned his horse.

'Sergeant Bales!" 'Sir!"returned the old veteran, answering Locklear's

commanding tone of voice with a note of respect. 'Put this prisoner in

chains. We return to Tyr-Sog, now. And no one is to speak with him

without my leave. " 'Sir!"repeated the sergeant, motioning to two of his

men to hurry forward and do as ordered.


Locklear leaned over his horse's neck again and said, 'You may be lying

to stay alive, Gorath, or you may have some dreadful message


for Prince Arutha. It matters not to me, for either way I return to


Krondor, starting first thing in the morning. "


The dark elf said nothing, content to stand stoically as he was disarmed

by two soldiers. He remained silent as manacles were fastened around his

wrists, linked by a short span of heavy chain.


He held his hands before him a moment after the manacles were locked,

then slowly lowered them. He looked at Locklear, then turned and began

walking toward Tyr-Sog, without waiting for his guards' leave.


Locklear motioned for the sergeant to follow, and rode up to walk his

horse next to Gorath, through the worsening weather.


ONE


Encounter


T he fire crackled.


Owyn Belefate sat alone in the night before the flames, wallowing in his

personal misery. The youngest son of the


Baron of Timons, he was a long way from home and wishing he was even

farther away. His youthful features were set in a portrait of dejection.


The night was cold and the food scant, especially after having just left

the abundance of his aunt's home in Yabon City. He had been hosted by

relatives ignorant of his falling-out with his father, people who had

reacquainted him over a weeles visit with what he had forgotten about

his home-life: the companionship of brothers and sisters, the warmth of

a night spent before the fire, conversation with his mother, and even

the arguments with his father. 'Father, "Owyn muttered. It had been less

than two years since the young man had defied his father and made his

way to Stardock, the island of magicians located in the southern reaches

of the Kingdom.


His father had forbidden him his choice, to study magic, demanding


Owyn should at least become a cleric of one of the more socially

acceptable orders of priests. After all, they did magic as well, his

father had insisted.


Owyn sighed and gathered his cloak around him. He had been so certain he

would someday return home to visit his family, revealing himself as a

great magician, perhaps a confidant of the legendary
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