The Dark Return

Disclaimer: Garth Nix owns all the characters and nearly everything, I only own the plot.


It had only been a month since Tal and Milla had parted ways, but they would once again be forced together when shadows force themselves back into their world.

The Veil loomed overhead as Tal walked along the mountainside in front of the castle, which he did nearly every day. A rustle in the bushes alerted Tal and he grabbed his sunstone, startled that someone else would be out here.

"Who's there?" Tal asked.

"Tal, you are in grave danger, shadows are coming to engulf the land you call home." a snake like voice hissed from apparently everywhere.

"What do you mean?" Tal asked, now frightened.

But the voice didn't answer. Tal stood knee deep in snow shivering, but not from the cold, he had Icecarl furs on, it was from fright. Then Tal heard a great hiss from behind him and he was thrown into the air. He smashed into the ground unconscious and rolled down the steep mountain narrowly avoiding the hole he had to jump over in his journey back to the castle.

Tal rolled the whole way down the mountain and stopped right up near the Ruin Ship.

Tal awoke several hours later with a sharp pain shooting through his head and his vision was blurry. He tried to sit up but he was pushed back down by someone.

When Tals vision returned he stared at the person who had pushed him down. It was obviously a Shield Maiden, but Tals head hurt so much he just lay back down. It wasn't Milla he knew.

"Why have you come back on the ice?" The Shield Maiden asked.

"I… I…" Tal started but then he blacked out from pain.

The Shield Maiden put her hand behind his head and called for another Shield Maiden. When another arrived the first told her to go and summon a crone.