Dead Mens Tales (Tales of the Brass Griffin Book 5)

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To her, the enormous spider-like tank towered over her while on her back, lightning ran wild. Her skin burned, and she was powerless to stop it. A scream froze in her throat. Three clockwork spiders dropped onto her and went to work. One landed on the senhorita. Charged mandibles bit the young woman hard on her shoulder and arm.

DEAD MEN'S SECRETS --- Were ancient times really primitive?

Wycliffe collapsed to the deck, convulsing from the electrical shock. Senhorita Salgado, bloodstained and singed, lay next to her covered in stray bolts of energy. Their work done, the spiders retreated up the shelves. Seaman Farrow glanced around the hectic platform of the superstructure. It was when he stepped closer to the two women that anyone took notice. A crewman walked over with a brisk stride, an ever present sneer, and an air of superiority. Farrow nodded in greeting to the journeyman. Engineer Journeyman Maris gestured towards a nearby ladder.

She recovered enough of her wits to keep herself still. He gave the women a sour look. Maris snorted derisively. Farrow knelt down and picked up the unconscious Wycliffe.

He nodded at Senhorita Salgado. Maris looked at the senhorita with cold eyes. He reached inside his coat and pulled out a pocket knife. He yowled in pain and fell to one knee. A reedy, narrow-faced young man, barely in his twenties. Salgado tried desperately to haul herself upright using the shelf. Her head snapped back against the deck and she lay still. The journeyman then lunged for the stunned sailor.

Griffin - Wikipedia

The maintenance crewman struggled, but Maris held him fast. Slowly, his struggles grew weaker, until the life fled his eyes. He stepped away from the grisly scene as if to distance himself from it. Now get her below while I finish up here. Farrow took another step backward before he bolted towards a nearby hatch with Wycliffe. Maris watched him go with a disdainful look. His cold eyes watched Farrow retreating to the hatch. Might need to sort you out as well, Farrow.

He had turned partway from Farrow when something metal slammed into the side of his head. Bone crunched. Maris jerked, then collapsed to the floor.

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She dumped the pipe joint on the unconscious Maris, then forced herself to her feet. With a grimace, she gripped her wounded arm, and launched herself after Farrow. The senhorita ignored the lance of pain that ate at her arm with each step. The hum of the engine filled the air. It merged with the intense pound of her own heartbeat. She reached the hatch in the floor. An unusual sound behind her tickled her hearing. Salgado instinctively darted behind the solid steel hatch door.


A second later, a knife rebounded off the metal. She peered out from behind the hatch. Five feet away, Maris swore. His face, smeared with blood and pain, twisted into a murderous snarl. He jerked a second knife free from inside his coat and hurled it at the senhorita. Senhorita Salgado ducked down behind her improvised shield. The knife bounced off and clattered to the floor.

A near soundless blast of smoke erupted around Maris. He panicked and stumbled to his left, out of the cloud. He stumbled around drunkenly while his hands instinctively covered his nose. Blood seeped between his fingers as he yowled in pain. She lunged after him, like a snake darting at its prey. Maris froze when the blade touched his neck. Maris glanced at the knife. In the blue-white light of the chamber, it gleamed menacingly.

He glared at the charybdian holding it. Senhorita Salgado became a fluid blur of motion. He let out a choked garble of sound. A second later her right boot scraped his left shin and hammered down onto the instep of his foot. The journeyman screamed. His knees buckled, but the senhorita jerked the man upright by his collar. She glared at Marino. The senhorita face was a mask of fury. Anger boiled out of her yellow eyes like a searing light.

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She bared her fangs, and despite the pain in her arm, shook Maris like a dog would a rag. They know it far better than we do, and I am tired of running after them!

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Now, we have a better way to catch them. Marino started to step forward to intervene. Worshipers believe the old gods watch through the trees.

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According to Maester Yorrick , blood sacrifice to the old gods was still practiced in the vicinity of White Harbor five hundred years ago. The exact laws of inheritance followed by the First Men have not been stated. Several of the groups that descended from the First Men practiced rule by consensus or election among several lords and chieftains in council.

The ironborn of old chose their kings through a kingsmoot , where each man who owned and captained a ship might cast a vote for the new king. The High Kings of Dorne [N 1] who ruled the lands near the mouth of the Greenblood were elected in a non-hereditary fashion from among a dozen noble families. This practice eventually collapsed when a dispute concerning an election set the families to war against one another.

The free folk who live beyond the Wall are led by chieftains. At several times during history, they have united behind a non-hereditary over-chief known as the King-Beyond-the-Wall.