One day a criminal called Gallis is brought in for help by the Realm Guard. As they near Black Arrows camp, Vaelin make an excuse to scout ahead, leaving Linden to lead the attack.
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The Disposition Effect Revisited" Discussion paper. European University Viadrina Frankfurt. Rittnerbahn or Rittner Bahn , Italian: Ferrovia del Renon is an electric light railway which originally connected Bolzano with the Ritten plateau and today continues to operate on the plateau, connecting the villages located there. When opened in the line started as a tramway at Walther Square in the center of Bolzano, where it shared the track with the Bolzano town tramways as far as the Brenner Road.
From there to Maria Himmelfahrt the line was a rack railway , climbing metres until it reached the plateau. A special rack locomotive was placed behind the trams to push them uphill.
In the middle of this ascent was a crossing loop so that two trains could cross. The train that went down to Bolzano produced some of the power that was needed to get the other train up.
After arriving in Maria Himmelfahrt on the Ritten plateau, the locomotive was uncoupled and the trams were able to proceed unaided on normal tracks to the terminal station in the village of Klobenstein. In the 19th century the Ritten plateau was a popular place for the people of Bolzano, who liked to pass their weekends there. To connect the two places, it was decided to build a rack railway, and in the railway engineer Josef Riehl commenced the planning of the line.
In April construction was finished, and the railway was officially inaugurated on 13 August The full length of the line, from Walterplatz in Bolzano to Klobenstein, was In the s a road was built between Bolzano and Ritten, and after that the railway was nearly abandoned and maintenance reduced.
Vaelin is shocked to see Sister Sherin brought out in chains, having been arrested by the Fourth Order for denouncing the Alpiran war. Enraged, Vaelin beats the Brother Commander, and might have killed him if Frentis hadn't hauled him away.
He orders the brothers of the Fourth Order to be imprisoned, and burns the King's instructions for the prisoner without reading them, announcing that the King has ordered Sister Sherin to be freed. Sister Sherin's treatment for the Red Hand proves successful, and within two weeks the city is opened again. Vaelin's statue is destroyed before it is finished.
Ahm-Lin himself is badly hurt, but his life is saved by Sister Sherin. Meanwhile, the Alpiran army starts to approach the city with a vanguard of almost thirty-thousand men and ten great siege engines. Vaelin contrives a bold plan to cripple the Alpirans ability to put siege to Linesh. He rides out with a small band of brothers, and using the distraction of a charge by Renfaelin knights under Baron Hughlin Banders , infiltrates the enemy encampment and burns the siege engines.
Fleeing back to Linesh, Dentos and Vaelin are separated from the others in a sandstorm. As they approach the city, their Alpiran pursuers close behind, Dentos is caught by a arrow through the back. Caenis, Barkus and Sherin drag Vaelin through the gates, consumed by his grief.
Afterward, only Sherin can raise Vaelin from his sorrow and guilt, and the two become lovers. With the Alpiran army no longer in sight, Vaelin sends Frentis with the scout troops to pick up their trail. They find the Alpirans moving towards Untesh, and Frentis elects to ride to the city to warn Prince Malcius; Untesh falls shortly afterwards.
As the months pass, they learn that Marbellis has also fallen. Soon a fleet of Realm ships approach the city, to announce the King Janus and the Emperor have agreed the peaceful surrender of the city of Linesh, provided Vaelin gives himself up as their prisoner; although this is not revealed until Barkus and Caenis and the rest of the force have disembarked.
Remembering his promise to the Aspect, Vaelin drugs Sherin and puts her on a boat with Ahm-Lin and his wife. Vaelin rides out of Linesh, and sets up camp nearby to await the Alpiran forces to give himself over as their prisoner. He takes off Spits bridle and saddle and, remembering Sella's words, sets him free.
Soon, Barkus tracks him there. It is revealed that Barkus had been possessed by the soul of The Witch's Bastard, a minion of the One Who Waits, during the Test of the Wild many years ago and has been under the malevolent entity's control ever since.
The Witch's Bastard mocks and taunts Vaelin before attacking. Scratch leaps in to protect Vaelin, severely injuring Barkus, but is fatally wounded.
Nevertheless, Barkus attacks Vaelin trying to slice him with his axe. However, Vaelin is able to defeat him by avoiding his strikes and kicking him. After burying both Barkus and Scratch, Vaelin goes to the appointed place and awaits the Alpirans. While he waits he uses the Blood Song and has four visions: Now a captive, Vaelin is put on trial in the Alpiran court and convicted.
However the Emperor grants him mercy and sentences him to prison, despite the vehement protests of the Hope's wife Lady Emeren. Vaelin spends the next five years imprisoned in the Emperors dungeons. While there, he learns to control his Blood Song. Lady Emeren conspires to be taken hostage by the Meldeneans. They demand that Vaelin be transported to the Islands for a duel to the death against The Shield. Lady Emeren seeks vengeance for the death of her husband, while the Meldeneans want revenge for Vaelin's father burning their capital.
It is a duel that everyone believes Vaelin will lose and even if he wins the Meldeneans will kill him anyway. He is transported to the Islands alongside a historian called Verniers Alishe Someren , who is intrigued by Vaelin and chronicle his life-story during their journey. Arriving in the Meldenean Islands for the duel with the Shield, Vaelin insists that the deadly fight proceed as soon as possible.
The duel takes place the next day in an ancient amphitheatre, viewed by Lady Emeren, the ruling Ship-Lords including Carval Nurin, and a throng of Meldeneans. After so many years in solitary confinement, can Vaelin really win this duel? Yes, so blindingly fast that it's hard to count the seconds.
However, he refuses to kill The Shield, and after a tense exchange they agree to allow Vaelin to go free. Afterwards, Lady Emeren is enraged at being robbed of her vengeance yet again, and vows to continue her search for revenge.
Verniers tries to comfort her but is stricken whenever he mentions the Hope's name. It is later revealed that Verniers and the Hope were romantically involved. It is also revealed that during Vaelin's five year imprisonment that he had been perfecting the use of his blood song which is how he is able to know the past and the thoughts of everyone and everything around him.
Vaelin arrives back in the Realm at the minor port Warnsclave , and keeping his identity concealed, heads north towards Varinshold. He realises that he is being followed by someone, but gives no sense of it. When he makes camp for the night, she attacks him, but Vaelin simply calmly disarms her.
A tense exchange ensues, and she is revealed to be Reva , the daughter of Hentes Mustor, who is seeking her father's sword. They agree a deal where Reva will help him conceal his identity on his journey, and Vaelin will eventually tell her where her father's sword is.
In Varinshold, they first go to see Vaelin's sister. Alornis is alone in her father's house, living in poverty after her father's property was seized by the crown; Alornis is illegitimate therefore cannot inherit. Vaelin is shocked by her destitute state. Word soon spreads around the city of Vaelin's return, and Caenis comes to visit him. Their tender reunion soon turns strained, when Vaelin states his determination to leave the Sixth Order.
He learns more about the troubled state of the Realm, with conflict between factions that are ardent to the Faith and those more tolerant like the King; Queen Ordella is a particular bone of contention. Fearing that he will become a tool of one of the factions, the King names Vaelin the Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches in return for legitimising his sister Alornis. Vaelin considers refusing, wanting to go search for Frentis, but on the urging of the Blood Song, he accepts.
Before Vaelin leaves for the north, Aspect Al Forna tries to convince him to join the ardent faction, but Vaelin refuses. And finally, he tells Reva the truth about her father, and that he doesn't know where her father's sword is, but it may be still in the High Keep. Reva leaves to try and find the sword, but Vaelin's words have started Reva wondering about her life. During the journey, Vaelin tells her everything about his life, including the Blood Song.
They are received by many of the North Guard with some hostility, and wariness by Dahrena. Vaelin goes to see one of the bluestone mines, where he learns that a large deposit of gold has also been found in the region. Dahrena and the former Tower Lord have kept this secret from the King, fearing that a gold rush would ruin the culture of the Northern Reaches.
Vaelin agrees to tell King Malcius that only a relatively small quantity of gold has been found, and names her First Counsel to the North Tower. As they are about to leave the mine, they receive reports that the Ice Horde have been spotted in the north. They track the horde to Steel Water Creek , where they are face with the four thousand strong horde. Despite the urging of the North Guard to attack, Vaelin and Dahrena ride forward to parley.
They meet the leader of the horde, a shaman who communicates through visions, and learn that this is the starving remains of the Bear People, fleeing oppression by the Volarians. Rather than fight, they give the horde what succour they can. Afterwards, Dahrena tells Vaelin about her Dark gift.
Nortah gives him a warm embrace when he arrives, and introduces Vaelin to his family, two children and another on the way. After a pleasant lunch, Vaelin goes to see Harlick, the librarian. He confronts him with what he learnt from the Aspect of the Seventh Order, that Harlick is exiled by the order for conspiring with Artis Al Sendahl to kill Vaelin during the Test of the Run.
As Vaelin walks away, he staggers, blood flowing from his nose, with a vision from the Blood Song of the death of King Malcius and the invasion of the Realm by the Volarians. Vaelin musters every North Guard, every Eorhil and Seordah that will come, and all men of fighting age in the Northern Reaches. Nortah joins the muster and with him come some of the gifted from his community; Weaver the healer, Cara who can call the rain, Lorkan with the ability to become invisible, and Marken who can see what a dead person did before he died.
The next day, they march south through the realm of the Seordah, the Great Northern Forest. In order to gain permission from the Seordah to pass though their lands, Vaelin must speak to blind woman again, Nersus Sil Nin.
She grants permission to pass, and when the vision fades, the Nameless Wolf has entered the clearing. And so, the Seordah agree to join Vaelin's army. After eight days trek, they leave the forest and enter Nilsael.
There they find evidence of the Volarians savage treatment of the locals; those not suitable as slaves are all killed. The old schemer, who reminds Vaelin of old King Janus, will only allow his troops to go to war, in return for trade rights for the gold mined in the Northern Reaches. In no mood for elaborate bargaining, Vaelin agrees.
As they cross into Cumbrael, the Eorhil scouts report a company of Realm Guards nearby, being pursued by the Volarian cavalry. Vaelin and his horsemen ride through the night and smash the Volarians. The Realm Guards are the exhausted remnants of the Realm forces commanded by Vaelin's old friend Caenis. As they approach Alltor , the scouts report the dire state of the siege for Reva and the other defenders, and the Blood Song makes it clear that time is short.
Vaelin asks Cara to create a great storm over the city. Despite many of his men suggesting a more cautious approach, Vaelin opts for a direct charge at the centre. Guided by his Blood Song, Vaelin burst straight though the Volarian lines. The ploy creates chaos in the Volarian ranks, allowing Vaelin's army of Seordah, Eorhil, and Realm Guards to decimate the Volarian host almost twice its size.
Meanwhile, a fleet of Meldenean ships arrive led by the Shield and Queen Lyrna, and destroy the enemy ships outside the city. Eventually unhorsed and bleeding from his eyes and ears from overuse of his Blood Song, Vaelin reforms the Seordah force around him, and leads them into the city.
Some five-thousand Volarians remain in Alltor trying to breach the final barricade, and are crushed between the Vaelin's and Reva's force. Finally spent, Vaelin collapses at Reva's feet, the battle won. His Blood Song has been taken from him and put into a flute. However, Dahrena is able to free him from the Void, and bring him back. As Lyrna walks ashore from the Shield's ship, Vaelin falls to his knees and recognises her as Queen of the Unified Realm.
Vaelin is clearly exhausted from battle, from his near death experience, and from the loss of his Blood Song. Vaelin is taller than most men with a muscular frame, and scarred hands. He has strong but not particularly handsome features. His voice is harsh and rasping, coarsened by years of shouting above the battlefield. As a brother of the Sixth Order, Al Sorna was a master of most weapons—including the sword, the bow, polearms, the staff, and throwing knives—as well as of unarmed combat.
He was most talented in sword-fighting. Combined with his blood-song ability, he was easily one of the most deadly swordsman of his time. Besides fighting, Al Sorna was also trained in survival in the wild and herb lore. He could ride horses with proficiency. He quickly proved himself a capable leader during his time in the Order. After being given the command of a regiment of the Realm Guard, he also proved his mettle as a military leader, and turned his regiment into one of the most capable and disciplined units in the Guard.
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