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Synopsis

Includes the previous tales Karras the Kitten, Karras the Cat, and the new Karras the Nameless.

Karras the Kitten

Karras as a dwarf has taken on too many human ways in serving his family of seatraders. No wonder that in “barter” for marriage with the fiery and dour Skirra of the fallen family of Yêarclág, that he has bungled the deal for years. Dismissed again by her, his heart's wounds get salted with the unwanted assistance of a blustery clan-kin—Fiáh’our, the great “Hammer-Stag.”

The old warrior has a notion of what Karras needs, for to Fiáh’our, honorable barter for love and marriage is akin to one battle after another. Only the way of their people’s warriors can see Karras to victory—over himself, first of all.

May their people’s eternal ancestors, the Bäynæ, watch over them—especially to keep them from each other’s throats.

Karras the Cat

Fiáh’our is honorbound to take Karras as an apprentice and force his young clan-kin to learn the ways of their warriors. Poor Fiáh’our has no idea what he is in for.

Karras has no intention of doing more than is necessary to fulfill his unwilling apprenticeship. Worse, he is pitifully unsuited to his new calling and still suffers unrequite love for Skirra.

Fiáh’our has an inkling about why Skirra rejected Karras and believes he can make his new apprentice worthy of her. On the northern frontier, where he goes each summer for good service, a threat to the villagers has returned. The longer he delays in training with Karras, the greater his guilt for not defending those in need. And failure in one or both might be paid in lives.

Karras the Nameless

A year has passed, and a harsh winter encroaches. Fiáh’our, Karras, Gän’gehtin, and a few allies defend a small village from the growing goblin menace. Losses mount on both sides, neither victory nor retreat seem possible, and this is the worst horror of a champion. Fiáh’our has even more worries.

He once lost another apprenctice long ago. Karras has served well but has yet to understand the truth of “stone” that most dwarves never know. If he does, it will come in the worst way. Faced with an unwinnable war, must Fiáh’our choose between ending it and guarding his new apprentice?

Karras still mourns failure with Skirra. Though his need of her has changed, has he changed enough? Even so, not all dangers come from an enemy, and some are much closer. If he survives, will he sacrifice what is necessary to be with Skirra? Even so, it may not be enough.

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