The adventures of the Go-Backs and the Sun Villagers during the thousands of years between the Palace's disappearance and reappearance
When her daughter Venka is grown up, Kahvi leaves Cutter's band of Wolfriders with Tyldak to fly the Frozen Mountains and reunite with her tribe, the Go-Backs, of which she had been chief. When they arrive, most of the Go-Backs are overjoyed, but their new chief, Zey, who was not yet born when Kahvi left, is not so thrilled. Kahvi tells them all that Rayek has taken the Palace to a time in the far-distant future and it is now inaccessible to them. But she also tells them that a piece of the Palace still exists in the desert elf village of Sorrow's End. She gives them the idea of going to Sorrow's End and taking the little Palace for themselves; they consider it theirs by right since they had spent so many years living and dying to reclaim the Palace. Kahvi senses a loss of morale and dignity among her tribe and wants to revive their spirits with this quest. She, Tyldak, Chot and Yun set out on the quest. Yun is the daughter of the Wolfrider Skywise and a Go-Back. Unknown to her, chief Zey has given Chot a charge to find a way to kill Kahvi before returning.
Tyldak finds three of the huge tame hawk-like birds still living near the fallen home of the Gliders, and they ride on the backs of those birds all the way to the sun village. They ambush the village and Tyldak steals the Palace, but is chased by his son, Windkin, who is able to fly through the air. (Windkin was raised by his Wolfrider mother Dewshine, not by Tyldak.) Tyldak brings the Palace to Kahvi, but then Chot attacks Kahvi and knocks her off the bird she is riding. Tyldak rescues her from a fatal fall, and the two of them fall to the ground on the floor of Savah's hut.
Windkin and the three Preservers living in the sun village attack Chot and Yun in the air. They disorient Chot with wrapstuff and give the Palace to Yun, entreating her to 'do the right thing.' Chot flies away on the bird. Yun, who is very upset that Chot tried to kill Kahvi, gives the Palace to Windkin to take back to the village, out of her loyalty to Kahvi. After Kahvi is revived from her fall, she still tries to steal the Palace out of Savah's hands, mainly because she wants to raise her people, the Go-Backs “up to what they were.” But Tyldak loves her, and stops her so that she does not get killed in her futile attempts. The Preservers wrap Tyldak and Kahvi up in “wrapstuff” where they exist in a sleep outside of time. Tyldak tells her, “I swore to defend you from you if need be. Time to rest, time to dream a different dream, beloved.” Yun decides to stay with the sun villagers and wait for Kahvi to awaken (HY 2).
Chot makes his way eventually back to the Frozen Mountains, and the whole tribe of Go-Backs decides to attack the Sun Village and steal the Palace. They get to the desert by traveling underground through the same troll tunnel that Rayek and Ekuar used in their journey from the desert to the Frozen Mountains. Once they reach the desert, they notice that a huge dark cloud covers the sun.
In the Sun Village, a drought is drying up the well. Of equal concern is that the nearby volcano has been acting up, putting a dark cloud in the sky and covering the land with dark ash. The eruption of the volcano sends a herd of zwoots thundering toward the village; Dart and his Jack-Wolfriders successfully turn them, but the air is filled with soot and fiery debris. The Sun Villagers panic. During the chaos, Yun (daughter of Skywise and a Go-Back), frees the cocooned Kahvi and Tyldak, expecting them to help. Instead, Kahvi races off to find the little palace for herself.
Under cover of dust, the Go-Backs arrive. Swiftly, one kills Shushen, Dart's dear friend. They expect no resistance, so are caught completely by surprise when Dart launches himself at them. A general, confused melee breaks out. Kahvi, with the little palace in her possession, emerges from a hut to see Dart kill a Go-Back. At first furious at him, she turns her fury on Zey, the leader of the Go-Backs, who had believed her dead and taken her place as chief. She kills him—the last act of the war, as it turns out. Disgusted by how the Go-Backs have degenerated in her absence, she returns the little palace and leads her people away, except for those so injured that they have to be cocooned.
Because of the volcano and the drought, the Sun Village is forced underground. Dart and his companions hunt for scarce game while most of the villagers are cocooned to prevent starvation. At last Ahdri's rock-shaping powers fully bloom, and she is able to help dig new underground chambers and search for water. The village eventually heals, returning to days of flood and flower. Dart cocoons himself in “wrapstuff,” to wait for the sleeping Wolfriders until they are all reunited. He comes out for a few years when he Recognizes Serrin through the wrapstuff and fathers a boy, but eventually he returns to his place of solitude. (NB 11-13).
Kahvi, accompanied by her lovemate Tyldak, returns to her tribe the Go-Backs in the Frozen Mountains. She works hard to restore their dignity and raise them above the brutality they learned under chief Zey. She desperately wants to give them something they can be proud of, something they can call uniquely their own. She decides that since the Palace is out of their grasp, she will go to what used to be Blue Mountain to retrieve a piece of the Great Egg of the Gliders, which presumably contained as much power as the Palace.
When they arrive at the rubble that once was Blue Mountain, they find that one Glider has survived and lives in the ruins: the elf Aurek, who had neverendingly sculpted the Great Egg and who was called “Egg” by the other Gliders. Aurek's life had been saved by Two-Edge after Blue Mountain's fall. Aurek has recreated a handheld-sized version of Egg. Aurek tells her that the Egg, which contains all of elven history, can restore her lost memories of her parentage and childhood, and she agrees to try it. As she goes into a sort of hypnotic trance while staring at the Egg, she does remember all the things she had forgotten about her early life, and the fact that she is the daughter of Two-Spear, a cast-out chief of the Wolfriders. When she comes out of the trance, she is shocked by the revelations, particularly by the fact that she is a Wolfrider and therefore has wolf blood.
That night, she manages to steal the small Egg, not realizing that Aurek is feigning sleep and is allowing her to take it. Tyldak, not pleased that Kahvi got away with stealing, decides to try to retrieve the Egg and bring it back to Aurek. He follows Kahvi all the way back to the Frozen Mountains, where she is welcomed and celebrated by the Go-Backs who are very excited to own the Egg. But Tyldak manages to retrieve it and flies away with it. The furious Kahvi tracks him down, and wounds one of his wings with her spear. His feelings deeply hurt, he gives up and flies off, and she takes the Egg back to her tribe.
However, she realizes that the Egg could be stolen again at any time, and that she needs to give her tribe something that is truly theirs that can never be taken away from them. An idea occurs to her: since Cutter has lost his family, he doesn't have an heir to his chieftainship; and who better to mother an heir for him than Kahvi? Their child could unite the two tribes.
She sets off to return to the forest where Cutter and the Wolfriders have dwelt since the Palace's disappearance. How she crosses the ocean is a mystery, but when she gets to the forest, she finds the holt deserted. She catches a troll trying to steal her deer mount, and forces the troll to lead her to Picknose, who knows where the Wolfriders are. Picknose tells her that they are all in Preserver cocoons and being carefully guarded by the trolls, and that he will not allow her to wake Cutter up. She manages to trick the troll guards in a gambling game, however, and steals the cocoon she thinks is Cutter's. When she opens it up in the woods it turns out to be Nightfall. Nightfall and she get into a fight, which Nightfall wins. Nightfall tells Kahvi that she is like Two-Spear: he didn't lead people, he used them; and that “a wolf chief runs with his pack.” This gives Kahvi a lot to think about, and Kahvi begins her long journey back to the Frozen Mountains. On the way, she befriends a wolf.
The entire journey has taken her three years, and when she returns to the Go-Backs, she is challenged for the chieftainship. The wolf defends her during the fight, and she points out to the Go-Backs that they do have something to be proud of: that they were able to build their own tribe and became “Two-Spear's revenge,” and have distinguished themselves as warriors, without whom the Palace could not have been recovered by Cutter. Later, Tyldak appears and reveals that he followed her for most of her journey. They reconcile, and Kahvi settles down to lead her tribe (Kahvi 1-6).
Elsewhere, Two-Edge finds his mother Winnowill in the ocean, captures her and imprisons her for a time. The sending ability given to him by Leetah's partial healing allows him to protect himself from Winnowill's magic torments. However, she still torments him in his dreams. She tells him that he does share some of her healing abilities (which really is flesh-shaping magic) and he releases her back into the ocean (NB 1 Summer Special).
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