Quashing her natural curiosity to find out exactly what had happened, Sabriel folded the man’s arms across his chest, after first unclenching the grip that his right hand still had on his sword hilt—perhaps he had not been taken totally unawares after all. Then she stood and drew the Charter marks of fire, cleansing, peace and sleep in the air above the corpse, while whispering the sounds of those same marks. It was a litany that every Charter Mage knew, and it had the usual effect. A glowing ember sparked up between the man’s folded arms, multiplied into many stabbing, darting flames, then fire whooshed the full length of the body. Seconds later it was out and only ash remained, ash staining a corselet of blackened mail.
Sabriel took the soldier’s sword from the pile of ashes and thrust it through the melted snow, into the dark earth beneath. It stuck fast, upright, the hilt casting a shadow like a cross upon the ashes. Something glinted in the shadow and, belatedly, Sabriel remembered that the soldier would have worn an identity disc or tag.
Shifting her skis again to rebalance she bent down and hooked the chain of the identity disc on one finger, pulling it up to read the name of the man who had met his end here, alone in the snow. But both the chain and disc were machine-made in Ancelstierre and so unable to withstand the Charter Magic fire. The disc crumbled into ash as Sabriel raised it to eye level and the chain fell into its component links, pouring between Sabriel’s fingers like small steel coins.
“Perhaps they’ll know you from your sword,” said Sabriel. Her voice sounded strange in the quiet of the snowy wilderness and, behind each word, her breath rolled out like a small, wet fog.
“Travel without regret,” she added. “Do not look back.”
I think I’ve kind of decided to try and do comics for most of my Sabriel things. Not making any promises, but for now, there you go. They’re a nice way to play around with different ideas, in any case!
I also realize that she is totally supposed to be wearing skis but they just did not want to work for me. Haha, my badddd.