Shadow in Storm
Then came a fiery-bearded, flame-crowned man, dressed all in red and orange, mainly of silk stuff, and he held a sword in his right hand and a glass of wine in his left, and the devil himself danced behind his eyes, as blue as Flora’s, or Eric’s. His chin was slight, but the beard covered it. His sword was inlaid with an elaborate filigree of a golden colour. He wore two huge rings on his right hand and one on his left: and emerald, a ruby, and a sapphire, respectively.
He was good, even better than I remembered him to be. He advanced like a whirlwind, and his blade was alive with light. They fell before it – how they fell, my friend! Whatever else you might say of Bleys, on that day he aquitted himself as became his rank. I wondered how long he could keep going.
He’d a dagger in his left hand, which he used with brutal efficiency whenever he could manage corps a corps. He left it in the throat of the eleventh victim.
I could see no end to the column which opposed us. I decided that it must stretch all the way to the landing at the top. I hoped my turn wouldn’t come. I almost believed it.
Three more men plummeted past me and we came to a small landing an a turn. He cleared the landing and began the ascent. For half an hour I watched him, and they died and they died. I could hear the murmurs of awe from the me behind me. I almost thought he could make it to the top.
He used every trick available. He baffled blades and eyes with his cloak. He tripped the warriors. He seized wrists and twisted, with his full strength.
We made it to another landing. There was some blood on his sleve by then, but he smiled constantly, and the warriors behind the warriors he killed were ashen. This helped him, too. And perhaps the fact that I stood ready to fill the gap also contributed to their fears and so slowed them, worked on their nerves. They’d heard of the navel engagement, I later learned.
Bleys worked his way to the next landing, cleared it, turned again, began to ascend. I hadn’t thought he could make it that far, then. I didn’t think I could make it as far as he had. It was the most phenomenal display of swordsmanship and endurance I’d seen since Benedict had held the pass above Arden against the Moonriders out of Ghenesh.
Bleys is a dashing and charming extrovert who partnered with Corwin in the effort to retake Amber from Eric. He is also a sorcerer, though of lesser skill than his two full siblings, and favors the sword.