- Lake Evendim, Solenbay
- Weeps-On-Shore - Alain's companion Vedalia
- Bright Leapers, Wave-Wise - swimming creatures with bulbous heads, long snouts with sharp teeth, smooth brown skin, grinning mouths, leap out of the water
Synopsis (WARNING! SPOILERS!)Edit
Prince Alain, the youngest of twelve, ponders his family life and his internship circuit. He wishes he had a more useful gift than Animal Mindspeech.
When they reach a village there is a huge commotion. Raiders have attacked a fishing village down the coast while its' men were our on the boats: taking the women, killing the young and old, and burning the buildings.
Herald Stedrel comes up with a practical plan to hide goods and people, then sends Alain one way along the coast while he goes the other way, to prepare more villages.
The raiders land and take Alain - he wakes tied up on their boat. He mindspeaks for help, and the water creatures answer. The raiders throw him overboard, and the Bright Leapers buoy him up and chew off his restraints while calling for the Deep One.
The massive creature rises almost to the surface, picking Alain up on its' back. It exacts a price from him: Alain must never reveal its' existence. It carries him on its' back until they get to the raiders' ships. The raiders have slaughtered Leapers, angering the water creatures. The Deep One leaves Alain with the Leapers, and proceeds to leap out of the water and smash down on each of the ships, one by one.
The Deep One then picks up Alain and continues across the huge lake towards shore. It looks forward to returning to the ships to devour the men. It mindspeaks with Alain. "Speak with me, Walker. Tell me of your life. I have never met one who could Speak to my thoughts, and I have lived long . . . long." It is aware of humans, but asks about Heralds and Companions and life beyond the fishing villages. Alain realizes it is his Gift of Animal Mindspeech that saved him - the Deep One could hear strong Mindspeakers, but imperfectly.
Nearing the shore, the Deep One leaves him to the Leapers so it can return to hunt. The Leapers tow him landward, encountering the boats coming out to meet him. He is pulled from the water onto the lead boat.
The fishermen bow and call to the Leapers, which they call the Wave-Wise. Some believe they are reincarnations of drowned fishermen, so they never harm them, and always treat them with respect.
The Leapers mindspeak with Alain again, telling him where the raiders' captives are, and most of the fishermen take off to rescue them. As Alain is ferried to shore, Herald Stedrel asks about the creatures, thinking they are fish. Alain speculates that they must be like a Pelagiris-creature, like a kyree. The fishermen say that Alain will be telling this story forever. The Wave-Wise have rescued fishermen before, but never like this one.
Alain says, "I pray that no one ever meets the sort of things I did last night."