from the Valley Dor. My only wonder was that even the
one had been successful. To cross this frozen, wind-swept waste of
bleak ice alone and on foot would be impossible.
"Only by air boat could the journey be made," I finished aloud.
"It was thus that one did escape the therns in bygone times; but none
has ever escaped the First Born," said Xodar, with a touch of pride in
We had now reached the southernmost extremity of the great ice barrier.
It ended abruptly in a sheer wall thousands of feet high at the base of
which stretched a level valley, broken here and there by low rolling
hills and little clumps of forest, and with tiny rivers formed by the
melting of the ice barrier at its base.
Once we passed far above what seemed to be a deep canyon-like rift
stretching from the ice wall on the north across the valley as far as
the eye could reach. "That is the bed of the River Iss," said Xodar.
"It runs far beneath the ice field, and below the level of the Valley
Otz, but its canyon is open here."
Presently I descried what I took to be a village, and pointing it out
to Xodar asked him what it might be.
"It is a village of lost souls," he answered, laughing. "This strip
between the ice barrier and the mountains is considered neutral ground.
Some turn off from their voluntary pilgrimage down the Iss, and,
scaling the awful walls of its canyon below us, stop in the valley.
Also a slave now and then escapes from the therns and makes his way
"They do not attempt to recapture such, since there is no escape from
this outer valley, and as a matter of fact they fear the patrolling
cruisers of the First Born too much to venture from their own domains.
"The poor creatures of this outer valley are not molested by us since
they have nothing that we desire, nor are they numerically strong
enough to give us an interesting fight--so we too leave them alone.
"There are several villages of them, but they have increased in numbers
but little in many years since they are always warring among
Now we swung a little north of west, leaving the valley of lost souls,
and shortly I discerned over our starboard bow what appeared to be a
black mountain rising from the desolate waste of ice. It was not high
and seemed to have a flat top.
Xodar had left us to attend to some
Contents # Foreword - 00:07:47 Read by: Stephan Moebius # Chapter 01 - 00:16:45 Read by: Peter Yearsley # Chapter 02 - 00:09:42 Read by: Tony Hightower # Chapter 03 - 00:18:32 Read by: Steve Hartzog # Chapter 04 - 00:13:49 Read by: Steve Hartzog # Chapter 05 - 00:09:17 Read by: Kymm Zuckert # Chapter 06 - 00:11:11 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 07 - 00:14:28 Read by: Kara Shallenberg # Chapter 08 - 00:11:36 Read by: Tony Hightower # Chapter 09 - 00:07:59 Read by: Tony Hightower # Chapter 10 - 00:19:11 Read by: Tony Hightower # Chapter 11 - 00:17:02 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 12 - 00:13:49 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 13 - 00:13:17 Read by: Stephan Moebius # Chapter 14 - 00:21:13 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 15 - 00:20:57 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 16 - 00:23:39 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 17 - 00:19:03 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 18 - 00:10:39 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 19 - 00:14:28 Read by: Chris Vee # Chapter 20 - 00:16:33 Read by: Patrick McNeal # Chapter 21 - 00:21:45 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 22 - 00:23:47 Read by: Sherry Crowther # Chapter 23 - 00:13:24 Read by: Stephan Moebius # Chapter 24 - 00:16:13 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 25 - 00:11:59 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 26 - 00:14:52 Read by: Chris Peterson # Chapter 27 - 00:11:41 Read by: Kymm Zuckert # Chapter 28 - 00:05:31 Read by: Stephan Moebius Librivox Audio Recording Public Domain Certification: The person or persons who have associated work with this document (the "Dedicator" or "Certifier") hereby either (a) certifies that, to the best of his knowledge, the work of authorship identified is in the public domain of the country from which the work is published, or (b) hereby dedicates whatever copyright the dedicators holds in the work of authorship identified below (the "Work") to the public domain.Page 1
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