"No man of Fionavar may see Ceinwen hunt."
Dave's mind whirled. He might not be good at presenting trial arguments but he was a lawyer-in-training: his non-residency was obvious, but equally obviously, this was not a courtroom; this was a despotic exercise of power. That was self-evident- mortals would only see Ceinwen hunt if she let them; this rule would only exist as a contrived excuse for the goddess to kill.
Or rather, since she was power and sudden unexpected death and needed no excuse, it could only be to establish a prior claim on his life. Maybe that was the point?
A voice came echoing on the wind, urging him to blow the horn. Dave shuddered. The others had told him what the horn was and who it would summon and what they would do. The prospect of sudden universal annihilation didn't really bother him; he was born in 1968—he had been waiting for the Bomb to fall all his life.
He'd just never thought that it would be his finger on the button.
If only something capable of restraining the Kings had a prior claim on the life of someone close to ground zero, but of course Ceinwen did not have such a claim on an earth man.
Galadan ran North. He was going to run out of North soon and have to start South again. Direction and distance didn't really signify. Space, force and matter did not concern the Kings, elegant tatters of smoke and unassailable force that did what they did to the Tapestry with no more concern that a boulder falling. There was only one thing that could possibly count as an obstacle for them; Rakoth at Starkadh.
He pushed his senses out. There were less than a hundred of them left, the magnificent Tapestry was tatters and fraying ends and now, now it was simple enough that he could see it all. The random path of the Kings and the Child intersecting the brutal termination of the threads of his wolves and the Svarts and the Humans and Elves and really, from the outside, it was so terribly hard to tell them apart. Fordaetha and Avaia were dead, and all the sprawling pantheon of the south. One of the early victims- the horn-sounder had stepped forward and had invoked Ceinwen via a complicated legal precedent, so she had been one of the first to die. Rakoth was visible as a distortion, a nothing that other threads wove around. It would be interesting to see what happened when the Kings came to Starkadh.
If they did not come to him first. The kings would win of course. Their random killing was a constant of the Tapestry. They had a thread, and it touched other threads, and then those threads ended. That was it.
The end of all things was ... honestly it wasn't as great as he'd hoped. Maybe last hundred didn't cut it? there were still a couple of Svarts locked in shambling psudo-life on Cader Sedat, and the sleepers in the caverns beneath. Apparently the kings cared more for the truly alive.
Him, nine kings, sixteen chemotropic microbes in the deep biosphere, the last plant, a blade of grass out in what was once some gardens in Cathal. Rakoth's unthread was no longer discernible— if he had shaken off the rotting Tapestry and strode through the Weaver's halls once more, or if there was simply no other threads for him to distort, Galadan could not tell. Then Owein appeared and stabbed him in the foot until he died.
Five days later, a Firmicutes bacterium reduced a sulphate. Then Owein appeared and stabbed it, pale sword and whispy body passing effortlessly through undisturbed sediment, cleaving cell membrane and spilling cytoplasm with the same effortless grace that he had slain everything else.