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Glen Cook Severed Heads I Narriman was ten when the black rider came to Wadi al Hamamah. He rode tall and arrogant upon a courser as white as his djellaba was black. He looked neither right nor left as he passed among the tents. Old men spat at his horse's hooves. Old women made warding signs. Children and dogs whined and fled. Makram's ass set up a horrible braying. Narriman was not frightened, just confused. Who was this stranger? Why were her people frightened? Because he wore black? No tribe she knew wore black. Black was the color of ifrits and djinn, of the Masters of Jebal al Alf Dhulquarneni, the high, dark mountains brooding over Wadi al Hamamah and the holy place of the al Muburak. Narriman was a bold one. Her elders warned her often, but she would not behave as fit her sex. The old ones shook their heads and said that brat of Mowfik's would be no good. Mowfik himself was suspect enough, what with having gone to the great wars of the north. What business were...