Nightwings/The Last Castle Author:Robert Silverberg, Jack Vance TOR Books (c) 1989 — Publication date December 1989 — This is a TOR books Double — NIGHTWINGS by Robert Silverberg (c) 1968 — Watchful eyes scanned us from slots in the wall. When we were at midpoint in the gate, as fat, pockmarked Sentinel with sagging jowls halted us and asked our business in Roum. I stated my guild and purpose, and he gave a snor... more »t of disgust.
"Go elsewhere, Watcher! We need only useful men here."
"Watching has its uses," I said mildly.
"No doubt. No doubt." He squinted at Avluela.
"Who's this? Watchers are celibates, no?"
"She is nothing more than a traveling companion."
The Sentinel guffawed coarsely. "It's a route you travel often, I wager! Not that there's much to her." He ran his hands quickly over her raising an eyebrow as he encounter the mounds of her wings below her shoulders. "What's this? What's this? More in back than in front! A Flier, are you? Very dirty business, Fliers consorting with foul old Watchers." He chuckled and put his hand on Avluela's body in a way that sent Gorman stating forward in a fury, murder in his fire-circled eyes.
THE LAST CASTLE by Jack Vance (c) 1966
The gentle folk of Janeil watched in fascination as the dirt piled higher and higher around them, in a circular mound like a crater. Summer neared its end, and on one stormy day dirt and rubble rose above the parapets and began to spill over into the courts and piazzas: Janeil must soon be buried and all within suffocated. It was then that a group of impulsive cadets, with more elan than dignity, took up weapons and charged up the slope. The Meks dumped dirt and stone upon them, but a handful gained the ridge where they fought in a kind of dreadful exaltation.
Fifteen minutes the fight raged and the earth became sodden with rain and blood. For one glorious moment the cadets swept the ridge clear, and had not most of their fellow been lost under the rubble, anything might have occurred. But the Meks regrouped and thrust forward. Ten men were left, then six, then four, then one, then none. The Meks marched down the slope, swarmed over the battlements, and with somber intensity killed all within. Janeil, for seven hundred years the abode of gallant gentlemen and gracious ladies, had become a lifeless hulk.« less