Dark was the Ryzga mountain and forbidding; steep were its cliffs and sheer its crevasses. But its outward perils could not compare with the Ryzgas themselves, who slept within, ready to wake and conquer....
reeze of morning swept into the cave. The youth beckoned to them, and they followed him outside.
The glacial slope on which the cavern opened faced toward the mountain. It rose black and forbidding in the dawn as it had by sunset. To right and left of it, the grand cliffs, ocher and red, were lit splendidly by the morning sun, but the mountain of the Ryzgas drank in the light and gave nothing back.
Below their feet the slope fell away into an opaque sea of fog, filling a mile-wide gorge. There was a sound of turbulent water, of a river dashed from rock to rock in its struggle toward the plain, but the curling fog hid everything.
"You have an alternative," said the Watcher crisply. The two took their eyes from the black mountain and gazed at him in sudden hope, but his face was unsmiling. "It is this. You, Var, can flee up the canyon to the north, by a way I will show you, disguising your thoughts and masking your presence as well as you are able, while the girl goes in the other direction
A good short story set centuries after when men have wrung the resources from the world and ruined the land and rivers with their technology then fled the world for outer space. The people (slaves) they left behind have survived and built a new culture based on clans and feuds. A pair of lovers is fleeing the woman\'s family toward the last remains of the old stronghold of the hibernating masters.
The story is well-plotted and the characters are sympathetic.