There was silence from Little Bird, though she still felt his listening presence. There was too much to explain there: how many wars, alone, stood between his time and hers? The Roman legions were as yet the echo-shock of rumor, on the other side of the Rhine, and he had grown up among his own folk.
And then there was the Empire to the south, and the German tribes along its frontiers, and the kings, and the Vikings, the longboats and the cathedrals, the Crusades and the spice trade and the trading cities of the Hanseatic League, the cod fisheries of the North Atlantic, the ring of islands whose southern verge one could follow to the New World; there was the coming of Christianity and the upsurge of Islam and the diasporas, the Armenians and the Jews and the children of Africa borne off by the slave trade, and the cities swallowed by desert along the Silk Road…
… well, rather a lot had happened since Little Bird had been laid to rest in the bog.
My mother is dead, he said. And that was the beginning of the end.
A backward look before I begin revisions: The Necromancer and the Barbarian: A Love Story was my NaNo novel for 2011, finished in February 2012.