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For as long as anyone can remember, the hillfolk have lived up in the Wolfram hills, breeding their mythical Hill Charger horses and living entirely nomadic lives.Long-held fears that the line of the Hill Chargers would die out for lack of fresh blood were momentarily lifted, then came crashing in again when not one but two hillsingers failed to produce any new colts in their first year. As pressures have mounted, a people who normally have very little conflict among themselves are facing a risk of schism that few could imagine, must less remember.
Persephone, who should be ecstatic over her new-found abilities, instead carries all of the hopes of the hillfolk - and their great disappointments - squarely on her shoulders. Now, when anything goes wrong or new fears sprout, she finds herself at the center of every unrealistic expectation the hillfolk have for hillsingers. She's going to find out that she's both much more alone and much less alone than she would have guessed.
Rock is still trying to find a political compromise that preserves the characteristic independence of the hillfolk clans and addresses the real fears that men and women have of losing the legacy of Hill Charger breeding they inherited from their forefathers. This is hard if you're good at it, and Rock is certainly not the face of political savvy. Still, his people and their culture matter deeply to him, and he's determined to figure it out.
Edwin, meanwhile, has a hawk now. To go with his dog, his horse, and his Otis. More importantly - depending on who you ask - he has a role with watching over Persephone as she's up in the mountains that appears to be unprecedented in the history of hillsingers. As he leans into his own unusual nature and the skills that he has developed over many years of not doing things exactly how anyone would expect, he's discovering that he has abilities that are important not just to himself and his family, but potentially the hillfolk as a whole.
The Clan of Three Staffs is back, continuing to grow and evolve, but still the same people they've always been. Welcome back to the Wolfram Hills and the domain of the Hill Charger.
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Used availability for Chloe Garner's Path of the Hillsinger