He comes to Europa almost the size of an Archon priest, but hollow. He needs Ether. If touched, he fears he will crumble into nothing. His arms will dock themselves, his skin will shed. He has nothing except his armor and the thousand-year-old loom clutched in his four arms.
They mockingly name him "Namrask," which means "empty weaver." Like naming a Human "Norman," which, he understands, means "not really Human."
Eramis separates all the newcomers so they will not retain their old pre-Dusk loyalties. Namrask is shoved into a little warren carved beneath the ice; the moon's surface is so radioactive that not even Eliksni can live there for long.
The little Winterdrekhs are kind to him. Namrask realizes that they think he is too weak to earn the huge Ether ration he needs. He has been put in this warren to die.
"I can work," he rasps. "I can make bandages, capes, armor lining, eggcloth, supsoak, prayer matting, watercloth. I am a weaver!"
"Tall friend," one of the Winterdrekhs says soberly. "No one your size is a weaver. Why not volunteer to fight for Eramis?"
Namrask shudders. He cannot fight. Not after what he saw in the Reef—that THING with its staff. Not after SIVA, Twilight Gap, London. Kridis promised that this was salvation.
"Bring me broken eggs," Namrask begs, "and I will make eggcloth. How will the hatchlings be swaddled if no one weaves the eggcloth for them?"
The Drekhs watch as he uses his teeth to separate the eggshell from the thin, fibrous membrane beneath. He tears it into long fibers and fastens them to his loom as the warp—the threads that run top to bottom. With two hands, he holds the loom in his lap. Carefully, he chisels open the warp with a third hand; moving too quickly will snap the eggthread.
His life depends on this. His fourth hand swiftly passes the shuttle through the warp, drawing the first weft across. The thread does not snap; he has woven.
"Watch me," he tells the Drekhs. "When Eramis is done conquering our enemies, we must know how to make things."
They sit and watch. Their lower arms, half-grown after docking, mimic his motions. Their names are Eoriks, Oeriks, and Yriks: brother, brother, and sister.
When it is done, he gives them the little scrap of eggcloth. They murmur in wonder and rub their cheeks against it. "Bring that to the camp Captain," he tells them. "Tell them that Namrask can weave if he is fed and given fiber."
It is the first time he has ever made anything without ruining it on the loom.