Calton Hill

“There.” Calder had caught movement in the trees beyond. Only a shudder, but enough to tell her they were on the slopes of Calton Hill. “They’re going up.”

 

Thurmond nodded. “Aye. And I’ll wager a sack of weregild that the summit’s their destination tonight. Somewhere up there will be the Asset.” He put his hand on Calder’s shoulder. “Get back down under the bridge. The Wolves will be coming that way. Meet them. Bring them here. Tell them the Titan White Warrior is on the hilltop.”

 

“What are you going to do?”

 

He nodded grimly across to the trees. “Take down that sentry.”

Rising above Waverley station, the Balmoral and the east end of Princes Street, Calton Hill offers unparalleled views across the Old Town. It's wild, gorse, wind-blown summit is considered common land by the residents of Edinburgh and is studded with a bizarre mix of buildings. There are two observatories - the Old Observatory House built in 1792 and the City Observatory built in 1818 - as well as a monument dedicated to Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.

 

Most famous of all is the National Monument - an unfinished Athenian acropolis which ran out of funding in 1822. Its huge columns are the perfect setting for Punnr's first encounter with the Sacred Band - the Titan's elite swordsmen.

The hill is also the setting for two annual fire festivals - Beltane in April and Samhuinn at Halloween. These are occasions when it is all too easy to imagine Viking warriors hiding amongst the dancing shadows.