Book 1 Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Book 1, Chapter 1
Darkness had fallen quickly on the high road leading up to the Golden Cavaliers. The two men rode as fast as their tired horses could take them, hoping to make it into Tharthin before the gates were closed. Marius wheezed with each missed step of his shaggy gelding, and more than once Tyrian had to seize his arm to keep him from falling to the stone paved road. “We’re almost there,” he said trying to reassure his old friend, “we’ll make it through. I’m sure Aradin and the others are already at the ol’ Drunken Dwarf, sipping ale by a warm fire.” Tyrian tried to laugh, “in fact I bet they think we’re still lost in those ruins, huh? What a surprise they’ll have when we come waltzing in.” He gave a fool’s smile.
Marius shook his head at the poor attempt, and wiped more blood from his lips. That vile priest had cast some horrible rotting disease upon him and every night since he had grown worse; fevers, aches, sores and now a hacking cough that threatened to steal his very breath at its worst. He was weak and fighting a losing battle. “Just get us there and stop talking,” he groaned through clenched teeth.
Tyrian dropped the smile away and galloped ahead to speak with one of the guards who were beginning to close the gate. The man looked warily at them, but motioned them through. They made it into the city just as the gate was closing behind them. Tyrian led them along the main thoroughfare, which was still fairly well populated at this late hour. Most men were getting home now but some night-owls followed the slate sidewalks to the taverns and bars lining the street, and more than a few wandered down the western alleys, likely seeking a brothel. These two men, though, had a particular destination in mind, and pressed on towards the great market at the heart of Tharthin. The city was enveloped in darkness now, only broken by the pools of light cast upon the street by gas lamps rising from iron poles, and the dim glow of lanterns from the windows of apartments and homes. Somewhere in the distance the bell tower of the Temple of Loran rang out the ninth arm. Tyrian kept a watchful eye out for muggers and cutpurses and pickpockets, but he never noticed the small creature perched upon a roof top three stories above him.
The homunculus focused its keen eyes upon its targets, the two men who had escaped its master’s clutches. At night its vision was best, and it could see every detail in shades of green and grey. The creature had followed them for many days and nights, always keeping just out of sight. Spindly fingers and clawed toes clung to the arched roof’s wooden gable, its small bat like wings holding its boney body steady in the wind. Tall pointed ears rose from its nearly human face, twitching this way and that, trying to catch bits of their whispered conversation. It let out a hiss in frustration and leapt from its perch, swooping over an alley and snagging a stone chimney on the next building over. Quickly scampering to the other side of the roof, it took flight again, leathery wings silently carrying its small gray frame over their heads. It crossed to the other side of the street and landed on the belfry of an abandoned church. From here it could see the two men’s approach.
Tyrian and Marius rode on unaware of the malevolent abomination sent to spy upon them. They finally entered a huge market square of grey stone that echoed with the fall of their horses’ hooves. A small fountain marked its center, and many wealthy businesses circled its perimeter. Almost all were closed for the night, but one large four story building, set at the corner of two main streets, was well lit and clearly open for business. They led their horses around the side of the Journeyman’s Waylay, and Tyrian helped Marius dismount. A stablehand took the reigns and the gold coins Tyrian paid for to have the horses kept for the night. Marius began coughing again and had to support himself against the white wall, so Tyrian threw his friend’s arm over his shoulder and helped him to the door at the corner of the building closest to the market. A warm light spilled out of the tavern door as they entered the Drunken Dwarf.

  • * *

The evening waned and the crowd began to thin as the tenth arm passed. Baim had just finished telling the tale of how their father once took them deep beneath the mountain of Karaduum to hunt down a giant beetle like creature he called an umberhulk. Somehow they ended up being chased by a giant purple worm that swallowed Dain, leaving Baim to cut him out. It all seemed very far fetched, but made a good story and kept everyone entertained. At last, though, the river of ale the Duervar had imbibed was taking its toll. The old warrior was finally growing quiet. He stared into the fire with his feet up on a chair, sipping at the half full mug resting on his belly.
Kalthanan sat beside him, staring into his own mug of Duervan ale that he just couldn’t convince himself to finish. His guards were huddled at a corner table talking quietly amongst themselves, and Claero was deep in conversation with Khazid.
“I know nothing of your human gods, Khazid,” Claero said, “but I tell you this, the Que’Valan are as real as the Gelvani descended from them. Sheliak and Reahnyn, Ilnysh and Liara; they are all of the High Blood. When Naeja called upon the children of Gelthana to aid her endeavor in creating this mortal world, it was these Gelvani gods who answered her call. They made this world in the image of our own Eternal Realm, Arvanis. You are a part of this world they created. You see their wondrous power in its rivers and lakes, fields and forests, and even in its oceans and skies. Certainly you cannot deny their existence anymore than you can deny your own.”
Khazid laughed and set down his wine, “I do not doubt their existence, Captain Iliafrind.” He leaned towards her as if about to share a great secret, “It is their divinity I doubt. You say it yourself, the Gelvani are descendents of this great race you call the Que’Valan. The Gods, of humans, Gelvani and Duervar alike, are they themselves nothing more than a powerful race of beings residing within the Eternal Realms. Certainly they have incredible power, but I find that a flawed reason to worship them.”
“Bah!” exclaimed Baim, slamming his mug on the table, “that’s blasphemy you speak boy. You can talk down about your own gods all you want, but you keep Magmodin and the other gods of Visvaduum out of it.”
Khazid raised his hands, “I did not mean to offend, friend. But I must point out that we Mikanians are a people free of the domination of the gods. Many thousands of years ago our people escaped the cruelty of the Kal’Kamoran gods. We became the allies of a powerful race called the Janni, and taught us of workings of the planes of existence, and revealed the truth of the gods. Do not misunderstand, though. We respect these great races you call the divinities, but we refuse to bow before them as their subjects ever again.”
Claero shook her head, “When the time comes for you to die, my wizardly friend, then who will you turn to? The Gelvani are promised eternal life in Arvanis, the Duervar are granted a place of honor in Visvaduum. Even the human god Thamor offers an eternal paradise for those who serve him faithfully. What do your Janni offer you?”
He shrugged, “I shall find out when the time comes, I suppose, but at least my fate won’t depend on the whim of some capricious immortal despot.”
“You live life not knowing what awaits you after death,” Claero remarked with pity in her voice, “For all you know you could simply cease to exist. How tragic your life must be, to fear death every day.”
Khazid shook his head, “I do not fear death, but to know that beyond it was an eternity in a mundane existence, without mysteries or surprises; that I would fear.”
Claero leaned back, and took a deep swallow of her mead, then turned to stare into the fire as well. Clearly she was done arguing the point, for now. Khazid smiled and went back to reading his book.
It was late but there were still many tables filled with men gambling, most enjoying spirits. No one had come in for over an arm, and the bartender was already cleaning up for the night. Just then someone rattled the handle of the tavern door. It swung in with a heavy creak and two men stumbled in out of the darkness. The warm night breeze carried in with them a vile smell. The taller man was wiry with thin black hair, and a thick growth of whiskers gone wild from weeks without shaving. He wore a ragged gray shirt over a suit of brown hard leather, torn and blood stained, and his skin was pale. He struggled to support the other man, whose arm was thrown over his shoulder and was dressed in a dark red robe under a black cloak. His features were hidden beneath his cowl, but a man sitting near the door caught a glimpse of his face, and recoiled with a look of horror, rushing out the door with a shirt collar over his mouth.
The taller man’s eyes darted around the room as he struggled to lead the cloaked man towards the table by the fire. Both men seemed barely able to walk. They came to stop beside Baim and Kalthanan. The Duervar took his feet off the chair and slid over to his own table. The taller one groaned as he lowered his friend into the chair, who immediately fell into a coughing fit, his lungs sounding choked with fluid. He hacked until he was bent over, wheezing for air. The crowd murmured and a few others headed for the door. The tall, thin man began whispering to him, but Kalthanan was close enough to easily hear what they were saying.
“I should have taken you to the Temple of Reahnyn straight away, Marius.” Tyrian’s own voice was strained and he covered his mouth as he let out a throaty coughs.
“No, Tyrian!” Marius whispered back between his hacking. His coughs finally subsided and he took shallow breaths to calm himself. Kalthanan could see his face now, red from his fits, with a short, though thick, black beard. “There’s nothing those priestesses would do for me, even if they could.” He sagged into his chair and used the edge of his cloak to mop the sweat from his face, “a drink please, get me something.”
Tyrian nodded and headed for the bar, but just then Marius keeled forwards, hacking once more. His cloak fell back and his long black hair fell around his face as his body convulsed with each spasm. Pulling out a stained cloth from his robe, he tried to cover his mouth, blood beginning to soak it. Baim harrumphed, stood up and moved to a table a little further away. It wasn’t that he was afraid of catching some fatal illness. After all, Duervar have the greatest constitutions of all Naeja’s children. It was just that he disliked sick people so very much. Something about them made him uneasy. They just seemed so helpless and mortal, and he couldn’t bear the thought of a slow death. He always said he’d rather die a quick agonizing death at the hand of a foe or in the jaws of some horrible monster, than go out slowly moaning over some rotting disease.
Tyrian rushed back with a mug of wine and helped Marius choke it down. It seemed to ease some of his suffering, but his wheezing was worse and he had to lay his head on the table to rest. Another table cleared, the men muttering in disgust as they headed for the door. Tyrian began hacking into his own sleeve now, “That’s it Marius, I’m getting Alianna. She’ll help you!” Marius tried to argue, but couldn’t catch his breath, and so he only watched through sickly eyes as his younger friend ran out of the Tavern.
“Hey! Don’t leave him in here!” cried the tavern keep, getting more upset with each patron that left. He stared at Marius with a disgusted look.
Marius lay with one arm sprawled out on the table, the other clutching his breast. His breathing was labored and small fits of coughing were all he could manage now. He reached for his mug, but only fumbled at it, pushing it further away. After a moment Kalthanan stood and approached him, handing him the cup, “Here, drink. You’re friend will be back soon, I’m sure.”
Marius took the mug with a shivering hand and pressed it to his lips, taking shallow sips. “Thank you,” he managed through his shredded voice. Marius, for the first time, took a look around the tavern. “Where’s Tyrian?” he asked, his eyes glazed and delirious.
“He’s gone to get you help,” Kalthanan said.
Marius stood and began for the door, muttering. Kalthanan could only make out parts of what he said“…fool…it’s too late for him…better off not knowing.” He was half-way to the door when his strength gave out. He would have collapsed to the floor if Claero hadn’t caught him with sudden grace. She lowered him to the hard wood.
Khazid immediately stepped around the side of him and placed his hand on his forehead, “His fever is very high,” He said, “He’ll be dead soon.”
Claero shuttered and withdrew.
Khazid tried to help him up, “Captain, help me.”
She hesitated only a moment before taking the man’s other arm and helping him into a chair.
Khazid sat in front of him, “Tell me, Marius,” he said, “what happened to you?”
Marius muttered and Kalthanan heard “Horrors” and “Karthain.” The name Karthain tickled something in the back of his mind but he couldn’t recollect it.
A look of panic in his eyes, Marius grabbed Khazid’s sleeve, “Did they follow us here? Are they in the city?”
“Not, I doubt it.” Khazid replied, his voice distant. Catching the other man’s focus he seemed to be concentrating, and Marius suddenly became more lucid and serious, “Why are these horrors after you?”
“They want these,” he whispered. He produced a small rolled tube of leather filled with parchment from beneath his cloak and a long golden key with gems adorning one end from his pocket. “They want them back,” he said furiously, “but I wouldn’t let them…” he suddenly grasped his chest and began wheezing; “I won’t…” he tried again and then keeled forwards, unable to breathe. His face flushed red with strain and ran with sweat.
“What do they want with them?” Khazid demanded, grabbing the man’s shoulders, “What are they?”
Claero just stood back watching, but Kalthanan stepped in and grabbed Marius’ shoulder, leaning him back, “Let the man breathe!” He said, pulling him away. Khazid stood, but said nothing.
Marius finally took a lung full followed by panicked gasps and then once again the horrible hacking. After a few moments of this he was finally breathing normally again, but blood stained his lips and his eyes were full of fever. He turned towards Khazid, his horse voice barely audible, “They can’t have it. They mustn’t.”
The tavern door suddenly swung open, a strong draft rushing through the room, and swung shut again.
Panic returned as he stared at the door. “They’re here, there’s no time now!” he cried out. Standing suddenly, he fell forwards into Khazid, grabbing his collar, he whispered something in his ear and shoved the scrolls into Khazid’s cloak. “Hide it from them,” was all Kalthanan heard. He whispered something else and then turned, stumbling towards the door. He only made it a few steps before stopping to grab a table for support. He sank to the floor with one long slow wheeze and fell into unconsciousness.

  • * *

Alianna sat alone in her cold room staring out the narrow window that overlooked the gardens below. The small stove beside her gave off barely any heat and her thin white gown wasn’t sufficient cover from the chilly night air. Her small bed was well covered with fleece blankets, but she didn’t think about them. Her riding cloak hung in the wardrobe, with other warmer garments, but she didn’t think about those either. Her hand held the quill to the paper, forming a heavy blot, but that was all there was on the page. No lines had yet been copied from the original manuscript. She didn’t notice. She just stared out the window, thinking about her brother. She knew the captain was right, as much as she hated that. Risking the lives of others wasn’t fair. Should she be angry with Bartal for his decision? He was a man of duty, like her brother, and she respected that. She knew what she had to do, a duty of her own, and there was no delaying it. Still, she sat there, staring out the window.
A man appeared at the gate, and began ringing the bell furtively. He was tall and thin, though that was all she could tell from here in the dim street light. One of the young sisters tending the gate went forwards to ask him what he wanted. Their conversation was brisk. The man seemed vehement about something, and then she thought she heard her name said. She caught her breath, and struggled to stamp down false hope. The acolyte hurried back to the temple door. Moments later she could hear voices coming up the stairwell to her hall. A few doors opened as curiosity roused those studying in their rooms. The two women talking continued down the hall, until their foot falls stopped as outside her chamber door. There was a rap, and Alianna’s heart leapt into her throat. Both fear and hope filled her at once. She rushed for the door but came just short of grabbing the handle. She held there, fear binding her to the spot.
“Sister Alianna, are you awake?” The Elder Sister Tanya called.
Alianna gathered herself, deciding not to trust in a fool’s hope. She calmed her nerves, smoothed her dress, and opened the door. The young acolyte stood in her gray robes and the Elder Sister Tanya in her heavy black habit.
“There is a man here who insists upon speaking with you,” was all she said. With that she turned to leave. The young Gray hesitated as if she wanted to add something, but apparently thought it wiser to remain silent and hurried after the Black. Quickly covering herself in her robe and slipping into her soft leather boots she hurried out after them. Down the stairs and through the main hall she walked closely behind the Elder Sister, trying her best not to step on her skirt-tails. Then they stopped at the doors to the garden and they both stepped aside, allowing Alianna to proceed across the smooth stone walk to the man at the gate.
Alianna was both exhilarated and terrified to find who was waiting for her. It was Tyrian, the no-account rogue that Aradin had allowed to follow him around for the last few years. Any pretense of calm was lost upon seeing his hallow face. She grabbed the gate and peered through, “Where’s my brother?” she almost yelled.
Tyrian, leaned against the bars. His face was drawn and pale, his eyes feverish, “You’ve got to come to the Dwarf, quickly.” He coughed into his hand, and looked past her toward the temple door, “Come alone. I’ll wait for you to be ready.”
Alianna shook with frustration, but knew she’d get no more from the scoundrel. She hurried back to Elder Tanya and explained that a friend of hers was ill and could not leave his bed. She asked permission to go to him and return before mid-night. Sister Tanya was a strict mistress, and ran by the letter of the law, but the ties that held Alianna to the confines of the nunnery were merely traditions. The law only restricted initiates to the grounds after dark. A full sister could leave on her own will and at her own time, so long as she was not so otherwise ordered. After receiving her permission, Alianna raced to her room to pack a few small things and properly dress herself. She was only a few feet from the temple door when Elder Tanya called to her, “Return before mid-night, Sister Alianna, and I do not want to hear of any trouble this evening.” With that, Alianna raced down the path to the gate where Tyrian was waiting for her.
The city guard, posted to the temple, unlocked the gate. As she slipped through he warned her to be careful on the streets this late. Then he slid the bar back in place, resetting the lock. Tyrian was standing in the road waiting for her, his cloak wrapped tightly around him. He motioned her to follow and started towards the Journeyman’s Waylay. The flickering light from the street lamps was only enough to illuminate the road. Shadows seemed to loom behind every corner and down every ally. He walked quietly, aside from his raspy breathing, and Alianna became even more anxious. It was a good distance to the market, so finally she broke the silence, “Tyrian, what is wrong with my brother? Why won’t you tell me?”
Tyrian just grunted, “You’ll see.”
She grabbed his sleeve, is he here in Tharthin?” she demanded.
He hesitated, “Marius knows where he is, but is very ill and needs your help.” He quickly turned and walked on.
She wanted to stop him and demand better answers, but she didn’t dare waste a moment, and maybe feared the truth. So, instead she hiked up her skirts and dashed to the tavern. Tyrian grunted in aggravation and did his best to keep up.
The market was quiet, and though she had never been here this late, she had heard stories that the Drunken Dwarf was rowdy from dusk to dawn. Nearly tripping over a cobblestone she rushed up to the door and pushed it open. Immediately the warmth from the fire rushed out. She expected to take in the normal scents of the tavern; the earthy cinders of the fire, the old varnish still seeping from the walls, stale beer soaked into the rugs, rich pipe smoke clinging to the air, and hot food wafting from the kitchen. But this time there was a vile stench that turned her stomach. It immediately brought up memories of the plague of 1102 N.C.. In the season of Zorin that year nearly a thousand elderly and young had become inflicted with a plague. It left rotting whelps on their flesh as they slowly died and had taken the Sisters the better part of two months to stamp out the disease. Nearly four hundred had died, most on cots in the Healing Halls of the Temple. She had never seen death like that before, and she would never forget the smell, the same smell that filled the tavern now.
Marius lay sprawled on the floor as she entered, a beautiful elven woman in chain armor crouched beside him, rolling him onto his back. Alianna rushed over, spreading her white skirts as she dropped to her knees. She took his head in her hands, his face was pale and clammy; the scent of death surrounded him. She began praying, “Our Lady of Life, Spring Mother, whose heart knows only peace and love. I pray for your blessings to be cast upon this man. He is ill with fever and Hedera awaits him at death’s door. I pray, do not let him pass into the eternal realms. Let me be your conduit that my hands shall serve to grant your healing touch to this man, be he worthy. I pray him worthy.”
Marius stirred, and warmth began to return to his flesh. His eyes opened and he stared up at her through a glossy shadow. She pushed the wet hair back from his face and wiped the sweat from his brow. “Marius, it’s Alianna. Do you see me?” He barely nodded. “Can you speak?”
He opened his mouth, drawing a deep ragged breath, but his eyes turned away from her, staring off over her shoulder.

REVISED DIALOGUE:

Alianna: “Marius, it’s Alianna. Can you hear me?”
Marius: opens his eyes but doesn’t speak
Claero: “He’s very ill, I think he’s dying.”
Alianna: Performs a healing prayer, “Our Lady of Life, Spring Mother, whose heart knows only peace and love. I pray for your blessings to be cast upon this man. He is ill with fever and Hedera awaits him at death’s door. I pray, do not let him pass into the eternal realms. Let me be your conduit that my hands shall serve to grant your healing touch to this man, be he worthy. I pray him worthy.”
Marius: eyes open and gasps for breath, but still looks very near death
Alianna: “Marius, what’s happened to you?”
Marius: Through parched lips, “…priest…”
Alianna: “I know…soon. Marius, can you tell me where my brother is?”
Marius: “…priest…”
Alianna: Looking around, “I need to take him to the temple, can anyone
help me?”
Kalthanan: “I will.”
Claero: “No my lord, if we must help, allow me.”
Kalthanan: “Claero, it’s not as if I could become ill.”
Alianna: “Help me get him up.”
Kalthanan and Claero move in together to help
Marius: “No! No priests!” pushing away their hands feebly
Tyrian: “He refused to go to the temple with me.”
Alianna: “He’s delirious; he doesn’t know what he’s saying. Reahnyn hasn’t gifted me with the power to heal such a disease. Only the Mother can heal him.”
Marius: “…no…not the mother…”
Claero: “If he refuses her blessings, she will not heal him”
Alianna: (exasperated) “He must! He needs to live!” turning to Tyrian, “What happened to you?”
Marius: “the priest”
Alianna: “Ah, hear now, he asks for a priest.”
Khazid: “I don’t think that’s what he meant. You asked what happened to him.”
Tyrian: “there was a…a creature…once a man, I think…once a priest…he cursed us…Marius was struck first. He became ill right away.”
Alianna: “A priest? A priest of who, of what god?”
Tyrian: “Thamor.”
Bar Keep: “What?! Blasphemy! Thamor grants only the power of righteousness and honor. No monstrous thing that could curse a man would be a priest of Thamor.”
Baim: “Open your ears man! He said, ‘once a priest’. I’ve heard of such horrors dwelling in the ruined caverns of my ancient peoples. Priests of the once mighty gods of good having become themselves cursed, to live yet not live, with evil in their withered hearts. Undead they are.”
Kalthanan: to Tyrian “What horrors have you seen man?!”
Marius: begins hacking and coughing, pointing over his shoulder
Alianna: “Calm yourself, you must be still. We’ll take you to the temple. The Mother can heal you. You will live.”
Tyrian: begins hacking and keels onto his knees.
Claero: runs over to help Tyrian
Marius: begins seizing, gasping for breath, going purple
Alianna: “No! You mustn’t die!” tries a healing prayer again
Marius: dies
Alianna: “No!” turns to Tyrian, “Where’s my brother Tyrian!”
Tyrian: hacking, wheezing
Alianna: grabbing Tyrian by the cuff, “Where is he? Where’s Aradin?!”
Tyrian: hacking, tries to speak
Claero: “Give him some room to breath, be easy with him!”
Alianna: “You must tell me, Tyrian. Tell me!”
Tyrian: between coughing fits, “Katharik!…left behind..in Katharik!” collapses unconscious
Claero: “He’s alive, but who knows how long.”
Kalthanan: “Your brother, he is in danger? Where is this place, Katharik?”
Baim: mumbling under his breath “No place we want to be my friend”
Alianna: “Help me take him to the temple.”
Claero: helps pick up Tyrian
Kalthanan: steps in and helps as well
Khazid: standing beside Marius’s body, “I will stay with this one until you can return for him.”
Bar Keep: “I’ll send for the priests of Talorn.”
Alianna: grimaces, “I’m afraid it must be so.”
Khazid: to the bar keep, “fetch me a blanket, so that I may cover him.”
Bar Keep: to some patrons just entering, “we’re closed, a man has died here, be off with you!” turning to those left in the tavern, “the rest of you either get to your room, or get out, there’ll be no other joviality tonight.”
Baim: to Kalthanan “Well then, I guess I’ll be going with you.”
Kalthanan: to Alianna, “Where are we going?”
Alianna: “To the Temple of Reahnyn. Follow me, and hurry, he may not have much time.”
Kalthanan, Claero, Alianna and Khazid exit
Bar Keep: exits to fetch a blanket
Khazid: kneels down and searches Marius’s robes quickly, pulls out a key, pockets it. Begins straightening his body as the bar keep returns. Covers him with a blanket.
Bar Keep: “I’ll go fetch the Corpse Keepers now.” Exits
Khazid: Pulls out the scrolls and begins to peruse them, eyeing the door
Bar Maid: begins cleaning up the cups at tables on the other side of the room, keeping her distance.

“Marius, where is my brother?” She could not see the creature perched in the shadows over the plinth, its beady eyes glared back at him. It reached out with its boney fingers, clenching. Marius seized, his chest rising from the ground as he gagged. His whole body trembled beneath her hands, “No!” she cried, “Marius, No!”
He gawked for air, but his lungs would not work and his face turned from white to deep ashen rouge. She held his head in her hands again and called out to Reahnyn again, “Mother, if you favor me at all, bless this man so that he may live!” A pale blue light seemed to pass over her, down her arms through her hands, but it would not touch him. Marius’ hands grasped in futility at her robes. “No, Marius. No, don’t die,” she pleaded, but there was nothing she could do. His eyes went blank and his body sank back to the ground. The breath of life leaving him in a final death rattle.
She lowered him back to the floor, and closed his eyes. There was a quiet moment, and then she swung her head back, glaring at Tyrian. “Where’s Aradin?” she said getting to her feet. “Where is he Tyrian?” She strode towards him, her faced flushed, though did her best to control her temper.
Tyrians eyes stayed locked on Marius, then he too began coughing. A deep wheezing began in his chest and his face became a dusky red as he gasped for breath, a look of panic in his eyes. He fell into her arms, and she quickly put a wrist to his forehead “He’s a horrible fever. Quickly,” she said looking to those standing nearest, “we must get him to the temple.”
A handsome elven man, dressed in fine garb quickly stooped down to lift Tyrian’s arm over his shoulder. The elven woman in armor, who must have been with him, did the same with Tyrian’s other arm. Alianna nodded her thanks to them and began for the door. A dwarf and a Mikanian followed them out into the street.

Book 1, Chapter 3

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