Chapter 1 1

Inside the tavern, the female wind elf purchased a healing potion from the barkeep. He mentioned he did keep several in stock for use after the occasional brawl. She returned to the table where the others sat and began laying out all the supplies she needed. She took the bowl and wheat grinder which she borrowed from Piotyr and set it upon the table.

"So, Piotyr and Nalynn told me a little about the situation here. Please fill me in on the rest.".

She opened her pouch and withdrew the Stoneroot. Placing it into the bowl, she ground it into a fine powder. She then uncorked the healing potion and poured it into the bowl. She stirred the mixture until it formed a thick paste. Sheil listened intently as they told her their stories. She pulled the vial of snake venom from the pouch and added it to the paste. After mixing the antidote thoroughly, Sheil held the bowl before her and smiled.

"It is ready. We must apply this salve to Brisid's wound. Will ye lead me to him?"


*****

Nalynn started as she heard voices and footsteps in the hall outside the room. "How long have I been asleep?" she wondered aloud. She looked over at the bed where Brisid lies. His color was ashen, ghostlike - his breathing labored. The nights of worry and vigil had taken their toll on her but she summoned as much energy as she could muster, sensing that help was near at hand. Even so, she jumped when she heard the knock at the door.

Not daring to leave Brisid's side, she called out, "Enter! The door is open." The door swung wide, revealing three Elves' silhouettes in the doorway. She recognized Riklaun instantly, but the others were unfamiliar to her. As she stood to greet them, the last of her strength vacated her now frail body. She collapsed from sheer exhaustion as Riklaun rushed to catch her.

Sheil allowed the male elves to look after the exhausted Nalynn while she sat at the edge of the bed and uncovered Brisid's wound. The area around the wound was hot and red, the skin ashen grey. Sheil noted that there is very little time left for him.

"I hope that enough time remains for this antidote to do it's work." Sheil stated prayerfully, and without delay she began applying the thick paste all across the affected area.

"It will be a couple hours before I know if the antidote is working. You should take Nalynn to her room so that she can rest. I will watch over Brisid in her place. Also, you should try to get her to eat something. I suspect that she has neglected her own health during her vigil. Here, make her eat this."

Sheil pulled a small, silver colored leaf from one of her pouches and handed it to Tizer. "It will restore her strength long enough for her to eat something and then she will sleep well."

Before the others were able to lead Nalynn from the room, Maer Cath, Sheil's blue Tressym landed on the window sill. The female wind elf and her kitten seemed to speak without words for a moment. Suddenly Sheil cursed.

"Riders approaching from the east. Type and number unknown. Maer estimates over twenty. More trouble?"

"Sheilandri, watch carefully over Brisid, and do not let him come to harm if these riders are hostile forces." Tizer requested urgently.

"I will take Nalynn to her room and make sure she is safe. Rik, the riders could be dangerous. I trust your ability as Swordmaster to make the right decision."

Tizer carried Nalynn down the hall to her room. He gently placed her on the bed and inspected the walls and windows of the room. He placed some magical wards of protection on the door and window panes and went into the main meeting room. Tizer removed a clean glass from the cabinet and filled it with warm fey wine. He also grabbed a couple of sweet cakes from the counter on his way back to Nalynn's room.

After writing a note to Nalynn which explained the current situation, Tizer placed the fey wine, silverleaf, and sweet cakes on her bed table. He then started over towards the barracks of the Bladesingers to hear what news they had found...

Continue to Chapter 12