White Wyrms Chapter 36: I'm Under Oath

Writers Fantasy posted on Oct 03, 2022
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The next morning, Voramini came and got Ann just as she was finishing breakfast. “The elders met all night. They have more questions about the program and Pisha.” “More?” Rin raised an eyebrow. Vor chuckled. “You’ve been here for how long and you’re still surprised?” Rin sighed. “I know. The elders are as bad as the council.” “The elders didn’t have to wait until morning to ask me questions. I didn’t sleep last night,” Ann told him. Vor shrugged. “I tried to tell them you’d be up. They didn’t listen. What do I know? I’ve only known you for fifteen years.” “Someday, they’ll learn that you know what you’re talking about.” “Well, it won’t be today. It probably won’t even be this decade.” Ann followed him to the elder house. “We’ve discussed Ruzi’s requests. Regarding healing Pisha, we’re not ready to go against her family’s wishes. We have no proof Ruzi is her son. This is an assumption based on his eye color and his word. “He mentioned Pisha’s mother. We have searched for her and she hasn’t been found. It’s doubtful she would go against her husband’s wishes though. There’s a reason she left. “We do agree that the treaty laws agreed to share healing necessities. If we allow Thailyn to come to check to see if Pisha is Ruzi’s mother, what assurance do we have that he won’t do more than permitted?” “Thailyn is a man of his word. When he found his missing mother, he gave his word he wouldn’t say anything of what he read, and he kept that word, not even revealing who she was until she permitted it, even though she had revealed it herself. “He also knows that you could very easily tell Mishtali and his father will not tolerate that from Thailyn. Those of you around during the war remember this,” Ann told them. One elder nodded. “Then we will permit Thailyn to come and check to see if Pisha is Ruzi’s mother. Once we know that, we will discuss how to proceed.” Ann nodded. “He’s currently with a patient. He said he would be up shortly after. He has another healer to take care of the clinic.” She could see the elders’ confusion until they remembered they were dealing with telepaths. She had relayed the message as they spoke. A few moments later, Thailyn was there. He greeted Deyama, Vor, and the elders. “Cari says for you to flash home to tuck her in,” he told Ann. Ann frowned. “Cari was your patient?” “No. She was visiting. Darkham said he’d watch her until Andy came.” Ann nodded. “Thailyn, Princess Ann has told you, we’ve decided to allow you to check to see if Pisha is truly Ruzi’s mom. At this time, that is all we will permit you to do. Until we know if they are related, any further discussion is pointless. We’re asking you since you are already familiar with Ruzi and Ann said our healers aren’t currently trusted. Given past events, we understand.” Ann translated. Thailyn wasn’t fluent enough yet for this important of a conversation. Thailyn nodded. “I understand and I will tell you what I tell all of my patients who ask for restrictions. I cannot control what I read. I’m assuming Pisha is an unreadable, like Ruzi and Sinta, but I still may read something more from her. I will only tell you the answer to your question unless you choose to pursue this. “I do have one concern. Once this is done, there will be no question as to whether or not Pisha had a half-breed. Punishment for that is death. Once I read her, do you plan on killing her?” “No. As Ruzi reminded us, there are exceptions to the law. Until we can question her, we will not punish her.” Thailyn nodded. “I will hold you to your word as you do me.” *** Deyama and Vor escorted Ann and Thailyn to the house where Pisha was. “What’s this?” An elf said as they entered, blocking their way. “We’re here to see Pisha,” Vor told him. “We don’t need any humans here.” “They aren’t human. Howip, this is Princess Ann and Thailyn,” Deyama said. “The elders have decided Thailyn may check to see if Pisha is the mother of his adopted son.” Thailyn wasn’t fluent in Elvish, but he understood enough of what was being said. “That half-elf?” Howip snarled. “And, even if he is her son, there will be no consequences at this time. If you hurt her, you will be prosecuted. Do you understand?” Deyama warned. The man nodded. “Just take care of the cur, as always.” He showed them to the bedroom. Thailyn saw the resemblance to Ruzi, with similar facial features, and dark hair. It was odd. She looked almost healthy. “She looks quite good for someone who’s been in a coma for ten years,” Thailyn observed. “It’s those blasted potions that round-ears is giving her,” Howip spat and gestured toward Vor once Ann had translated for him. “You have?” Deyama frowned at her husband. “Sinta was worried about her when she left. She felt Howip would need help caring for her.” “And you used my name to get him to let you?” Vor shook his head. “The only time your name came up was when Howip claimed I’d take advantage of Pisha. I reminded him I was pledged to you and we’d just been reconciled. There was no way I’d jeopardize that with a woman in a coma.” Thailyn went and laid a hand on Pisha’s forehead. Then he nodded. “She’s his mother.” “You are not to hurt her,” Deyama instructed Howip. “Until the elders make their ruling, there will be no consequences.” “How long will that take?” Howip asked. “Not until she can regain consciousness and defend herself.” Howip nodded, looking at her sister. “And Howip, if you disobey, I will have a healer make a list of all her injuries, and you will suffer the same fate. Do you understand?” Howip nodded, frowning. They returned to the elder house to report their findings. “She’s well?” One elder asked. Thailyn shrugged. “I’m under oath not to discuss that. All I can tell you is that she is Ruzi’s mother.” The elder nodded, frowning. “Teya will show you and Princess Ann to the waiting room while we discuss how to proceed.” Thailyn and Ann followed the aid to the waiting room. “Make yourself comfortable. Help yourself to the coffee. It might be a little bitter for your tastes. I believe the clerk brought in some honey. Or there is also water,” Teya said. Ann nodded. “Thank you.” And the aid left. “I don’t know how they drink coffee with all that caffeine,” Thailyn said. Ann smiled. “They say caffeine doesn’t affect them like it does the rest of us.” Thailyn frowned. “It’s still a stimulant for them.” “Coffee is Vor’s addiction.” “Are you serious?” He’d seen Vor drink it but hadn’t realized that. “It was an accidental switch but yes. I guess it happened when he was tending bar at Dragon’s Wine. He drinks more than Jo does.” Thailyn shook his head. I should warn you, they eavesdrop on these rooms, Ann sent telepathically. Thanks. “It’s Cari really okay?” She asked aloud. Thailyn nodded. “She’s fine. Andy had a class to teach and she didn’t want to go to the nursery. She said she was too old for that now that she’s in school. I figured a little time with Grandpa wouldn’t hurt. The potions need rearranging anyhow.” Ann laughed. Cari would use potion bottles as people and act out little stories, mostly ones she’d heard from Rejenn. “And your bandages needed refolding?” Those became blankets, tents, or anything else she could think of. “At least things don’t get dusty.” Thailyn shrugged. “How did you sleep last night?” “I didn’t. I’ll try again tonight.” “You know, if you skip sleeping, it makes your nightmares worse.” “So does being in a new place. I really tried to sleep. Perhaps if I don’t sleep tonight, I’ll transport home tomorrow night.” “Do you think this could take that long?” “I don’t know. Deyama is interested in the homes.” Yes. Deyama is planning on pushing for you to heal her. I can’t do emergency healing. It’ll take a while. I understand. “Cari would be happy to see you,” Thailyn said aloud. “If nothing else, I’ll scry her.” They were surprised by Teya’s return. “The elders would like to talk with you,” he told Thailyn. “Princess, would you be our translator?” Ann nodded. “Thailyn, we have discussed this and we’ve decided that we will allow you to contact Pisha and to extract the eye fluid,” an elder said. “Thank you. I should warn you this might take a while. Depending on the damage, it may be difficult to reach her. She may not trust me. I know Ruzi is under the impression she wasn’t fond of his birth father, she may want to protect him.” “Would it be better if Shunati contacts her?” Deyama asked. “She knows him.” “And she knows he’s an elf. She’ll feel he’s obligated to report Ruzi and the father, if not her too,” Ann pointed out. “You may take as long as you need,” the elder consented. “May I have permission to discuss her injuries with my family?” “You may.” Thailyn nodded. “At this point, you may do anything you need to, except healing her.” “Thank you.” “I’ll take you there and let Howip know the verdict,” Vor offered. Thailyn nodded. In addition to making sure Howip complied, it would help him find the place again. Thailyn had a horrible sense of direction and Vor knew it. “The elders have decided that Thailyn may examine and contact Pisha. Furthermore, he may extract the eye fluid needed,” Vor told Howip once they had arrived. Howip frowned. “If you don’t like it, you can take it up with the elders. However, this is to obey a treaty law, so it’s doubtful they will change their minds.” “We’ll see,” Howip said and left. Vor turned to Thailyn. “Do what you need to. I’ll stay as long as I can to keep an eye on you and I’ll have Ann come when she can.” “I’ll be okay as long as Howip leaves me alone.” “I don’t think he’ll try anything. He’s not quite as bad as his brothers are and someone has to guard Pisha. If he attacks you, he’ll end up in prison, and then it’s Sinta’s choice what happens to Pisha.” Thailyn nodded. “Good.” He went into the room where Pisha lay. “Would it be possible for me to see the potion you’ve been giving her?” “I don’t have any at the moment. Shun was going to get me some.” “Do you have an empty vial? There would be residue, and I could examine that.” Vor shook his head. “I don’t, but I did spill some on the blanket the other day. Howip hasn’t changed it.” Thailyn nodded. “That would be a start. I’ll talk with Shunati about the potion later. Thailyn moved a chair near the bed. First, he cataloged her injuries. She’d been beaten severely. He read signs of bruising and lacerations all over. Someone had taken some sort of club to her. Those injuries had healed long ago. There was also some severe damage to her one side. If he had to guess, someone had picked her up and thrown her against the ground. He’d seen both Ann and Drepal do that with their magic. This time, it had broken several bones. Again, all had healed to the best of their ability. But where they hadn’t been set, most needed attention. There were several scars from another beating or possibly several, it seemed. The feel of the scars was different. It reminded him of scars he’d read only once. He rolled up a slave to do a visual confirmation. There was a little brain damage, but not much. None of these injuries seemed severe enough to keep her in a coma for ten years. He entered her mind. Pisha wasn’t in a coma. She was in a protection trance. This would make it harder for her to find. Protection trances were trances wizards could put themselves in to protect themselves mentally from extreme situations. If he had to guess, Ann had tried to do that to protect herself from the terrors she faced while Lyra’s prisoner, only something had gone wrong, and instead she became Drepal. Pisha had gone deep into her mind to hide. Had she been afraid her family would follow her in here to continue hurting her? According to Sinta, none were healers and they would need one to do that. Perhaps it was the severity of the attack that had caused her to go so deep. That could explain why she hadn’t come out. Most mages would eventually wake if they survived what they were hiding from. But with as deep as she’d gone, and the brain damage she sustained, she would be stuck in there until someone healed the injuries. Time passed in a trance differently so he had no idea how long he searched for her, but it felt like it was hours before he found her.

Production Credits


Comments (2)


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zaqxsw 10:35AM | Mon, 03 October 2022

Good installment... awe, politics are a bear even in a fantasy world. I really do appreciate your unique take on elven culture.

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Leije 8:27AM | Tue, 04 October 2022

Very well crafted scene with these amazing seats !

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