Crossbreeds Part 1: Chapter 2 They're Poison by RedPhantom ()
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Ann came to a short while later. She was in her bed. The room was crowded. Sapphire sat feeding the baby. Areantor and Darkham stood in a corner conversing in hushed tones. Pt’this, Andy, Mishtali, and Nim hovered over her.
“She’s awake,” Andy said.
“How?” Tor asked. “You weren’t supposed to bring her out yet.”
“I didn’t. I told you, she does it on her own.”
“That’s not possible,” Tor argued.
“What did I do?” Ann asked. She started to sit up.
Andy moved to stop her. “You brought yourself out of a trance again.”
“I was in a trance? It didn’t feel like one.”
“It was mild, caused by the poison,” Mishtali said.
“She did not bring herself out of the trance,” Tor insisted. “It’s not possible.”
Ann shrugged. “I’ve done it before. Grandfather taught me how.”
“It is possible,” Mishtali confirmed. “And I did teach her how to do it.”
“How is Bremul?” Ann looked around.
“He’s not too bad yet,” Tor assured her.
“What happened?” Ann asked.
“You were poisoned by sunset lilies,” Pt’this explained.
“How? Just by touching them?” Ann was confused.
“You breathed it in,” Mishtali said. “The spores are highly toxic. A dragon’s lungs are hot and will kill the spores but a half-dragon’s lungs aren’t when you’re in human form. They’ll spread throughout your body and eat your magic. Eventually, you’ll go into a trance even you can’t get out of and die.”
“Nim, why didn’t you stop them? You were there,” Pt’this asked.
“I didn’t know what they were. I’ve heard of sunset lilies, but I’ve never seen them. I thought they’d be orange.” He looked a bit guilty.
“Sunset refers to the setting of the sun on one’s life rather than in the sky,” Mishtali explained.
“What can be done?” Sapphire asked.
“When Shunati comes, we can see if he can force the spores out. Otherwise, until we can get a cure, we do what we can to keep them out of the trance. As long as we keep their magic levels up, they should be fine,” Mishtali said.
“Should?” Andy raised an eyebrow.
“I can’t guarantee anything. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this. The last time Thailyn treated this, it was on Tricon.
“The problem is this is going to take some serious energy. The magic will drain faster than we can regain ours. There are several of us, so that will help. Having Augmenters here will help also, but how much, I don’t know. It may only give you a few more days. It depends a lot on what Shunati can do.”
A bell rang.
“That would be Remmy,” Ann explained. “He’s not allowed in my rooms without an escort.”
“I’ll get him,” Nim offered.
He returned a moment later with Ann’s brother, Prince Remtani.
“How are you?” Remtani asked.
“Alive for now,” Ann said.
“The same,” Sapphire said. Pt’this had moved to put himself between the prince and his wife.
“We found the ambassadors and have questioned them. They swear the flowers were a gift from King Kamlia. They claim they didn’t know you were part dragon, and they had no idea the effect it would have on a half-dragon. They don’t have dragons in Yarba so they couldn’t know,” Remtani reported.
“They also don’t have sunset lilies,” Pt’this said. “They only grow in the far north.”
“Well, this is what they claim. Short of...” He hesitated, looking around the room. “...calling in our whiskey drinking friend, I don’t think they will tell us more, assuming there is more to tell.”
“No. Don’t do that. If they are telling the truth, it will ruin any chance of having a treaty,” Pt’this said. “Your father wouldn’t allow it, anyhow.”
Remtani nodded. He didn’t want to use that extreme measure either. “As for the other matter, they claim they have no children, that they never did. If you want to pursue it, we can have Shunati check them out.”
“No, Shunati has enough to do. Just let it go,” Sapphire said.
Pt’this let out a low growl.
“Sweetie, let it go. We need to look forward not back. Our son needs us.”
Pt’this nodded. She always knew what to say to bring him back to what was important. He could also feel fear from her. Not just the fear for Bre, but of something else. Her parents had been cruel and abusive. She not only worried about her own safety, but that of her family.
“Let them go with our apology,” Pt’this said. “Then, talk with your father. It’s likely the delegation will need to be changed. He’ll need to work out who will be going.”
Remtani nodded. He followed Nim back out. Nim was back in moments.
“What is this cure?” Darkham asked.
“A healing potion made with – the best translation is razorberry – juice rather than with water,” Mishtali explained.
“What are razorberries?” Tor asked. “Can you show us?”
Mishtali created an image using his magic. “They only grow in dry climates. On Tricon, there was only one place, at the center of the island, they would grow.”
All eyes turned to Tor. She had spent the last five hundred years living in a desert. She shook her head. “I haven’t seen any.”
“I have,” Nim said softly. “There was one bush. Lightning hit it and it was destroyed.”
“Are you sure you were looking in the same place?” Mishtali asked.
Nim nodded. “I used to hunt there frequently. The bush attracted several animals that I enjoyed. I searched all over for another one but never found one.”
“Could we go to Tricon?” Ann asked. “Will they help us?”
“Tricon, like Baj-tisk, tries to avoid outsiders but I doubt they would turn away someone in need of help, especially a child. Of course, it’s been over five hundred years since I was there. Things may have changed,” Mishtali said. “But, how are you going to get there? You can’t transport all that way. There’s interference. It would take several weeks of flight. You wouldn’t survive.”
“They won’t survive if they don’t go,” Andy pointed out.
“Unless Shunati can help them,” Nim said.
“Nim, can I talk to you in the hall a moment?” Andy asked. Nim nodded and followed.
“Can we help healers too? Increase their strength?” Andy, like Nim, was an Augmenter. They had the ability to manipulate magical energy in ways a mage couldn’t. They could absorb it, redirect it, disperse it, transfer it from one person to another and magnify it.
“No. I’ve tried. When Pt’this first brought back Mirimar, I tried to help the healers. It did no good.”
“Here comes Shunati,” Andy said, looking down the hall.
“How’s Sinta doing?” He asked the elf.
“She’s okay. Resting.”
“And the baby?”
Shunati sighed. “He thinks he’s ready to be born.”
“You’re going to have your hands full, Dad,” Nim said.
“I know.” Sinta was his wife. She was pregnant with their first child and had gone into labor again although the baby wasn’t due for several months. It was taking Mila and Shunati, both the palace healers, to keep her from having the baby too early.
They filled him in on what had happened. He nodded. “I’ve heard of this, but of course, I’ve never seen it. It would’ve been better if you had me come sooner.”
Andy shook his head. “Not at the expense of your own baby. Ann would never forgive herself.”
“Darkham and Areantor have been doing what they can to keep the spores from spreading,” Nim said.
Shunati nodded. “Andy, before we go in, I need to tell you. This is a long shot. I’ve never done anything like this before. I don’t know if anyone has ever been successful at it. I think the best we can hope for is to slow it down.”
Andy nodded. “Let’s see what happens.” They went back in. Ann insisted on him doing Bremul first. He drained the spores from the baby and then from her as he would a poison. He wasn’t able to get all the spores but got most.
“It will slow the draining down immensely. If Ann refrains from doing any casting, it should be a month or more before she has any problems. That will give the rest of us a chance to help Bre,” he told them when he was done.
“This is my fault,” Ann said. “If I hadn’t had Bre in the audience hall with me, he wouldn’t have gotten poisoned too.”
“You didn’t bring those flowers in,” Pt’this said.
“You were helping us,” Sapphire reminded her.
There was an unruly teen at the home for runaways that Sapphire and Pt’this ran. Concerned for Bre’s safety, Pt’this had brought him with to the palace. Rather than putting him in the nursery, Ann had offered to watch him while Pt’this was in a meeting. He was still in the meeting when it was time for her to hold audience so she had taken Bre with her. She had done the same with her nieces and nephews.
“This is not your fault. Don’t start beating yourself up,” Andy insisted. Ann nodded.
Nim excused himself. It was time for him to scry Joanne. She had given him a watch so they could plan when he scried her. Before, he had startled her every time. He had hated it. Now, she was ready for him. He also used it to time how long they could talk before he would go into a trance, something else that had been a problem before.
After that, one by one, they left until it was only Ann and Andy left. He crawled into bed with her. "We'll get through this," he promised.
Image Comments (5)
Leije () 12:57PM | Sun, 20 December 2020
Lighting and perspective are superb, and the poses are very expressive, especiallly for the baby, great work !
Richardphotos () 10:11PM | Sun, 20 December 2020
it would take me months to write your story. years to think it up which is unlikely. very imaginative original work