Lawgiver’s Blade: Chapter Three Part Three

May 22nd, 2019  |  Published in Lawgiver's Blade  |  1 Comment

Previous | Index | Next

At home they found Imalia lying on a mattress near the hearth swaddled in their winter bedding she was still shivering. Tamasa was kneeling by her and holding a steaming cup of broth to her lips.

Imalia opened her eyes slightly and looked at Tamasa before sipping the broth. Tamasa stroked Imalia’s hair then swore as some of her long black hair broke off and came out in her hand. She held it out to Lilat who sighed heavily and shook her head.

“That’s a bad sign,” she said. “She’s done too much. Even if she survives this she’ll probably never recover her magic.” She rose to her feet. “Please attend to her while I send a message to Keralyn to send a replacement to do the rest of her route.”

Tamasa nodded at her and turned her attention back to Imalia. Her expression was set and determined as she went back to coaxing her to drink the broth as if she was a baby.

“You were right,” Imalia’s voice was barely a whisper. “I only had a few stops left and I really thought I had enough magic left in me to manage that much.”

“I told you that you didn’t,” Tamasa said gently. “You should have taken my advice and rested.” Then even more softly, so softly even just a few feet away Alidra barely heard her. “My offer still stands.”

Imalia shook her head slightly against her pillow.

“I might get away with it if it was noticed but you wouldn’t. I won’t let you put yourself and your family in danger for me.”

Tamasa sighed like she did when exasperated with Alidra. “Says the woman who got herself into this state for our sakes. Are you in pain yet?”

“Not yet,” Imalia said. “The void where my magic was is feeding on my hair and warmth. I fear it will turn to the rest of me very soon . I did not mean to bring such a weight to you.”

Tamasa nodded grimly and looked at Alidra. “Fetch our guest a cup of the best ale, please.”

Alidra ran to obey and returned to find Tamasa stroking Imalia’s hair and singing softly to her. An odd melody that sounded similar to the strange song Imalia had played the previous evening.. Alidra knelt down on the other side of the mattress and held out the cup.

“Will she be alright?”

Tamasa frowned as she took the cup. “I don’t know. She’s done too much without proper rest and drained her reserves too low. Her body is starting to devour itself in an attempt to recover the magic she’s used.” She held the cup in both hands and Alidra heard her whisper something under her breath before picking up a mulling iron. “If we can keep her warm and get enough food into her to replace what she’s losing she might survive but that will be hard.”

Alidra touched Imalia’s cheek and it was freezing cold like when Lidri had got lost in a storm the previous winter. He’d been nearly dead when he finally stumbled back into the village. Tamasa had helped his wife tend him and Alidra remembered what they had done to help warm him, so she responded to Imalia’s shivering by climbing under the blankets and hugging her, sharing her warmth like they had with Lidri. “I’ll help keep you warm.”

“Thank you, little one,” Imalia said.

Tamasa in the meantime had heated the ale with the mulling iron before offering it to Imalia. For just a moment Alidra could have sworn the steam glowed faintly but then it was normal again and she decided she had imagined it. Imalia sipped the ale with obvious effort. Her skin seemed to warm slightly as she did and her shivering eased. Imalia raised an eyebrow.

“You don’t listen too well, Tamasa.”

Tamasa obviously understood because she gave her another grim smile. “It is little enough, Imalia. You would not accept more. It may not even be enough to save you though if not it should still ease your pain. Either way it is certainly not enough that anyone will notice. It’s your choice if you drink it or not.”

“Thank you, I guess,” Imalia said. “I pray that you are right.” She took another, larger mouthful. “You make good ale, Tamasa.”

“An old family recipe,” Tamasa said. “The stew will be ready in a couple of hours. I’ll bring you some if you have the strength to eat it. You should try and sleep if you can, It will help.”

“I know it will help,” Imalia said. “I will try. If I am not beyond help.” She finished the broth and beer and then curled up under the comforter and closed her eyes.

Alidra stayed beside her and continued hugging her, wishing that she could will warmth into her.

Her skin was still cold but no longer freezing and her breathing seemed to have strengthened and it soon became less laboured as she fell asleep.

Tamasa held her wrist for a moment, seeking her pulse then relaxed slightly. “Oh thank all the gods, she can sleep. That’s a very good sign. If she was dying she wouldn’t be able to. Stay with her Alidra. Call me if anything changes.”

“I will, mummy,” she said.

“Thank you, dear one.” Tamasa smiled at her and returned to the hearth to tend their evening stew. From the smells coming from the pot Alidra could tell it was something more than their usual fare and wondered what she had made.

Previous | Index | Next

One Response to “Lawgiver’s Blade: Chapter Three Part Three”

  1. torvawk says:

    Beck,

    The secretes you are hinting at… I cannot wait to see where this is going. You seem to be building it up to something that would be “hearsay” according to someone else that sounds like it might upset the status quo.

Leave a Reply to torvawk