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Wednesday, 07 September 2005
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Chapter vii, The Banepearl hungers
Page 2
On the second day Si'anelle did say to her, "We are watched Ae'thenal."

Quietly she made her reply, "You do but confirm my suspicions Si'anelle. For I also do feel the weight of their gaze; and also your despair has fled and you have become fierce and terrible."

As she did continue to ride beside her Si'anelle did laugh aloud causing Nimine to glance sharply back at her from where she did walk at Finaith's head. "Sweet Ae'thenal," she did say, "would you wish me to hold a mirror to your face, for you are also changed as the Banepearl does gift us the power to serve it." In sudden anger her friend hissed, "Its hunger grows and it does desire to be fed. And if we do not satisfy its bloodlust it will be cruel with us Ae'thenal."

Now Nimine had come to stand at Si'anelle's stirrup. "My Lady, do you sense danger about us? For whatever foulness the Banepearl does demand of you, I do remind you that you are our Lady and do own a first responsibility to your people." "Before Isha I do need no reminder Nimine Starbrow," Si'anelle did reply in anger her face losing all colour as the Banepearl did punish her again. "I am not yet marked with a Greater Daemon's brand, and I shall be dead by my own hand before such a mark shall be ever placed upon my forehead."

By the tightening of her foster mother's mouth Ae'thenal did know Nimine was annoyed by having been rebuked by Si'anelle, and did also fight with all her self discipline to tame that annoyance. "Your command My Lady," she did say at last her words barely polite as she bowed her head but a little as Cedwyn Brighteye did now come to discover why a halt had been called.

"We are watched," Si'anelle did tell them. "However we are safe enough from these scouts for the main host does lie ahead of us and it is they who will seek to deal with us." "And it is the Banepearl that does give you this knowledge My Lady?" Cedwyn did ask his frown worn openly upon his face.

"I was never a mage Cedwyn," gave back Si'anelle in a dry tone bordering upon impatience.

"Si'anelle," Ae'thenal did now feel the need to say quietly, "Cedwyn and Nimine do love us well enough, but they do not hold either love or trust for the Banepearl."

"As do neither you nor I Ae'thenal," her friend did say to her, her anger not yet cooled. "If we are to journey together into exile this truth must be understood between us. Before Isha I do swear that I shall not permit my people to be harmed while they do hold to us." And yet again the Banepearl did punish her for speaking Isha's name.

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