Disclaimer; Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing. Hope you all enjoy it.
Xin watched the guards standing outside the window, barely hearing the conversation in the main room behind her. Rale was in one of the empty back rooms, the healer and Lady Launi with him.
“Until we can determine whether he is safe or not, we’re going to have him here, under guard.” Lord Nesh’s voice had an edge to it.
“Some people are going to be unhappy. Having a Nekarian Lord here, especially with the fall of the fort…” Aitelle began.
“Which is why Launi is scanning him. We’ll determine what we’ll do with him later.”
“Too bad there’s no dungeons in Sandau.” Aitelle said absently.
“If we need them, I’m certain the rock shapers can oblige.” Lord Nesh left, and Xin half turned, staring at the closed door.
“They only brought in Rale?” Geb asked his voice low. He sat at the table, a box with rocks for practice set in front of him.
“They said he was alone, fell off his horse.”
The doorway to the hall that led to the rooms opened and a sober looking Launi entered the room. She made a slight head movement, as though she were looking at each of them in turn, then she motioned them to the table. Once they were all seated she too sat, folding her hands in front of her on the table.
“Lord Rale has undergone some severe mental and physical torture. He is going to be unconscious for a few days while the healer and I work to undo what the Seeress did.”
“What did she do?” Xin asked.
Launi’s brows pulled together. “Kera was trained in a type of mental combat that enabled her to twist the body to do her will. She can turn the body against itself. And that’s what she did. He is going to be in constant pain. His body is attacking itself.”
“I didn’t know spirit elementals could do that.” Xin whispered.
“We can do that and much more. History tells us there were great and powerful Spirit Elementals. They could manipulate huge numbers of people. They could turn the body in on itself, as Kera has done with Lord Rale. Some were able to show others what we see.”
“And other things. There were those who could walk between the veil, and open portals to other lands, other realms. With those powers came conflict. There were wars fought between factions, my people have an ugly past.” Launi closed her eyes and a shudder ran through her thin frame. “Before the war, a thousand years ago, there were twelve active Oracles. Kera and her twin were taught in one of the oldest and some whispered they were taught ancient teachings not taught elsewhere. The war took its toll. By its end all but one Oracle was in ruin, the Spirit Elementals slaughtered and teachings and irreplaceable knowledge lost. I have never seen the type of manipulation done on Rale, in person. It may take several sessions to reverse what she did.”
“Any word on Tier?” Xin asked. Launi frowned.
“Rale had correspondence from a Lord Xeresel with him.” She said slowly. “The note indicated that Prince Tier was executed shortly after his return, and that Rale cannot return to Nekar.”
Xin felt as though she’d been punched. “Why?” She felt Aitelle’s hand on her shoulder and resisted the urge to shove her friend away. She wanted to scream, to cry, she just sat staring at Launi, not willing to believe it.
“He did what he was told.” Geb whispered.
“There was no reason given. Rale may be able to shed light on it, when he wakes.” Launi stood and took a deep breath. “I must go speak with Nesh.”
Xin nodded numbly, meeting Geb’s gaze. The youth just shook his head and pushed violently away from the table storming out the door. Xin had half a mind to follow him.
“There will be a few new rock pillars in the fields by this evening.” Aitelle said softly.
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