Okay, I know it. The Priestess has been slack. But, after my little break, Sara and Lyan are back.
Sara sat bolt upright, gasping for breath. Again she had dreamed of him. Each night since her arrival in Tarna she had dreamed of Lyan, her guardian on the long road to the capital, and each time she dreamed of him, her longing to have him returned to her grew. In her dream she had stood before him, robed in blue silk, and she had reached her hand out to him. He had looked on her disbelievingly at first, but slowly he had raised his hand to take hers. She could still feel the electricity that had passed between them upon that first contact, even though it was only a dream.
She rose slowly, and dressed. On this day Sara took care with her appearance. She had heard the tribesmen that were to be her guardians to the sacred lake arrive late the night before, and she knew that their first impressions of her would be important. They were taking her, they had accepted her as their seer, despite the fact that she had not undertaken the ritual of sacrifice.
Slowly she made her way downstairs. The men waited, all seated patiently at a table in the tavern. They rose as she entered, and dropped to their knees as a sign of their respect.
“If you are ready to leave, my lady,” A man wearing a simple fur sash over his leather armor rose slowly, and offered her his arm, “I am Harin, the commander of your guardians.”
“Thank you Harin,” She said sweetly, and took his arm.
Sara smiled her thanks to the innkeeper who had arranged her new life with the tribe, then followed Harin outside to where the inn’s stable boys waited with the reins of the party’s horses.
Sara rode at the head of the party, beside Harin. They crossed through the gates, and the guardsmen waved as they opened the heavy gates for them to pass. Once out on the thin paved road that led away from the capital though, Sara became uneasy. Something at the edge of her vision, just on the edge of the horizon made her nervous. As they moved closer she could make out the figures of men, and their horses standing upon the rise. Harin smiled reassuringly to her, sensing her tension.
Sara felt a scream rise in her throat as they came close enough to recognize the men upon the rise. The man who stood a little ahead of the others was tall, and wore garish silks, his head was shaved, and a long, curved scimitar hung from his belt. Even before his companions raised their bows Sara was shouting to her companions to alert them to the danger.
The tribesmen reined their horses in swiftly and formed a protective barrier around her. They had been expecting trouble, Sara could see it in their eyes. They raised the pointed pole-arms that lay strapped along the side of their mounts and surveyed the slavers carefully.
“Give the woman up,” The leader growled, “She belongs to me.”
“The lady is under our protection,” Harin said strongly, as his horse pranced sidewards, and reared.
“Then we will have to kill you,” The slaver told her protectors with a savage grin as he motioned for his companions to attack.
Lyan surveyed the land surrounding Tarna from the battlements. He was on edge this morning. His bonds ate at him, but he could not bring himself to leave the city. The previous night he had dreamed of Sara. She had been surrounded in white light, and a wolf lay at her feet like a pet. She had smiled at him, and told him that his bond to the guild of Mages had been broken. He had woken up in a sweat, terrified that someone in the guild may have been able to see into his thoughts.
Now as he surveyed the roads out of Tarna he felt his eyes drawn to one road in particular, and upon it, only a short way outside the gates Lyan saw the group that his eyes had unconsciously sought. She was surrounded by a circle of dark horsed guardians, but she was unmistakable on her pure white seers mount. But something about the formation of the guardians made him uneasy. He watched as the man at the head of the circle lunged forward upon his dark mount, his pole-arm was raised, and he clashed with a second man. Lyan gasped, and he leapt away from the walls. He called impatiently for a horse, but could not wait. He clutched desperately at the reins of a passing patrol horse and pulled the rider from his seat.
“I will return him,” Lyan bit out as he swung himself into the saddle.
It took ever ounce of his self-control to fight against the searing pain at the back of his mind as he rode out of the gate. He had been summonsed, now for every moment that he rode away from the Guild Tower, the greater the pain would become. He urged the horse forward, and drew his sword.
Sara could do nothing to protect herself, only rely on the abilities of the men that surrounded her, but she had seen the prowess of the man they fought, and she knew that they were not his equal with the sword. She knew of only one man that was. Her mind cried out to him, just as it had in the night, and tears welled in her eyes, knowing that he would not be able to come to her aid.
She watched as Harin caught a blow on the side of his head, and flew from the back of his mount. Before she thought, Sara flung herself from her seat and went to his aid.
“Live,” She prayed, touching her hands to his head, “Please…” Aierla had cured her festering wounds with a mere touch, and Sara prayed with all her soul that she had the same skill.
“Playing at Priestess now?” she cringed at the sound of the familiar voice in her ear. She felt a cold hand upon her shoulder and she shrunk from it. She did not care now, what happened to her, only that Harin, who would have given his life to protect her, survived. The grip upon her shoulder tightened and she felt herself being pulled away from him. Struggling to keep her hands upon her guardian, she fought him off, but her struggles only increased his grip upon her arm, until she cried out in pain. She twisted under his grip and scratched at his hands, she would not leave Harin to die.
“Stop it woman,” He growled, and raised his free arm to slap her roughly. Sara staggered, reeling from the force of the slap. Yet again he took hold of her, but this time she could do little to fight him.
As he flung her over the back of his dark stallion, Sara was certain that her blurred eyes cleared long enough to see a horse racing from the gates of Tarna.
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