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Sorry to all those who missed their weekly installement of Eye of the Storm last week, I won’t make any excuses.

This week Lyan and Sara are back, and with any luck, I’ve succeeded in having Lyan think sufficiently like a man to stop him seeming a bit dumb. 😉

The Wayfairer – Part 6

The City

Sara’s breath caught in her throat as they topped the last of the rolling hills that led to Tarna. The city seemed to sprawl out before her in brilliant, shimmering silver. The daylight was fading, and Lyan seemed anxious to be within the city walls before dark. He reigned in the chestnut stallion given to him by the people of the lake, and turned his dark, grey eyes toward Sara as she caught up to him.

She preferred to follow him, rather than ride alongside him, as he seemed to expect. She did not know how to speak to him, what to say. Especially now, that their time together was coming to a close.

“We shall have to hurry, if we want to reach the gates before they are locked for the night,” Lyan said carefully. He seemed unwilling to look at her, she noticed. The thoughts were short lived though, Lyan spurred his horse forward, and Sara was forced to urge her own pure white mare after him. She was not a good horsewoman, no matter how much she wished she was, and all her energies had to be put toward simply staying in the saddle most of the time.

The armored city guards were pulling the heavy wooden city gates to as Sara and Lyan reached them.

“Hold!” Lyan said with a commanding air. Slowly the steadily moving gates ground to a halt. A guard peered down from the battlements at them, and raised his hand in acknowledgment.

“Lord Lyan!” The guard shouted down cheerfully, “You almost missed the gate!”

“Really?” Lyan responded dryly, but with a grin upon his face.

The face disappeared from the battlements, and moments later the same man sauntered through the gates.

“I believe most of the rooms in the city are occupied,” The guard said with a regretful smile, “you may find finding a bed difficult.”

“I’ve never had a problem before,” Lyan flashed a grin and then dismounted. He half turned to watch Sara as she followed his lead

“You might be best to try The Unicorn, given your company,” The guard surveyed Sara carefully as she straightened the delicate lace gown given to her by Aierla. Lyan gave a short nod, and led his horse forward into the city.

Sara could not believe her eyes as she entered the great capital of Tarne Province. Tall circular stone towers rose above her head, making her dizzy when she tried to look up to the tops of them. The streets were paved with two tones of paving stones, carefully arranged into a pattern that converged in the main square before them at an enormous golden statue. Sara was amazed by the craftsmanship that had gone into making the statue. Every detail on the face of the beautiful young woman who looked out into the hills outside of the city was perfect. Her dress swirled around her like she had just turned in fright. It seemed to Sara like if she stared long enough at the statue, the cloth would eventually fall back into place as it should have done.

“Who is she?” Sara whispered to Lyan. It seemed a shame to her to take her eyes away from the beauty of the statue, even for a moment.

“No one knows,” Lyan said lowly, he did not turn his eyes toward the statue.

Lyan forced himself to keep his eyes forward. The first time he had come to Tarna he had sat, mesmerised, for hours staring at her face. There was so much expression in her eyes. Longing, and fear. He had spent days trying to find out who she was, but no one knew. The best guess he had heard was a figure from mythology, but no one was certain what myth she appeared in.

He had originally loved Tarna. He remembered seeing the same look of shocked awe in his eyes that he saw now in Sara’s. The streets of Tarna were indeed beautiful, but Lyan knew, that in a few hours, the complexion of the city would change dramatically. Dockworkers frequented the many taverns that lined the many paved squares in the city, and the taverns kept a steady supply of what they called ‘serving girls’ on hand. By midnight, the streets would be full of drunken men, and glorified prostitutes, he hoped that Sara never had to see that side of Tarna.

As he came upon ‘The Unicorn’, Lyan slowed. He had hoped to stay in one of the inns owned by the Mage’s Guild, but he knew that he could not, not with Sara with him. The Guild did not take kindly to Seers. It was in the orders of all those in the service of the Mage’s Guild to seek out Seers and see them to the Guild headquarters for, ‘sentencing’. If what had been guessed at by the Tribe of the Lake was true, then Sara was gifted, and without need of sacrifice. He knew without hesitation that the guild would attempt to be rid of her. In her was proof that their brand of magic was not the only kind. He handed his reins to the stable boy outside of the inn, and motioned to Sara to do the same.

Taking Sara inside the inn pulled against his bond. He felt like an elastic band stretched to its full limit, but he fought it with every ounce of strength he had. There was a part of him that had grown to feel protective of the girl, and he would not allow himself to turn her over to such an unknown fate.

Sara watched Lyan carefully as he spoke to the patron of the inn. He seemed drawn, like something weighed upon his conscience. As he turned back toward her, he seemed stiff, and he would not meet her gaze.

“The Innkeeper will keep you safe, until you decide what you will do next,” Lyan told her, his eyes on the floor.

“And you…” A look of pain crossed over Lyan’s features.

“I must leave,” He said quickly.

“Oh,” Sara could not hide her disappointment, she had always known that once they reached Tarna that Lyan would leave her, but she had not thought it would be so soon.

“The Innkeeper’s name is Jeren, he is a Tribesman by birth, and is going to contact his tribe, they will soon need a new seer.”

Slowly Sara nodded, not truly taking in the words that Lyan spoke. She felt suddenly so alone. He turned away from her, and began toward the door.

“Lyan!” Sara called out frantically, He turned, and surveyed her with sad eyes, “Thank you,” she said after a short pause. He smiled briefly and disappeared through the door to the street.

The Inn Keeper placed a protective arm around Sara, and with a smile, he led her toward the stairs.

“You, it would seem, my lady, are precious,” He told her warmly, “I will do all in my power to keep you safe.”

As Sara mounted the stairs, three men in brightly coloured silk robes turned their eyes toward her, and the lips of their leader curled up into a sneer…

… That’s it for this week. Stay tuned to see who the nasty guys are… If you haven’t already worked it out.
[p][font face=”Trebuchet MS, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, SunSans-Regular, sans-serif”]Please, PM me or send me an email at priestess@netspace.net.au if you have any suggestions or ideas.

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