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Changed Minds

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Changed Minds

Post by Ronson on Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:48 pm

As she slept, Nedaria Debeian's thinning body shivered each time she gasped in a shallow breath. Her once dark, lustrous Erudite skin was becoming flaked and ashen. It had been days since she had been strong enough to speak.

Days ago, when Nedaria felt her illness progressing, she appointed two trusted friends, Wuria Pyskar and Parillin Shurava, in the Wayfarers Brotherhood to tend to her needs and reassure everyone that she simply had a flu. The truth was that no one -- not even the best shamans and clerics -- knew what was wrong with her.

Twice, the most wise and practiced healers were brought in to examine Nedaria in her room on the great vessel, the Queen of Thorns, to offer diagnoses and remedies. Nothing worked.

Wuria and Parillin kept watch over Nedaria constantly in shifts, praying for a sign of hope. At times they would argue about Nedaria's mysterious malady.

Not known for her trust in people, the dwarven Wuria thought Nedaria was a victim of sabotage and blamed Norrathians and their arrogance for her friend's failing health. She believed that the gods might have otherwise granted healing gifts to Nedaria if they knew she was so ill. Parillin, always the gossiping romantic Vah Shir, believed that Nedaria had a broken heart that would mend as soon as Morden Rasp returned. She fancied that Morden and Nedaria were in love.

Both of them silently recognized that their foolish squabbles simply kept their minds off of their worst fear -- Nedaria was dying.

This day, Wuria took the first watch -- though day and night were indiscernible aboard the ship in the constant darkness of the Abysmal Sea -- and sat near Nedaria. To pass the time, she read reports that had been coming in from scouts in Taelosia and wrote notes in the ship's journals. It was very quiet, except for Nedaria's wheezing and the rhythmic creak of the Queen of Thorns as it rocked in the turbulent waters.

The candles in the room flickered, making the words Wuria read appear to dance around the page. She looked up and met a troubled gaze.

"Oy, Calliav. No change yet, I'm afraid. Her breathing seems more labored now . . . and . . . well, I won't go on. I'm at a loss," Wuria said.

Calliav nodded and walked to Nedaria's bedside, sat down next to her, and gently held one of her hands that lay on her chest.

"Can you leave us please? I want to speak to her alone. At one time she could speak to me in my mind and I want to try the same with her," Calliav asked, never looking up from Nedaria's gaunt face.

Wuria left the room without a word.

"Now, dear Nedaria, try to hear me. I see your eyes move. I know you are still here somewhere and I will find you. You must help me do this," Calliav pleaded aloud.

Calliav relaxed and let his head hang low as he began to send himself into a deep meditation. He grasped Nedaria's hand tightly as he called out to her mind.

After a few moments, an unexpected torrent of jumbled thoughts and knowledge flooded Calliav's mind so fast he choked on his own breath. He remembered the last time this happened -- when he felt the touch of Zebuxoruk and just a fraction of his lord's knowledge. Somehow, though, Calliav was not overrun to the point of madness. He felt as though he were removed, simply an audience this time.

All at once, he felt a familiar darkness and fervid tentacles of evil worming their way around his thoughts. He tried to rise from his meditative state and couldn't. His mind's voice screamed for help.

Nedaria's face faded into view before Calliav's mind's eye. She smiled at him and overcame all of his fears, his mind feeling free once more.

"I cannot feel or see anything but you, Calliav," Nedaria whispered. "My body is failing as my mind is weakened. Something feels wrong, but my visions fail me."

"'Tis the second time I've felt my mind open and a presence within it," Calliav said to Nedaria in his mind, but mouthing the words as he sat next to her. "That amulet I sent Morden and Tondal for might be the key . . . maybe for your illness too. I don't know."

"I sense nothing and I do not know what is happening to me. It is indeed odd that your mind opens as mine closes," Nedaria's face started fading from Calliav's mind. "Tell . . . Morden. . . that he must go on as I may not. I . . . do . . . love him and will lend him my spirit should I die. He must . . . lead . . ."

Nedaria's face faded and Calliav was able to open his eyes.

The lovely and weak Erudite before him began to shudder wildly. Nedaria started convulsing.

"Oh, what have I done? What have I DONE?!" Calliav cried. "Someone come help NOW! Wuria! Parillin!"

Nedaria's aides ran into the room and were awestruck at Nedaria's violent tremors. Wuria glared at Calliav and pushed him out of the way.

"Get out now and send a cleric and shaman," Wuria yelled with hateful venom. "We'll be lucky if we can save her."


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Join date : 2010-07-24


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