A Harvest of Broken Stars

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Chapter 57: Fits

Ada turned her head to look for the dwarf who had come to her rescue.

She found him on the floor five feet away from her, shaking violently.

‘Fits!’ she said, and pushed the guard off from her.

As she rose, she drew a dagger from his belt and walked straight towards the evil cleric. To her left, the halfling stood leaning on his staff. By the throne above, the elf pulled his curved blade out of the back of his prone opponent.

Ada recognised the silent thunder that had left her incapacitated in the first attack. This time, the cleric’s desperate efforts were nothing more than a nuisance. She was beyond him, and the frightened man held no power over her.

She stopped right in front of him, dagger in hand.

‘Look around. They’re all dead. You’ve lost,’ she said.

To his credit, the cleric did glance around. He did not utter a word, but his eyes said it all.

‘Take off your robe,’ she commanded.

After a moment’s hesitation, he obeyed and let the black robe fall to the floor. Underneath, he wore ordinary wool clothing, suitable for the season. Ada resisted the temptation to take them as well.

‘Leave, before I change my mind,’ she said.

The cleric nodded and ran for the doors.

Ada quickly pulled the robes over her head, and returned to examine the dwarf. His whole body was convulsing, his mouth foamed and his pants were soiled. ‘Who is he?’

‘Tracks,’ Hobble answered.

‘Friend of yours?’

‘After today, yes. What’s happening to him?’

‘He’s got the fits. I think the cleric cursed him during the fight.’

‘Can you do something?’

‘I don’t think so,’ Ada said.

‘This should help,’ Gilmir said, as he came down the stairs. In his hand, he held a vial containing a milky liquid, which he had uncorked. He held it under his nose and sniffed. As he joined them, he put a finger on top and turned the vial upside down for a beat. He licked his finger and made a show of tasting the sample from the vial.

‘What is it?’ Hobble said.

‘Dormicus, I believe,’ Gilmir said

‘What’s that?’

‘Sedative. Tranquiliser. Useful for inducing sleep, and for situations like these.’ Gilmir pointed at the dwarf.

‘Well, what are you waiting for? Give it to him!’

‘That’s the tricky part. In his state, he can’t drink it. He’s unconscious, so he wouldn’t be able to swallow. He would choke on it.’

‘You’re quite useless, you know that? How do you suggest we give it to him, then?’

‘Well, if the front door is locked, one would have to use the servant’s entrance,’ Gilmir said, with a sly smile.

Hobble stared at Gilmir. His face reddened, and he threw Ada a glance.

‘It’s an analogy.’ This time the elf was grinning.

‘The servant’s … Absolutely not! Not gonna happen!’

‘Alright, alright! There is another way,’ Gilmir said, and handed the vial to Hobble. ‘Smear this in his mouth, on the inside of his cheeks and lips.’

The halfling seemed unimpressed but accepted the task. Moments later, he was kneeling next to the dwarf’s head, applying the contents of the vial. ‘Like this?’

‘Yes, just like that,’ Gilmir said. ‘But be careful …’

‘Careful about what?’

The elf didn’t reply.

‘Balls!’ Hobble shouted, and pulled his hand away from the dwarf.

‘Be careful with your fingers. It’s quite common to be bitten when you do that.’ Gilmir grinned.

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