Phoenix Telyn Gwndal intended nothing more than to bury her battered heart in Raiador's fiery core.
Her Elemental hosts have a very different idea of where she belongs, and their quest could cost her everything. Within the benighted forest of the Eleshau, Telyn would come face-to-face with her most hated enemy and, in the halls of Death itself, her most beloved ally.
Can Telyn find the heart she cast far away, or has Fate's design come too late?
Huddled in the small chamber on the other side of the door, their eyes warily fixed on her, were over fifty men, ranging from some barely more than boys to others so stooped with age Telyn wondered how they still lived. Their robes were a dull grey color and looking threadbare with time and wearing. Five of them were clustered around a figure lying on the room's only cot. Steeling herself under their scrutiny, Telyn strode to the cot's side and looked down at the man in it.
Shock plunged through her like a dagger straight through her heart, and the world spun as her entire existence collapsed in a void of disbelief. It wasn't true. It couldn't be true. She blinked rapidly, refusing to give in to the pain, grief, and twisting tenderness filled her chest. Instead, looking up at one of the older men, she said quietly, "You are the monks of Farii, aren't you? How long have you been here?"
The old man's eyes flashed confusion. He said something to Paduari, which Telyn only caught one word of. Anieni. The Dark Star.
Paduari shook his head, and said something in return. Telyn shot him a questioning look. "What's going on?"
"He wanted to know if you were one of Sehidhe's. I told him you were a Majin from a distant land, come to help us."
Telyn stifled a sharp bark of laughter. The day she became one of Reaphia's deranged sycophants she hoped someone had the sense to put her out of her misery. But, ever respectful of the truly pious, she held in her derisive laugh and gestured for Paduari to translate as she addressed the old man.
"We're here for this man," she pointed at the man in the cot's unconscious form, unable to look at his face again. She had no idea what she believed, anymore. "He's a friend."
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