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 Magus Potentae

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:48 am

"Great," Taiju mumbled. "We barely got here and we already had to leave in shame, unless Kalen can talk his way out of it. Which I don't know that he'll do right now. Just what we need.

"Do you know anything about what it was?" he asked, deciding to move his own train of thought away from his friend. "The thing seemed to go straight for Cal. It's possible that he was just in the way at the time, because it didn't hesitate to divert its attention to me. And I've still never even heard of something like it before. Maybe it did follow us, or at least Cal, which could mean that it was hunting us like the guards were, which could lead them here."

Taiju wasn't entirely sure of any of this. He was surprised he could even maintain a straight thought at the moment, given his condition. But none of this was entirely possible. The king would likely employ any means necessary to hunt down his renegade son and the ones who helped him escape. Taiju was starting to regret helping in the first place.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:33 am

"Hopefully he will. After all, he supposedly has contacts here, right? Maybe he can convince them that we're not that big of a liability. Either way though, I think the camp will have to move soon."

She sighed, and looked around.

"I'm not really sure what that thing was. It almost looked like something out of a storybook my mother used to read me. You know, the things that are just supposed to exist to scare little kids?" She shivered. "I just hope there are no more where it came from."

She looked over at Cal. If it was something sent by the King, he might know what it was. He looked to be sleeping though, and she didn't want to disturb him.

"Perhaps we'll ask him in the morning," she said mainly to herself.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:38 pm

"Perhaps," Taiju sighed. Everything hurt. He wanted the pain to simply vanish; as much as Narrel had done in the way of healing, effectively saving his life, it wasn't enough to fix everything. He couldn't recall ever being in so much pain. Then again, he had never attempted to battle an enormous hell-beast on his own armed with only a blade before.

"If," he said after a moment of silence, "that was something truly sent the the king . . . We may be in more danger than I originally believed. Guards on horseback, dogs, those are one thing. If the king has something like that under his control, he must be truly determined to see Cal--and likely us--dead." He inhaled a long breath, trying not to agitate the aching rib that had recently been broken. "It's more than a bit concerning."

The thought of returning home again drifted through his mind. The king's guards had never come through there, as far as he could remember. Nobody cared much about that little village. Then again, going there could simply be leading danger straight to his hometown--and it still meant facing his father. It still wasn't an option, though it looked like they would still have to move from this camp.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:53 pm

Narrel groaned and rubbed her temples. She was used to overexerting herself for the king's pleasure, but it had been a long time since she had needed to use as much energy as she had today. Creating that chasm had nearly incapacitated her. The few hours in between had not been enough to fully restore her. She allowed herself to drink in some of the Magus from the nearby plants, feeling guilty as she watched the shrivel and die.

I am sorry, little friends, she thought, but I cannot be drained if we get any more surprises.

She sighed and looked back to Taiju. He looked as exhausted as she felt. She laid a hand on his shoulder, mentally forcing herself not to use her borrowed energy to heal him more. There was only so much Magus she could borrow before her body gave out on her.

"Let's get some rest. If they were going to kick us out tonight, they would have done so already. I imagine we'll have a lot of explaining to do tomorrow, though." She attempted a smile, but it didn't reach her eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:07 pm

With effort and a pained groan, Taiju forced himself to sit back up. He grasped tiredly at his shredded shirt; that would have to be thrown away, but it would have to wait. He felt a twinge of annoyance at it. He didn't have the money to constantly replace things, even something as simple as a shirt.

It took even more effort to get himself to a stand, and he wavered a little in place. He needed to sleep, that much he agreed with--he just preferred to set up camp instead of laying out in the middle of the clearing. God knew where Kalan had gone, though, and Cal was already out. It left the task to him and Narrel, neither of who were up to doing much labor. It wouldn't take long, though. He could manage.

He sighed deeply and moved to retrieve their belongings, which had been left elsewhere in the attack. Movement hurt, but he made an effort not to show it. He didn't want any more sympathy. "We'll want to leave tomorrow," he replied to Narrel. "If that thing found us, it won't be too difficult for anyone else . . ."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:33 pm

Narrel nodded her agreement as she shuffled over to help set up their tent.

"That may be the case," she mused as they worked, "but I think we have time. That thing was fast. There were times I wasn't even able to follow it's movements. It would have covered ground that would take mounted guards days to cover. We'll be a bit slowed for obvious reasons, but," she grunted as her body protested a misstep, "we should be able to stay ahead. For long enough to gather a plan, at least."

She stop for a moment as her vision began to blur. She took a deep breath, waiting for the black spots to fade before she trusted herself to move again. The tent was set, more or less. It looked terrible, but it would at least keep the elements off. She glanced back over to Cal, who was still passed out on the ground. She sighed as she tried to decide if she had the energy to make him move.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:13 am

"Still, I don't want to remain here any longer than we have to. I don't even know if that thing's dead; it just ran off." Taiju halfheartedly drew his cloak--mercifully intact, other than its previously-earned burn marks--around his shoulders as he settled by the tent.

He picked up a nearby rock and produced his knife from its sheath. After a few strikes, he managed to get some embers to catch in the twigs set up for the fire, and gently fanned them into a proper flame. As he worked to make the fire actually usable, he listened to the sound of the rogue camp around him; everyone was trying to rebuild and regain some sense of normality after the unexpected attack.

"I'm not sure what to do after this," he confessed after a long moment of silence. "We'll have to keep running, that much is obvious, but I'm not sure we can conceivably do that forever. We'll run out of money and resources eventually, and our names and faces will get around . . ."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:04 am

Narrel sat down beside Taiju, wincing as her body protested. She nodded slightly at his comment about the creature. There was not much to be done about that though - they could only hope for the best. She sat in silence for a moment, thinking. Her mind was slowed by fatigue, but she forced it to work. She felt like there was an idea stirring in the back of her mind. She just needed to concentrate long enough to grab on to it.

"What if," she said slowly, "what if that's a good thing? People knowing our faces, that is. I mean. . . Cal is still technically heir. We could. . ." she shook her head, "I don't know. It's something, though."

She looked over at her friend. She wasn't sure that she was making sense. Tired as she was, she wasn't even sure she was using real words.

"Do you know what I mean?"

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:00 pm

Taiju halfheartedly poked at the fire with a longer stick. He thought over Narrel's words. It was hard to be sure--she wasn't completing very many thoughts as she spoke--but it sounded like she was suggesting revolution. Not only that, but leading it. Being the faces of a rebellion . . .

He shook his head. "That's insane," he said. "We're on the run. Anyone knowing us just leads us that much closer to being killed. Besides, Cal was disowned, wasn't he? Nobody would accept him attempting to take the throne after that, regardless of whether he's still 'technically' royal blood."

In a way, it was a tempting thought. Never having to hide again, being able to roam freely and be accepted, that was a pleasing notion. However, trying to overthrow everything wasn't even a good idea on paper. It was a fight they wouldn't win.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:35 pm

"Disowned in private," a quiet voice said from behind them. Narrel twisted around slowly. Cal was still laying where she had left him, but he had turned onto his back. He rested his hands under his head as he gazed up at the stars through the treetops. He sighed, and looked over towards the campfire.

"My father is a proud man, if nothing else. He would never admit to the kingdom that one of his own blood was a Magi. I'm sure he's come up with some very clever reason for my absence. Probably a hunting accident or something. Anyway, the point is, he can't officially disown me without admitting what I am. That would upset his perfect idea that Magi are . . . inferior. And that the royal blood is above tainting."

He closed his eyes and shrugged.

"That being said, I was never the most popular person. Not exactly a great figurehead for anything."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:49 pm

"It's a foolish idea. Regardless of whether we have Cal, even if he was popular, it wouldn't be enough. There's more to starting a revolt than just gathering some people and going. There are a lot of people who want things changed. Every single person in this camp wants things changed. It's just not that simple and it's never going to be," Taiju said quietly.

He moved to lie down, every movement slow and exaggerated as he tried not to aggravate his injuries. "Besides," he added, "this isn't what we should be worrying about right now. We need to think about hiding and getting away. Everything else needs to be put off until we're actually safe enough to think about these things. We can talk about it all we want, but if we're dead, it doesn't matter."

Taiju slowly rolled onto his uninjured side and drew his cloak over his body to sleep. He didn't want any part of a rebellion, he decided. There was no way it could end well. Then again, there didn't seem to be any way their current situation could end well, either.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:13 pm

Narrel opened her mouth to protest, but Cal spoke before she could.

"You're right, of course. We'd make a pretty pathetic army, anyway."

He rolled back on his side and stopped talking. From his rhythmic breathing, Narrel could only assume that he had fallen back to sleep. She eased herself on to the ground as well, determined to get some sort of sleep. Thoughts were still buzzing in her head, but none of them seemed to fit together. She knew that her plan wouldn't be easy, but nothing in her life ever had been. When Taiju said that everyone in the camp had things they wanted. . . it had really struck a chord. It was just a place to start, but if they could get people's confidence, word would spread. If they could band all of the small groups of rebels together. . . but that was a long ways from happening.

Their best bet for winning over this camp would be Kalen, but she wasn't even sure where he was. Had he gone to make peace with the other rebels, or had he simply gone to sulk after his tiff with Taiju? She sighed and rubbed her head. Her mind was starting to hurt. Taiju was right about one thing at least; nothing would matter until they had shaken the guard from their trail. She shooed away the thoughts one at a time until her mind was empty and forced herself to relax until sleep finally claimed her.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:32 am

When the next morning rolled around, Taiju was the first to awaken. At first he tried to draw his cloak over his eyes and block out the rays of early-morning sun shining in his face, but as soon as he moved, he was reminded of his injuries. He groaned and slumped back down, wondering how he would make it through the day. They had to leave, that much he knew. Riding was going to be terrible.

A couple of minutes later, soft footsteps announced the arrival of another. Taiju looked up to see Kalen returning. He showed no signs of his anger the day before; as usual, he was smiling, even though the expression was dimmed slightly by tiredness.

"Morning, Taiju," he said lightheartedly. "Feeling any better?"

"Not particularly."

"Ah, well, that happens." He eyed the gash that crossed Taiju's face. "You're going to have an interesting scar with that one," he said, pointing to his own face.

Taiju touched the raw wound gingerly with his fingertips. With the pain of his healing ribs, he had forgotten about the claw mark.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:25 pm

Narrel was awakened by the sound of voices. She groaned, forcing her bruised and tired body into an upright position. She looked around as her eyes slowly adjusted to the bright sunlight. Taiju and Kalen were discussing something not far from her. It appeared like they had made up from last night, since neither was yelling or assaulting the other. Cal still seemed to be asleep. She inwardly checked her Magus supply. It was low, lower than she would have liked, but it would have to do. She stood up, and went over to Taiju and Kalen. They both still looked a bit rough, although she was sure that she didn't look much better.

"So, what's the word? Any clues as to what that thing was or where it went?"

Cal heard Narrel stand up, and slowly opened his eyes. Good, he thought, just don't let anyone look my way, please. He slowly adjusted himself, using a nearby tree to support him. Gingerly, he tested his bad leg and winced as a jolt of pain raced up it. This is bad. I'll be almost useless in a fight. He grabbed a long stick off the ground and practiced walking around with it. Unsatisfied, he limped over to his pack. He pulled out a water flask, taking a swig and pouring a little bit over his head.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:00 pm

Kalen looked over at Narrel and shook his head. "Not as far as we can tell," he said. "Some of the rogues tracked its progress into the fores for awhile. It looks like it was dripping blood everywhere as it went, and the path was erratic--couldn't walk much of a straight line. As far as we know, it up and vanished. Nobody wanted to follow the trail farther than they had to in case they found the thing again."

"Thank the gods for small favors," Taiju breathed. He finally sat up, though falling back asleep sounded so much better, and grabbed his pack. He peeled off the remains of his tattered shirt and donned an extra one, biting back groans of pain. He couldn't wait until he completely healed.

"Nobody is very thrilled with you being here," Kalen confessed. "It was pretty obvious who the monster was going for. Nobody explicitly said they wanted to throw you out, but it was pretty heavily implied. You should probably go as soon as you can--I doubt anyone would chase you out while you're hurt, but they are more interested in their safety than yours."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:30 pm

Narrel sighed, rubbing her eyes.

"I didn't expect them to be thrilled. I feel guilty enough about leading that thing to their camp. They won't be able to stay here now either, though. Like it or not, we're all on the run. What we need to focus on right now is strategy. We won't get anywhere by running blindly like we have been - the guards will always find our trail and follow us. We need to either find some way to lose them completely, or. . ." she trailed off, unsure of what to do. She had never imagined that breaking free from the king's crippling grasp would be so hard.

"Or we surprise them and take them out," Cal said from behind. "My father's arrogant, I doubt he would send more than one hunting party out at a time, not if he knew that they had our trail. If we can take care of them, it would buy us enough time to hide our tracks and go underground."

Narrel shook her head in disbelief. It was a bold plan, that was for sure. The main problem was the obvious one; none of them were in any condition to fight. Even if they were, it would be a close fight against a group with military trained Magi. She looked to Taiju and Kalen. Surely there was someway to lose the king's guards. Narrel didn't believe in no-win situations.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:17 pm

"I don't know about killing a bunch of guys who are doing their job," Kalen said.

"Besides that," Taiju added, ignoring Kalen, "We're hurt and I would rather not risk it. That hunting part is probably at least two or three times larger than our group. Even in good condition, we would be at a disadvantage. I'm not sure we can do it. I don't like it, but I think the only option is to keep running.

And besides," he continued, looking to Kalen. "You don't have to worry about that. I don't want you to keep traveling with us."

"What?" Kalen shook his head. "What are you talking about? I'm not leaving you."

"The king's not looking for you, but it you're caught with us, the guards won't care. They'll assume you were helping us, and they'd be right," Taiju said coolly. "You don't need to be at risk by staying with us."

Kalen rolled his eyes. "I don't have much else to do at the moment," he said. "Besides, I'm not fond of letting my friend run off and get himself killed alone."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:48 pm

Cal shrugged. "Just a suggestion. Not like our chances of staying ahead of them are much better. Not unless you leave me behind anyway," he mumbled, staring bitterly at his broken leg.

Narrel had to keep herself from rolling her eyes. She had a lot of patience for her friends, but it ran out when it came to self pity.
"We're not leaving anyone behind that's willing to come," she said, giving a meaningful look at Taiju. "I understand wanting to keep your friend safe, I really do, but we can't afford to turn away a willing body."

She glanced towards the larger camp, watching as they torn down their tents and got ready to move out. Another pang of guilt hit her for her part in disrupting their already difficult life.
"We still need to figure out where to go," she said. "If we keep running without direction, we're likely to stumble onto a camp of bounty hunters or something." She sighed. "We basically need to leave the country to be even close to safe."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:16 pm

Kalen smiled triumphantly when Narrel decreed he could go with them. Taiju opened his mouth to protest, stopped, and shook his head. He obviously wasn't going to win this fight. If Kalen wanted to go that badly, there was nothing he could do about it.

"I don't know where to go from here," he said. "We could try leaving the country, but then we'd be lost somewhere and we still wouldn't have any idea of where to go--and somehow I don't think that would stop the king. There are other places to hide--more camps, or just remote areas. For now I say we just head to another city, somewhere farther from here and that isn't likely to know who we are. At least then we'll have a definite direction."

Kalen nodded his agreement, looking back toward the camp as everyone packed up to leave. "It'll work for a bit, at least," he said. "Better than following a road into a dead end or something. The news couldn't have gotten that far yet. It's only been a couple of days."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:41 pm

Narrel nodded in agreement. It was a short-term plan, but that's basically all they would be able to do until the dust settled.

"Eastborough isn't far from here," Cal mumbled. "It's a small mining town that anyone but traders hardly knows exhists. Not the nicest people, but we should be able to hide out there pretty well."

That said, he hobbled back over to his pack and picked it up.

"We should get moving soon, though."

Narrel sighed and nodded again. She itched to heal that leg for him, if only to improve his mood, but she knew that she couldn't waste any Magus right now. She stretched out her sore muscles experimentally, wincing slightly with each movement. Riding wouldn't be any fun, but it could be much worse. She began packing up the tent and her bed roll.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:32 pm

"Sounds like a plan to me," Kalen said. He smiled again, apparently back to his cheerful self, and turned to gather his own things. In all likelihood, he wouldn't be welcome in this camp much longer, either. Someone earlier had blamed him for leading the group there. He supposed it sort of was his fault, but at the same time, there was nothing to be done. He was glad to have a chance to keep traveling, anyway.

Taiju slowly got to his feet and moved to get everything of his, which was mercifully mostly packed. He hadn't had a chance to unpack the previous night--fighting an enormous hellbeast had taken priority. And riding was going to be terrible today. Everything still ached. At the very least, his Magus was full; he hadn't used it much the previous day. He wasn't sure he could handle being half-dead and without his abilities.

Kalen came back shortly, his pack hung over his shoulder. "I got some other things we might need," he said nonchalantly. "More food and stuff. It won't last forever, but it'll help."

Taiju nodded in acknowledgment of this and started back toward where they had left their horses.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:39 pm

Narrel slung her bag over her shoulder, double checked her horse's saddle packs and mounted up. She surveyed the area as she waited for her friends to follow suite. Every thing seemed quiet, apart from the camp that was being torn down a few paces away. The sky was clear, which was a good sign for traveling. She was almost unnerved by the stillness of it all. There was hardly an animal in sight, and even the birds seemed to be silent. It was possible that they were still spooked from last night's beast, but it made her uncomfortable.

She shifted her gaze back to her companions. Taiju and Kalen were almost ready to go, and Cal was in the process of mounting up. She winced slightly as he swung awkwardly into the saddle and noted the flicker of pain cross his face that he tried to hide. She swallowed a sigh and pretended not to notice. Hopefully they would make it to Eastborough safely and she would be able to heal him there.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:32 pm

Taiju winced as he mounted his horse. He almost wished he could ask Narrel to finish healing his ribs, but immediately decided against it. He didn't need to burden her with his problems, particularly when she likely had little of her Magus left to use. Besides that, his pride refused to allow it. Cal would need it more than he did, anyway; his leg seemed to still be in pieces.

"You should probably lead the way," he said, glancing to Cal. "You seem to be the only one who knows where this place is."

Kalen wandered off for a moment. He returned leading a bay-patterned mare, which he mounted shortly afterward. To Taiju's questioning look, he said, "Bought it off someone else." He wasn't very thrilled to ride at all--his fear of horses had yet to be tempered through the years--but he would slow the group down if he insisted upon walking.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:21 pm

Cal nodded gloomily and kicked his mount, Arito, into place at the front of the small party. He squinted up at the sky, trying to determine direction based on the sun's position. Once he had decided which direction was east, and pointed in that direction.

"If my memory of the kingdom's maps is correct, and it better be after all those hours in that stuffy room, the town should be about a day's ride that way, and then slightly north. I can't tell exactly where we are in the forest, but we should be able to find a road eventually. We won't ride on it, of course, but we can use it as a guide."

Narrel gave a small smile as Cal eased into his lead position. Despite what he said, and maybe what he believed, he would have been a great leader for the kingdom, if fate hadn't have intervened. Of course, she wasn't ready to completely dismiss him as a potential leader someday. Despite the revolution's small assaults, no real threat had been made to the king's reign, yet seeing him overthrown was the only way she could imagine the kingdom changing. She just had to find the right time, and right group, to make Cal become the leader he had the potential to be.

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Last edited by Savfantasy on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:42 pm

"As usual, we'll want to move as quickly as we can," Taiju added as he gently urged his horse into pace behind Cal. "Travel's likely to be a little slower given how beaten up we are, so we may have to make more efforts to throw off the trail." What, though, he wasn't certain. Their previous attempts to disrupt the landscape--most notably the small chasm that Narrel had created--took a reasonable amount of effort, and the Magi that most likely accompanied the hunting party wouldn't be too put off by the attempts. They could switch back the trail, cross water, take convoluted paths, but that would slow them down as well.

"We'll figure it out," Kalen said firmly, attempting to end the discussion. He knew that the needed to focus on their escape, but he also didn't want to see everyone fall into nothing but worry. "For now, let's just focus on getting to this Eastborough place. Those guards still haven't found us, so they have to be behind."

Taiju was quiet, thinking of their options. Again he felt a little pang of regret for getting himself so deeply involved--but what else would he have done? His conscience, the damned thing, wouldn't have allowed him to just leave them, especially when they fought back against the king he so despised. Besides, Narrel had saved his life, kept him from becoming one of the king's dogs. He owed her.

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