Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"I pledge you my honor, nothing will happen to Tori for at least three days. These things take time to arrange, and much is dictated by ritual. Everything must be done properly, or all will be for naught." He meets Tannr's eyes. "If I speak false, my life is yours, to take as you will."

"If you speak false, you won't die for a long time."

Alise breaks the deadlock. "Why three days? What takes so long to prepare? I fear there is something you are not telling us, M'sieu elfe foncé."

Ghaunt's red eyes meet those of Inari. His face is composed, but his eyes are frantic, trying to find a way out of the pit Alise has dug for him.

Inari sighs. "Out with it, Ghaunt. They have to know sooner or later."

Tannr's eyes lock on Ghaunt's. "Speaking false already?" He puts a hand to his sword hilt and draws it an inch or two out of the scabbard.

"Tannr!" Inari's voice snaps like a lash. "If you draw that blade, your fight will be with me. I leave it to you to calculate the odds."

"Peace, Ambassador." Ghaunt's voice is weary. "When this is over, Viking, if still you want my life, you will have your chance. For now..." - he faces the group - "Ardara will want Tori for one reason and one reason only. She will serve as a gift to Lolth."

"A gift?" Star sounds sick, as though she already knows the answer.

"A sacrifice."

It takes two Riders to drag Tannr away from Ghaunt's throat.

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