Sunday, June 17, 2012

A final check on Tannr and I head for the courtyard. Ob is sitting on a bench leaning forward across a table someone has moved in front of him. I touch his twisted horns, stroking gently.

"Cooza, are you still with us? I need to look at your back."

Ike has arrived, landing softly on the gravel drive. The sound of her step reaches Ob, making him lift his head slowly. he mutters and I realize he is talking to Pandora, telling her to stay with Tori for the moment so she can let him know Tannr's status. He nods, and there is a grinding sound. Ike frowns, stepping behind him.

Her gasp makes me aware something is definitely wrong. I watch as she slowly shifts his wing. Ob throws back his head, reptilian face clenched tight in pain. He opens his eyes, staring at nothing as Ike shifts his wing again. it comes away in her hands and she stumbles, nearly dropping it.

"No... oh Goddess bless me! No!" Her eyes are wide, panicked. "We need sand. But... I know there is no time to send someone for sand from his homeland.... not even time to send someone to the Tavern."

"How much do we need?" I shake Ike. "How much sand do we need?"

She blinks, thinning her lips. "Not much... enough to fill the cracks, then we let him go to stone and it will bind him back together." She stares at the wing in her hand. "What do you have in mind?"

I whisper a word and a gnome is suddenly at my side. I explain to them my idea. Ob nods, panting from the pain. The gnome hurries off and Ike begin to carefully collect up the stone grindings he has been losing.

The gnome returns, but he is not alone. Several of his compatriots are with him and they set about putting my plan in action. They work quickly, using chisels to chip away at Ob's curling horns. Once they have shortened them to a mere ten inches, they drop the pieces into a pile and begin to hammer the mutli-hues stone into fragments, then pebbles, finally sand and dust. Taking water from the rain barrel, we mix the sand into a slurry.

I check on Ob. He is far away, listening intently to his wife, as she listens to Rowan. We layer the thin clay into the wing cavity and slowly ease the wing back into place. Ob groans, fighting not to scream. He talks softly, using verbal words to help him focus on his link with her. I can feel him throw up a wall to hide his agony from Pandora.

 Ike leans on his back, forcing the wing deeper, making clay ooze out of the wound. I collect the excess and put it in a container, securing an airtight lid to keep it wet. The gnomes work fast, binding the outstretched wing in place. Once we are sure it will not move. Ike steps away.

"Where will you sleep Cooza? Here or at the Tavern?"

He turns his head slowly, blinking wearily. "Wherever my wife sleeps, so will I."

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