Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: The Berimandry Sorcerers

Dollano 31, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

The Berimandry Sorcerers

The journey from the mountain-side down to the City of Berimandry was short and uneventful. After everything we’d just been through I was happy to have a slow, steady descent down the slopes and to see the sunshine on a clear day.

We arrived just outside of the city at midday. Donnessling wanted to stay hidden, as much as possible — carrying Sheshoffiss was not exactly inconspicuous — so he led us through a less-populated neighborhood. It was also a scruffy part of the city; not well-kept and a bit dangerous, though not to a party such as ours.

We soon entered a neighborhood filled with two- and three-story buildings mixed in with a hodge-podge of plain plaster and brick homes. It looked old, very old. I wondered if we were passing through the ancient core of the city, before it was a city.

Suddenly Tollerring pulled Donnessling aside. I happened to be in the front of the party so it was easy to eaves-drop on the conversation.

“Are you taking us to them?” Tollerring asked, with an emphasis on ‘them’.

“We have no choice,” replied Donnessling.

“We must! There are many healers in this city, and many good ones, including,” he said, interrupting Donnessling before he could reply, “including those we could trust.”

Donnessling looked away and up the street, to the destination he had in mind.

Tollerring waited patiently for his reply, and he eventually got it, though he was not pleased with it.

“This wound is not simply to Sheshoffiss’ body. It seeps into his very core, his soul, into the Energies that makes him a whole living being.” He looked Tollerring squarely in the eyes and said, “I would not go to them if there were any other choice. We must, or Sheshoffis will die, and in a manner that is terrible beyond belief.”

Tollerring nodded, not in assent, but in recognition that this must be Donnessling’s decision.

I wondered what all this meant, and I soon found out.

The walk was not much further when we reached a particularly disheveled stone building. The front door seemed little used. Donnessling pounded on the door three times. He waited and was about to pound again when it opened to reveal a small, elderly human who was clearly not happy to have the door knocked on so loudly, and seemed even less happy to have visitors.

“What do you want,” the human asked, not quite shouting.

“I am Donnessling and I have come to see Olladdowa.”

The human started when Donnessling spoke his name and could not hide the surprise, or fear, in his face.

“I will let him know that you …”

“No, you will let us in. Now!”

The human was unwilling to stand in Donnesslings way so he simply turned and went into the back of the house, seeking for help.

Donnessling led us into a large hallway and we closed the door behind us.

As the door clapped closed, two ishiri and an ushen approached us. The tallest ishiri led the three of them and the human trailed along behind.

“Donnessling,” said the lead ishiri. His tone was careful and his face controlled, as ishiri are good at; however, there was also menace in his voice and there was no hint of welcome.

“Olladdowa,” returned Donnessling and bowed his head only slightly. “We come to your house seeking your aid.”

Olladdowa said nothing for a long pause and then, “Did you expect to be welcomed?”

“I did not, but we have one with us who is deeply wounded.”

Olladdowa openly sneered and was about to reply when Donnessling cut him off, “He was attacked by an ancient thing that wielded the Eye of Mark against our friend, Sheshoffis.”

Donnessling was calm, almost casual as he said this, but as soon as he mentioned the Eye of Mark, Olladdowa’s stern demeanor was broken. He gasped in shock at this news, and then looked at Sheshoffiss who had been carefully laid down on a couch in the wide room. The two other sorcerers behind him were also taken aback, and a small group of others had begun to make their way into the hallway.

Olladdowa motioned for us to move into a large adjoining room and to place Sheshoffis on a couch.

Olladdowa leaned down to make a closer inspection of Sheshoffis, and when his eyes drifted to his, which still clasped the white stone, he abruptly straightened to look back at Donnessling.

“The Eye of Day is all that has kept our friend alive. His wound was deep. I have done what is within my power but I can do no more. Will you help this zweyjen who has committed no offense to you other than to be in my company?”

Olladdowa’s manner changed. He seemed to be considering his options. He stepped back from the couch, and the wounded zweyjen, and with a chilling indifference, he said, “This is not our concern,” and turned to leave the room.

I have never seen Donnessling so angry, “You would condemn this folk to death? Tell me how you can call yourself a healer, if that is the case.”

Tollerring placed himself between Donnessling and the head of the sorcerers, who had stopped at the shouting. Without turning around Olladdowa spoke again, “Tell me, Donnessling, in whose house do you now stand?”

Donnessling was struck by this statement. This time Tollerring looked like he would be the one to start the fight, but Donnessling recovered and held him back.

“My apologies, Olladdowa. This is your house, House of the Berimandry Sorcerers, whose wisdom is great and who have fought against darkness for many centuries.”

When Olladdowa turned, Donnessling bowed from the hip, and added, “I hope that you will not let your decision be guided by my discourtesy.”

“Your insolence can be forgiven. It is not altogether unexpected.” Donnessling gave no hint of the insult directed at him. With a villainous smile he continued, “We shall help, but, of course, we require payment. I am sure that you are willing to make a sacrifice for your friend.”

Donnessling winced. “Of course.”

“The White Eye will be sufficient.”

Donnessling did not move, but his eyes lit with an angry blaze. “The Eyes of Drawnwyn cannot be bartered. It is not permitted.”

“If this is how little your friend’s life means to you, then it can mean no more than that to us.” Olladdowa’s words were defiant and cold.

“I cannot give you something that is not mine,” Donnessling insisted. He hesitated and then continued, “I can, though, offer you something that is in my possession.” He held out his hand. In it was the shimmering green stone that I recognized from our encounters with the gray creature.

“The Eye of Darmyn,” said Olladdowa with a greedy glower on his face.

“Yes,” said Donnessling, “the Eye of Spirit Energy. This would be a welcome tool for a healer, would it not, Olladdowa?”

He choked back his obvious longing for such a treasure, and retrieved his composure.

“It does not have the significance of the White Stone.”

“And, yet you will receive only this and no more.” Donnessling motioned to us to gather Sheshoffiss’ body and prepare to leave.

“Wait! This will be acceptable, but you must first provide me with the Stone.”

“I swear it shall be yours, if you heal Sheshoffiss,” said Donnessling, “And you know that a nossring’s word, once given, cannot be taken back.”

Olladdowa smiled with an odd satisfaction.

“Yes, and so it is,” he said. Then, nodding to the human who had met us at the door, he continued, “ Follow Hespin. He will lead you to the room where your friend shall be healed.”

Turning to the two sorcerers who stood behind him he said, “Let us prepare,” and the three left the room.

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