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The Lord Ruler's perfect capital city, Luthadel, is doing the impossible: rebelling. Skaa half-breeds are being taught the power of Allomancy, something that the Lord Ruler's obligators said only existed in the nobility. The enslaved skaa, with their murderous benefactor, now fight back against a living god's oppression.

So, the Inquisition was formed. The nobles begin to fear assassination from all sides. The times of nobility Mistborn killing each other are over. The Steel Inquisitors look for aristocrat traitors and insurgent skaa, and the skaa try with all their strength to merely survive. The Lord Ruler's perfect Final Empire is slowly devolving into chaos.

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The Cost of Ignorance and Naivete

W1 D7 EM Brand Cray Tindiel

9 replies to this topic

#1 Brand

  • Skaa Soldier

MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:04 PM

Brand left his post exhausted as the red sun peeked above the horizon.

He had slept poorly the previous day, plagued by worries that should not have been his concern. Nagging little thoughts and small childish noises awakened him repeatedly throughout the day. Tension would not disappear; muscles grew tighter as the day progressed. The pitiful amount of light that leaked through the blackened window somehow seemed to find his eyelids no matter how he tossed and turned. Eventually, he was just too tired to sleep.

He usually awakened just in time to put his children to bed, but last night, he had had dinner with his family.It was terrible. Admittedly, Larina wasn't the greatest cook, but somehow she had managed to burn cabbage-water. It had been so hard to keep a straight face when Landra complained rudely.

Landra had fallen asleep mere minutes after he began their nightly story. Only unbidden suspicions had kept him awake then. A flurry of kisses and warmth from Larina, and it was time to prepare for another shift.

As he walked the streets to Tin Gate, his worries confronted him. The problem was, he trusted Lieutenant Rathbone. He trusted Captain Hanlon. A man wouldn't get very far without a cursory respect and trust for his commanding officers, but... Could it be true? He certainly didn't want it to be. The young noblewoman had been so sure...

Lord Ruler, he liked Rathbone. Trusted him implicitly. Did him favors. Which is what he thought this whole arrangement with Lady Nathar was. A favor.

But she was paying. That much was clear. And some of it was supposed to come to Brand. Perhaps Rathbone didn't know, or perhaps it slipped his mind...

No. There was no mistaking the righteous indignation on Lady Marisha's face. She was certain Brand was being cheated out of 5 boxings a week. And he trusted her, for some reason.

That was the problem. He was too trusting. The smile Rathbone had when Brand accepted should have clued him in. It was too avaricious in hindsight. Mist, he didn't even know what avaricious meant.

No. He was overthinking this. It must be a mistake. He would get to Tin Gate, and Rathbone would call him over, announcing there had been a mistake, and a young noblewoman had come to the wall and complained about nothing. It would be an amusing anecdote (heh) they'd tell for years.

He tried to convince himself as he walked.

When he approached Tin Gate, Rathbone was nowhere in sight. Brand heard several differing rumors and accounts. Lieutenant Rathbone had been strung up on a hook. He had been dishonorably discharged for hitting a noblewoman far above his rank. He had jumped off the wall, No! He had been formally reprimanded by Captain Hanlon and that was that. The mistwraiths had got him and wore his skin. He had been sent to the Pits.

Whatever the truth was, Brand was sure Lady Nathar had come and complained. And promptly, Rathbone had been disposed of.

So, he had been cheated. He couldn't decide whether he should be kicking himself or his lieutenant.

Naivete and Actual events crushed him between their stony fingers throughout his patrol. Sure, he was exhausted, but nothing would make him forsake his duty. His eyes stayed open, and if his mind wasn't as alert as usual... well, it was a good thing there were no drills.

It was hardly a relief when dawn came.

Brand left his post exhausted as the red sun peeked above the horizon.

His heavy feet clomped their way through the Sootwarrens, matched by several other soldiers on their own ways home. One by one, they departed from his path, until he was alone with his armor and halberd. And his troubled thoughts.

At some point, he heard footsteps behind him, and a soft sound like metal rubbing against leather, He turned his head just in time to avoid a blow from two waifish skaa who had apparently decided to rob a soldier.

What kind of malnourished, underfed, streetspice-induced idiocy was this?

The man took a clumsy swing at him as Brand retreated. He lost an eye to Brand's halberd. Almost immediately he heard a clang, and felt a tugging on his back.

He couldn't see through the helmet's visor, but he was sure someone was cutting the straps to his back and breastplate.

He grabbed the other man in front of him and slammed his head against the wall, impaling him with his halberd. There was no mercy or anger in Brand's eyes, just simple efficiency.

One down, one injured, at least one behind him.

He threw himself backward, crushing the streetrat behind him into the wall, just as his armor was torn free. He felt a knife slide across his ribs. His helmet took the one behind him in the face.

The other waif in front of him had grabbed his halberd. Brand let it go, drawing his sword. There was an alley to his left. He rushed down it and turned, slicing a fourth man open as he did.

The waif with the halberd advanced. The one with the knife held back. The halberd stabbed. Brand retreated. The halberd stabbed, brand retreated, but this time not quickly enough. A deep three inch gash tore open on his left side.

The waif swung again, but Brand was able to block this one. He trapped the halberd against the wall and rushed forward. The waif dropped the polearm, but not in time to avoid a beheading.

Only one left. The one-eyed assailant stood there, tossing a knife in his hands for a second or two, then rushed in, fast as a viper. Blood poured out of his socket, but that didn't seem to phase him. He scored three hard blows against Brand before Brand slipped, twisting an ankle as he fell. His head hit the wall. Hard.

He held up a hand to shield himself from a blow and felt the knife puncture his hand. The rusty knife protruded three inches out of the back of his hand.

Brand's sword took the man in the heart, and he fell, spilling a bag of change on the ground.

About 5 boxings worth. for some reason, it seemed very important to count the coins.

He rose slowly, feeling his injuries. 3 shallow cuts on his torso, several on his left arm. A twisted ankle. His head was bleeding and his thoughts were groggy. Two deeper cuts on his left side, and a hole clean through his hand. He couldn't tell if his head was bleeding or not, because his hands were bloody, but he had a massive headache.

He stumbled out of the alley, leaving the coins where they lay. His halberd was in his hands, his sword in its sheathe. He needed to clean it.

First things first, though. He needed bandages. He needed to be sewn up.

Other Characters: Phyra Venture, Valkyn Venture, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.

Attached NPCs: Larina, Landra

#2 Cray Tindiel

  • Noble physician

Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age29

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusN/A

Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:57 PM

Once in a while Cray simply spent the night in the clinic, in one of the beds in the small hospital ward. The pallets were hard and low-set, but she not mind that much; it was better for the back than something softer. She shared the ward only with an elderly merchant, who was recovering after an operation on an inguinal hernia. His quiet snores and the occasional cough did not disturb her rest; she slept as well as she would have anywhere else.

There wasn?t much at home to go to. Everything here in the hospital was kept neat, organized, clean. Her home had degenerated into a shambles; bed unmade, dishes stacking up in the sink for weeks, forgotten paperwork scattered over the floor, food spoiling in the pantry. She would throw it out sooner or later. Eventually. There was no hurry; there was no one there, after all. It seemed pointless to put out the effort to keep the place up; she only slept there at nights, and left again during the day. She lived on the edges of the place, feeling like a stranger in her own home. Cray hated staying there; she hated being left alone with her thoughts.

She was awake at the crack of dawn, well before any of her staff arrived for the day?s shift. After bread and coffee for breakfast, and a quick wash of her face and hands, she went to business. There was always work to do, even before the first round of patients arrived, or a scheduled inspection fell due. There were reports to be filled out for the Canton of Orthodoxy, there were records to update and file, medications to be prepared. Much of it could be delegated, or dealt with later, but Cray preferred to do things promptly.

It was not long past dawn when the doors to the hospital swung open, and the man staggered in. Dressed in full uniform, he was walking unsteadily, seeming disoriented. For a moment, seeing him through the window of Shou?s office, she thought he was drunk. Then she saw the blood covering his face and hands and spattered over his clothing. Jenday, one of her assistants, came close behind him. She saw consternation on Jenday?s face. The man held a halberd, the edge of that covered with drying blood, and he leaned on it as he stood there in the entry room.

Cray held up one hand to signal to Jenday as she hurried out of the office. The man might be armed, but he was not here to attack them. Her voice was crisp as she issued her orders, but not unkind for all that. ?Jenday, help me get him to a bed. Put the halberd down, man, there?s no need for that here. No one is going to attack you. What happened to you? Can you remember??

Between them, Jenday and Cray reached out to support the man and help him to one of the pallets. She was already assessing his injuries as they moved ? she needed to get his clothing off, first, but she could gather a little information from a quick glance. His left arm and hand were soaked with blood; there was a wound in his palm where something had apparently penetrated directly through. His abdomen likewise bloody. Too much to be entirely his own; he would have been dead if that were the case. She thought he had an injury underneath that, but she could not tell until she could see clearly. His face was smeared with blood, and more was trickling down from his scalp.

Disorientation, and she had seen as she approached him that he had difficulty focusing on her. A head injury as well, then. It remained to be seen how bad that was.

?Jenday. I need the carbolic, bandages, lint, gauze, and suturing material. Ice, as well. Go to the icehouse and find me some." Jenday was flustered. He was young, and he kept shooting nervous glances at the soldier's weapons. He needed to be directed, though he ought to have known all of this automatically. "Jenday." Cray's voice sharpened, and he started, then dashed to obey.

#3 Brand

  • Skaa Soldier

MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 16 August 2010 - 12:34 PM

His thoughts were fuzzy things, dancing out of reach before he was able to catch hold of them. He could see grey at the corners of his vision.

He felt like water.

There were sounds, but he couldn't understand them They wiggled at him, teasing him. But they refused to yield their secrets.

He tightened his grip on the Halberd, but he could feel himself slipping away, sliding downhill. Spiraling. Like falling ash.

Everything went black.

Other Characters: Phyra Venture, Valkyn Venture, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.

Attached NPCs: Larina, Landra

#4 Cray Tindiel

  • Noble physician

Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age29

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusN/A

Posted 17 August 2010 - 01:21 AM

He was sitting up on the bed at first, though only with Cray?s help, but he was unresponsive to her words; he was still holding onto the halberd, like a drowning man clutching at a straw to keep afloat. She didn?t bother fighting with him over that just now. Keeping her hands on his shoulders, she moved to peer into his eyes. The left pupil, ipsilateral to the visible scalp wound was, as she had thought, dilated. The other eye was clouded and whitish-blue. Complete cortical opacification. A traumatic cataract, apparently a penetrating injury some time ago. She wasn?t worried about that eye, though it was a pity she hadn?t seen him when it occurred. The eye could perhaps have been saved with proper care - it still could, perhaps, be repaired. However, it was the eye with the dilated pupil that was concerning her.

Then his grip on the halberd relaxed, and he sagged against her as he lost consciousness. She supported him gently down; it was easier, fortunately, since he was already on the bed. She barked out sharply, loudly, right in his face, ?Soldier! Pay attention!? He made no response, not rousing at all. Not good. Taking his uninjured hand, she put pressure on the bed of the first fingernail; his arm retracted slightly, flinching away from the pain, even though he was unresponsive to vocal or visual stimuli. His breathing was slow and stertorous, his pulse sluggish.

Her teeth caught her lip, and she blew out her breath in a quiet sigh. The signs were all present; the compressed cerebral tissue was impinging on the third cranial nerve, causing the dilation of the pupil. Acute epidural hematoma. The rest of his injuries were serious, but this was the one that could not wait. She did not know how long it had been since he was injured, but likely only a few minutes, and he was in a stupor already. The hematoma might not be stable, and if it progressed further they could be dealing with subfalcine herniation. Then the man would almost certainly die. There was no time to lose.

?Forget the ice,? she told Jenday calmly, stopping him in his tracks. ?Help me turn him on his side, and be careful of his neck.? Between them, they turned him into a semiprone position, his left side facing up. It would be better if they could be in the operating room, but there was no possibility that the two of them alone could move him; the procedure would have to be done right where he was. ?We are going to operate. Find me the trephine, and have the chloroform ready. Move.? Jenday knew what was good for him: he moved.

In the meantime, Cray rolled up her sleeves, donned an apron, and moved to get a razor and begin to prepare him; it was only a matter of a very few minutes to do all of this, but minutes were precious. The side of his head was shaved quickly, and scrubbed clean with carbolic acid as were her hands, while Jenday prepared the trephine and other instruments for her, setting them to soak in a tray of carbolic solution. Then he stationed himself at the man?s head, holding the mask of chloroform to his face as he slowly dripped the liquid onto the gauze; the man?s posture relaxed further as the anaethesia took effect. The man might already be mostly unconscious and unable to fight them, but Cray did not want to risk the possibility of his waking up during the procedure. Hopefully he would not seize. The manifestations were mild as yet.

Silence fell as she cut into the scalp and peeled it back from the bone; only the rasping sound of the trephine as it gnawed into the skull could be heard. Then she dropped the fragment of bone into the pan with a clink. Blood welled up; as she had known, it had collected between the dura and the skull, forcing the brain out of position and compressing it. With the opening of this hole, the pressure was released, and the brain could return to normal. He might regain consciousness within a few hours, if he was very lucky and had not sustained too severe a contusion.

Cray aspirated the blood remaining, until she could see the white surface of the dura mater shining wetly underneath her instruments; the flow had slowed, it seemed, but she did not want to count on the injury stabilizing on its own. She sought after the posterior branch of the middle meningeal artery and ligated the vessel neatly with a tiny silken suture. That should solve the problem, and prevent a reoccurrence ? now she had only to close up the hole again. He was quite fortunate; the dura was not discoloured, the cortex soft, and there seemed to be no further hemorrhaging.

It seemed he already had his share of battle scars, but now he was going to have a small silver plate in his head as well. She took the piece of metal and fitted it to his head ? one of several she?d had on hand; traumatic brain injuries were not precisely rare, and she?d trephined several patients before this and come to the conclusion that it was best to be prepared. Through the tiny holes that she had drilled through it, she secured the dura mater. Dural tacking sutures would help prevent the reaccumulation of fluid in the epidural space.

She looked upward as she finished securing the plate and reclosing the scalp, and realized that Jenday?s face was rather pale, his eyes fixed on the site. This was his first trepanation. ?Get ahold of yourself, man, and attend to your task,? she snapped at him, and he tore his eyes away from what she was doing and lifted the mask away from the man?s face.

It was time to see to the rest of his injuries now.

It was the work of a few moments to cut off the man?s clothing. Jenday and Cray cleaned the blood away; most of his injuries had clotted by now, though there was a slow seepage from the deeper wounds on his left abdomen. She allowed Jenday to clean and bandage the more minor injuries on his left arm, as well as the penetrating wound on his right hand after she had assessed it.

None of his injuries, besides the head trauma, were very serious, but the slices on his abdomen required suturing. She closed them neatly, this time with catgut, bandaged them, and straightened and stepped back to admire her and Jenday?s handiwork.

The man was a patchwork of scars; besides the massive weal of proud flesh that crossed his face, that had evidently taken his eye, there were older ones that had faded to white. These newest injuries would add significantly to them, however; his torso, arm, and hand were all well-wrapped in bandages. The bandage on his head topped it all off. If he recovered, this skaa soldier was going to have one hell of a war wound to show off. She drew the sheet on the bed up and over him to cover his nudity.

She would need to monitor his level of consciousness closely throughout the day. If, after he regained consciousness, he began to display signs of a returning compression, she would have to relieve the pressure again. Cray did not expect that would be necessary, but it was always possible that she had made an error, or that the meningeal artery was damaged in another location as well as where she had operated.

Leaving Jenday to take care of cleaning up after the operation - and getting rid of the halberd; she had no intentions of letting the filthy weapon lie around the hospital - Cray went to go and clean herself up. Time passed; the rest of her staff arrived in due time, and the day proceeded as normal. As she had expected, the skaa soldier did not wake for some hours, but remained in a stupour.

#5 Brand

  • Skaa Soldier

MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 18 August 2010 - 03:04 AM

Brand sat up suddenly and immediately wished he hadn't. Before his brain could even process what his eye was seeing, pain engulfed him, and he fell back to the bed. Bed? Bed? Whose bed was this?

His hand immediately traveled to the source of the greatest pain, to a spot above and to the left of his bad eye. It was bandaged. So was his hand. His right hand scrabbled at the bandages alternately, attempting to remove them. It wasn't a result of a conscious thought or urge, but there were bandages there. They needed to be removed.

A warm hand grabbed his own. "Lie still, and don't touch that." The voice was feminine.

Lord Ruler. Larina was going to kill him.

He tried to blink against the pain, but could discern very little about the room. He ached all over, the aches, scratches, and wounds all pulling his attention away from the blurry room.

"Where am I? What happened? How did I get here?" He could finally discern enough to tell that the windows were dark. The sight nearly froze his blood. What time is it?

Without waiting for an answer to his unanswered question, he tossed off his sheets and tried to pull himself off the bunk. Half formed thoughts collided in his head. Am I supposed to be on duty? Larina must be sick with worry. Where's my armor? My weapon? ... My clothes. Yep. Larina's going to kill me.

Other Characters: Phyra Venture, Valkyn Venture, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.

Attached NPCs: Larina, Landra

#6 Cray Tindiel

  • Noble physician

Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age29

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusN/A

Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:07 AM

Periodically throughout the day, Cray had returned to the injured soldier?s bed in the ward to test his response to stimuli. He showed no visual or audio response, though after he came out of the anaesthesia, he did retract from pain. Still, the heavy stupour remained. Hours had passed, and the day had wound down to evening, and the man hadn?t woken. Someone would have to stay overnight to monitor the place; neither the soldier nor the hernia patient could be moved yet, and they could not be left alone in the hospital overnight.

The staff were beginning to prepare to close down for the evening, the obligator Shou filing his papers away and the assistants cleaning and scrubbing every surface. Cray insisted on a sanitary environment, and sweeping the ash under the rug would not fool her; she kept one hard eye on them while they worked. It was a pity that it had to close down at all. Eventually, if Cray found a physician willing to go into practice with her, she might keep the hospital open round the clock. That wasn?t possible at the moment, however. Nobody wanted this job.

She was approaching the soldier again, intending once more to test his responses, when abruptly and without warning he sat up. The reflexive movement proved too much for him, and he immediately sank back down again, but he was clearly conscious. His groping hands proved that. In two steps Cray was at his side, snatching hold of his hands as he tried to pry at the bandages; her fingers clamped down on his wrists and returned them firmly to his sides, keeping them pinned there for a moment. She would probably not have been able to do it if he was not in a weakened state, but as he was, it was not difficult to restrain him.

?Lie still, and don?t touch that,? she ordered, before she released him. She was not about to put up with any arguments. The man had of course reached straight for his head, trying to poke and prod at the surgery site. Fortunately, it was well bandaged and he couldn?t easily do himself any further damage.

However, he seemed determined to act the fool despite her instructions. His voice still a little groggy and rasping, he asked what had happened in a slightly panicked tone, and struggled upright, throwing his sheets back and trying to swing his legs around to the side and get up. Cray caught hold of him again, and returned him forcibly back to the bed, her hand pushing down on the center of his torso where he had not been injured. She was not rough about it, but this time she kept her hand there to hold him down. He had better not try to get up again.

?You?re in the hospital between Old Wall Bridge and the Tin Gate road,? she answered, moderating her tone slightly. Her patience had been worn a little thin after a long day, but that did not mean he particularly deserved sharpness. She spoke clearly, and calmly, as she explained. Cray was not certain that he would understand all of her words, but it was the tone of voice that was most important for this; he needed to relax, which meant he needed to be reassured at the same time that he needed to give in to her authority. ?Someone apparently did their best to carve you up like a Festival goose, then bashed your head in. You found your way here, somehow. We?ve patched you up, but you are still in critical condition, and that means you aren?t going anywhere right now, so lie still. You have multiple knife wounds on your body, not to mention a silver plate in your head. Don?t you dare touch those bandages.? She tapped his chest with her fingers, not hard enough to hurt, to make her point clear.

?Now. What is your name, soldier? How old are you? What cycle is it? Tell me as much as you can remember of the assault.?

#7 Brand

  • Skaa Soldier

MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:26 PM

Brand struggled weakly against the physician, then blushed at his current state of undress. He tried to pull the sheets back over him, but his efforts were largely useless. Once he was decently covered again, well, decent as he could be, he calmed enough to answer the questions.

"Brand, Sergeant. Of the Luthadel Garrison. Company 12.

"31 years old. 32nd cycle of 903 F.E.

"As far as the other... I don't know how I got here. Last I remember..."
He paused. "I was at the Garrison."

A sudden thought occurred to him. Had the Garrison been attacked? If so, how did he end up here? He needed to get out of here. He needed to be on his feet. He had duties to attend to.

Come to think of it, Was he supposed to be on duty now?

"How long was I out, or rather, what day is it?"

Other Characters: Phyra Venture, Valkyn Venture, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.

Attached NPCs: Larina, Landra

#8 Cray Tindiel

  • Noble physician

Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age29

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusN/A

Posted 18 August 2010 - 05:01 PM

The man tried to rise up against her hand, but Cray kept him pinned without much difficulty. His face flushed red, and at first Cray was at a loss to explain the colour. Then when he scrabbled for the sheets, she realized what the matter was. He was stark naked; she and Jenday had cut off his clothing in its entirety before cleaning and bandaging his wounds, and they had of course not troubled to put any replacements on. "It's nothing I haven't seen before," she remarked matter-of-factly. Perhaps a young girl might be more affected; she remembered trying to cover up her shock and embarrassment during the early days of her anatomy training. After seeing countless men, however, the sight lost any particular significance.

Cray drew up the sheets over him again, however, with her free hand. If it made him more comfortable, then that was best; she did not want him to overexert himself. With that, he finally seemed to calm down, and answered her questions.

He seemed to be quite lucid, giving his name, rank, and company formally. Good; she hadn't pressed him for the full information yet, but now she knew where to send the bill, then. Presumably it would be taken out of his wages in the days to come. He had the cycle correct, as well, though he remembered nothing of the accident. Alarm registered in his eyes again, however, and she saw him tense as he asked anxiously what day it was.

"You came into the hospital this morning, the fifth day of the cycle. You've been out for several hours; you were near death when you arrived. You need to rest, Brand," she emphasized firmly again. "You will not be allowed to go anywhere for several days, so there is no sense in agitating yourself. A message will be sent to your commanding officer at the Garrison."

She half-turned to catch the hapless Jenday in her line of sight again; he froze, and she raised one hand to point at him. "Jenday. Gruel and water." Brand had lost a good deal of blood. He needed to replenish his body's strength.

#9 Brand

  • Skaa Soldier

MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 18 August 2010 - 05:13 PM

Brand relaxed visibly. Good. He wouldn't be AWOL, his commanding officers would understand... he hoped. He remembered leaving the wall, but the source of his injuries were still a mystery to him

Everything past then was vague and foggy.

Vague? Where had he learned that word?

"Well, the lesser crisis has abated it seems." He smiled at the word. Abated. If he could write, he'd have written that one down. "I'm more worried about what my wife will do to me when I get home."

Other Characters: Phyra Venture, Valkyn Venture, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.

Attached NPCs: Larina, Landra

#10 Cray Tindiel

  • Noble physician

Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age29

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusN/A

Posted 18 August 2010 - 07:40 PM

Cray straightened, letting go of Brand once the soldier had relaxed, and appeared to be about to behave himself properly. She crossed her arms and regarded him for a moment. He had an unusual way of phrasing himself for a skaa; his speech patterns sounded more like what she would have expected from one of the noble officers.

"Someone has done the job for her already, I think," she said dryly. "I've things to attend to, now. Eat well, and I expect you to remain right where you are." Cray stepped to one side, to allow Jenday access to the bed; he carried a tray with a couple of pewter dishes on it, a bowl of gruel and another of water. "Understand? Jenday will see to the message."

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