The Unspeller and the Book of Days
He jerked awake, shivering. It was night, and he was lying on a bed. All he could feel was a deep cold
that would not leave his body and the relentless, excruciating pain. It stabbed up his spine and into his skull.
A sound came from his mouth, half whimper and groan.
Dalynara's voice came in the darkness. "Can you help him?"
"Yes, but I must ask you to leave.” The voice that answered was new and strange--and very old. “I'm
sorry, my dear."
He heard her whisper, "Of course."
He opened his eyes, but it was too dark to see who it was. The old, unseen enchanter was a tall man,
it looked like, and he was cloaked in a Conceal rune--a very strong one.
Dalynara's footsteps faded. A few moments later the Conceal rune on the tall enchanter faded away.
Aesa blinked at it, too wracked with pain to wonder what the Conceal spell had been for.
A rune sparked green and cool against his head. It awoke memories he had only barely recovered
from the lost days with the Arkenians. Sata had used a rune like this...the feel of Arkenian magic was easily
Alarmed, he grasped it and extinguished the rune. It was pure instinct. Even in agony he felt the pull
of magic and went to release it.
"Hold, Unspeller, I'm trying to help you." The voice had changed--it was younger.
"Who...a-are you?" he stammered through chattering teeth. His skull felt as if it were going to split in
"I'm a friend--if all goes well you will never need me for this again."
"You use Arkenian magic?"
"You knew that? Good for you, Unspeller."
A knife flashed in the darkness and the enchanter drew in his breath sharply. Blood ran down the
Staring in horror, Aesa allowed the bloody hand to call its magic and flood over him. It washed
through the spiking pain that stabbed at him, and he drew in a breath of air, letting it fill his aching lung s. The
warmth turned into a heat that burned its way up his back and into his head, searing away the pain.
He stopped shivering, his body melting into the comfort of the bed. With the bone-deep pain gone,
he could only feel the dull ache of bruises. An irresistible sleepiness wrapped around him.
"Thank you," he slurred
A brief "your welcome" came dimly, and then he slept.
“I'm worried that Killian is going to kill Harlan,” Loken said in a low voice.
Aesa was lying on a soft bed willing his sleep to continue, but it wasn't working. He kept hearing
whispers. More specifically, his brothers and Dalynara, who thought they were being quiet. At least the pain
“I wish people would stop talking about me when I'm not around.” Killian's voice was mildly cross as
his footsteps sounded across the floor. Aesa opened his eyes to look around the room.
Jasper lay asleep on the floor next to a crackling fireplace. Loken sprawled out on a nearby chair with