"My name is Tamaryn. Please calm down," the girl whispered, "please! We'll be discovered."
I stared at her, willing myself to dim a bit. It didn't work. The princess was gone, the Love Jewel was gone, and I was in unfamiliar territory with a terrifying enemy. I was glowing so brightly I thought I'd blind us both.
Tamaryn opened a small chest that I hadn't noticed was tucked in the shadows and took out a thick yar-hair blanket.
"Please stay under this," she said, handing it to me. "Your light will attract trouble."
I was glad for the blanket. It was freezing, and besides, my unusual coloration stood out like a sore thumb in Citrinite territory. The girl sat down cross-legged in front of me.
"Those Citrinites managed to carry off your friend and take your necklace, but you were spraying so much poison that they must have thought you were more trouble than you were worth. You're lucky I was walking by at the time and dragged you in here, or else who knows what would have become of you," Tamaryn said. "How much do you remember?"
"Almost nothing," I replied. "I was blinded, and then..."
"You fell backward and hit your head. Are you feeling all right?"
I nodded. "Slight headache; nothing more."
"The fall didn't look too bad. Listen carefully. You are a Mystic Fire Topazian in Citrinite territory." No kidding. "The Tribe of Citrine has been feeling especially hostile toward your Tribe after the recent tax raise."
Tax raise? That must have been the cause of the riot in the throne room...that was only yesterday, I realized. It felt like years ago.
"If you're discovered, I don't know what will happen to you. You have to stay hidden."
"Why are you protecting me?"
She laughed. "I doubt you raised the taxes yourself! The color of your poison doesn't make you part of the problem, nor does the fact that you were with the princess. I'll help you get back to your Tribe as soon as I can, but now isn't such a good time."