At mention of her mark, she absently turned her wrist towards her body, hiding it. Slowly, she nodded and turned her gaze to the fireplace. No one pressed for details despite their desires. It had to be important as Fleets were never called upon lightly. They were the best of the best.
The tension of the room was so thick the very air was hard to breathe in.
Without being asked, the gentle man and lady began tending to her wounds – mainly her bloodied feet. She appreciated their gesture since not only is infection deadly, but her feet were her lively hood.
Her feet screamed in pain as each trickle of water were like coals searing her skin. Her caregivers both flinched, imagining the torturous pain each time they brought the sponge to her mangled. Although she did not utter a word, colours began to swirl in her vision and dark spots were seeping in on all sides. With increasing intensity, she stared at the fire trying to focus her consciousness on the flames dancing over the logs.
With great care, her feet were bandaged. She expressed her gratitude with a weak smile as the pain began to calm to a dull throb.
It was shortly after that the heavy doors swung open and a tall man in thick robes marched through. In response, everyone immediately bowed in respect. He dismissed the lot of them with a polite wave of his hand and he made his way over to the fire.
The woman began to rise, but Lord Tyndal, spying the bandages, put a hand on her shoulder and eased her back down. “There is no need to stand for me, Fleet,” and in a move that surprised everyone, he knelt down beside her with a respectful bow of his head. He looked up at her with sincere concern in his eyes, although one couldn’t be sure if the concern was just for her, or for the message she bore.
She reached out and rested her hand on his shoulder, clearly exposing the mark on her wrist. Her other hand pulled something out of her pouch and everyone began to jockey for a glimpse. As she handed it to him, his hesitation was obvious. She squeezed his shoulder and he finally accepted the object. It was a dark stone. Turning it over in his hand, a clearly etched rune blazed up at him and the tavern was alive with gasps and whispers.
“So,” he breathed, slowly standing to his feet, visibly shaken, “he…he stirs.” The Fleet stared straight ahead with a steely expression as she simply nodded.