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By Geraldle

Copyright © 2001

Part 4 – Ordeal

Prologue – 21th of Tris

He had been astonished to find out that his Great Grandmother was Chief Priestess of the Mother Goddess. As such even Kings bowed their heads to her. Last night he had stayed up late telling her his story though leaving out certain details about their mutual relatives. Part of it she knew already, and certainly had known his name, but had of course been unaware of the fact that he was her descendant.

Tonight he was going to tell her about those relatives and try to persuade her to get in touch with them. That might be difficult. A woman, who could hold a grudge for over a hundred years, would be no pushover. Of course her grudge had really been with the society she belonged to, not her family, except for her father.

He had finished talking to them as he tried to do everyday, and he hoped it would be necessary to talk to them later tonight. He turned his attention to the southeast and let his mind wander until... contact was established with his Great-grandmother. He felt unsettled tonight and she could feel it, and after some conversation she asked, *I sense that you are uneasy tonight, Symin what is it.*

*If I tell, you will you promise not to break of contact until I finish.* Now she felt a little uneasy. She was aware, from the story he had told her last night that he considered a promise, no matter how casually thrown out, as a matter of honor, worth more than life itself. Reluctantly, she said, *All right, Symin I promise.*

*I have met one of your brothers in person and the other in Mind-speech and their descendants.* He could feel her anger begin to rise. *Now before you get too angry, I want to tell you that what you wanted to happen, for the Forest Elves to change, started because of your leaving.* He could feel her curiosity begin to rise and her anger subside. *It didn't happen right away, and it took a second person to leave to start the actual changes. Your brother Kraftin, who was born after you left, contacted you when he became an adult. You were unwilling to talk to him, but despite that fact, he also defied your father and left to wander.*

*The council of the Forest Elves voted to eliminate what was an unspoken law, that once you left them you could not return. That you and then Kraftin were what could turn into a flow of rebellious young Elves willing to accept that stricture in order to explore the world. That if they continued to enforce it, it could in time destroy the clan.*

*Since they were no longer forbidden to leave it in fact worked in the clans favor, the restlessness that had begun to develop among the younger generation of Elves began to subside, and instead of a flood of eager travellers only about ten percent left and many of them returned gladly to their peaceful forests after an unpleasant taste of the so called civilized world.*

*But others stayed in the outside world. Your brother Kraftin in fact married a Black Mountain Elf maiden, and aside from a long visit to the Forest Elves clan, he has spent his lifetime as an advisor to Madron's present King and after his retirement he began teaching at the university in Madron, his son Karliv is the best friend and chief advisor of Madron's Crown Prince Corlinn. They live in the Madron capital, less than two hundred miles from Temple City.

*And your niece, Sinya, who is one of my friends, is a highly placed King's Messenger.* If he'd had to breath while reeling off his long speech he would have been entirely out of breath.

She was amused, but at the same time touched by his concern. *I think it is time that I made up with my family. I would have contacted them sooner if I had realized that they had changed so much, but things had not changed in over a thousand years I had no reason to expect it would change in a mere one hundred years.*

Symin was delighted, *I'll get in touch with Kraftin and Karliv first since they live close enough to visit, and introduce you.*

Holding on to the contact with his Great Grandmother he contacted Kraftin again, as he had done earlier in the evening. When he made contact, Kraftin asked him if anything was wrong. Symin said no everything was right, but he'd like Kraftin to bring Karliv into the link. From the bubbling joy in Symin's mind Kraftin could feel that he had a secret, but a happy one.

When Karliv had joined in the link, Symin took those links and joined them to his Great-grandmother's. "Kraftin, Karliv I'd like to meet my Great-grandmother, your sister and aunt, Avoe, Chief Priestess of the Mother Goddess in Temple City."

After he felt the astonishment and joy at his announcement from both Kraftin and Karliv and a more subdued reaction from his Great Grandmother, and after making sure the link was solid, he withdrew his own connection to allow them some privacy.

He slept peacefully that night.

Chapter One – Three weeks later – 12th of Silla

Symin was feeling miserable, lying on his bed in the cottage with the first cold he had ever had, being dosed with potions by Maxim after a visit by Dearna the day before.

He had talked to most of his Elven relatives, but over the last several days, he hadn't tried to get in touch with either Kraftin, Karliv or his Great-grandmother. Kraftin was visiting his sister in Temple City and he hadn't wanted to intrude on their first meeting, and Karliv was on a diplomatic mission for the Royal Family of Madron and was so far away that he was out of Symin's range. Symin could still feel his presence but could not talk to him.

He felt a familiar contact and he gladly linked with Kraftin, but he felt concern when he recognized the seriousness in Kraftin's mind. *What's wrong.* Then he was overcome with a series of sneezes, "Atchoo, atchoo, atchoo, atchoo, atchoo." They echoed in his mind and Kraftin was distracted by them, and the unusual dullness of Symin's mind.

*First, what's wrong with you?* asked Kraftin with concern.

*I've got a bad cold.* Symin said.

Symin felt his great-uncle's astonishment. *But Self-healer's never get colds.*

The boy used a soft cloth to wipe his watering eyes, then said grimly, *That's what Dearna said. But she figured it out. A Self-healer has a low level of magic that is always present and it increases when it has to fight off illnesses and speed up Healing of injuries. The God-blade is absorbing that extra energy and preventing it from working. It also is absorbing any regular Healing energy as well.*

Symin could feel the disquiet in Kraftin's mind. He asked with foreboding, *There's something wrong, isn't there?*

*Yes. I'm on the escarpment at the base of which Temple City is located, though many buildings are built right into the cliff itself. A couple of thousand years ago, as near as we can figure, Dwarves carved a road halfway up the cliff face. It's carved into the full length of the escarpment, which is almost fifty miles long. Why they built the road here instead of putting it at the top of the escarpment we have no idea. It's something Dwarves do, when they have two choices, a hard way and an easy way, they'll almost always chose the hard way.*

*But anyway, twenty miles along the road there's a notch in the cliff face which allows plenty of room for a small village, which includes an inn. The village is only about two hundred years old and it's mainly made up of potters and weavers. Most of what they make goes to Temple City. They have a cable on which they can lower a container, which will take a couple of people or several hundred pounds. That's how they get the raw materials up and the finished products down.*

*The Dwarven road isn't used all that often for heavy traffic anymore, since the bridge over the river was built and the Camron's Southern road was extended right to the capital of Madron. But for people who want to avoid the heavy traffic it's ideal and they generally stay one night at the inn. One such traveller was an addlepated Great Mage. In his mid-sixties he still had an eye for the ladies and he took a serving wench to his bed for the night. However when the wench woke in the morning, our Great Mage didn't. The Healer said his heart simply stopped sometime after their last bout of lovemaking.*

Symin shivered, *Why do I get the idea that you're trying to avoid telling me something.*

*Yes, yes I'm afraid I am. Come look through my eyes.* Kraftin said.

Doing so Symin noticed absently that it was a typical inn room, but his attention was caught by the Diamond Obsidian stone that Kraftin was looking at with Mage-sight. The stone was covered by the transparent curtain of a Ward. Easily three times the size of the Ward stones at Yersine, it's aura was more than twenty inches thick and absolutely saturated with angry red threads of light, throbbing with fierce energy.

He was chilled simply looking at the stone. *We've got his diary. He wasn't an evil man but he wasn't very bright, and he was persistent. He acquired the stone some thirty years ago and he wanted to see if he could make it explode. So every day for the last thirty years he's been adding more Mage energy to the stone.*

*The last entry in the diary said that he thought the stone was almost ready to explode, and he wanted to take it to the King to show him. It apparently never entered his mind that what he had done was very dangerous, and he could have killed his King without intending to. If it wasn't Warded we could transport it somewhere safe, but we can't penetrate the Ward.*

*There's a fault immediately under the village, which extends along the cliff face. Accounts say the Dwarves who built the road knew it was there but ignored it, since it would have taken a major earthquake to affect it. And they knew of nothing else that could affect the fault. I've spoken to several Dwarven engineers who have some familiarity with Diamond Obsidian stones, and they say that located where it is, right above the fault, an explosion of the magnitude that they figure it could deliver, could very well shear off the face of the cliff and drop it down onto Temple City.*

*The Council of the city has been informed, but unanimously they decided they could not evacuate the City. They have informed everybody from the Priestesses and Priests of the various Gods and those who come to this site on Pilgrimages, but very few have been willing to leave.*

*There is no Far-speaker here, right now. There were three of them but one died unexpectedly a couple of months ago and the other two were killed in an accident just three days ago. They haven't had time to replace them yet. Luckily Rendar's estate as the Duke of Farlei is less than twenty miles from here and he and Terrion have been there since they came back from Camron, and the boy used his Far-speech to inform the King's Far-speaker who has informed your King, and I've been informed that anything that we need will be available.*

*You're talking too much Uncle, you just don't want to ask me. I'm on my way.* said Symin with resignation.

*I am. I wish it were not the case, but you are unique. With the God-blade you are the only one who can deal with these stones.* Kraftin said with obvious regret.

*Have Terrion relay to the Madron capital that I will be going directly to the Messenger Post east of Bremen on the Northern Road. Have Prince Tamen inform all of the Messenger posts on the Northern and Eastern and Southern Roads that I'll need relays of the best horses they've got for two, myself and a Courier. There's no way I could make that trip alone. Madron doesn't have a Courier system but I'll need regular changes of horses on the Southern Road from the border to Temple City.* Symin requested.

Chapter Two – 12th of Silla

As they approached Bremen Symin and Maxim could see others streaming into the city. Symin said, "I forgot it was market day." He locked his Empathy away and fretted about the delay that the extra people would cause. They passed through the gate and Symin was so preoccupied that he ignored the guards on the gate. Normally he got along well with the Town Guard and he would have stopped to chat, but his mission was too urgent.

In the town square where the market was going on, Symin dismounted and handed Anya's reins to Maxim. "Go to the Town Guard," he nodded at the building across the square. "Have Captain Sparan arrange for two fast horses and bring them to Dearna's. I don't know if minutes will count in the long run but I don't intend to take any chances.

He crossed the square to the street on which Dearna was located and stopped outside the building. He scanned the building with his Sense of Perception and was relieved that Dearna was alone. He entered the downstairs door and then he had to lean against the wall to get his breath back.

Climbing the stairs he didn't rush as he normally would, and he was relieved to reach the top, He opened the door and entered calling out, "Dearna, I need your help!"

She appeared from the second treatment room, which was between her living quarters and the outer treatment room.

"Symin! What are you doing here, I told you to stay in bed for at least three days." she scolded.

"Sorry, but I can't afford to rest right now. I need your help." Symin said again and then explained the situation. She was appalled.

"How are you supposed to cover nine hundred miles?" she asked.

"Ride," he said simply.

She snorted, "That's impossible. Even Couriers with the special training they get only cover ninety to a hundred and twenty miles a day and then they rest for a couple days after such a ride."

He said simply, "Ten days, no longer. I don't know if I have even that long."

She looked at him, "How do you expect to do that, you won't even be able to stay in the saddle, after the first thirty or forty miles."

"They'll have to tie me on. That's why I came to you. I need something that will make me sleep. Something that will wake me up when I get there and the most powerful stimulant that you have in order to help me take care of the stone." Symin said.

"Even sleeping, and with that dagger absorbing any Healing energy, so a Healer can't help you, such a journey will cripple you, or more likely kill you!" she said, sadly.

He shook his head slowly, "It may cripple me and it may kill me, but I'll get there alive, and I'll have long enough to deal with the stone." he said with absolute certainty. "It's like it was when the Gods decided to destroy Yersine's Fortress. I know they will not let their city be destroyed, if they can prevent it. While they will not interfere with the stone directly they will give me enough energy to live just long enough to render it harmless."

"I have nothing that will allow you to sleep straight through for that long a period, not without using Healing Magic as well, which obviously I can't do. And many sleeping draughts are dangerous and aren't effective if taken for that length of time. I can only think of one which will do what you want and even it only partly fills your needs, but it's the closest I can come. Taken it will make you sleep for eight hours but then for the next four hours you will begin to rouse and be in a stupor which gradually disappears until the next dose can be taken. So you will sleep for eight hours, and be in partial pain for the following three and in full pain for about an hour. I have pain medications but, without Magic, none that will work with the sleeping draught."

"To wake up is easy, a mild stimulant will do the job. The special stimulant to keep your energy up while you deal with the stone would normally be difficult to obtain and is very, very expensive. It is made from half a dozen different, normally deadly poisons, combined in just the right proportions with several catalysts to produce a special stimulant. It is used in several religious ceremonies and it is produced right in Temple City."

Chapter Three – 12th to 22nd of Silla

The next ten days were an incredible ordeal for Symin. Hours of sleep interspersed with hours of agony and each day the pain was worse. While in the stupor each movement of his arms and legs caused a burning stab of pain to go through Symin.

Chapter Four – 22nd of Silla

Symin opened his eyes. The pain was still there but it was muted and almost invisible, only an ache in the back of his mind told him it still existed. He was unable to move. Terrion was sitting by the side of his bed, anxious eyes looking at Symin. He noticed when the older boy opened his eyes. *Ren, he's awake.* The man who is now Terrion's father, informed the others in the room, Kraftin and a full-bodied Elven woman, who Symin assumed was his Great-grandmoher.

Despite his situation, a flicker of amusement went through Symin's mind. She, like most Priestesses of the Mother-Goddess, had taken on some of the seeming of the Mother-Goddess. She was much stouter than an Elven woman would ever get. Not fat, but the ample proportions that made a mother’s or grandmother’s lap so inviting to young children.

Kraftin took Terrion's place by Symin's bedside, his Great-grandmoher standing behind him. *How long do I have?* Symin asked, almost absently, knowing it wouldn't be long.

Kraftin, who had gotten to know Symin very well in the trip from Yersine's Fortress to Camron's capital, knew that the boy would want the truth. "The Healers say a day or two, at most. The journey took too much out of you. If it wasn't for that dagger absorbing their energy, they say there'd be no problem, not with the number of Healer-Mages Temple City has available."

*The Gods made sure that I'd have plenty of time to deal with the stone.* Symin observed without bitterness.

He turned his eyes to the Elven woman, *Hello Great-grandmoher. It wasn't exactly how I wanted our meeting to be like. I have a request of you. I'd like to make sure my personal servant and my friend, Maxim Ascalon will be all right. I didn't have time to arrange for anything before I left, and he didn't know it was going to be a one way trip. I think Sinya would arrange for him to be taken into the King's Messengers, but I didn't have time to discuss it with her. While Kraftin could talk to Sinya, I think Prince Tamen would be suitably impressed if the request came from the Chief Priestess of the Mother-Goddess.* His eyes twinkled with humor.

"I'll make sure to arrange it, little one." she said sadly. She had experienced many heartbreaks in her long lifetime, yet somehow she knew this would be one of the worst, even though she had only talked to him mind to mind a few times and was only just meeting him.

Terrion had a sad look on his face, and was on the verge of tears. Symin had no words that would help, the truth would simply hurt and Symin did not intend to lie. He radiated a powerful feeling of calm and love toward Terrion and Rendar. Terrion's grief was masked somewhat by the love he felt coming from Symin and it would not return full force until Symin died.

*Telling you to take care of Terrion is superfluous, Ren I'll just say thank you for being such a good friend to a little boy.*

*Little, ha, you're the oldest one here, despite rumors to the contrary.* Rendar answered, though the look on his face was also sad.

*Time to go to work, Kraftin.* Symin told him.

Kraftin took a small vial out of his belt pouch. He shook it several times, and Symin looked at it with doubt in his eyes. Kraftin caught the look in his eyes, "Believe me, Symin, it tastes worse than it looks."

*That's supposed to give me confidence?* Symin asked.

"No, that's supposed to give you warning." He lifted the boy up and putting the vial to his lips made sure all of it made its way into Symin's mouth. The only muscles that Symin had control of were his facial muscles and he grimaced in disgust after he swallowed the potion. After a couple of minutes of internal shuddering he began to feel warmth spreading through his body. Closing his eyes, he invoked his Astral Spirit.

As soon as his Astral form was free of his body he realized how much the pain medication had been affecting him, because he immediately felt the jangle he associated with a Diamond Obsidian stone. He arrowed upward and appeared in the room at the inn in which the stone was located. There were three Mages sitting in chairs and watching the stone, taking turns to view its aura for any changes. He made himself visible and Kraftin appeared seconds after he did. The three nodded at Kraftin and looked with curiosity at Symin.

Kraftin said to Symin, "These are Mages that specialize in transporting. If it wasn't for the Ward they could send it about fifteen miles away, into an unpopulated area where it would do no harm if it blew up."

"Well they can stay until I penetrate the Ward and the stone. Once I've penetrated the stone I should be able to turn the Ward off. But once I start draining the stone it'll be directly through the roof so they should go downstairs until debris stops falling. Once that happens it should be safe to come back up if they wish. If I die in the middle of draining the stone they should transport it where they intended. I imagine my Astral form will just dissipate and that'll leave you with the decision about what to do with the stone," Symin said.

He moved toward the stone and the curtain of the ward, pushing on it lightly with his hand. Then placing his right hand on the handle of his dagger, he pushed his left hand through the ward. It was a slow process, for the first time a Ward actually put up some significant resistance to his penetration of it.

But finally his hand was inside the Ward and carefully he buried his hand wrist deep in the stone. As had happened when he penetrated the Ward at Yersine's Fortress the knowledge of how to turn the Ward off percolated into his mind. As he did so, and the curtain disappeared, he said, "Time to get them out of here, Kraftin."

He nodded his head at them and obediently the three Mages got up to go downstairs. They went out the door and he could hear them clomping down the stairs. Symin licked his lip and then drew his dagger, pointed it at the roof, and let loose with the first Mind-blast. He was wrong about the debris, as the first Mind-blast knifed into the roof it simply disappeared. And Symin screamed with pain, it was the worst he had ever felt while draining a stone. In order to get it over with as soon as possible he began a continuous Mind-blast of orange light that rose tens of miles into the sky, and was visible in Madron's capital, Divandia, two hundred miles away.

He continued the Mind-blast which lasted continuously for over twenty minutes, unaware of anything except the pain coursing through his body. Unknown to him the three Mages joined them in the upstairs room and looked on with awe. Almost unaware of the last of the energy being drained from the stone, but just cognizant enough to bring the dagger down and pierce the stone making it safe and useless to any mage, unaware of losing consciousness and snapping back into his body.

Chapter Five – No Time

He was standing in a large glade, and he could see people sitting on benches, but he couldn't make them out, their outline was blurred. He tried to use his sense of Perception and realized that he was actually seeing for the first time in many months.

About fifty yards away he could see three people sitting on a bench and they were the only ones not blurry, so he began to walk in that direction. As he got closer he began to realize they looked familiar and by the time he reached them he knew who they were.

He performed the slow formal nobles bow, to them in the order or ranking, first to the Mother-Goddesss, Tamra, then Kranholt, God of Fire and Forge, and finally to Esuss, Goddess of Healing. Then with great politeness, "Since I've never heard of the dead being greeted by the Gods and Goddesses of Life, I assume I am not yet dead."

Tamra spoke, "No, little one. Your time on Lythea has not yet ended. You and your God-blade are still important, in your world and in others. We summoned you here for two reasons, through it's bond to you and because of the Diamond Obsidian stones your God-blade is the most powerful magic blade ever produced, and it was not really intended for that. It must be given boundaries, to protect you in the future, but still allow your own Self-healing magic and other Healers magics to work on you as they should."

Kranholt held out his hand and Symin drew his dagger and placed it in the God's hand. He clasped it in both hands for a couple of minutes and then offered it back to Symin. When the boy took it back in his hand, Kranholt simply disappeared.

Tamra smiled, "He is a God of few words. Now since you have risked your life so often, with no thought for yourself, as a sign of our approval we offer you a Gift of Healing."

Esuss felt sure that he would ask to have his sight returned. He would still have his sense of Perception since that was part of his magic. Tamra thought differently. She had watched him much longer, and she was confident that he would not ask for something for himself, and she was right, "Does it have to be for me?" Symin asked.

"No, little one, it does not. Who do you wish to give this Gift to?" Tamra smiled approvingly at him.

"Terrion, I know he can Mind-speak, but there are not really a lot of people he can speak to in that way. I'm sure he would like to be able to talk as well." Symin said.

"And if he chooses not to accept this Gift?" Tamra asked.

"Then I would like to hold onto it until I find someone who needs a Gift of Healing." Symin replied after thinking it over for a few seconds.

"That can be arranged. Esuss place the Gift into the dagger and tell Symin how to invoke it." Esuss did so willingly, marvelling at the boy's unselfishness, restoring some of the faith she had lost in humanity over the thousands of years of watching them.

Chapter Six – Temple City – 23rd of Silla

At the moment Kranholt handed the dagger back to Symin, the Self-healing energy which it had absorbed flowed back into Symin's body and his limbs, which had curled up tightly, began to relax and straighten.

Terrion, who was watching, saw the relaxation. *R-E-N!!! Come quickly, Symin is moving.* Rendar, who had been given an explanation of what was afflicting Symin, called in the Healers and after a quick test they found that the dagger was no longer absorbing Healing energy and they got to work, repairing the boy's very ravaged body.


Symin yawned and stretched, then his eyes opened and he sat up with a jerk. No pain, and a feeling of well-being he hadn't had in a couple of months. He heard a snort from the side of the bed and looking over he saw a naked Terrion, lying on his stomach on a sleep pad beside the bed. He had been covered by a sheet, but it was bunched at his feet.

Symin dropped from the bed onto Terrion's back, waking him up abruptly. Terrion who was very ticklish responded immediately to the fingers jabbing into his ribs, trying to buck Symin off, and calling out for help in Mind-speech. *Ren, help,* giggle, *I'm being attacked*, giggle, giggle *I was ambushed.* giggle, giggle.

Though Terrion was the younger boy by a year and a half he was quite a bit larger than Symin, who was part Elf, and was growing more slowly, but Symin was much stronger and Terrion was unable to dislodge him and finally, *I yield. I yield. Please stop tickling me.*

Symin said, "I accept your surrender, for the moment at any rate. Get up and get dressed, it's," he quickly looked outside with his Perception to gauge the time, using the shadows from the buildings to tell him the approximate time. "around nine o'clock."

While Symin and Terrion got dressed, something they did very quickly since they only wore short trousers and sandals, Symin contacted his Great-grandmother. *Could you do me a favor?*

*I'm just glad I didn't have to carry out the last favor, what can I do for you.* his Great-grandmoher replied.

*Could you arrange a formal audience, with you, a Priest or Priestess of Esuss, Rendar, Kraftin, Terrion and I. And several witnesses. How long will it take.*

*Would ten minutes be too soon?" she asked.

*How can you arrange it so soon, I expected it would take at least a few hours?* Symin exclaimed.

*I happen to be talking to all of the people you mentioned right at this moment except for witnesses, and they won't be hard to gather. I'll shoo them out into the waiting room and send an Acolyte to get you and Terrion.

Chapter Seven – 23rd of Silla

When the Acolyte arrived Symin was brushing Terrion’s hair. Being curly it was a bit harder to get into order than his own straight blond hair. Finally satisfied he nodded to the Acolyte to lead the way.

In a couple of minutes they were entering a waiting room to an audience chamber. When Terrion saw Rendar, he started to go over to him, but Symin grabbed him by the arm and stopped him. Rendar saw that and raised his eyebrow at Symin, who just shook his head, telling him in Mind-speech, *You'll find out, with everyone else. I asked for this and only I know what it's about.*

A gong sounded and the door to the audience chamber opened and those waiting paraded in. Symin held Terrion back so they were the last to enter. Once inside he let go of Terrion's arm and allowed him to go over to Rendar. Symin stood in the middle of the floor and says, "I asked for this audience, because as a token of favor for protecting Temple City, the Gods have given me one Gift, to dispense as I wish. This Gift is that of Healing."

"Rendar would you bring your son Terrion Farlei forward."

The man did so, bringing Terrion over to where Symin was standing.

"The Gift I offer you, Terrion Farlei is the Gift of speech. I must ask you whether you wish to accept this Gift or decline it. Nod or shake your head, not everybody in this room necessarily has Mind-speech."

With excitement Terrion was nodding his head, almost nodding it off. Symin said, "Okay, you can stop nodding. I think everybody knows that you nodded yes. Lift your chin and keep your head perfectly still."

Drawing his dagger Symin scored a perfect horizontal figure eight sign on Terrion's throat, just enough to draw blood. Holding the dagger in his left hand with his right hand he traced the figure eight again with his index finger. Touching Terrion mouth with the bloody finger, he traced the younger boy's lips and said a couple of words quite clearly, yet nobody afterwards could remember what he said, not even Symin. He said one more word that nobody could understand and all of the blood disappeared and the figure eight turned brown and like a tattoo became permanent.

Symin sheathed the dagger and then suddenly dug his fingers into Terrion's ribs. Terrion giggled and then said, "Hey. Stop that." With a shock Terrion realized that he has said it out loud, and Symin nodded with satisfaction as Rendar picked Terrion up and threw him into the air, the boy shrieking with joy.