The game of rulla meant everything and nothing. No one who’d ever rolled against Elymas had won.
Amil, the fattest of the lot, had been sweating profusely, large damp spots under each arm and a river running down his temples.
Quinn had a rusk sack fill with the best his poor village could offer. So proud of him they were.
Oren knew from experience that two of his ribs were broken and his fingers had been stomped.
Soon, Mirella would be all he knew of a mother, and she barely remembered her own.
“The King steps closer to death every day. Some are big steps, others small. The tips of his fingers are black now.”
“Where have you been? There’s blood on your hem!”
“Which of us, having been touched by the God-hand, can bear it? It is like fire.”
The message was brief and startling. “She is a witch,” sprawled a masculine hand, “Burn her.”
“Go now,” said the voice, “Before it fully wakes.”