5 iv) Abia recognizes the preacher’s peculiar liturgical tongue

Abia recognizes the preacher’s peculiar liturgical tongue with a start. “Plug your ears,” she says to her companions, tearing strips from her loose robes, rolling the fabric into tiny balls. She jams these into her ears to block the noise, then helps the princess do the same. Shyan, Fassn and Cang take their cues from Abia, too, and tear at their clothes to form rough ear plugs. A buzzing sensation crawls over their flesh, they can almost feel the sound waves of the chanting buffeting their bodies.

The townsfolk to whom the preacher is obliged are not so fortunate. By turns they emerge from their hiding places, their eyes wide, their mouths agape and making the shapes of the preacher’s chant. Their shuffling feet remind Shyan of the lich’s castle, and she feels a wave of revulsion creep over her again. If she had anything left in her belly, she thinks, she’d throw up again. Meeting Fassn’s pained gaze, she grumbles, “Gotta get that antidote.”

Fassn plucks the fabric from his ear and says, “What?”

Shyan springs upon him to shove it back in.

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