6 iv) “The elders of my village are the keepers of the antidote,”

“The elders of my village are the keepers of the antidote,” says the princess. “I cannot produce it on my own.”

“That’s fine,” Shyan says. She has to fight to keep her eyes from rolling back in her head. There’s a ton of pressure behind them, as though they want to shoot from her skull like billiard balls at the break. “Show us the way.”

The evening woods are dense with noise and movement. Creatures move about, barely glimpsed in the underbrush. As the gang treks, the sun begins to set.

“Have we light for our journey?” asks the princess. “A lantern, perhaps?”

Sheepily, the party looks at one another. “Most of our gear was stolen,” Shyan begins, a note of apology in her voice.

“Stolen? By village folk, perhaps?”

“Er, a lich?”

The princess shakes her head solemnly. “These are tough times,” she says.

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