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datatime: 2022-12-04 20:31:13 Author:JHWoCQgi

'About the age of your daughter,' Delora said.

Abby peered up at the sorceress. She gave Abby a sympathetic smile and a nod to confirm the truth of it.

Abby's curiosity got the best of her. 'How old is she?'

Abby's fists tightened. 'He couldn't'

Still weeping, Abby pushed herself up and slid on to the step. The Mother Confessor was older by maybe twelve or fourteen years, and pleasant-looking, with those violet eyes. Her mass of long hair reached her waist. She had a warm smile. It had never occurred to Abby to think of a Confessor as a woman, but that was what she saw now. She didn't fear this woman as she had before; nothing she did could be worse than what already had been done.

'When Zedd became First Wizard, things were grim. Panis Rahl had conjured the shadow people.'

Still weeping, Abby pushed herself up and slid on to the step. The Mother Confessor was older by maybe twelve or fourteen years, and pleasant-looking, with those violet eyes. Her mass of long hair reached her waist. She had a warm smile. It had never occurred to Abby to think of a Confessor as a woman, but that was what she saw now. She didn't fear this woman as she had before; nothing she did could be worse than what already had been done.

Abby looked up at the woman in whose arms she lay. It was the Mother Confessor herself. She could do her worst, for all Abby cared. What did it matter, what did any of it matter, now?

Still weeping, Abby pushed herself up and slid on to the step. The Mother Confessor was older by maybe twelve or fourteen years, and pleasant-looking, with those violet eyes. Her mass of long hair reached her waist. She had a warm smile. It had never occurred to Abby to think of a Confessor as a woman, but that was what she saw now. She didn't fear this woman as she had before; nothing she did could be worse than what already had been done.

'When Zedd became First Wizard, things were grim. Panis Rahl had conjured the shadow people.'

'Well, the war had been bad enough, but then Panis Rahl taught his wizards to conjure shadow people.' The Mother Confessor sighed at the anguish of retelling the story. They are so called because they are like shadows in the air. They have no precise shape or form. They are not living, but created out of magic. Weapons have no more effect on them than they would have on smoke.

'How can you say that My husband will die. My father, too, but he has had a chance to live a life. My baby hasn't'

She fell to hysterical wailing again, and the Mother Confessor once again drew her into comforting arms. Comfort was not what Abby wanted.

Abby's curiosity got the best of her. 'How old is she?'

Still weeping, Abby pushed herself up and slid on to the step. The Mother Confessor was older by maybe twelve or fourteen years, and pleasant-looking, with those violet eyes. Her mass of long hair reached her waist. She had a warm smile. It had never occurred to Abby to think of a Confessor as a woman, but that was what she saw now. She didn't fear this woman as she had before; nothing she did could be worse than what already had been done.

With a poignant expression, the sorceress smoothed Abby's hair back from her forehead 'You don't understand. You see only a part of it. You don't mean what you say.'

'He's a monster,' she sobbed. 'He is truly named. He is the ill wind of death. This time it's my baby he's killing, not the enemy.'

'I'm from Coney Crossing, I've never heard of such a thing.'

'Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander may look young to you, as he did to many of us, but he is a special wizard, born of a wizard and a sorceress. Zedd was a prodigy. Even those other wizards in there, some of them his teachers, don't always understand how he is able to unravel some of the enigmas in the books or how he uses his gift to bring so much power to bear, but we do understand that he has heart. He uses his heart, as well as his head. He was named First Wizard for all these things and more.'

Abby peered up at the sorceress. She gave Abby a sympathetic smile and a nod to confirm the truth of it.

'He's a monster,' she sobbed. 'He is truly named. He is the ill wind of death. This time it's my baby he's killing, not the enemy.'

The Mother Confessor smiled a small smile. She tapped her chest. 'Among ourselves, those of us who really know him call him the trickster, The trickster is the name he has truly earned. We named him the wind of death for others to hear, so as to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy. Some people on our side take that name to heart. Perhaps, since your mother was gifted, you can understand how people sometimes unreasonably fear those with magic?'

'About the age of your daughter,' Delora said.

'I'm from Coney Crossing, I've never heard of such a thing.'

Abby nodded as she sucked a breath. 'I had another, a boy, but he died at birth. The midwife said I will have no more. My little Jana is all I will ever have.' The wild agony of it ripped through her. 'And he will kill her. Just as he killed that man before me. Wizard Zorander is a monster. May the good spirits strike him dead'

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