“Nobody will be making cinders of anybody else,” the Hierarch said, looking down at Aurora. “We fully realize the danger that your sister is in, and will do what we can to help, as we would for any of her kind. What of you? Do you require the same aid?”
“Not as yet,” the shrike said. “The blood of my kind has been… insulated… against the corruption. I simply need a fresh cache of black dragonstones, since She who came before detonated hers in defeating the Kartoeba beneath the Valley.”
“And we all know how common those are,” Gilliam said.
“Let us hope you never have to sacrifice yourself in such a manner,” the Hierarch murmured.
“Let us hope that the other Kartoebas are not awakened by foolish power-hungry druids,” Aurora said.
“There are more of those… things?” Ana asked, shuddering.
“Your aid?” Silva asked.
The Hierarch looked over to me.
“We will need to outfit you with a Soul Gem,” I told Silva. “You will need to wear it beneath the full moon for it to properly attune. After that point, it will ease the strain of the demonic corruption. There are elixirs the Hierarch can prepare that will also draw out some of the taint, until we can find a suitable crystal and the moon aligns herself properly. It is not a cure,” I cautioned her.
“Shelter beneath one of the elven trees is the—“ Aurora began.
“No!” Silva stamped her foot. “I am no songbird. There will be no cages.” She looked to the Hierarch, and dipped into a deep curtsey. “Please, I humbly accept the aid you can give to me.”
“The Imperial Princess—“ Aurora sputtered.
“The Imperial Princess has every aid this Hierarch of Radlebb can offer.” He turned to me. “I hope all of my druid brethren may aid you in such a manner.”
I sighed. No rest for the weary.