“Eyes!” Aurora hissed, and I barely had time to bring my arm up to shield my vision before she rasped “Diphiya!” It was followed a moment later by a chorus of screams.
Brilliant, white light bled around the creases left by the folds of my cloak, leaving me to try to see past shimmering daggers of brilliance at the corners of my vision. I hefted my staff, ready to join the fray, only to find that of our followers that Gilliam and Varis hadn’t put down, Sera and Ana held in invisible bonds of air and faith.
“Agragjha…” Aurora warned, but Silva pulled her sleeve away from the shrike’s grip. The palm-sized blue stone glimmered from between her fingers.
“This, or the black?” Silva asked, with a nod towards the pouch at Aurora’s waist. The muscles along the shrike’s jawline bunched, but she said nothing.
Silva walked between the two ranks of our would-be assailants, head cocked, as if listening. Finally, at the far left, she nodded, and drew back the hood of one of the spell-bound figures.
He had deep chestnut hair and beard, nearly but not quite black. Where his eyes should have been a like deep brown color, though, they shone a yellow tinged with red about the pupils. What little of his skin that was visible under the dark steel helm also held a pale, yellowed cast to it.
“These, they are yours?”
The dwarf grunted.
“You follow. For what is your purpose?”
When the dwarf didn’t answer, Silva held the blue stone closer, directly in front of his oddly-colored eyes.
“You will give answer, or I will take it.”
The dwarf spat, again, but Silva danced to one side. The dwarf’s eyes followed her motion.
“Uplanders, with the coin to buy out that thief’s stock, with not just one, but two of the Syharwehrven?” Yellowed teeth shone beneath the bushy mustaches as he flashed a hungry grin. “And I suppose you think to just waltz through Sar-Gaar.”
Silva’s eyes moved from those of the dwarf, to the stone, and then she turned towards me.
“Syharwehrven?” She perfectly matched the dwarf’s gravelly inflection of the word, though she spoke it slowly. The look in her eye could have been that of one tasting a fine wine or ale. “I do not have the meaning.”
It was beyond my knowledge of the dwarvish tongue. I could only shake my head.
“You won’t get three steps past the first gate, Syharwehr,” the dwarf said, looking Silva straight in the eye. “You got lucky with that trick with the light. But that only works on eyes that still see. The Brass will have you spitted on irons before the glare even fades. And don’t think you’ll be using that fetch with the folded light, either.” He smirked, when Aurora’s hands closed into fists at her side