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A necromancer and an Amazon meet for the first time in a campful of soggy homeless Rogues.
Diablo II (c) Blizzard Software.
She plunked herself down by the firepit, between the necromancer and the stranded caravan's cargo, and offered him half the bread and a bleak smile. He looked vaguely alarmed, like a dog who was expecting to be kicked rather than fed.
"Akara says it's lucky you turned up," she said. She didn't add that Akara thought he might be in cahoots with the forces of evil.
He was surrounded.
Fuzzy-minded with exhaustion, he figured he was exaggerating things. He had been given shelter here, a place by the fire and a respite from the soggy demon-infested moor. He likely didn't have anything to fear from these people. The priestess didn't seem like the sort to turn on someone she had taken in, and the Rogues followed her lead. The merchant who kept giving him the evil eye was probably not going to try anything against a fellow refugee.
All he had to do was not open his eyes the next time he heard some odd little sound of human activity. But that was easier said than done.
The Amazon still troubled him. She knew what he was, yet she had no fear. Had she never learned to shy away from dark magic? Was she brave or was she foolish? Or was she just very good at hiding her unease, putting her enemies off their guard?
Struck by a sudden unnerving thought, he lay very still and watched her for a long moment. No, she was truly asleep. The sleep of the very weary comes with deep sighing breaths that make it sound as though the sleeper is working very hard at sleeping. It wouldn't be the most obvious thing to do when faking sleep - or the most practical, as it would cover up other sounds. And besides that, she was drooling on her blanket.
Nothing separated the two of them but the dying embers of the fire. For whatever reason, she was not afraid of him. That meant he didn't have to be afraid of her, either.
He tugged the borrowed blanket more closely around his shoulders and closed his eyes, and this time they stayed that way.
"They're just children."
Gale looked over at him; his face remained carefully neutral, despite the note of distress she thought she'd heard.
"At their age, they'll be damned good archers. Of course, they... well, they're all that's left, since most of their older Sisters already went off to fight."
"Who're they?" asked Paige.
"More heroes," said Klaudia. "As if two more people getting killed will win back the Monastery."
Paige shook her head sadly. "They don't know what they're getting into."