"The whole place is clear. The Jarl will be…pleased."
Rayya came down the steps into the main hall, wiping her curved sword down. I was about to respond that we were ready to leave when I stopped short and squinted my eyes. There seemed to be an area behind her that looked a bit off, as if a cloud of vapor trailed behind her.
"Move away" I yelled, and threw my axe at Rayya.
Startled, Rayya ducked, and losing her balance came tumbling down the rest of the way. The axe struck something and hovered in the air for a moment before dropping with a loud thud.
We ran towards Rayya who was struggling to get up. “Are you okay?” I asked, kneeling down to help her up. She gave out a low moan and clutched her side. When she moved her hand away it was drenched in blood.
"It seems we missed one," Teldryn called out from the middle of the stairs. A body laid across the steps with my axe stuck to its chest. "A Dunmer, no less. Pity." He bent down and examined the dagger in her hand. "Poison on the blade," he said, then took a sniff. "Hmmm…nightshade, I think."
Rayya moaned louder and began to grow pale. I fervently searched my memory for a healing spell that my mother had once taught me for this kind of poison. The image of my dog, Rabbit, came to me, his goofy face looking up at me.
“Why name him Rabbit?” my mother had asked when I brought him home. “He’s quite obviously a dog.”
"I found him chewing on grass like a rabbit," I replied, picking the thistles from his unruly coat. In fact, Rabbit would chew on anything he could get his paws on, and one day it would almost kill him.
I found him lying outside where my mother would hang her herbs to dry, his tongue out and taking quick, short breaths. I ran to get my mother who followed me outside. She gently opened up the dog’s mouth and took out a piece of plant that was stuck in it’s teeth. “Rabbit got into my nightshade,” my mother said softly. She closed her eyes and murmured a healing spell.
"I remember the words!" I cried out as my eyes blinked open. I placed my hand over the wound and said the incantation. A few minutes passed as Rayya laid on the floor, her eyes bruised and barely breathing. I repeated the spell over and over, keeping the energy flowing uninterrupted.
Rayya began to stir. “It looks like it’s working!” Marcurio whispered.
I kept the spell going, but I was already beginning to feel it depleting my own energy.
Rayya moaned and opened her eyes. Already the color had returned to her cheeks and the bruising around her eyes had subsided. I glanced at the already healing wound. It would still require medical attention, but at least the poison had been sucked out of her system.
Marcurio and Teldryn helped her up, and between the both of them, led Rayya out of the Sanctuary. I stopped before the entrance and studied the carving on the door. The red hand still glowed, but it had grown faint.