Chapter 5

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Dhynelle defended Qelharre. "It obviously would have made no difference. The SoulSlayers had already entered through one barrier."

Wyxotte, sensing the upper hand, continued her verbal assault. "Yes, but the barrier was most likely their own. And if not, they could have entered through a rift as FireQueen did."

"This is completely irrelevant," said the High Witch. "Lhynette is, after all, alive and safe here among us." She was quickly becoming agitated.

Wyxotte refused to surrender the issue. "Yes, but even you, Khyrhyelle, said how she nearly died. And the pain, not to mention the fright of the experience…"

Lhynette raised a feeble arm to gain the Council's attention. She spoke to the dwarf, her voice weak and shaky. "Maybe you should consider changing the color of your robe, Wyxotte. Your words surely do not become the white that you wear." It seemed quite an effort just for Lhynette to speak. But she made her point. Wyxotte, admonished, sat quietly with her eyes lowered.

"Thank you, Lhynette." The High Witch paused briefly, then continued in an accusatory tone. "I would think that the matter at hand is serious enough to displace our personal feelings and act like the Council we are supposed to be. Is it necessary to remind all of you that our responsibility is not only to each other and our orders, but to the entire realm of Khaballe?" The only sounds came from the fire crackling in the hearth. "Qelharre, would you continue?"

Qelharre knew better than to allow her melancholy to continue, at least on the surface. "The SoulSlayers appeared. There were two of them. We could see the eerie glow of their flaming eyes as well as their hideous mounts in the darkness. Lhynette threw the vial at them, or did FireQueen breathe her flames first? I am not sure—it all happened so fast."

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