Smothering the curse under her breath which threatened to escape through clenched teeth, Syndria pushed herself up out of the unladylike heap in which she had landed. Though the moon shone brightly high above the trees, the ground underneath was dark. This was not the first time the Healer had tripped over some hidden root in her haste, and Syndria could feel the throb of a sprained ankle. The pain didn’t bother her--she had dealt with much worse in her years of healing--but the limp caused by her injury frustrated her. Though a Healer had the ability to heal any injury in others she could not use her gift on herself, so Syndria just kept moving. She knew the sprain wouldn’t be able to heal naturally unless she gave her ankle a chance to rest yet there was no choice but to keep moving. If she stopped this close to Caron it would be only a matter of hours before King Simann’s Royal Guard was upon her.
“Yeah!” she scoffed, “As if I have much more than hours anyway. I’m certain the King has his Wizards following my every move, biding their time. After all, King Simann wouldn’t want to waste any energy having his guards follow me if they can just wait until I stop somewhere.” Straightening her shoulders and lifting her chin, Syndria brushed aside all her negative thoughts. “So, I just keep moving until I find someone, anyone, to help in my cause. Men are taken to the castle weekly for questioning and torture--surely I am not so blind to the intentions of others that I cannot find the men who oppose Simann’s cruelty. If any of the Ancient’s gift for reading people rubbed off on me through the years, now is when I need it.”
Dusting off her beautiful gown, hoisting the pack to her shoulder, and taking a deep breath, the young Healer picked up her pace. Looking around in the moonlight she took in the trees, the bushes, the flowers just starting to peak out. Somewhere above her an owl hooted, and a brook babbled in the distance. At the base of a tall oak Syndria spotted sticks and twigs leaned up against the trunk, undoubtedly the workings of some child erecting what his mind’s eye saw as a mighty fortress. This land was what she must fight for, its people her master. If they could not see Simann for the tyrant he truly was, it was the young Healer’s duty to open their eyes to the truth. She would fight to free her people, even if the battle seemed futile. If needed, Syndria was willing to sacrifice her own life to see the good people of Tundyel freed form Simann’s oppression.