A couple of hours after sunrise,Klanu finally mustered enough determination to throw off his large down-filled comforter and rose groggily from his bed,then instantly wished he hadn't. The pounding ache in his head and the nausea rising in his belly was enough to make his sorely tested body scream for the soothing numbess of sleep again. He gave a sigh. The little revel Bryce had thrown last night had been very unwise. Even he should have been able to see that sating themselves on a feast of various roasted meats and rich heady red wine at the local inn that night,would have interfered with their plan to rise at the crack of dawn the next day to show the mayor and the others in their little party just how punctual and disciplined they could be. Alas,that was an idle fantasy now,thanks to Bryce's insistance that they make their last night in Cuderim for a long time to come,a most pleasent one. Through the wine induced fog swirling in his head,Klanu could vaugely remember Bryce assuring him that indulging themselves a little would do no harm. So much for that. His skull felt it was like being pounded by a smith's hammer and his stomach was fretful and bothered. Bryce had probally suffered worse though. A small man,he had drunk and ate even more than Klanu,making his big friend wonder where he put it all away. No doubt a heavy price would be exacted for his gluttony.
Staggering to Bryce's large bed(Bryce's silver had gotten them very comfortable lodgings indeed)he discovered that his worse fears had been realized. Huddled beneath the blankets was the curled form of Bryce,his hands clearly clutching his belly in agony. The only part of him that could be seen,was the little man's face that had taken on a rather distinct shade of green. Must go well with his green night gown,Klanu thought idly in a detached corner of his mind.'
Raising his face as Klanu approached,Bryce grimaced. ''Don't feel too good..''he forced out from between tighly clenched teeth. ''No,I suppose not,my lord.''' Klanu found himself mumbling. ''You're not going to the forest today,not in your current state. Meet up with the rest of our little party when you have suffeciently recovered for the ardorous trek into that dark place. For now,rest. I shall get a healer to take care of your health.''
Ignoring the weak protests that his words provoked from Byrce,Klanu dressed and prepared himself( with some difficulty.),aware that his commanding words were anything but those appropriate for one serving out his term of ritual bondage. No doubt Bryce as his ''master'',would give him some unpleasent task to carry out when he had gotten well enough to use the powers he had over Klanu,but he must have understood that Klanu had done what he did out of concern for the safety of his friend. Besides,it was not like Klanu had any reason for not wanting Byrce to come along. Quite the opposite in fact. In that sinister place he was about to venture into,he would feel the absence of Bryce's blade very keenly.
After he had more or less prepared himself,Klanu walked down the long twisting stairs to the common room. There he sought out the inkeeper who was busy polishing a goblet behind the smooth wooden counter. ''My friend is ill. Get a healer to see to him,will you?'' Digging in his pouch for some of the Keyre he had collected the previous day from the mayor,he slapped it down on the counter. ''For your trouble. My friend will give you more of that when he gets better.''
Now had come the part of his little appointment that he was dreading. The trip to the meeting spot on horse back was something Klanu had not been looking forward too. A passable rider at best,he had never really gotten used to the rocking motion of these odd,four legged beasts. So very different from the smooth,sinous grace of a noble Serpent. Now there was a steed that would he would have been more then eager to ride,he thought nostalgically,recollecting the giant snakes that his people had formed a sacred bond with. Ahh,how he wished he had a Serpent with him now,a loyal companion that would selflessly take an arow or sword blade for him if need be.
Reluctantly pushing that longing from his mind,he entered the stables and mounted his horse,a stolid brown gelding that was so unlike the fiery tempered little stallion that was Bryce's steed. A docile animal,it would not do anything to startle or terrorize it's rider. Even so,Klanu wished he could avoid doing any riding. The uncomfortable sensation in his stomach was quickly getting worse. A ride on a horse would do nothing to soothe it. On the other hand,walking was not an option. Already late,he had no desire to risk the ire of the mayor by letting his unsteady legs take their own sweet time in bringing him to the place where the mayor and the others probally waited impatiently.
Ten minutes later, Klanu arrived,gasping and panting. Pulling his horse to a stop directly beside that pale whipsnapper Coram and the little woman Ithascia,he slithered down from his saddle and slumped to his knees. His stomach finally revolted. The contents of last night's feast bubbled up and came gushing out in a powerful jet on Coram's boots. Mortified,Klanu looked up shakily at the outraged face of the boy(which by the way,now had a most charming flush of red) and said shakily'' Just so you know,this is Bryce's fault''.