short story, story promptLeliana has suffered from a strange condition all her life. No one knows what it is or can suggest any cures and it seems to be getting worse…


Leliana shivered even though she was sitting out in the bright sunshine. She pulled the lap blanket closer around her. It was a beautiful summer day but her skin was cold and wouldn’t warm up, no matter what she tried. A tremor went through her again. She fingered her one piece of jewellery, a simple necklace with a lily pendant hanging from it. Usually, she could draw comfort from feeling it around her neck, but this time it wasn’t helping.

“This is the third time in three weeks.” Her godmother, Gina, tucked a warmed stone wrapped in an old cloth under her feet.

Leliana relaxed as the warmth seeped into her chilled feet and spread up her legs. “It’s happened to me all my life.”

“I know, Lil, but never this frequently.” Gina’s voice was strained, distress clear in her words. “It’s getting worse.”

Leliana closed her eyes and leaned back in her chair. “It will pass. It always does. Whatever it is, it only ever lasts a day at a time. You’ll see, I’ll be back in the gardens with you tomorrow!”

She heard Gina head back into the house. A small sigh escaped her. She was as worried about her unusual condition as her godmother was. Trying to keep up the appearance of being unconcerned was taxing, but she didn’t want to concern Gina any more than possible.

The sun on her face and the warm stone under her feet finally seemed to be helping alleviate the chill in her bones. She began dozing, letting the warmth lull her.

“She’s going to need the Magician very soon,” Gina said. Her voice floated to Leliana’s ears, the tones hushed.

“It’s too soon,” another voice said. This one sounded older and definitely male. It was vaguely familiar to her, but she couldn’t place it. The curiosity started pulling her out of her half-asleep state. “None of the others have been affected yet.”

“Lil’s not going to make it if we don’t do something!” Gina hissed. “I hated this plan from the start! Cursing a girl to save the kingdom? What a ridiculous idea!”

“Hush! I don’t like it any more than you do, but our hands are tied.”

“Well, it will all be for nothing if she doesn’t see the Magician soon,” Gina insisted. “It’s happened once every week for the past three weeks. How long before it affects her three times in one week?”

There was a long pause in the conversation. Fully awake now, Leliana strained to hear what might be said next. Did Gina know what was happening to her?

The man spoke softly. “I know it’s been hard for you, Gina, but-”

“Hard!” Her godmother quickly lowered her voice. “You don’t know anything! Hard doesn’t even begin to cover it! She’s like my own daughter! I’ve raised her since she was two years old. Seeing this happen to her, knowing what’s causing it… it’s heartbreaking.” A thread of venom entered her voice. “You have no right to come here and say things like that. You should be the one feeling the agony of seeing his daughter wracked with shudders because her heart is dying thanks to some stupid curse! You should be with her, telling her everything will be fine even though you know it won’t be! You should have stayed with her and been her father, instead of running away because it was all too hard!”

Leliana sat up straight. Gina’s words rang in her head, creating question after question. Did Gina know what her condition was? What was all this talk of a curse? Who was the ‘Magician’?

One question stuck at the front of everything else. Was her unknown father in the house with her godmother right now?

Ruby’s story and Leliana’s could be part of a series…

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