Ilo, left alone, had set up a camp and got a fire ready to light when evening should come. He had caught the run-away horse and tethered it beside the donkey, draping both animals in blankets to keep off the wind. Then he prepared food and drink so that he could have it ready for Perian as soon as he came back.

“If he comes back,” he muttered. The donkey looked at him, its head on one side. Then there were several hours of waiting, until Perian stumbled out of the night towards the fire. Ilo stripped him of his armour, laid him in soft blankets, gave him hot spiced wine to drink and bathed his wounds in warm water.

“Oh, my lord, I am so glad to see you! How excited they will all be in Portron. Was the monster very terrible?”

Perian shuddered.

“Ho, don’t ask me. I cannot speak of it yet. But I thank you for your care of me. I think I could sleep now.”

Ilo watched beside the king for a while, then settled down by the fire.

Kemara's Tower


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