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“Watser name?” The man asked. She squinted in thought, trying to discern the words beyond his thick accent. When Mammon had taught her the outlanders tongue she had neglected to mention that there were different ways of speaking it.


She might not have known,’ she thought. To her knowledge Mammon had never left the village.


“We’ve been calling her Rabbit,” a voice to her left said. He was much easier to understand. His words tended to be separate entities and not all blended together as many of the others. His clothing was different as well, and he smelled of the forest rather than the sea. His black hair was tied neatly in a tail at the nape of his neck. It swayed as they moved, keeping time with his horse’s tail.


“Doncha know er name?” Big-nose asked.


“She hasn’t spoken since we picked her up. I do not think she has a voice.”


“Silent, huh.” Big-nose looked thoughtful as he stared at her. She stared back. “Usure she’s got da talent?” He asked ponytail man. Ponytail man nodded.


“She has the talent. See the mark on her wrist?” Big-nose dropped his gaze to her wrist.


“Don see nothin,” he said.


“It is on the other side,” ponytail man said. He stepped closer and Big-nose eased back. “Hold your hand out like this,” he told her. He spoke slowly to make sure she understood his words. He backed the words up with a gesture showing her how she was to hold her arm.


She extended her right hand and turned it palm side up. Ponytail man smiled at her and pointed to her wrist. “There,” he said. Big nose peered closely at the mark on her wrist. It was the mark of the Gahda and she had been born with it. The mark resembled a small bowl with a flame coming out of it. Big-nose nodded, satisfied.

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