Lowly Times

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Alexander looked up at the sky. Twilight shone down through the hole in the sewers, casting a dim light on the Citadel. How could things have gone so wrong?

A dragon, of all things, had been felled by the enemy. It lay helpless in the Citadel, babbling about Alexander being his 'father'. The priest and cleric, two specialists in healing and warding evil, were bedridden, unable to assist in the battle against the demons. The knight's only help was currently an overly emotional kobold who harbored delusions of heroism.

What in the world could be done?

Alexander couldn't go up to the surface like this. He was having doubts. Losing his focus, thinking about how terrible the situation was. He would get sloppy, and without backup...

It would only be a matter of time until something got me.

He didn't want to waste yet more time sitting around doing nothing, but this quest could only be undertaken once. If he got himself killed, that was it. The fog would blanket the whole world in darkness.

Alexander decided he had no choice but to cool his heels at the Citadel until the holy warriors and dragon were better.

It had been a day since the group returned, half dead, to the Citadel. Alexander had spent most of the time in the medical tent, with Lexius and Leianna. He was confident their magic had kept Tourthun safe, but he worried that they pushed themselves to the brink doing it.

Of course, he took breaks to check on Tourthun, but the dragon appeared fine. He had been asleep, snoring loudly since he first started resting.

For now Alexander sat in a small wooden chair. Next to him were two beds, with Lexius and Leianna lying in them, wearing nothing more than simple linens.

The priest looked gaunt and sickly. His face was white as the sheets he was lying in and his cheeks were sunken. His breaths were slow and labored. The knight couldn't believe Lexius managed to push himself this close to death's door.

Leianna looked as though she was faring better. She was pale and sweating, but she looked like had little more than a small fever.

The noise of the tent flap moving snapped Alexander out of his daydreams. A shellback entered the tent, a backpack full of what Alexander assumed to be medical supplies hung on his shell.

The shellbacks were bipedal turtles, native to the swamplands east of the human Kingdom of Geralthin. They were quite friendly and peaceful, only getting into conflict with Geralthin twice in their entire history.

The shellbacks were known for their spirituality and affinity for crafting medicine. They often became healers, be it through holy magic or herbalism. They also pioneered new directions for surgery, considered extremely dangerous beforehand, and made the practice much more nuanced and successful.

"How are they?" Alexander probed.

The shellback looked at the knight, calm and reassuring. "We have done all that can be done for now. They are safe. They just need some time to recover from the...strenuous act they have undergone. I assure you they will be back on their feet in due time."

Relief washed over Alexander. He had been told the same thing from all the other healers, but the shellback seemed so relaxed, so sure of himself. The creature's confidence rubbed off on the knight.

"Of course. Thank you for your hard work." The shellback smiled and nodded at Alexander, seeming satisfied.

"It's nothing, really! Just repaying the folks doing right by us." The large turtle checked over Lexius, lifting the priest up into a sitting position as he carefully poured some water into the his mouth.

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