"Don't move!"

Puzzled Quenoor shot back, "I have an injured mage who needs immediate treatment!"

He turned to pull Tier'ghan from Kellir's back and found himself wrenched away. The sharp ridges of the paladin's gauntlet cut into his neck as he was dragged backward.

"Hey!" He struggled in the paladin's grip only to get cuffed upside the head hard enough it sent stars shooting through his vision.

"Shut it, halfling."

"The mage ... help him." Quenoor managed as the pressure on his throat increased. This had gone balls up in a rather spectacular fashion.

"Aguilar see to the other one. He could be lying. That was no ordinary magic spike."

Quenoor didn't fight the brutal grip as he watched the other paladin yank Tier'ghan off Kellir. Kellir responded with a swift kick to the paladin's thigh that would have broken the man's leg if he'd been standing any closer. As it was the clang of hoof against armor rang loud in the morning air. If it phased the paladin, he didn't show it. He laid Tier'ghan on the ground and did a cursory check.

"He's badly injured, looks like someone tried to carve him up."

"I tried to tell you! Now let me go." Quenoor tried for his most civil and convincing tone.

The paladin holding him let out a grunt. "You have papers, gremlin?"

"Yes, sir."

"And what about that horse. I doubt he's yours."

Well, shitty fuck. He had nothing on him to prove Kellir was his horse. "I can explain everything."

"And you will."

The pressure on his throat eased but the grip on his arm didn't ease. He watched as several mages came running out of one of the buildings. There was a lot of shouting and arm flapping as the group headed in their direction.

"Calvary's here," he muttered.

Lead to the side he could do little but watch as the mages gathered around Tier'ghan.

"I knew this would happen." A thin reedy voice proclaimed. "I told him not to leave Valsarai! Idiot!"

Quenoor snorted in agreement.

"Just worry about getting him to the infirmary. We'll decide what to do about him later." A short stocky mage said and then looked directly at Quenoor. "We have other matters to attend."

Three of the mages gathered around Tier'ghan. One inscribed a simple transport glyph and with a burst of magic and a shimmer they were gone. Quenoor took several deep breaths. The mage was out of his hands now. He had no more obligation to him, not that he ever had. Something tingled along the back of his head and he jerked his head up even as he snapped mental shields into place.

The short mage stared at him. Quenoor glared back. How dare they try to read his thoughts. That was a grave offense. They were nowhere near powerful enough to break his defenses but the attempt angered him. A true gremlin or halfling would have been utterly at their mercy.

He rebuffed another attempt, careful to only let the simplest of surface thoughts through. Most of it directed to cursing the paladin holding him. He couldn't let on that he was anything but a halfling. He knew well the legends about Sidhe among the humans and he wasn't about to become someone else's experiment to toy with.

"Your name halfling."

"Quenoor, your mageship."

"It is Magister. Magister Orvil."

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