Skipping ahead a bit in Book One of the Academy of the Accord series. Marsden has reached the town of Claimach to rescue Vinadi, a wizard who was stranded there when his escort (Rodak) was killed in a bar fight.
Vinadi has been kept locked in a room in the loft of a barn. I’m picking up with Marsden finding him.
The air in the barn loft was hot and heavy, and what little breeze managed to find its way through the gaps between the boards only served to stir up the dust and make it seem even hotter, and Marsden felt sick as he slid the key into the heavy padlock, afraid of what he would find beyond the door.
A wall of heat met him, bringing with it the stench of human waste and unwashed body, but Marsden barely noticed. It was the figure in the center of the room that held his attention.
The wizard was on his side, gagged and blindfolded, his arms and hands bound behind his back at the wrist and elbow, other ropes securing his knees and ankles. The grey robes that marked him as Journeyman were torn, revealing bruises that ranged from the yellowish green of almost healed to the red and purple of recently inflicted. He made no effort to move, gave no indication that he was even aware of the warrior’s presence, and Marsden choked on a wave of fear. Had he arrived too late? Was he only in time to rescue a corpse?
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