The door of the cell smashes fully open at the duke’s entrance as Tamara rises from beside Deirdre. Her friend cries out in fear and scuttles back into the corner of the room, fresh tears bursting forth. The look of fury on the tattooed man’s face is replaced by surprise and then murderous rage as his gaze falls on the crying woman. Sigmar and the Oracle’s crippled servant follow the holy warrior, both looking relieved to see the prisoner in her cell. Tamara steps in front of Faisal as he moves forward.
“Stand aside, Councilor”, growls the large man. “This is a matter of Faith that does not concern you.” He attempts to step around her.
Tamara swallows the lump in her throat and gathers her courage, moving to the side and blocking his path.
“The well-being of the citizens of Tuskany is very much my concern, your grace.”
The large warrior’s fists clench tightly, tendons audibly popping with the tension. Tamara can see him battling with his anger, visibly restraining himself. The knot of fear twists even tighter.
“This woman is a blasphemer and murderess. You will not stand in the way of the justice of The Lady of Eternal Light!”
The gentle popping of displaced air announces an arrival in the hallway, and the young witch breathes a sigh of relief as Nicholas and Beppo rush into the already cramped cell. Her bravery bolstered, Tamara looks back at Faisal, hands firmly on her hips.
“Those are serious accusations, your grace. But I will not stand aside without some evidence to back them up.”
“Brother Faisal, the difference between heresy and treachery is ignorance. Let me put this woman to the question of the holy flame.”"