Quotes: ( Note, more [longer] chunks to be found in the journal itself. )
He considered her; her build, her very look. “You are different, Zhaneel, just as I am different from my own people. And when I came here, I felt a little like you do–no, a lot like you do. I was scorned simply because of who I was, and what I do. The Healers wouldn’t accept me because I was a kestra’chern. The kestra’chern were wary of me because I could Heal. Yet as I saw them dance away from me, I studied the moves of their dance." Amberdrake smiled again as Zhaneel relaxed some more and gazed at him, an enraptured raptor listening to a storyteller. “They would look at me and I was a mirror. They would see parts of themselves in me, layers and shards of their own lives they’d tucked away in their sleeves. When I spoke, the Healers knew I had kestra’chern insight and they felt threatened. And the other kestra’chern distrusted my station and Healing abilities. Yet through it all, there I was. Still myself, Zhaneel, just as you are still you. Those who push you down fear you. They are jealous of you. And you are stronger than you know."
--The Black Gryphon, page 119.
He shook his head, and shrugged. “Oh sometimes I think he is so obsessed with topping his latest escapade that he does not notice much of anything, including his friends." She continued to stare at him quizzically and finally said, “He notices. He loves you. The whole camp knows this." That was not what he had expected to hear, and for once, he was taken by surprise. “He–what?" Amberdrake replied. He thought for a moment that he had misheard her, but she repeated her statement. “He loves you as if you were a nestmate," she insisted. “Perhaps he does not say so, but all in the camp knows that Amberdrake and Skandranon might as well have come from a single mother." As his mouth dropped open a little, she gurgled--a gryphon-giggle, and the first sound of happiness he had heard from her yet. “I heard this--I heard him tell some of the captains that you were a being of great integrrrity!" “You what?" he said, trying to picture Skan doing anything of the sort. “I heard him," she said firmly, and with coaxing, the story emerged. She had, once again, been eavesdropping when she shouldn’t have. Some of the mercenary captains had been bandying about the names and reputations of several of the perchi and kestra’chern, and Amberdrake’s name had come up just as Skan passed by. That would have been enough to attract his attention, but one of the captains had called out to him, tauntingly, asking him to verify what they had heard “since you know him so well." And Skan had, indeed, defended Amberdrake’s problematical honor, at the cost of some ridicule, which Skan hated worse than cold water. “So," Zhaneel concluded. “You see." Amberdrake did see–and he was rather overwhelmed at this evidence of affection, affection that he had hoped for but had not really believed in. A kestra’chern had so few friends–so few of those more than the merest of superficial acquaintances.... He blinked, finding his eyes stinging a little. “Amberdrake," she said into the silence, “You are a Healer." He blinked his eyes clear and returned her grave stare, expecting a return to the earlier topic of discussion. “Of course, sky-lady." But she turned the tables on him. “And when you are hurt, who heals the Healer?" Has she suddenly turned into Gesten, or Tamsin, to sense my feelings before I know them? he thought, startled again. But he chuckled, to cover his confusion, and replied, “My lady, I am not likely to need the services of a Healer, after all. I do not ply my various trades on the battlefield." She snorted, in a way that sounded very like Skan, but said nothing more.
--The Black Gryphon, pages 126 -- 128.
“As I thought,” she said, to no one in particular. “Urtho is so caught up with the mages that he didn’t even ask me what the complaint is. He’s leaving orders to pass us into the Tower. We have relatively free access to the gryphon records; he warned me that some things have some magical protections on them, and that if I want to see them, I’ll have to ask him.” “Which, of course, we will not,” Amberdrake said. “Since we have other means of getting at them.” “So, you see, we didn’t need all that skulking and going in through windows that you three wanted to do,” Cinnabar replied, with just a hint of reproach in her voice. “Lady, don’t include me in that!” Amberdrake protested. “It was Tamsin, Skan, and Vikteren that wanted to go breaking into the Tower! I knew better!” “Of course you did,” Tamsin muttered under his breath, as they all rose to go. “And you never collected ropes and equipment for securing prisoners. I don’t even want to know why you conveniently had all that stuff on hand!” Amberdrake raised an eyebrow and pretended not to hear him, and simply rose with all of the dignity that years of practice could grant.
-- The Black Gryphon, pages 214 -- 215.
When Winterhart realized that the man really did know what he was doing–at least insofar as massage was concerned–she let the fear ebb from her body. The more she relaxed, the more his hands seemed to be actually soothing away the pain in her poor back. Odd. I always thought massage was supposed to be painful.... In fact, it was so soothing that she felt herself drifting away, not quite asleep, but certainly not quite awake. Several moments passed before she realized that the tingling sensation in her back really was something very familiar, after all. The difference was that she had never experienced it before as the recipient. Her eyes opened wide although she did not move. She didn’t dare. The man was Healing her, and you didn’t interrupt a Healing trance! “Well," came the conversational voice from behind her. “You certainly have broken up your back in a most spectacular fashion." He was talking! How could you trance and talk at the same time? “Your main problem is with one of the pads between the vertebrae," the voice continued. “It’s squashed rather messily. I’m putting back what I can; if I can get the inflammation down, that will clear the way to stop most of the pain you’ve been enduring." “Oh–" she replied, weakly. “I’d thought perhaps that I had cracked a vertebra." “Nothing nearly so exciting," the voice replied. “But this could have been worse. It is good that Urtho sent you to me when he did. Do you feel any tension here...?" Winterhart felt a spot of cold amid the sea of warmth in her back. This man was amazing; the Healers she knew could activate the nerves in a specific point of the body, but never a specific sensation. By the time her training had been terminated, she could not activate a circle of nerves smaller than her thumb’s width without causing the patient to feel heat, cold, pressure, and pain there all at once. And here this–this kestra’chern–was pinpointing the nerves in a tenth of that area, and making her feel only a chill. Not pain! She could only grunt an affirmative and let her defenses slip a little more. He knew what he was doing, and he felt so competent, so good....