The boy studied the flow of emotions running across Eilyn’s face. She knew, but like women of her time, she would set herself on fire to keep her family warm.
“The masters will be impressed by your initiative,” he said and offered his hand. “Few women can handle the rigors of necromancy. If you succeed, you will hold a special place among us.”
“I know you joined them to survive,” Eilyn took his hand and stepped closer. “But I can help you, brother.”
“I was doomed to this life long before I was born,” the boy said and shot a smug look at Tharlmund. His father turned red with anger, but Eilyn did not notice.
“How?” Eilyn looked at him, her eyes full of terror and concern.
“I promised the soul of my first born son as entry to the brotherhood of necromancers,” Tharlmund said. The man was beyond caring.
The boy watched as the fight left his sister. Her shoulders slouched and several centuries of sadness settled on her face.
“You’ve known all along,” the boy comforted his sister. “Now you must accept it.”
“Mother,” she sobbed. “What happened to mother?”
“Our time is short!” Tharlmund huffed. The boy looked at him and gave an imperceptible shake of his head. His father’s impatience undermined the man’s ambitions each time, but the boy would not let him ruin this. He loved his sister and would not bring her any more heartache.
“Mother’s soul was too pure to even make it to this realm,” the boy smiled at Eilyn. This brought a little life back to her face.
“Will you join us?” he asked. “You will find solace in the arms of the living death.”
“I have nothing to offer them for entry,” she sighed.
“Yes, you do,” the boy looked past her to the man still standing in the chamber.