"Its--" the second voice starts.
"I told you he was too tall to be a dwarf. He can't see in the dark," the third voice chides.
"Its--" she starts, again.
"C'mon, do the thing!"
"I'm not very good with Energy."
"We don't need a bonfire. Just a candle." The first voice manages to sound both reassuring and expectant.
A sigh from the second. "Fine." She takes a slow, deep breath.
A pinpoint of light, like a mote of dust caught in a sunbeam, glimmers into being where there is no dust. Nor sunlight. It grows steadily larger, expanding into a wobbly, misshapen globe of clear, watery light.
It illuminates three figures in the far corner of the room: the first, a lanky figure, dressed in boys woolen breeches and tunic, leather vest and boots, her hair a thick tumble of hair the color of wheat awaiting harvest.
The second sits next to her, cross-legged, the white skirt spread over her knees, looking nearly blue under the light of the wavering globe that hovers just over her head. Bands of seven colors are embroidered along the hem of the dress and the cuffs of the sleeves, yellow being closest to her wrists, and at the top of the hem's arrangement. Her hair, somewhat mussed, shines like spun gold in a wavy tumble down her back.
The third, sitting slightly behind the second, is a somewhat frail-looking girl with a sharp nose and mass of tight, curly blonde locks. She, too, is dressed in a long tunic, but its fabric has seen much more wear and use than that of the first girl. Long, nimble fingers tug and twist at the hem of the tunic, revealing buckskin breeches and high, sturdy-but-similarly-timeworn boots.
Three pairs of strikingly blue eyes stare up at the two men, though the pair in the middle seem to stare unnervingly through them.
"Healing," the girl in the middle says, her voice distant, somewhat sing-song. The way she speaks the word, the men can practically hear its capitalization-- she speaks not of the concept, but of the act itself, as if it were a physical thing. "Involves an entwining of threads of Thought, Entropy and Time such that--"
As she speaks, the watery light's wobbling increases, and it slowly dims, only solidifying and brightening when the girl to her right elbows her in the ribs.
"Focus!" the first hisses. She then looks back over to the men.
"What Kat means is that when she Heals, she's got to give up a little bit of herself in order for your wounds to mend. She usually just ends up a little bit tired and hungry, like now. When she really has to work at it -- like when she fixed my arm after I fell out of the tree --" Here, the taller girl laughs. "Oh, she she was a downright grumpy-pus when she woke up."
"That's because I woke up with a crick in my neck from all that bouncing off your bony shoulder." The light intensifies slightly at the still-distant-voiced rebuke.
"I could have left you there for the squirrels to nibble on."
"Squirrels don't eat--" the third girl says, but is interrupted by a hammering that shakes the heavy wooden door in its equally heavy iron fittings.
"QUIET DOWN IN THERE!"
Muffled though it is through the thick wood of the door, the voice sill booms, deep and loud enough the men can feel it pressing against their chests.
"Well, we're hungry!" the third girl shouts back. "Or did you expect us to eat these men that you threw in here?"
The door seems to creak under the weight of the belly-laugh from the other side.
"Master says the little ones don't eat like Ogrek eats. 'Gruel and bread and water without mud,' Master says."
"Then bring us some of that!"
"And no bugs, this time!" the taller girl adds.
A harumph from the other side of the door. "Bugs is makes it more chewy. Keeps you strong! Master says needs his little ones to be strong for the exp-uh... esp-eri-.... for tests!"