“Wh-what’s going on?”

“Oh, Lord, no, he’s waking up.” Arion heard the gruff voice of someone he could not see. “Quick, knock him out again. He can’t see anything before the ritual.”

“Hm, what?” Arion, still groggy, tried to open his eyes, before being smacked in the side of the head with a heavy object. He let out a grunt of pain and forced his eyes open.

He was staring at the ceiling of what appeared to be a mud house, or maybe an underground cavern. Two indistinct figures in white robes stood on either side of him, but he could not turn his head to look at them.

“He can see!” one of them hissed, and both took a step back, out of his range of vision. The heavy object hit him again, presumably swung by one of the figures.

“Hurry up and knock him out, gosh dangit,” the gruff voice spat, and Arion realized it was not from either of the white-clad figures, but that of one at the foot of the cot he was lying on; he was out of Arion’s range of vision.

“Third time’s the charm,” the other white-robed figure hissed.

Arion felt the object hit him again, harder. Pain blossomed in the side of his head as he fell unconscious.