|Chapter 1: Starfare's Gem|
When Linden had asked him for an explanation, he had replied, I'm already too dangerous.
Dangerous. The word resonated for her. In ways which none but she could perceive, he was sick with power. His native illness, his leprosy, was quiescent, even though he had lost or surrendered most of the self-protective disciplines which kept it slumberous. But in its place grew the venom that a Raver and the Sunbane had afflicted upon him. That moral poison was latent at present, but it crouched in him like a predator, awaiting its time to spring. To her sight, it underlay the hue of his skin as if it had blackened the marrow of his bones. With his venom and his white ring, he was the most dangerous man she had ever known.
She desired that danger in him. It defined for her the quality of strength which had originally attracted her to him on Haven Farm. He had smiled for Joan when he had sold his life for hers; and that smile had revealed more of his strange potency, his capacity to outwrestle fate itself, than any threat or violence could have. The caamora of release he had given to the Dead of The Grieve had shown the lengths to which he was able to go in the name of his complex guilts and passions. He was a paradox, and Linden ached to emulate him.