| || Adin knew that he was the one who must fill the medallions in the belt.
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The Sister of the South
Lief heard while in Tora, that his mother had fallen ill upon returning to Del. He is told by Zeann that it is not an ordinary disease but rather a deadly infection that was spreading rapidly through the people. His mother was still alive but hundreds had already died from the illness. Luckily though, the Diamond protects against pestilence and Zeann believed that Sharn will recover quickly as soon as he reaches her.Lief learned that the disease was called the Toran plague due to Sharn having come from Tora and was the first to become ill. Lief receives a note from Josef, the librarian, that contained the hidden message: "-I... -must... -see... -you... -urgent... -fearful... -news... -tell... -no-one." Lief drank some of the Dreaming Spring water to see what troubled Josef in Del and finds that the dead bodies of the people who had been in contact with his mother were being burned in funeral fires.
Lief, Barda and Jasmine travelled to Del in a Toran disguise and encountered distrust and suspicion at the gates of Del by the guards. It is shortly later, that they find out the reason, as attached to wall was a yellow notice.
Though the truths were in fact lies, Lief, Barda and Jasmine found that there were enough truths in there for the frightened people to be deceived. They quickly made their way towards the palace for fear of being attacked because of their Toran garments. They noticed on their way, that charms, that the owners believed would protected them from illness, hung from many of the doors. Disturbingly there was quite a number of doors that were nailed shut and marked with a red 'X', to show that the people who had once lived there had died of the plague.
Lief travelled ahead of Jasmine and Barda to speak with Josef, it was in Josef's room that Lief found him sweaty and hideously disfigured by swollen scarlet blotches. He had sent Paff to talk to Sharn and Paff had been infected with the plague and given it to Josef. Josef warned Lief of evil lurking with the palace walls and urged him to leave since he did not want to give Lief the plague.
Lief went to see his dying mother. It had been three days since she had arrived in Del, she had scarlet lumps covering her face, she was sweaty, her lips cracked and dry and dark shadows smudged the skin beneath her eyes. Lief learned from Doom that the day after Sharn had returned, she was burning with fever and red weals were already showing on her face. All the people she had come in contact with had shared the same fate. Most however died the same day. Doom ordered that the citizens cover their faces while walking the streets and tending to the sick, but still the deaths continued. He did manage to keep the plague from spreading beyond Del, as no-one is permitted to leave the city.
Zeean having had come to bring Sharn some comfort, was also trapped. She explained that Marilen had also wanted to come but was persuaded to remain in safety, which she had been very glad of considering that the plague was not the only threat. When Zeean had come to Del, she had to be escourted by Doom since the very sight of her seemed to inflame the people. Some had thrown stones. If he had not have been there, she believed that harm would have come to her.
Lief took off the Belt of Deltora and laid it upon his mother's body with the great Diamond over her heart. Lief saw that her strength was returning and took off the red mask he was wearing. This despaired Doom but Lief reassured him by explaining that he had seen Josef the night before and had not fallen ill with the Toran Plague, because nobody knew of it. There was no such thing as the Torans Plague, as all the deaths had been caused by poison. The Amethyst pales in the presence of poison and it was pale as lavender water. The red marks on Sharn faded and her fever cooled, she was recovering due to the Emerald since it was an antidote to poison.
Joseph died before Lief could use he Belt to save him from the poison. Ranesh was at his side. This caused Doom to become really angry since he had warned them to stay away. An argument between Zeean and Doom ensured which Lief put a stop to since he knew that the Guardian of the Sister wanted to cause distrust between Del and Tora.
Lief sets up a meeting with members of the other tribes and tells them of what he knows and what they should do. The homes nearest to the palace were in the greatest danger as most of the deaths had occurred either in the palace or nearby. All food nearby the palace had to be taken away but they knew that people would not let them take away their private stores of food.
The plague soon spreads to most of Del's people. Lief believes that the plague is in fact poison and sends Gla-Thon to Dread Mountain to collect emeralds (Emeralds cure poison). Lief uses the amethyst to check if food is poisoned before it is issued.
Eventually Lief discovers that the Sister of the South's guardian, a horrible beast with the head of a dog and bird, is the true cause of the plague. When the beast is slain the plague dies with it.