Ilya is a doctor working for the Almaz fighting pits. Tall, gaunt, bearded. He is either mute, or chooses not to speak. Rumour suggests he has coerced young channeling girls into service , and uses them to heal (or harm) at his behest. It is currently unclear (but possible) that he may be a channeler himself.
It looked like a child.
Gaunt-cheeked, eyes like night. Her hair was a short curly crown, a constellation of freckles spotted across her nose. She did not smile, and though Raffe floated, something in her expression tugged at his compassion. Like a little sparrow in a cage. Trapped.
God, she couldn’t be more than twelve.
Sudden cool shivered Raffe’s skin beneath that solemn gaze, before she looked up at a looming shadow by her side. Dread filled his chest, a burst violent enough his limbs abruptly strained to scoot away from it. If he’d had the strength for that. As it was, he only gurgled a note of horror as the shadow nodded and she obediently knelt at his side, her dirty palms pressed over his hands.
Her touch plunged icy shards straight into his heart, and he screamed.
Ilya waited just beyond the entrance. Habitual black draped his shoulders (better to hide the blood), his bearded face like a disembodied skull above. He snapped the gloves on his hands, smiling faintly, brows lifting with the offer of assistance. He remembered her, if no one else; damn doctor was as old as the pitted walls. Nhysa waved him off with a wink. Rumour these days said the guy kept young girls whose fingers healed or mangled at a touch, but such was reserved for the highest earners (or those with the richest patrons). Most of those had the privacy of their own rooms anyway.