Perdante closed her eyes for a brief moment, let out a deep sigh, and then opened them again. "It is true that by royal edict and the Law of the Fates, I have lost my right to challenge Faren Mageslayer directly. However, I could serve as a second to any others who wish to do so and who have not yet fought in the Duel." She sat down again, removing a silver cord from around her wrist, crafted of braided and dyed silk. It shimmered with an unearthly hue. "This is the thread of my life, imbued with the force of the Higher Power that guides me and represented in visible, earthly form. I had to keep Faren Mageslayer--and Palach--from slicing right through this thread, and my wrist." She smiled. "However, there is something else that is particularly remarkable about it..."
Clasping the thread close to her heart, she continued, "In this case--among Duel combatants--the stakes are higher, and the bonds stronger, than simply becoming the Kyng's new lieutenant or being sent into exile. A 'second' is far more than simply a right-hand man or woman. The second, as an act of loyalty and submission, chooses to bind himself or herself to their master for as long as their master is alive. If the second wraps his or her life-thread around the wrist of their master and presses their head to the pulse-artery, the thread will glow, and a part of their life-essence will live inside their master. Faren Mageslayer has done this, and part of his vitality lies in Kyng Varhad. If he had ANYTHING to do with the Kyng's illness, he is taking a great risk. Perhaps he thinks that his brute strength and berserker's rage will save him. I myself think not, however.
"Why do seconds--lieutenants and Duel combatants--do this? The Law of the Fates, which I follow, says that all of us are interconnected, especially those with a very close bond: masters and seconds, siblings, husbands and wives. Lovers. A thread-bond is a bond for life, and when one perishes, the other is weakened considerably. However, in turn, one's strength benefits the other.
"One more thing: My own thread-master died right before I went to fight in the Duel I lost. Perhaps that is why I was defeated, along with the combined power of Faren and Palach. I am...quite weakened. I yearn to serve a new champion. If you are willing to bind your strength and life to the greatest loser of all time in order that you both may win once more, please step forward..."