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Comfort Against Conflict

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In the temple of the Therns, Thuvia's gift with the banths had saved her life countless times. The Therns, as superstitious themselves as the rest of the world was where they ruled, were wary of her ability to call them to her. The savage ten-legged beasts could not be tamed, and yet they fawned for her.

Now, trapped in the wilds of Barsoom, not knowing what fate lay in store for her or Carthoris or her homeland, her sole comfort was the great banth Komal at her side as she weighed her precarious heart, caught between dutiful marriage to Kulan Tith, and her love of Carthoris himself.

How simple, she thought, it would be if she were a banth herself, unconflicted by matters of politics and the heart.