35-Feather Bed

The Countess retired from the pageantry around midnight, and I was very glad to escape the glittering halls in favor of her quiet chambers. She’d danced the whole night with Ilya Terr, and talked with him when they weren’t dancing. The court could barely function for staring. Brell, Karolya and I handed the Countess off…

34-Deputized

I made myself move away from Valredes and the ambassador at a leisurely pace. Just a reveler who hadn’t found whoever she was looking for. I did not want to attract the attention of the man who’d described me so very well to whoever drew the wanted posters that dotted the Empire. Finding the staircase…

33-All in One Place

This evening we were all wearing purple, our faces silver from the nose up, our eyes thick with kohl. Even Pontikel’s. The banquet thrown to officially welcome the elves and the Wuhn for the wedding was in an enormous hall in the Palace of Spires. It was the same hall, Druskin informed me, where the…

32-Times

I related our escapade to Eliah, both of us sitting on the desk like ruffians while we finished cleaning and sharpening my knives. Eliah made noises of crowing delight at each exciting moment. When I’d finished, Eliah said, “Eloi’shand is clear as day in bringing them together on the road. Just think how hard it…

31 – Settling in

The afternoon was almost entirely consumed by frenzied preparation. First, an entire wardrobe change for everyone to formally greet the royal family in a small receiving room packed with courtiers. A short ceremonious greeting, barely long enough to surreptitiously study the king, then the Countess mingled with the crowd, greeting as many people as she…

30 – Gar Morwen

Gar Morwen had one foot in the hills and one in the plains, the Juni cutting through it’s center like good blade. The capitol had once been two cities, and as such it had two of everything. Two market squares, two warehouse districts, two cathedrals, two huge gates in the same side of the city,…

29 – Bravado

I slunk through the shallows, hidden by silt and shifting currents until I was close enough to get a clear look at the person on the log. When I did, my lips curled into a smile. I rose out of the river, the water sluicing from my body as if it had given me form….

28 – The River

I sensed the Juni River hours before we finally crested a hill and saw it glittering in the valley beneath us. A part of my soul begged me to urge my horse to a gallop to reach the riverbanks more quickly. I resisted, and instead savored the scent of the water as we slowly drew…

27-Bruises

We rode until dusk, then made camp again rather than ride through the night. Everyone was completely paranoid about letting the Countess go anywhere alone. Druskin was shaken enough by the experience that he wouldn’t let her out of his sight, and even threw propriety to the dogs when he charged Luza with escorting her…

26 – So Human

The throbbing in my head subsided considerably after Quill’s ministrations, some water, and some breakfast. Matters were further improved when Quill handed me my harness of knives, and then we made camp to rest for a few hours. I was asleep almost before I lay down on my bedroll, the Countess snugly tucked between myself…