21 – Into the Hills

Three days passed and the moors gave way to rocky hills scattered with trees. I stayed close to the Countess whenever we rode, and Galo stayed close to her whenever we rested. Once or twice we saw figures in the distance and moved to lower ground to avoid detection. If the elves thought it was…

20 – Traveling companions

“You are damn lucky I like you,” I jabbed Quill’s chest with my finger. “Is that why you work with me?” “When you still work with them?” I jerked my chin toward the fire where Rakov was sitting. “Indeed,” Quill was still smiling, I could hear it in his voice, but he shook his head….

19-Dinner Guests

  Druskin and Luza were on their feet in a heartbeat, weapons flashing in the firelight. I was slower, delayed by the consideration of whether or not it would be better to keep my skills a secret from whoever was approaching. I decided my appearance gave enough away, and stood with unhurried confidence, sliding a…

18-over the moors

In the end, Eliah brought me my boots. “You lost these.” “Thank you,” I immediately dropped my saddle bags, and sat down to put them on, “I’ve been too busy to go get them.” We’d all changed wardrobe once again, and I was back in my own clothes and accoutrement and feeling glad. “You mean…

15-Flames

When I left the Countess tucked in a blanket in the cushions, I thought she looked a little better. Less like she was going to shatter from all the feeling she couldn’t show to her subjects. I went to the neighboring tent and shucked my outer layer, sitting in the cushions and flipping a knife…

13-Leaving

  The audiences went much as they had the day prior, except a bit hurried, as the guards were trying to get through everyone who’d come before the time for audiences was over at lunch. This time I recognized Hadella, sitting at a table off to the right with a couple scribes, feverishly writing while…

12-Tribute

I made a careful search of my tiny chambers before cleaning up and again crawling into the deliciously comfortable bed. I didn’t find any peep holes or slits in the walls, just a fresh set of clothes hanging in the wardrobe. It wasn’t unreasonable for the Captain of the Guard to talk to one of…

10-Letters

At the end of the audiences, my muscles ached from standing and the only thing I wanted was the gorgeous sunken tub. And dinner, of course. The Countess also looked tired, and left the great hall immediately to have a private dinner in her chambers. A different set of leanyodi went with her while the…

8 -Testing the Water

The rooms where Galo brought me were just down the hallway from the Countess’s chambers. They were small…but luxurious after weeks on the road. The walls were covered in tapestries depicting horsemen, falconers, and rolling hills of grass. Heavy curtains covered tall windows. The bed was set into the wall, and when I tested it,…

7-Proper Greetings

    The five of us fell in behind the servant. He hauled all our weapons in a roll of canvas as he led us down a different winding stair and down a long hallway lit by iron lamps faced with colored glass. A pair of heavy doors at the end of the hallway led…