42 – The Lute and Bowl

I left the Countess asleep in her bed and two armed female guards from the Queen’s retinue camped on the floor. King Keleman had sent them, and I wondered that he hadn’t thought of that before. The air of shock that lingered in the chambers made me uncomfortably aware that my own acceptance of dangerous…

41 – Blood

“You don’t think they’re upset about me going overboard?” I whispered. Quill’s expression was grim, “As upsetting as that was, I think this is something else.” The sailors leapt to the docks the instant the barge was in range, pulling it in far too quickly. Everyone on board stumbled as the barge bumped the docks,…

40 – Soggy

Five nymphs surfaced, swimming for the boat and elves, and another surfaced alongside me. A female with blue-green swirls gracing her face, her hair dark and short, slicked back by water. “Alright now, friend,” she said, cheerfully, reaching out to grab the elf’s other arm. “We’ve got you.” Eloi, I was not used to this…

39 – Quick Thinking

Tirien’s bell tower loomed closer on the western banks of Juni and I found my gaze straying to it often. The Countess had noted my presence, and when she expressed thirst it was Galo who left to make sure a pitcher was brought. Disabusing them of the assumption that I’d sensed something wasn’t worth the…

38-Yet

I was growing bored, and over-warm in the sun, when my eyes snagged on none other than Adorjan Bulgar moving through the crowd below. He’d made it at last. He saw the Countess in the prow of the ship, sitting with the Queen and Aurel Terr, and changed his course to avoid her. Apparently, he…

37-Bad Dreams

I could do nothing to stop her. I could only watch the stones fall and feel the deaths of my people.

36-Libraries

I slept lightly, my dreams troubled by the flash of a falling knife blow, and woke when the first rays of sun snuck in between the drapes. I had two kinds of dreams: the ones driven by my own fears and memories, and the ones driven by the gifting in the human half of my…

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…

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…