Chapter Ten: Ignition §1

Winter – 1019 YD
Gesula, Lenyol

‘Eamon, stop!’ Kesia, eleven summers old, begged her brother. ‘Ma said to stay by me.’
__‘You run too slow!’ Eamon was three years his sister’s senior and almost two feet greater in height. He ran deeper into the woods.
__Kesia exhaled in frustration, continuing to lag after him.
__‘How do you intend to catch our dinners if you struggle to keep in step with me?’ he panted, veering suddenly out of sight.

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Chapter Nine: §6

January – 1027 YD
Gesula, Lenyol

Ànlisia woke in the dark of night to the familiar scrape of her front door grinding against stone. She drew a flame to light her candle and made toward the front of the house, certain Tàvae had returned.
__Candlelight could be seen through cracks in the kitchen door. Ànlisia whispered, ‘Tàvae? Are you alright?’ as she opened it.

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Chapter Nine: §3

December – 1026 YD
Delus, Miggest

Delus Palace contained a wing exclusively for Beran members. It was here that Vilsonius had resided for the past few weeks, sharing a corridor and Solar with the respectable High Commander Mahon. Within days of writhing under Galluel’s hungry gaze, he found himself locking his chambers at night and checking the room for secret servant entrances—of which there were thankfully none.

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Chapter Eight: §6

(Continued)
Hills north of Gesula

The flock ambled along the droveway, Mellena and Oran following steadily.
__It was late afternoon. They were discussing Mellena’s unfinished apprenticeship while making their way to the night yards. Oran encouraged her to take up again with Kengar. A pair of Molossus hounds walked before them, occasionally trotting forward to rouse a reaction from the sheep.
__‘But what of you?’

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Chapter Eight: §3

Continued (December – 1026 YD)
Gesula, Lenyol

Kesia and Mellena worked with Kengar for days on end, impressing him with what they had learnt and practised over the years. It was not long, however, before their rediscovered zest for weaving was overshadowed by their commitments. Kesia had orders to complete for her Alendae clients; Mellena had the flock to tend; they had lives to lead.

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Chapter Eight: §2

Continued
(December – 1026 YD)
Gesula, Lenyol

Kengar returned at last. Seeking his wife, he came to Kesia’s house. Kesia listened as Ànlisia explained feebly that Tàvae had departed the previous day with Mitchas, perhaps to Offenure—or Alendae, it was so rushed—on some unknown yet urgent business. Yes, they had used Mitchas’ horses. No, they had not given a return date. Yes, Tàvae was fine. No, she hadn’t appeared anxious. She had merely asked for some things to stock her herb-purse. Would he like some tea? Not to worry, Mitchas would surely return soon, and have better information.

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Chapter Eight: §1 Spinning

December – 1026 YD
Gesula, Lenyol

‘I don’t understand what you’re saying, Tàvae!’ Ànlisia, alarmed, was throwing supplies of preserved food in a satchel at her sister-in-law’s bidding.
__‘I have made the most terrible discovery and I always felt they were watching me, since I left, and sometimes my books moved overnight—my heart whispered that they’d been in—but why should they? And so I never really feared, never knew—how—how perilous—’ Her breath caught in her throat like the clogged cry of nightmares. ‘Mitchas will escort me to Miggest at his own peril. There he is now, saddled and packed—’ She began pillaging Ànlisia’s herb cabinet.

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