Chapter Eleven: §5

January 30 – 1027 YD
Delus Palace, Miggest

A subtle knock came to Vilsonius’ chamber door. Setting aside the worn scrolls at his desk, he walked heavily to the door.
__‘Your Majesty.’
__‘Have I not woken you?’ Lady Galluel saw his desk-lamp was lit. ‘It is very late.’
__‘Yes,’ he agreed.
__Silence.

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Chapter Eleven: §3

January 25 – 1027 YD
Offenure, Lenyol

Régan paced her chambers, oscillating between straightening the items on her shelves, clawing her hair, flattening her blankets, and hissing cursesat herself and the sky beyond the window glass.

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Chapter Ten: §7

January 21 – 1027 YD
Northern Lenyol

Coils of wind broke from the centre of Alendae Palace’s Great Hall, and a pale purple haze swelled in its centre. There Kengar appeared.
__‘The Lord of Alendae summoned me with regards my niece,’ he stated to one of the guards.
__The guard stammered some response and exited, leaving his colleagues to their stunned silence. Kesia was deeply relieved by the sight of her uncle, and temporarily dismissed the manner of his arrival.

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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: §5

January – 1027 YD
The Crossroads, Lenyol

The new year came, as it always did, with the beginning of January. The heat had barely abated since the October fires and the soil was beginning to cake.
__It was over such cracked earth that Kesia alternated driving her cart with Mellena and Toran. They had departed Gesula as the light had come, and it was now midday. The Crossroads could be seen as they passed over the final highland crest, and they immediately noticed a plethora of colourful tents flanking the village.

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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 Nine: §1 Allies

May – 1004 YD
Offenure, Lenyol

A young Princess Régan pulled open her door and poked a head into the hallway. Clear!
__She slipped through the crack, careful not to open it past the creaking point, and leapt forward on the balls of her feet, silent as a cat.
__Lanterns lit the way and she soon reached her parents’ chamber. A small servant door was concealed nearby, which she entered, feeling along the dark passage and coming through a tapestry into the chamber itself.

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Chapter Eight: §5

Continued (December – 1026 YD)
Gesula, Lenyol

Mitchas cantered into town, gliding past the workshop. Kesia had heard the hooves and moved to the window; on seeing him ride uphill toward Kengar’s, she dropped her chisel and raced along in his wake.
__She found her uncle’s door open, and overheard their exchange.
__‘What do you mean, gone?’
__‘We were travelling to Miggest, and set up camp south of Bescon—’
__‘By Archoak Forest?’
__‘What remains; it burnt in October. Tàvae asked to continue on, but the sun was falling and the horses spent. When I woke in the morning she was gone.’

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