Chapter Ten: §6

January 21-22 – 1027 YD
Offenure, Lenyol

Régan was escorted on foot from the docks through a maze of alleys, tunnels, and corridors. Carriages and horses were in short supply, for the Custodin was dispatching his resources north to evacuate the people and granary stores ahead of the blaze. The vicious wind had carried the smoke even to the city, and the warriors amassing in Offenure Plás wore coverings over their mouths.

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Chapter Ten: §3

January – 1027 YD
Lirna, Lenyol

January began to wane, and the heat of summer continued unrelenting. There had been no fires since those of Archoak forest three months previous, yet the threat crouched in the air, prowling each time the wind flew from the north.

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Chapter Nine: §4

Spring – 1024 YD
West of Waylin, Lenyol

The sheep rotated in their pens like woollen whirlpools. Their bleating was echoed by the bellowing of cattle from their yards.
__Custodin Màtac surveyed the movement around him, of carriages riding in, shepherds and drovers guiding their stock, dozens of servants tending the tents, and a subdued rainbow of personages tarrying this way and that.
__‘My Lord,’ the Countess of Riverton quietly murmured, touching Màtac’s arm and nodding toward the north-east. The Custodin turned to follow her gaze, the Baron of Waylin oscillating with him.

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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 Seven: §4

Miggest
1026 YD – October

Summer came early that year. October caved under a wave of heat which dried the land and ignited anxiety in its stewards. Oceans of crops and grassland folded back toward the earth, until the landscape was yellow once more; and then began the fires, few and small at the outset, but spreading and rising as the heat remained day by marching day.

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Chapter Seven: §2

March – 1025 YD
Seaton, Miggest

The restoration of Pends would become legend, and the man who inspired trees to mature in a season, revived withered herds and flocks, and taught broken soil to hold water won himself the heart of the region.
__As the noblewomen turned their eye toward Vilsonius, Galluel guided him toward the young Duchess of Seaton. His quiet courtship of her was admired by the ladies of Court; news of their betrothal spread quickly, and within eighteen months of being dispatched to Pends his place in the peerage was secured.

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Chapter Seven: §1 Meanwhile, North

September – 1023 YD
Delus, Miggest

Some months after the inauguration of the Duke of Trialle, Vilsonius accepted the Custodia’s invitation to the region’s capital.
__He was admitted to the Great Hall and found it empty of attendants. Custodia Galluel sat on a platform above the vast space, leaning against the side of her throne, ankles crossed, bemusement folded in the corner of her mouth. The throne was ornate, and yet simpler than its Iulithan counterpart—here, the throne was low-backed, shallow and narrow enough for comfort, lined inside with a black bear pelt. The throne of his homeland was high, large, and cold.

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