Vol 3: Chapter 5, Part 1: True Nature

Shianne leaned back against the damp, exterior wall of the Council House, with a deep sigh. It had been a long, drizzly night and her patience was wearing thin. It had taken a great deal of persuasion on her part to get Councilman Lerke to agree to play his part in this ruse. Not that it surprised her at all that the Badger had needed convincing. It was never easy to get someone to put their life on the line, even if it was for the greater good of the whole of Katheyra.

She had sat with the Badgers and talked late into the night, the day she had approached them in the Council House after the quarterly public forum; just moments after Councilman Björn had officially become the Council Elder. Their distaste for their new leader had been her foot in the door to figure out what was really happening on the Katheyran Council, that would allow a tradition of steadfastly refusing any advances the Wolves made into their land could so easily be broken. Continue reading

Vol 3: Chapter 4, Part 3: An Exchange of Power

Beddigan awoke with a start when his Page knocked on the door to his room the next morning. He had slept fitfully, his brain overloaded with all of the new information that he had learned from the Lord Regent of the Empire of Lions.

“Come!” he called, and the Page entered, bringing with him a steaming bowl of washing water and towels. The young Tiger bowed stiffly and said,

“Breakfast is nearly ready, my Lord.” Beddigan nodded and waited for the boy to leave before he jumped out of bed and stripped off his night clothes to give himself a hasty, but thorough wash. The palace was chilly in the mornings and the hot water felt wonderful against his fur. He dressed quickly and made his way down the corridors to the dining room. This time he was the last to arrive, save the Lord Regent. Much smaller fires burned in the room, and the casement windows were unshuttered, letting the morning sunlight stream in. William nodded to him, looking well-rested and Ragnon lounged in his chair looking ill. Beddigan grinned at the Wolf, Continue reading

Vol 3: Chapter 4, Part 2: Of Oaths & Dragons

The silence of the nearly empty room was filled by the crackling of the roaring fireplace,s that lit the room with their amber glow. A large table dominated the space, with a fireplace in the centre of each of the three closed walls, with massive double doors on the remaining wall, which served as entrance from the drafty corridors of the palace. Beddigan sat quietly at one end of the table next to William, replaying the events of the day in his head.

He barely remembered what he had said in his hasty explanation of sorcery and crystals fromthe lands back home, but it must have been informative or intriguing enough because the Lord Regent had nodded along and dismissed them when he was finished with an offer to continue the discussion over dinner. After that, Serina passed them off to some other aid who assigned them each a Page to show them to their guest rooms, so that they may rest before the meal. Continue reading

Vol 3: Chapter 4, Part 1: Deeply Enthralled

Beddigan stared out the window of the carriage at the countryside rolling by. It was beginning to look much less like desert tundra, and much more like the rolling plains of his homeland; the landscape dotted with farms of wheat and barley, and vegetable patches as large as he had ever seen. Next to him on the bench seat was William, taking up a great deal of the space, with Ragnon sitting across from the Bear. This left their new companions, Serina, Mage of the Pantherlands, to sit directly across from him.

After the momentary weirdness at Serina’s home, where he had found himself revealing much more than he intended to the Feline, he hadn’t felt any other sense of unease, and she had actually turned out to be a quite gracious host. They had rested for several hours at her place after their talk, and then ate richly at an establishment devoted to variety of food service, with lists of items that could be ordered, unlike anything the trio of companions had ever seen. Serina had informed them that the place was called a restaurant and that they were very popular in the Empire. Continue reading