013 - Portent

Cassidy leant, arms folded, against the wooden stall watching Frida and the others prepare their horses out in the courtyard. The sun was rising and the stone beneath them seemed to glow with its own warmth. She had chosen to make the most of the shade in the gloomy stables, behind her the door to the windowless tack room stood ajar revealing piles of worn saddles and rusted stirrups. By noon they'd be riding in the full glare of a merciless noon sun, their clothes stuck to their backs like a second skin. She felt a cool breeze stir the hair from her neck. It'd been too long since she'd been back here. She took a deep breath, letting the earthy smells fill her nostrils. More

012 - Mystic Frog

They descended underground where Ellis waited for them. Cassidy grabbed her brother by the arm, manoeuvring him away from the others. She waved the group on, towards one of the numerous shelters the network of tunnels provided. They walked on, torches illuminating the damp concrete. Jacob had become stoic, reapplying the bandages to his arms. More

011 - Sent Away

Nelya blinked at the strange pale men. She'd never seen anything like them. The way they stared at her skinned her, flayed her, stripped her to the bone. She wasn't the only one stunned by it - Frida was frozen, wide-eyed, and Jacob looked like he'd seen something awful. More

010 - Visions

Ellis’ words hung in the air. He watched Jacob expectantly. Jacob looked down at his exposed tattoo. The twin circles, heaven and earth converging. To him, now, pride and shame, faith and confusion. In Cassidy’s face he saw mistrust, in Frida’s, wariness. Nelya peered in wide-eyed curiosity. More

009 - Oubliette

Cassidy allowed herself a wry smile at Jacob. There was precious time for thought, let alone humour and it took her by surprise. More

008 - Indiscriminate

“There is an old saying; when surrounded.” Jacob began speaking, his eyes searching for a break in the semi circle of armed men that hemmed them against the stinking river. More

007 - Kindness

They blinked at her like startled rabbits. If they didn't move soon they'd be snapped up by hungry jaws. More

006 - Hungry Shadows

The world hadn’t finished showing Jacob the grotesquery of death, and he certainly hadn’t got used to it. He swallowed heavily to keep down the bile welling up in his gut. More

005 - Snakes

Things had never gone to hell so fast. Cassidy felt her mind racing as she tried to come up with a plan that didn’t end up with a boot on her neck. Her words carried a lot of weight in these parts but if the Ironguard caught wind that one of their own had chosen to complete his mortal journey right on her doorstep there’d be a foot on her windpipe before she could gag for mercy. More

004 - Frida

Gravity shifted sideways, her unsteady hooves slipping on the heavily rutted ground. She had waited impatiently, gnawing at her saddle harness, aware of the Leercats circling out near the tree line. What had panicked her was a gust of wind that brought with it another strong scent; she recognised the smell, leather, human sweat, men. More

003 - Nelya

Stupid, weak-brained, half-made Ashdogs. Foolish things in this hell of buildings and spite - and now Nelya couldn't see, eyes bleached by too much sun and sudden dark. And still not safe. If these places followed any proper, natural rule, going into the dark place would have left her safe and alone, not facing a crowd of angry tunnies. More

002 - Jacob

Jacob had been in Fairfield three days when the trouble started and things went to rot quicker than a blight fly infested corpse. He was sitting in The Oasis, the bar at the centre of the trading town, contemplating a mug of the thick, grainy beer they served there. He scratched at the stubble of his recently shaved head with his thick fingers. It was remarkable how a few small changes made all the difference. More

001 - Cassidy

Cassidy sat with her scuffed boots hanging over the veranda. The luxury to sit on one’s rear end was a precious commodity in Fairfield, just like beer or bullets. Everyone was fighting to get some and you were lucky to enjoy either for very long. Conscious of the fragile nature of this brief interlude she gazed ahead at the back of her outstretched hands. Wiry black sigils wound their way around her fingers, across her palms and circled her wrists. More

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