Rodder Pawl

Epilogue | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

The Northern Wastes, late Summer's Beginning, 992 KY

Rodder Pawl looked down the long, curving ridge jutting out of the lake and shivered. What a fate it would be for his horse to lose her footing and drag him caravan and all down the steep wooded hillsides into that lake, icy blue even on this warm summer day with the air full of sharp green and warm brown smells. But the track was wide, his caravan sturdy, and his mare sure-footed. There would be no accident before he entered the walls of Gremassem.

Chapter 10 Part 10 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Arren, Corland
The 40th day of Fall's Ending, 991 KY

"Eh Pawl, there's sum'on to see you."

Rodder Pawl looked up from the pile of silver he was polishing in anticipation of the Winter's Beginning parties to find his fellow footman lounging in the pantry door. "To see me? Who?"

"Dunno, but Mr Bortle weren't happy, you getting visitors here. He said you should meet 'em at the beer garden on your half-day, but then he seen 'im and put 'im in the front parlor. Mr Bortle's waiting for you there, and ain't he in a mood."

Mr Bortle the butler could stuff his mood, thought Pawl as he put down the silver tray he'd been working on and donned his livery coat; he knew better than to ask a friend to come round his employer's townhouse. Someone visiting him specifically, someone grand enough to be asked to wait in the front parlor, mystified him. He approached the front parlor door, where Mr Bortle stood like a mother waiting to pounce on a naughty child. "And who is this Mr Brown to you, Pawl?" said the butler.

Chapter 7 Part 2 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

The two priests of Harla unrolled the canvas: a stretcher, a red silk tassel tied in black thread dangling from the ends of its black poles. They spread it on the hearth rug as the priestess manipulated the corpse's arm back and forth at the elbow. "Still somewhat bendable, but not for long," she said.

The priests positioned Pawl's Mistress on the canvas as best they could, and the priestess spread the white sheet over her; all four Friends raised their hoods and the two junior priests picked up the stretcher poles. Somehow the tassels' sway and the lump under the sheet broke free the whimper Pawl had been holding back for two hours. Mistress was dead, and he was responsible. If he hadn't helped Mr Adrikov and Miss--but how was he to know this would happen?

Chapter 7 Part 1 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Arren, Corland, the Second Day of Spring's Ending, 991 KY

The tidy little townhouse in Arren was filling up with strangers, unusual at this early hour but then this was an unusual day. Rodder Pawl the footman grimaced at the hallway carpet: one big track of grime. Mistress Ambleson would be very upset were she to see it. The bell rang, and he opened the door to a tall figure wearing the hooded black robes of a priest of Harla. Pawl tamped down his dread and let the priest in.

Once inside, the figure pulled off the hood to reveal a kind-faced older man, hair shorn very short--almost bald--in the manner Friends male and female alike preferred. Behind him followed two men and a woman, dressed and shorn alike. The largest man carried a pair of poles wrapped in canvas; the woman carried a folded white sheet. "Where is she?" said the lead priest.

Chapter 1 Part 6 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Early spring in Corland could hardly be called spring at all, especially in the little city of Arren. It sat far to the north, just on Tremont's side of the border with the Northern Wastes, and winter loved it far too much to leave on time. Downy snow still fell from the sky, determined to smother the streets like an overstuffed featherbed. Mattisanis Ambleson--the former Mattie Dunley of Meadow House, Whithorse Estate--thought it beautiful. The cold rimed everything in brilliant, magical whiteness, hushed, as a breath held. Or perhaps lost. Ever since meeting Adrik Adrikov just after Neya's Day the year before, she had been breathless.

Chapter 17 Part 7 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Neya's Day flower buntings no longer arched above the streets of Arren, but a soft, flowery mood still hung over the town, weeks after the festival. The winter's coal smoke had finally blown away with the snow, leaving the air clear and the sky a fragile but unbroken blue. Mattie Dunley, now Mattie Ambleson, walked through the streets toward Arren's market square, and saw none of it.

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