Chapter Fourteen

3.5K 408 19

           Siobhan hid within the shadows of the alley, cursing her existence. Filling the once empty, snow covered square, of Firnlan—and blocking her path to Rosie's—was row upon row of Vanguard Generals and Mages. The soulless mages stood in their emerald cloaks matching the glow from their slavers bracelet, their eyes empty, lifeless, as if the dead stood in their place.

Sometime during her time in the black market, the snow had ceased to fall, though the clouds were still thick and threatened more. A path of trampled snow, smearing with the muddy streets of Firnlan, marked where the Vanguard had traveled from—direct from Wyvernton where they called home in the Spires. Several crimson-cloaks marched throughout the square, nailing a sign to every available wall or pillar they found.

She adjusted her hood, ensuring it covered her face, as Siobhan stepped out of the alley and joined the gathering crowd of residents. If she mingled within the masses, she figured she could eventually wiggle her way to Rosie's without notice.

"Attention citizens of Firnlan," a crimson-cloak shouted. He climbed onto a stool placed in front of him by two men Siobhan assumed to be human slaves. The rags they wore for clothing, the thinness to their frames, and the healing bruises on their face were all she needed to identify them. "We're looking for a young man."

He unrolled one of the posters and held it out with both hands. Siobhan hissed at the sight of Wren's face drawn, quite accurately, on the wrinkled parchment. An army that size was excessive for a simple purse theft, but the writing on the poster was too small to read from where she was. She continued to edge herself toward Rosie's while keeping an ear open for the crimson-cloaks announcement.

"He is wanted for impersonating Wren Lethon, heir to the Lord of Crestborne, and for attacking and killing several of the Vanguard Generals throughout the lowlands. He is considered extremely dangerous. If seen, contact the Vanguard immediately. There will be a Vanguard General and three mages stationed at every exit. We will also have regular patrols. Do not attempt to apprehend this criminal, we want him alive. Those who disobey this order shall suffer the gallows. A door to door search will commence of all buildings in Firnlan."

Siobhan grimaced. She glanced to the tall building with the rose-colored tint to the window shutters and banners hanging from the eaves. Not even Rosie's would be spared from a search, if anything it would be higher on the list with the amount of rooms. She glanced to the man still shouting orders both to his men and to the people of Firnlan. Their search wouldn't wait for residents to return home, it would start the moment he said go. If Siobhan had any luck, it would at least start with the closest buildings within the square, giving her time.

Both hands pushed against the residents, clearing as much room as possible without making it obvious she was in a hurry. At least there wasn't a poster of her among Wren's, that much would give them an advantage. They still weren't looking for her.

"Stupid hag," she mumbled, "you knew about this, didn't you? That's why you gave me more Changeling potions. To hell with you for not warning me."

When she freed herself of the huddled masses of the residents of Firnlan, she glanced back. The man had stopped shouting and was no longer standing on his stool. In fact, Siobhan couldn't see him at all. She turned away, lowering her head as if protecting it from the cold, and trudged through the remaining snow back to Rosie's.

Few patrons graced Rosie's establishment at that time in the day. Those who were there, were the true dregs of society. The ones who couldn't be bothered with work, yet still managed enough money to pay for the sexual favors of Rosie's entertainers. Siobhan scanned the sparse crowd before the door fully closed behind her. When she didn't see Wren at any of the tables, she ran up to the room.

Draygon Frost | Book 1  | ✔️Where stories live. Discover now