Vol.4, Ch.2, P.11
The Tallien estate.
Golden candelabra lit the great hall and its fine furnishings. An elk’s head hung proud over a princely hearth of marble, nestled in which was a warm fire, hicking and humming amidst the hush of night. Beside it stood the lord of the house himself, the flame dancing in his stare.
Heavy doors creaked open. Heel-steps clicked eloquently closer. Turning from the hearth, the viscount smiled at his visitor.
“Now here’s a fond face,” Bartt greeted. “Come, come. Well-met.”
“Sir—pardon, Your Excellency,” returned the visitor, courtesying, “glad am I see you so hale.” A blossom of a woman she was, and gifted, at that: dame surgien and Owlcrane to the Order, by her hands could be woven mighty magicks for both mending and bolstering. And though the week’s long journey to Tallien