Chapter 11 - Exile
Part 3: Failed Footsteps

Because Ienarath hadn’t been sleeping in the room with the other women she didn’t have to worry about sneaking out. But, because the Keep seemed to be a buzz of activity at nearly all hours, as The Caller made sure of, she would need to stick to her plan closely. When the time came she swiftly made her way to the storeroom. She had to stop unexpectedly once, and for longer than she would have liked. As she came around a corner one of the patrol members he stopped to look at something on a nearby table. Eventually he became bored of whatever caught his attention and kept going. With precious time lost, Ienarath made a break for the storeroom.

Once inside, she closed the door quietly, but not all the way, then she gathered up her things as quickly as possible and peeked out. The Keep was always dark, but seemed especially dark at the moment. She strained to see if anyone was coming and when the way looked clear she made for the door. As she was mere feet away her heart stopped when she heard the sound of a metal cup skittering across the floor, a cup she had accidentally kicked. The sound was deafening as it clattered its way down the corridor, echoing off the hard stone walls. But she was so close. She decided to make a break for it and ran for the door. But, as she reached the door, with hand outstretched, a voice boomed, “STOP!” Ienarath was caught. She could try to outrun the patrol, but between the earlier delay and the the pause she took after kicking the cup, her timing was lost and she knew it. She knew that she would never make it more than ten yards into the darkness before her silhouette would be glowing like a lighthouse beacon and no less than five mages casting spells at her. With great resignation, Ienarath set down her bag and waited.

The patrol, now three members strong, grabbed her, her bag, and escorted her down to the lower levels until The Caller could be notified. No one spoke a word, but the look of hatred on the mages towards her was unmistakable. How dare she try to leave? How dare she put herself above the good of the coven? How dare she think she could do so *and* with the coven’s property. It was not only insurrection but thievery as well! And neither were tolerated at Fellglow.

Ienarath sat in her cell listening to the groans of the other prisoners. She knew what went on down there. She knew of the experiments. And as the time ticked away she began to fear not death, but just the opposite, that she would be kept alive. As her mind raced around all the possibilities she heard the main door open followed by footsteps. They were slow but steady and as they came closer, she knew their cadence; The Caller.

Continue >>