Lynette sat darkly in front of the fire, her face in shadow. For her entire story, she had sat tinkering with the entrails of her sword. Mauve tried to see her as the same child she had raised for years. Something was missing, though. Something had died and been replaced.
Intoxicated by sleeplessness. Yes, dead, but somehow still sleepless.
“Yes, lanna. Dead and restless… But when have you been anything else, hm?”
The years had started passing for Mauve quite easily. Half of a century had gone by, and time seemed to move far more quickly than it should have. But that next year seemed to crawl like a crippled dog through Aalstrom’s muddy streets, right from the day Lynette had been buried.
Aalstrom was lonely. High walls festooned in ivy, bare of flags, stood dull even in moonlight. A wide but shallow, pitiful excuse for a river hushed it to sleep at night. Nestled in hills, surrounded by dark woodlands, separated, it stood, lonely and cold.