4.13 – Secret Passage

Allene R. Lowrey

For a long moment, all five men stared in shock at the figure on the floor. Finally, though, Einarr was able to focus on her face.

“That’s not Runa.”

Barri and Bollinn blinked, looking harder. Sivid shrugged, as though trying to rid himself of a weight.

“…Are ye sure?” Jorir ventured to ask, even his voice hesitant.

Einarr didn’t answer, merely stepped forward to take the poor woman by her shoulders and roll her over on her back. With the hem of one of her sleeves he wiped the blood from her face. The unfortunate woman would have been thirty if she were a day, and her face would have been long even if her ordeal had not rendered it haggard.

“Yes, I’m sure.”

Moisture glistened on Barri’s cheeks. “Thank the gods.”

Einarr started to nod, then noticed the pendant that showed through a rent in her bodice. Carefully, trying…

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4.12 – Dungeon’s Depths

Allene R. Lowrey

Their vigil over Sivid’s work seemed to last for ages, even though the fact that no other guards arrived suggested he made fast work of the lock. A grinding of stone on stone signalled the opening of the door.

“We’re in,” Sivid confirmed.

All five men vanished through the doorway, with Einarr in the lead and Sivid bringing up the rear. The door closed behind them with the sound of stone on stone and a muffled click.

The narrow stair was ablaze with the blue-burning lanterns that illuminated the streets, but no guards waited inside to greet them. Einarr frowned, but did not hesitate: haste was their ally right now, and he was most of the way to the first corner when Sivid closed the door behind them.

Down they went, blades still drawn as they rushed for the bottom and the cell where Runa was held. Barri raced at…

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