Location: Lost Lake
POV: Karigan G'ladheon


Characters ReferencedEdit


  • Four dead riders' brooches.
  • Bunchberry Flower


Karigan awakens in the evenng. Ravens circle overhead. Captain Mapstone asks her if she is alright. Karigan nods and recalls the great weariness she felt as the very dapper Light Horse arrived. She remembers the horsemen's panicked reaction. She remembers the mender setting the King's broken arm, and the horsemen helping to build a cairn. She remembers trying to lift a rock for the cairn and fainting. Captain Mapstone attributes Karigan's exhaustion to her battle with Shawdell.

King Zachary speaks with Martell in the distance.They are both pleased that the king has survived. Captain Mapstone recaps decoding the love letter and coming to the king's aid. They speak of the coded message and F'ryan. Of the nine riders that came to King Zachary's aid, five survive, as does Alton. Captain Mapstone thanks Karigan and explains about how dead riders' brooches return to her, so that now riders can eventually claim them. Karigan expresses disbelief about having been called to the messenger service. Captain Mapstone says she has been in the messenger service for twenty years.

Captain Mapstone invites Karigan to approach the King, his making plans. Captain visits Alton first, who is sleeping. She thanks him for stopping an arrow for her, then tucks him in.She goes to join the survivors' council. They are sitting on the ground around a campfire. Karigan is reminded of primitive hunters. The horse marshal says he has set sentries. He is very dapper. He suggests they make camp. Zachary agrees, but is concerned about what Amilton might have panned. Beryl tells what she knows of his siege plans. The captain vouches for her. The marshal says they must ride. Beryl disagrees. The king says they need reconnaissance. Beryl speaks of Mirwell's various plans and of Castellan Crowe's betrayal. Martel offers to send a detachment for reconnaissance. Zachary theorizes that, if Amilton has the castle, he will need to go into exile until he can muster a large army. Everyone present voices their support.

Connly arrives. He reports that the castle has fallen, and Captain Able (and others) have been hanged at the castle gates. The survivors plan to move their camp to another location. Connly speaks of Amilton occupying the city without resistance. The invaders used the scaffolding to scale the castle walls. Osric is in the city, still looking for loyalists. Connly tells Karigan that her father is probably in the castle - Connly sent him there to find Karigan.

Beryl has an idea to reconnoiter the castle. Karigan volunteers. Beryl protests, but Captain Mapestone has faith in Karigan, and lets her do it.