All in Thorneau

“If the day comes when I can no longer protect my Comtesse,” Sir Ruth said, “then I will fill my pockets with stones, and I will walk into the sea.”

“Surely that’s a bit overdramatic,” Aurélie said.

“It is an honorable death,” Sir Ruth said.

Aurélie laughed bitterly at that.

“There are no honorable deaths,” she said. “We are alive, then we are dead. The dead have no honor. That is a lie the living tell themselves, as they wipe the blood from their blade.”

Four Points

Elise LaRoux spent her days aboard the Mourning Reign the same way she spent most of her days: In a dark room, alone.

Over the years, the rooms had changed. Growing up in the chateau, Elise had had a wonderful bedchamber at the top of the grand staircase, with a canopy bed, and shelves of books which stretched so high she needed a ladder to reach them. But, even in that room which she had thought of as her sanctuary, the windows had been forever covered with dark, velvet curtains – sewn shut, lest she try to open them – and even the lamps had shades so thick that they barely cast enough light to read by, so that Elise would have to hold her books just inches from her nose, and, even then, she squinted to read them.

Her room at the chateau had been her sanctuary. But it had also been her prison.

“Very well,” the Grand Magistrate said. “If you persist in condoning treason, then I shall be forced to hang one citizen of this town every hour, on the hour, from now until such time as the traitors I seek are brought before me.”

“You cannot do that!” Brigitte cried out, and again tried to rise, only to feel Sir Ruth holding her in place. “You cannot simply condemn my people to hang! They are innocent!”

“My dear Comtesse,” Perrine Labelle said, with a sympathetic nod of her head, “there are no innocents in Mont-sur-Mer."