Chapter 8

There’s a crowd waiting outside the tea shop when we arrive. Before I’ve decided whether to be concerned, Risteri has authoritatively convinced them to disperse enough to form a path for us to get through. “You’ll do great,” she whispers in my ear, and then it’s only Lorwyn and I entering the shop. Which is … More Chapter 8

Chapter 7

The shop is, at last, closed for the day. I have abandoned dignity and sit slumped over a table in the center of the shop. “I have never been this exhausted,” I mumble. “Pretty sure you were in worse shape last night,” Lorwyn says, clearly amused and infuriatingly not even a little tired. “Then you … More Chapter 7

Chapter 6

The tailor’s shop is like nothing I’ve seen before. That revelation probably shouldn’t still seem so surprising to me, and perhaps over time it won’t. But it is still hard for me to reconcile how leaving the palace has caused me to enter an entirely new yet parallel world. There are commonalities, but so many … More Chapter 6

Chapter 5

“That’s the Central Market,” Lorwyn says, pointing at a shining, tidy, open street lined with shops and vendors, bustling with activity. I take a step toward it, but Lorwyn yanks me back. When I look at her in confusion, she jerks her chin over her shoulder. “We’re going to this way.” Then she turns on … More Chapter 5

Jacksnake Ichor

“Welcome to Talmeri’s Teas and Tisanes! How can I serve you?” I greet our newest customer, and older woman demonstrably not suffering from lack of wealth. “Well,” she says, eyeing me skeptically after I’ve handed her a menu, “let’s see what you have to offer.” Lorwyn has come into the front for something, so I … More Jacksnake Ichor

Celita Dust

The shop is slow when a harried Gaellani woman maybe a little younger than me trudges in, laden with full bags. I quickly show her to a chair, which she falls into. “I’m sorry, is it okay if I just sit for a minute?” she asks me anxiously. “I promise I’ll only be a minute … More Celita Dust

Dreadstalk Bark

The bell chimes, and two elaborately styled and groomed women enter the shop with a little girl with the most enormous ribbon in her hair trudging behind them. “Welcome to Talmeri’s Teas and Tisanes,” Taseino, the tea server on shift today, greets them with a serious bow. “Are you here for—” “Tea, obviously.” One of … More Dreadstalk Bark

Sleekbeetle Scale

“Miyara, come to the lab for a second,” Lorwyn calls moments after I arrive. “What do you need?” I ask, hurrying to the back. “Answers,” she says, pointing at a pallet just inside the back door stacked high with crates. “Do you know what these are?” I frown. “I don’t think any shipments are scheduled … More Sleekbeetle Scale