Aldyth coughed yet again and cursed the thick layer of dust that hung in the air around the carriage. She was filled with emotions, squirming around in her head and so mixed up that she could hardly tell them apart. She was weary from the long journey and wished that it would end soon, but she also dreaded how it would be for her when they finally did reach the destination. Why did they insist on bringing me to that godforsaken place? She questioned herself yet another time. They know how I feel.
In Ermengard lay the citadel of Willoughby to the west, dwelling in the outskirts of a great forest that had once surrounded the city on all sides, but which had now been hewn away on the western side to allow not only the men on the high towers, but all the dwellers of the city alike to look out over the shore upon the deep blue-green sea.
There it was that the King Aldous had his high seat, and there it was that Aldyth lived and served as first maid and private servant to the
The sun up above was burning from a cloudless sky for a full twenty hours a day. Upon this day it lit up the many abandoned villages with the ramshackle huts and farms, all in complete desolation. The soil underneath it was cracking and slowly crumbling away on a gentle wind. Such were the days of the fiftieth year of summer. Thence all the fields were dried up and lay, unused and barren, as far as the eye could see. During that summer the Dreary Land, as it had come to be called, had spread