Chapter Six: The City on the Hill (3)Mature

The mountain range that had been growing upon the horizon was now beneath them—rows of tremendous stony teeth, like those of a dragon of inestimable proportions, sprouting from the twisted, green gums of the earth.

            “What is the plan, exactly?” Henry asked him.  “You never went into detail in the tavern.”

            “Well, I wouldn’t have,” Seymour replied bluntly.  “Not where we could have been overheard.  In fact, I obfuscated it to the best of my ability—which is, of course, why we must review it.  Firstly—”

            He noticed three pairs of mismatched eyes blinking blankly back at him.

            “Obfuscate.  To conceal.  To confuse.  To make muddy.  Are we on the same page here?”

            They nodded.

            “Good.  Now, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, firstly, I must be able to enter the penitentiary without being seen.”

            “I can manage that,” Alt-Mage MacQuarrie assured him.  “I have a vial of invisibility powder in my luggage.  Of course, there is an anti-magic shield at the entrance, which will render the powder ineffective.”

            Seymour nodded slowly.  “I can work around it, I think.  Once I’m inside, I doubt I’ll arouse suspicions.”

            “You’ll be in the guise of an Aechyed slave?”

            “Of course.”

            Henry frowned at him.  “Most of the slaves there are female.”

            “I know.”


            “I’m small for my species, and slight.  I’ve disguised myself as a female before.  Shouldn’t be any trouble.  Now, once I’m inside…?”

            It was MacQuarrie who replied.  “We’ve arranged it so that their both in the same cell.  The level below the entrance floor, first cell on the right when you go down the ramp.”

            Seymour nodded his head once.

            “How are you going to get them out?” Henry asked.

            “Leave that to me,” the detective said with a small smile.

            “You won’t tell us?”

            “No.  I don’t want any of you troubling your pretty little heads over parts of the plan that do not involve you.  You will leave a horse for me?”

            “Yes,” MacQuarrie responded.  “Across the field, nine trees into the woods, three in from the river.”

            “And supplies?”

            “In the saddlebags.”


            “And there shall be a second horse another mile downriver.”

            Seymour smiled crookedly.  “It would spare me a fair bit of time and effort to have one of these fine, winged creatures rather than two normal ones.”

            Henry shook his head.  “They only respond to a mage’s touch.  Anyway, I wouldn’t classify Wyrinther and Elêganor as normal horses.  They’re mine.  The two smartest steeds on this side of the Copper Sea.  Strong, too.  They’ll serve you well.”

The End

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