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Chapter 1 (Progress)

October 17, 1045

 2 am 

 

     The old stone tower loomed high in the moonlight. Ayleth shook her arms out one last time,  and took a deep breath to steady her nerves. Just the same as climbing the ruins back home, she thought as she found her first hold and began to climb. The stone was rough and uneven here, the result of what looked to be centuries of neglect and hastily completed repairs. The facade she had chosen to climb faced west toward the forest, so she was reasonably sure she wouldn’t be seen. She made her way up slowly, her fingers and toes seeking out cracks, crevices and missing stones - anything she could use as a hold. Thirty feet up now, she thought as she risked a glance down. High enough now to die if I fall, or at least shatter a leg. Another ten feet of climbing brought her to an arched window, and she pulled herself up and onto the sill. There were no bars in the window, and only a half open pair of shutters. Am I the first to try this? Seems like it should be more difficult.

     Ayleth sat on the sill and looked out over the moonlit forest. The wind had picked up, and brought with it the light scent of rain in the west. I should find some steps and leave this place while I can. She’d left home a few months ago after an argument with her father, and made her way south down the river, stopping at familiar inns and towns at first, but finding herself drawn further and further south, away from the familiar and toward adventure... anything but endless talk of timbers and fine woods...She’d had plenty of money at first, but

     The room was empty, as she’d known it would be. In the weeks she’d watched the castle from the forest, she’d never seen a light in this window. Other rooms seemed to be occupied, but for some reason, no one ever came to this room, at night at least. The moonlight revealed why, as she slipped quietly off the sill and into the room. It was filled with old furniture, paintings, and chests, layered in years of dust and cobwebs. No one has been here in a while. Ayleth brushed the dust off the seat of a big oak chair and sat down. Comfortable...I wonder why no one wants it? I want it…focus girl. You didn’t come here to steal and old chair.

     The next bit would be the dangerous part. She’d planned her path through the castle as well as she could, but she’d never been inside. She’d had to make a lot of educated guesses, which left a lot left to chance. You can still turn back...if you are caught here... She made her way to the door and listened for a few minutes. There’s no one there. Get on with it. found herself in the small hall, dominated by a long trestle table and chairs. It was quite dark, the only light provided by        Probably the council chamber...She stuck to the west wall and moved quietly through the room.

 

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