The caravan rumbled into Kas Mendoc four days later. They entered via East Gate, greeted by the smell of the sea and rotting fish wafting from the estuary. Albin’s mood was as foul as the weather, and it got worse when the city’s guard exacted payment at the gate, citing some tax on imported goods. Cadoc mentally chalked it up as a bribe, but as they entered the city and rumbled towards the marketplace, he wasn’t so sure. In the year since he’d last set foot in the city, Kas Mendoc had suffered, and signs of hardship abounded. The streets were dirty, with refuse left uncollected in gutters, and lanterns were smashed while houses languished in ill-repair. There were more beggars than Cadoc remembered. Every other shop was boarded up, and when they reached the marketplace, they discovered it was devoid of stalls. Cadoc wondered how much profit the merchant would turn, and when he voiced his concerns, Albin swore bitterly. “Goddamned crusade has bled the place dry.”

Read Chapter 7: Reckoning