The chamber reeked of death. It wasn’t the smell of rot, setting in once the soul had left its mortal vessel. Death’s scent — fear, excrement, bile — clung to those who were dying, befouling all that touched them in their final days. It was a smell all too familiar to Trystan and wholly unwelcome.

A fire burned low in the hearth, offering more warmth than light. The glow revealed a scarlet-robed figure standing vigil beside Lord Cadoc’s deathbed. The figure was praying, but the words came out as an indecipherable drone. Jewana’s priest he supposed, the scarlet robe and the form of prayer indicating he was of the Venyk religion, making Trystan wonder at Jewana’s influence in matters spiritual.

Read Chapter 5: Temptation