Margesh remains imprisoned in the one cell of Bendwyn's Watch House, but as befits a person of his rank, he has been well-fed, with the best meals available from The Golden Axe, and has also attracted the attention of a number of single women in the village, who pay him surreptitious visits late into the evening.
Having been warmly welcomed home by her adopted father, Harry (who had been increasingly worried for his ward's safety with her extended absence), Imogen took Blackblood's fine studded armour to a variety of craftsmen in Bendwyn to see if any were able to alter the garment to fit her petite frame.
"He may, presently, be under lock and key, but he is still of noble birth and a relative of the duke," he told her as he showed her the door.
Guess, she'll have to look elsewhere then...
Meanwhile, Marigold Weaver had discovered that her master, the town wizard Peter Entwhistle, had left the town shortly after he sent her to fetch an alembic from Syrius the Sage in Horst, to visit with Revoreesh, the most powerful conjurer in the duchy, on a matter of some importance.
He had left no further instructions with his wife Betty except that his library should remain locked and she should continue with his affairs as best as she was able.
Settling down to sleep on her rough cot, Marigold, the sorcerer's apprentice, was plagued with nightmares of dancing stick figures, cackling witches and blasted landscapes pock marked by spurting gas vents and dotted with dead trees.
|The Yellow King|
Croatoa, he was was reminded by landlord Gunther Treszhnak, was the name of an ancient land in a long-forgotten children's nursery rhyme about a supernatural entity known as The Yellow King who would steal the dreams of naughty children and replace them with wasps.
The Witch, however, Gunther told him, was not a fairy tale. She lives in the southern reaches of the mighty Huldre Forest, was known to eat lost travellers and commanded an army of demonic servants who move through the forest doing her bidding.
She is worshipped by some of the orc tribes of Tanander, who sacrifice captives to her in return for magical assistance in their internecine tribal conflicts.