Claw’s musty fur felt soft in her hands as Therelin stroked the old sleeping hound, his oversized head lying in her lap. The candles had long gone out save for one flickering guardian. Had the spell failed? It rarely did before but the night was queer and all the nervous tension leading up to this moment may have jinxed her calling. Still, all the old powers surged at the ritual’s completion so she felt something else must afoot.

The hound’s ear twitched towards the door and soon enough, the young wizard heard the slow, heavy footfalls of her former guardian climbing the stairs. With a heavy knock, the unlatched door opened, ushering in a chill wind that guttered the last candle out.

“Sorry your Grace, but the men are ready,” Tog said softly in the dark.

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