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Ochriese hesitates at the top of the obsidian stairs. Prima arches an eyebrow and gestures that she should go ahead of her. Ochriese isn’t sure why she hesitates. The sisters that saved her from freezing to death have done nothing but earn her trust, and yet her stomach flutters. The air instead of cooling, warms as she continues to descend and from the bottom a glow reaches with faint tendrils up the smooth steps that both absorb and reflect, as if physics bend here in this secret place. Finally down, she moves to the center of the long room. Along one wall is a work bench framed with small shelves covered in vials. Along another is an impressively vast array of weapons and there are long, low shallow troughs in which mushrooms and other dark nourished plants grow. Almost all poisons.

“This is an assassin’s lair,” she says.


“Whose? Yours?”

“Ours. All we have belongs to us all,” intones Prima.

“Yes, but not all are assassins,” says Ochriese, almost sure.

“No, not all. This work is a special path, taking a particular mind.”

“I can’t believe that Lumina approved this,” says Ochriese with narrow eyes.

“Though I believe you an abomination whom we should have let die, the Lumina says you will be the next one, the greatest of us all and for that you need to know and understand all that the Foressteri are, all that we do,” she says gesturing to the poison making bench.

“Who do we kill?” asks Ochriese trying to ignore the twisting in her stomach.

“Those we are bid to by the Lumina. You are uniquely equipped to enter certain places that a grown woman cannot.”

“I’m to kill children?” asks Ochriese bile rising.

“If so bid. Not to worry when you pass through the Night of Flames all that you have done, all that you were will be cleansed,” says Prima with a glint in her eye that makes Ochriese shiver.

Inspired By: Trifecta’s word of the week: Path 3a: course, route b: a way of life, conduct, or thought. This is actually a continuation of Goth, what happens when she wakes up. I decided to give Julius and Danyek the week off, they’ve been getting a workout as of late.