by Victoria Pond
Fourteen days since they left the castle. Five days since they saw a human not of their own company. Three days since the unseasonable fog turned their horses skittish. No, not just the horses. All twenty of His Lady Highness’s accompanying knights looked about uneasily, starting at the slightest whisper.
At first, they’d laughed at such piddling magic tricks. “Madness sometimes manifests as a lack of direction, Sire,” had teased Sir Peregrine, most veteran of all her party and her armsman since she’d been able to speak her half of the oath. But now the days of gloom had worn them down, and no knight felt safe in his plate armor, not even their Prince–formerly Crown Princess Margaret.
These knights followed her because she followed the guidance of the Kingmaker himself, the druid whose magic and approval could put the King’s crown on her head when her father’s time came. But the longer this expedition took, the more they feared charges of treason for working without the King’s knowledge. Damn the soothsayer. Someone you believe dead lives yet, he’d said, and she’d set out at once.