“Don’t worry yourself, Majesty,” said Wyllbow. “We are quite safe.” He tightened his mailed fist on the jeweled hilt of his sword, the elaborate blade exclusive to members of the Arcane Guard.

“Yes, Nadeen, safe,” purred Loat indolently. “You are quite safe. Safe from the creatures of this place, for the Arcanes plan to kill you. Safe from the Arcanes, for the creatures plan to eat you.”

The other Arcanes traveled in a wary circle around Nadeen, their weapons drawn or ready in sheaths, their breath misting into the cool forest air.

“Hush, Loat,” whispered Nadeen, glaring at the wispcat. “I’ve no patience for your tricks.”

“Who are you speaking to, Majesty?” Wyllbow said. “Are we not quiet enough?”

“No, I mean…never mind,” said Nadeen. “How soon will we be there?”

“Soon enough, Majesty,” said the Arcane Guard, gently sliding his weapon free of its frosted sheath. “Soon enough.”

Inspired by this.

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