Gryphon Fable (Annotated) Page 2

gaped as they saw a fox drag Zariah out of the tavern. Their drinks would have gone dribbling down their fronts if they heard him talk.

In the dark of the alley, mead-drunk and sentimental, Zariah wept into her friend’s fur. “I thought they took you back to the Crow’s Wood!” she cried. “I didn’t realize they understood my thieves’ cant.”

“I’m all right,” Gray said, brushing her off. “But you’re spending gold we don’t have, drinking like that. The Gryphon’s treasure is worth nothing unless we can find all three pieces. Are you listening, Riah?”

Zariah was not listening. Her eyes had that light from before, and she felt around like she was grasping at starlight. “It’s here!” she said. “Here in the city!”

Gray looked around. “How is that possible? It must have been placed here before there was a town here.” He peered down into the dark canal. “Maybe even before there was a lake.”

|c990000Lake Honrich, I presume. He must be speaking of Riften. |r

“Sai is with us,” said Zariah. She broke the wards and revealed the treasure just as dawn broke and drove back the shadows.

“Only one more piece,” said Gray, “until we find the door and the Gryphon very likely kills us.”

“Or,” countered Zariah, “all we need to do is step out of the way. Let his talons contend with the Lady of the Night. I don’t seek the power of this mythical creature, only the means to let us live a life where we don’t have to keep running.”

Gray looked up at her with shining eyes. “It is not too late for me to go back.”

But Zariah would not hear it. “No, my friend. You are too kind and clever to be kept in a prison of shadows for all your days. This will work. I am certain of it.”

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