The night above the Akasai was the colour of a wilted rose, broken by a rain of white petals.
Ceru dodged a splash of rice wine as she shouldered through the Moonshard Festival crowd, pushing past the doors of Caged Noin. “To another year of long life!” she heard somebody say, “or one night of good drink!”
It was a curse and a blessing, a local saying. The Caged Noin was a place reserved for locals, a venue where fate coalesced in gambles of life and coin. There was a small line to the front doors: she took the place of a beastman who was kindly removed with a boot to the back.
That’s how these strange case studies always begin, after all.
Or at least, that’s where it should have ended.
It turns out things weren’t so simple. Especially for me.