The castle stood on the hilltop, tall and menacing. Its multiple spires were thin and topped with a steep conical roof and its silhouette somehow cast an even deeper shadow than the black clouds that swirled high above, if not for the lava moat beneath it, casting a red glow on its underside. It made the perfect stereotype for an evil lair.
Within its walls, despite the cold, dark stone, its plush rugs, elaborate tapestries, and ornate chandeliers softened the harshness to some degree, and muffled the sound of a young woman's bare feet as she quickly moved across the main hall. She ducked into alcoves every few yards, checking for visual signs of being watched, but there was no one. She had taken weeks out of her time to memorize the guards' routes and shift changes, and found a five-minute block where they turned over without anyone to back them up. It was all she needed. Despite herself, she smiled.