In the far eastern wing of the Castlekeep, tucked away among the high rafters is a small, crowded room like any other on the floor. Crates and boxes are stacked in untidy rows, left for centuries and holding treasures known only to the servant ghosts. Dust lies over surfaces like a thin powder, pristine in its evenness and coverage… except for the two sets of paw prints leading from the iron-bound door to the far wall. One is distinctly dragon in its placement of pads and talons, but the other is slightly larger and bearing resemblance to an enormous dog.
Across the chipped and peeling plaster of one wall, cracked in a section from f
An owl! All the wide-eyed staring and the super slow blinking prove it! Mitten grins and nods to himself. Only owls do that stuff, like the ones in the forests at the Castlekeep, even though those are white with black stripes and Ikiri is all red and gray, but that’s not important. Sometimes when he watches the older boy sleep he even makes these little noises and now that he’s realized that Ikiri’s an owl, they sound exactly like hoots. All of the pieces are coming together.
The Professor said Ikiri is a fire dog thing, but that’s not true. Fire has smoke and heat and something the Professor calls ‘incandescin
The Ashkarin turns the page in the huge, leather-bound book settled in his lap, his slender back settled against the frosted glass pane of the window seat in the library of the Castlekeep. Outside the snow falls as though it were rain, the flakes fat and almost as large as his hand. It never snowed at the temple, both the days and nights warm and comfortable with rain every so often, and he’s still getting used to the unrelenting white landscape. There was no need for heavy coats, fur-lined hoods, fireplaces so big a full grown adult could walk right into them, or the weird drink they call a ‘hot totty.’ Instead there was t