The sky above Starkhaven was a pale blue. The mountains that lined the vista from the central towers were snow-capped and jagged; a defensible wall that had long served the citizens who lived in their shadows. It struck Sebastian Vael that, for all that he’d missed the view, he found he missed more the walls and stones of Kirkwall. Not for the city itself, and certainly not for any sentimental attachment to the place or what it had become, but for the security of blind corners. The comfort of narrow alleys. The openness of his home City State felt somehow daunting now.
And in another day, it truly would be his. Prince of Starkhaven not just in name, but in role. It had all felt a little too easy. He had arrived tired, weary and with a small band of his family’s old loyals; still reeling over the events that had forced him to leave Kirkwall and his new allies behind. The gates had been opened to them, word of his arrival apparently travelling far faster than their horses, an