The Night Runners: First Year

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Chapter 16

When Mistress Hilda-Beth and Master Geoffrey met with the girls the following day, the two adults looked more thoughtful and subdued than angry, which surprised the girls. Brittainy and Chrystyna glanced at each other and shrugged. I wonder what Headmaster Amarost said, Chrystyna mused. Headmaster Amarost must be a very powerful person.

“It seems as though we have underestimated your capabilities,” Master Geoffrey sat down with the two girls at the table in Chrystyna’s Tower. Behind him, Mistress Hilda-Beth set down their ‘team teapot’ and poured some boiling water from a large metal kettle she had brought up with her. “The Headmaster... spoke with us, and I think that both Mistress Hilda-Beth and I are going to... We are going to do our best to help you girls become the assassins we believe you can be.”

“We won’t try to steal things,” Brittainy quickly assured the adults. “Chrystyna and I learned our lesson.”

“I think the Headmaster is a very powerful person,” Chrystyna spoke her mind, “so he’s a bit scary. I don’t want to go back to the Office again.”

“You won’t be going back to the Office any time soon,” Mistress Hilda-Beth said giving the girls a small smile. “You two learned your lesson, I hope.”

“We did,” the girls chorused fervently.

“So, onto the next matter. Mistress Hilda-Beth and I discussed what our next course of action should be – and the most obvious one is attending the Duchess Trelawney’s Lower House Tea Party.”

“Lower House Tea Party?” asked Chrystyna.

“It’s a tea party for the Lower Houses of Doran’s Court,” explained Master Geoffrey. “Merchants and Guildmasters and high-level artisans-”

“People who make things,” Mistress Hilda-Beth interjected as explanation.

“Yes, those kinds of people also attend.”

“It’s quite different from the Higher House socials. Brittainy and her father will attend as themselves, and Chrystyna will attend as Brittainy’s maid.”

“You get to dress up!” Brittainy pouted a little. “I wish I could dress up too.”

“You will be dressed up,” Chrystyna pointed out. “Don’t most people dress up to go to parties?”

“Just in their ordinary clothes,” Brittainy sighed.

“It doesn’t look ordinary to me,” Chrystyna said.

“At any rate,” Geoffrey sighed. “Mistress Hilda-Beth and I will go separately and meet you there. We’ll be undercover. Mistress Hilda-Beth will be visiting an in-town cousin. Her name is going to be the same as last time: Miss Beryl Abernethy. I’ll be going with a wig and a different kind of suit – as Mister Will Hyatt.”

Master Geoffrey stopped as he noticed that Brittainy’s eyes had gotten a little glazed and Chrystyna looked a little lost. Rubbing his eyes, Master Geoffrey stifled a sigh.

“I’ll write the information down. You need to memorize it by tonight. The day after tomorrow, Tiwes Da, we’ll be going to a Lower House Tea Party, and we’ll see what we can find out about the Textile Guildmaster Taryth Sadon. Alright?”

The girls nodded silently. Master Geoffrey and Mistress Hilda-Beth exchanged glances. Brittainy, noticing their looks, contemplated the boards of information and the stacks of homework before them. I guess I can’t blame them for being pessimistic, she thought. But we will show them! We can be good assassin apprentices too!

As Master Geoffrey promised, the girls received the man’s notes on the basic information they needed for their infiltration. The following day, Brittainy spent her classes thinking mostly about how she would go about ‘interrogating’ people and ‘strategies’ for overhearing conversation. Chrystyna, she noticed, seems really calm. Does she know what is ahead? Brittainy wondered. Probably not.

Around one in the afternoon, Brittainy’s father showed up at the Academy gates in a fine carriage. Brittainy and Chrystyna climbed in with the help of a rather suave-looking footman in a spiffy black suit. Introductions were made, and the carriage rolled off.

“Your teachers told me it was for an assignment,” Brittainy’s father gave Chrystyna a curious glance. “But, they didn’t say much else.”

The tall girl, wearing a dark navy dress, white pinafore, and white cap, looked like the maid she was supposed to be – except that she had no idea how to properly hold Brittainy’s small reticule[1] and parasol and keep an eye on the shorter girl’s flounces at the same time. Already Brittainy’s lower petticoats were stained a little brown from touching the muddy slush at the Academy’s door.

“It’s top secret, Father,” Brittainy said cheerfully.

“Hmmm...” Her father turned his gaze onto his precocious middle child who was suddenly concerned about school assignments (a first in his experience). “Is this related to that special program you were nominated for? I remember signing quite a few papers for that.”

“Yes, but I can’t talk much about it.”

“I see.”

“Mother didn’t come tonight?” Brittainy asked curiously. “I thought she would come as well.”

“Your mother,” Lord Brython chuckled, “had an attack of the Vapors.”

“Oh,” Brittainy said. “I see.”

Chrystyna looked a little confused at this exchange, but Brittainy noticed that the older girl said nothing. She’ll probably try to research this later, sighed Brittainy. Chrystyna doesn’t seem to know about the Vapors[2]. Maybe people don’t get the Vapors in Eldalind.

“That makes it simpler,” Brittainy suddenly realized.

“Does it?” asked her Father, settling back for the long ride north to the Duchess’s mansion in High Court.

“We need to ask a few questions,” Brittainy looked over at Chrystyna who nodded in quiet agreement.

“About the Textile Guild,” Chrystyna added.

“The Textile Guild?” Brittainy’s Father blinked. “How... interesting.”

“What do you know about the Textile Guild?” asked Brittainy innocently.

“Haha,” chuckled Lord Brython. “Are you hoping to ‘pump me for information’ as they say in those horrid mystery dime novels your mother reads? Well, I’m afraid that I will only disappoint you. I don’t know much about the Textile Guild.” The man stroked his mustache thoughtfully. “I do recall that the Guildmaster is actually related to some landed family out in... where was it...”

The girls with their best bland expressions waited for Lord Brython to finish his thought.

“I think it was Karrowyn. The... Stillson-Carnsby... no... Hm. Sadons? Maybe it was the Sadons,” Lord Brython frowned. “I forget.”

“So, there have been no rumours or signs of the Textile Guildmaster trying to move up in society?” Chrystyna asked curiously.

“Goodness me, no. Why?”

“He’s the heir to the Sadon Estate,” Brittainy said.

“Ah, well, that’s not much to write home about, is it?” Lord Brython frowned. “Karrowyn is difficult – when it comes to farming. Sheep farming out there, if I remember correctly. Most of their income is based off of trade and shipping and fishing... and of course the occasional smuggling, I’m sure. I’ll ask around for you at the party.” Lord Brython winked at the girls. “I can try my hand at, ah, undercover investigations.”

“You can become my informant,” Brittainy said, putting on her serious face.

“That sounds exciting,” Lord Brython rubbed his hands. “How much do I get paid?”

“Oh,” Brittainy turned to Chrystyna. “Do informants get paid?”

“I suppose some do.” Chrystyna said. “Emalynn would know.”

“Once I find out,” Brittainy promised her dad, “I’ll let you know the going rate.”

“How are you going to pay him?” asked Chrystyna, intrigued at the idea of Brittainy having a ‘for real’ informant.

“With my allowance, of course.”


The rest of the ride to the tea party was spent in deep discussion as to what allowances were (Chrystyna had never had one) and what the monthly allowance used to be like in Lord Brython’s childhood compared to what they were nowadays. When the carriage finally rumbled up to Duchess Trelawney’s graciously carved doors, Lord Brython and the girls felt more than ready for the task ahead.

Chrystyna’s green eyes grew rounder and rounder as the three of them passed through the front doors. Momentarily, the parasol began to drag on the ground – until a much more capable maid carried off their coats and hats (and the parasol) into the small cloakroom off to the side of the front door. Taking her reticule out of Chrystyna’s hands, Brittainy searched inside for a few seconds.

“I brought two short pencils and two small pads of paper in case we need to write anything down for memory. There’s always a large curtain we can hide behind to take notes,” she added as they were ushered into a large ballroom. “You can go and talk to the servants and listen to what they have to say,” Brittainy added. “I’ll see what the people at the party know about the Guildmaster. Let’s meet in fourty-five minutes.”

“And, you’ll keep an eye on your father?” Chrystyna asked. “He seems a little... excited about being an informant.”

“My father will be fine,” Brittainy said. “Mother says that Father is charismatic but underneath he’s a shrewd judge of character.”

“A shrood judge?” asked Chrystyna.

“I don’t really understand what ‘shrewd’ is either, but Mother says that Father is super smart, and my uncle says that Father knows how to handle people and money. That’s why our family is rich. Well, that’s not the point. We need to...” Brittainy frowned. “We need to... What does Master Shermore always say?”

“We need to focus. We need to stay on target,” Chrystyna said promptly.

“Right. I’ll keep an eye out for, uh, Miss Beryl and Mister Will.”

“Miss Beryl and Mister Will...” Chrystyna blinked. “Oh...” She nodded sagely. “Oh yes. Miss Beryl and Mister Will. Yes.”

With that, the two girls separated.

The party was in full swing. Brittainy slowly worked her way around the room, listening carefully to the conversations around her. She smiled sweetly at the married ladies who called her ‘sweetie’ and the old grandmothers who pinched her cheeks and the gruff gentlemen who harumphed loudly and largely ignored her.

As usual, the young men and women of the party were clustered in small groups around various arrangements of chairs and tables. In a room off to the side, three games of pool were underway and Brittainy watched with interest as large amounts of change and bills switched hands. Betting, she thought. I think they are betting on who they think is going to win. How do they know if someone is cheating or not?

The young girl didn’t have the time to figure that out, however, because a large debate had arisen over the unusual move used by one Harry Gergins.

“I saw the move the other day down at the Stone Maiden the other day,” the red-headed young gentleman told his friends.

“There were two pool masters there the other day from the Central Continent.”

“You were at the Pool Competition Demonstration!” A tall, auburn-haired young lady gave a small scream. “Mother thought you were visiting Grandmama in Stillsburn!”


“Ohhhh, Harry,” laughed another girl. “You’ve been caught out!”

“No wonder you were so late!” Harry’s older sister rolled her eyes.

Realizing that the conversations weren’t going to go into interesting avenues, Brittainy slipped out of the room and continued around the larger ballroom area toward the corner where several card tables had been set up. The largest table, playing a rousing round of Faro, was hosted by the Duchess herself. Brittainy caught a glimpse of her father leaning back and guffawing at some joke.

Is he remembering why he’s here tonight? Has he gotten any information? Is he getting distracted? Brittainy hesitated and glanced around hoping to see any of her co-conspirators. None were in sight. Having an informant is harder than it looks, she sighed.[3] I’ll continue looking around and then come back and check on him, the girl decided. This is getting really hard!

Chrystyna, following another older woman’s companion to the side tables where large silver platters of food and drink were arranged, looked around in a bit of a daze. There are so many people here. She noticed that the companions of the old ladies were going back and forth from the side tables carrying drinks and food. I suppose I should be serving Brittainy, but... Chrystyna frowned. Brittainy is going to be moving about, so I suppose I could pretend to be carrying things to her about the room and see what the other servants and people are talking about.

Carefully pouring a cup of tea, Chrystyna placed the dainty floral-decorated cup on its matching saucer. Then she glanced at the small star-shaped sandwiches which lay in a tantalizing pyramid on the table. Maybe Brittainy wants a snack? Would she want a snack? Or, should I just pretend that she would like a snack?

As soon as Chrystyna picked up two star sandwiches, she realized that they were too big to fit on the tiny saucer. After five failed attempts to wedge them beneath the tea cup, Chrsytyna looked around with mounting panic for Brittainy. How do you carry sandwiches? Are there special plates I’m not seeing?

Chrystyna glared down at the offending saucer and sandwiches.

This is really not going well...

At the other card tables, groups of ladies and gentlemen were seated playing various card games ranging from Cribbage and Bridge to Ecarte and Faro. Brittainy, putting on her ‘I’m very interested in what is going on’ face, drew closer and discovered that one table was in fact a grandmotherly group who were working on something related to sewing. One of the women, catching sight of Brittainy, smiled and invited her to look closely at what she was doing.

“It’s going to be an embroidered pillowcase for my daughter’s baby girl,” she explained. “Are you working on any embroidery?”

“Embroidery?” Brittainy struggled to keep a smile on her face as a nightmarish memory rose to mind – Miss Kierney’s Home for Talented Ladies, Brittainy’s second finishing school. “I think I tried it out once. I’m not really good at it.”

“Oh my,” tittered another lady who was wrapped in two silk shawls. “Well, Madame Esmerelda, I think you’ve just met a challenge!” She turned to Brittainy. “Madame Esmerelda is quite the seamstress. She’s made two gowns for the Princesses, so if there’s anyone who knows about detailed embroidery, it’s her!”

“Really?” asked Brittainy, her mind making a sudden leap from embroidery to dress-making to textiles. “I suppose making dresses for Royalty is quite difficult. You have to shop for the best materials.”

“Yes,” Esmerelda set her granddaughter’s pillowcase. “Many hours spent down at the pier going through the latest fabrics. I notice that you are wearing a Madame Toulliere creation. Your mother has taste. Madame Toulliere knows a thing or two about making dresses herself.”

“Ahhh...” sighed another grandmother. “Too bad Jenivre couldn’t make it tonight! She is such an amusing woman – and a dab hand at Ecarte too.”

“My mother,” Brittainy thought quickly about how she was to steer the conversation back to the promising path it had seemed to be taking, “is very fond of shopping for new fabrics – especially when it comes to making me knew dresses.” She sighed. “We always spend hours going through the markets. My mother loves a good sale.”
“Oh my, yes, sales are the stuff of dreams,” Esmerelda laughed.

“I go down to the Textile Piers and choose the materials myself. That way I can be assured that I’ve got the best that was there to offer.”

“The Textile Guild is really quite well-run and helpful for workers in the dress-making and fashion trade,” put in a familiar-looking young lady who was knitting a pair of socks.

Brittainy somehow managed to stiffen her cheeks and mouth so that she wouldn’t squeak in surprise at the sight of Hilda-Beth sitting quietly with the other women. I didn’t notice her there! She’s so quiet – almost invisible!!! For the first time, Brittainy felt genuine awe. A real assassin!

“Oh, yes!” Another woman, named Anne, nodded. “My brother’s shop wouldn’t be the same without the Guild as it is today. A model of efficiency. Rodney has pre-orders for leathers and furs, and Guildmaster Taryth and Master Tynne always make certain that the goods arrive in good time and in good order.”

“Headmaster Taryth will be missed when he’s gone,” agreed ‘Miss Beryl’.

“Gone?” asked Brittainy innocently. “He won’t hold the job until he... is old?”

“Well, I’ve not thought of that before,” Esmerelda mused. “But, you are right. I believe Guildmaster Taryth has some,” here, the woman lowered her voice, “family connections. “He’s one of the Sadons.”

“Ah, that would be the Sadons of Karrowyn, correct?” Another woman put in. “I met Lady Matilde. Such a nice woman.”

“She isn’t a Sadon,” Anne pointed out. “Not really. She’s a Cravanagh. My Grandda came from Marble Vale before he moved to the Capital to start a second shop for the family business. Marble Vale is quite a nice town, but Grandda thought that the Capital would appreciate his new designs for men’s shoes, so he left my Grand-Uncle in charge back in Marble Vale.”

“Quite a rich family, those people,” ‘Miss Beryl’ suggested. “I heard they are quite an old family too.”

“Old money,” agreed Esmerelda. “Goodness me, it takes me back. I made a dress for their youngest. A nice family. Quite a traditional name for Doran. Not like the New Rich these days.”

“Well, some of the youngsters of the older families,” Anne pointed out sharply, “take what they have for granted. They run up the largest bills. The amount of times my Haddon has had to go out to chase down some bills. My cousin – you know, the one who runs the Well on the Way – says the young men in particular are rowdy and out of control much of the time. The amount of time and money they spend on drinking... and other… things!” Anne, realizing that Brittainy was still listening, gave all the other women a disapproving, knowing look.

Drugs, thought Brittainy.

“Even young ladies are getting into trouble nowadays,” Esmerelda agreed soberly. “The young Cravanaghs weren’t like that. Even Master Cravanagh was an especially sweet, kind-hearted young man. Ah. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him. You remember, Jane, when the whole family stayed in the Capital on a regular basis? Their house was just down the way if I remember rightly. Always filled with parties...”

“Ah. Yes. The Cravanaghs,” another woman smiled fondly. “Lady Cravanagh was quite the socialite, and her daughters definitely took after her. Those girls were inseparable. They traveled everywhere – and I mean, everywhere. There was that one year, you remember that scandalous season when Lord Carwynn broke his leg at the races when he went insane and jumped in front of the horses-”

“Oh yes,” Anne shook her head. “That was the time Lady Melaine eloped with Prince Utam Babinook from the South Continent. That was an exciting year, and I remember Lady Cravanagh, when the girls got back, lamenting about missing all the excitement and the fuss. Didn’t they visit the Central Continent that year?”

“No, they stayed in Doran,” Esmerelda picked up her sewing again. “I remember Jemima telling me she saw them around Brackenlea.”

“I also heard they were traveling around the northern parts and staying closer to home in Marble Vale.”

“Oh, did they?”

Brittainy quietly edged away thinking hard about the conversation. A few pieces of gossip she had heard at her earlier tea had been repeated. Apparently, she thought, the Cravanaghs liked to travel, and they missed a whole season of socializing. We could look into that, since we’re supposed to look out for anything strange. That’s strange, right? On the other hand, it seems like the Cravanaghs were an upright family, so there’s no connection to drugs or smuggling from that end. It sounds like they didn’t mix with those kinds of people either. I wonder what Lady Matilda thinks about her husband’s business with drugs? Does she know? Brittainy sighed. Maybe Emalynn has found out in Karrowyn. I could send her a pigeon – or send a letter by train, but I’m not sure if it would get to her in time. Hmmm... I wonder what Chrystyna discovered.

Duchess Trelawney’s smaller ballroom, to Chrystyna’s untutored eye, looked like a king’s palace. From the ceiling hung glittering, star-like crystal chandeliers. The walls were covered with large paintings the size of her parents’ bed. Purple and black embroidered velvet drapes, which were pulled back from massive windows (with the clearest glass that Chrystyna had ever seen), could have served as blankets for several beds back home. Beneath her feet, the marble floor with its ornate patterns looked even more grand than the time she and her father had visited the Ministry of Agriculture in Heathmoor. It was rather overwhelming, and eventually, the tall girl fetched up against a curtain by a side table.

Holding the cup of tea (now almost empty thanks to the occasional spills) close, the farm girl sighed.

“Tiring, isn’t it?” asked a maid who moved to Chrystyna’s side and gazed down at the young girl kindly. “Is this your first time?”

“Yes,” Chrystyna said stiffly. Then she tried a smile and asked,

“I suppose it’s obvious?”

“We all have our first party,” said the maid. She turned to a serving man standing by the punch bowl. “You remember your first time serving at a party, Simon?”

“Oh yes,” Simon turned a little while keeping an eye on the glass bowl beside him. “It was a luncheon, and I was serving one of the Duchess’s visitors. I dropped a figgy pudding in his lap. I nearly died. I was that scared.”

“And she didn’t tell you to leave,” the maid added fondly. “Which just shows you how kind-hearted the Duchess is. In any other house, you could lose your job because of mistakes like that.”

Chrystyna didn’t know what to say.

“There aren’t many servants here today,” Simon said. “Only a few companions and personal valets. That’s Lower House socials for you. How’s it been going on your end, Norah?”

“It has gone fairly smoothly,” Norah smiled. “A few people who responded to the invitation didn’t end up coming after all, so there are less people than usual.”

“Less?” asked Chrystyna with barely contained horror.

Norah laughed. “The Duchess likes her parties.”

“What kind of people come to these parties?” asked Chrystyna, deciding to rely on the role she knew best – innocent, slightly stupid country girl.

“The Lower House,” Simon said, handing three cups of punch to a prettily dressed companion. “Those are comprised of the lesser Nobles and Clans and the New Rich.”

“New Rich,” Chrystyna echoed.

“The merchants and artisans who are linked with the Guilds, mainly. They’ve done quite well for themselves, so they can afford to go to parties and have some fun when they have the time,” Norah smiled. “Not like us.”

“The Guilds?” Chrystyna realizing that the conversation might be going in a good direction. “Like the Doctor Guilds? Or the Shipping Guilds?”

“Not all the guilds,” Simon smirked.

“Simon!” Norah said scathingly.

“You mean the Thieves Guild?” asked Chrystyna. “I read about that.”

“Oh my,” Simon coughed, trying (and failing) to keep a straight face.

“Well, the Thieves Guild isn’t coming round to the Duchess’s tea parties as far as I know. Other Guilds,” Norah gave Simon a repressive look, “the Doctors, the Blacksmiths, the Weavers...”

“The Textile Guild?” Chrystyna plucked up some courage to further direct the conversation.

“Oh, yes.”

“Guildmaster Taryth Sadon’s wife is a sociable woman, but the man himself is a little stern,” Simon mused. “But, he is a well-off upright man who has worked hard to know the trade. I have heard that the administration of the Textile Guild is quite impressive, thanks to Guildmaster Taryth.”

“He is rich too?” asked Chrystyna.

“Well, I suppose so,” Simon shrugged. “He dresses well – but that might be his upbringing. You see,” the serving man handed out two cups of punch and turned back to look down at the young girl. “He’s related to aristocracy, and it seems as though he may inherit the Sadon estate out in Karrowyn.”

“Karrowyn,” shuddered Norah. “That’s a cold countryside to settle in.”

“It’s strange,” Chrystyna said slowly as though she were thinking aloud, “that he is working so hard at the Textile Guild when he is going to get a rich estate and a high position in a few years.”

“Well, that’s what most people thought,” Simon shrugged, “but it makes more sense if you realize that for many years, it was believed that Lord Sadon and Lady Matilde would have a child. Yet, it never happened. Quite sad. I have a brother-in-law – he’s in Shipping – and he often deals with the Textile Guild. It appears as though Guildmaster Taryth never truly expected to become Lord of Tawyrs.”

“But, he hasn’t decided to retire early?” asked Norah. “I think I would.”

“You have to meet him to know what I mean when I say that Taryth is one of those old stalwart gentlemen. His mother raised him well,” Simon explained, “so the man is upright and honest and straightforward. Really old-fashioned: a person who holds to his word. He’s loyal to his Guild, and the Guild has treated him well. So, it’s not surprising that Taryth Sadon had no real ambition to obtain a landed position, much less one out in Karrowyn. Funny how life turns out.”

“Funny,” Chrystyna echoed.

The conversation turned to other Guilds who often showed at the Duchess’s tea, the kinds of gaming they favoured, and the snacks which they preferred. Eventually, Norah had to return to the kitchens to retrieve some more sandwiches, and, setting aside the now cold tea, Chrystyna followed Norah, to offer her help.

Perhaps, she thought as she considered the information she had discovered, this evening is not a loss entirely.

She did not notice (or recognize) a particularly dandy young gentleman who slipped out from a hidden balcony, looking unusually thoughtful.

The next day, right after their last class, the girls headed upstairs when one of the Academy’s errand boys approached them. Pulling his satchel around and lifting up the well-secured leather strap, the boy dug around before pulling out a rolled tube.

“Pigeon post,” he said briefly, “for Chrystyna and Brittainy. That be you two, eh?”

“Yes,” Brittainy replied quickly. “We have mail!”

“From...” The boy squinted at the lettering. “Marbul Vall.”

“Marble Vale!” Chrystyna blinked. “Isn’t that...”

“We’ll take that,” Brittainy eased the tube away from the curious boy’s dirty fingers. “Thank you.”

Almost running, the two girls scampered up the stairs to the tower, threw down their stuff, panted for a few minutes, and then opened the tube. Crowding by the largest lantern, the girls opened the tiny scrap of paper within. At the sight of Katrynn’s miniscule lettering, Chrystyna and Brittainy glanced at each other and sighed before squinting to read.

“It says,” Brittainy leaned closer. “Let’s see. ‘Marble Vale revealing some mysteries. Donation designated to orphanage. Check Zimmers and Sons Ltd, a courier service. Who did the Cravanaghs write to? Focus on Lady Matilde, of course. See if the following name crops up in either the courier service or in the records.’” Brittainy paused and then leaned back. “That looks familiar. Do you know it?” she asked, pointing at the name written down at the bottom of the note.

Chrystyna blinked back at Brittainy, her green eyes confused as they peered out from under her thick, dark chestnut fringe.

“Oh right,” Brittainy sighed. “The girl who doesn’t remember her classmates or the Headmaster of her school.”

“I know the Headmaster of our school,” Chrystyna said, mildly indignant, and then admitted: “Now.”

[1]Reticules, carried by young ladies everywhere in Doran (except perhaps in the backwoods of the country and in the North – such as Eldalind or Snowmere), are small valises or purses which usually hang from the wrist. More practical female artisans (such as those who work in weaving, sewing, carving wood, making pottery, etc) may tie their reticules to their beribboned waistbands. These small purses, coming in all shapes, sizes, and materials, often hold small mirrors, hand or lip lotions, other cosmetics, and some spare change.

[2]The Vapors (also known as the Fainting Sickness or the Headache Excuse) is a common ailment among ladies of High Society. Although many sensitive ladies (and their doctors) have theories on why such fits come upon them, causes are usually traced directly to Sensitive Topics, Family Drama, and Unwanted Social Obligations.

[3]Here, we can see how Brittainy Brython has begun the struggle which most Assassin’s must face in regards to the Informant. “The role of the Informant,” the well-experienced assassin Madame Elsmire wrote in her textbook Edges of the Underworld: an Assassin’s Life, “is an important one in regards to information gathering and checking. However, this age-old resource continues to be the double-edged sword of the Assassin’s Guild, due to the fact that most Informants are not officially within the Guild, nor do they necessarily espouse the Guild’s goals. As such, Informants may spawn more trouble than they are worth – careless speaking, double-crossing, going missing, getting kidnapped, providing bait for traps, and the like. A wise Assassin approaches the art of handling the Informant with care and must approach the relationship with caution, recognizing the fallibility, fragility, and fickleness of Humankind.”

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