Hawke sat on the window seat in the large balcony just outside her bedchambers, out of view from the estate’s other inhabitants. Dressed in her soft, burgundy robe, one pale knee crossed over the other in a thoughtful pose, she was trying to riddle out why she had received a First Day invitation from someone who was an anathema to several of her firmest convictions.

Why me? And who exactly is on the third floor? she wondered, her fist clenching in an unconscious gesture of vexation against the coalwashed fabric that covered her thigh. An enemy was opening his door to her. He was either very foolish or very prepared and there was only one way to find out. It would have to be done surreptitiously done, though, or Fenris would be apoplectic. 

She looked down at the letter again and reread the meticulously penned words: ‘Those interested in the latter are recommended to bring their own…materials.’

“Oh I’ll bring something alright." Already forming a plan, Hawke rose and padded toward the stairwell, calling out dulcetly. "Sandal!”

The dwarven youth looked up at his name, brightening visibly as his favourite ‘kind lady’ sidled up next to his worktable. “How do you feel about a little science project? You know…” Dropping down on one knee, Hawke picked up one of the softly glowing stones and held it between them.



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