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The Dollmaster's Key

The World

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a part of The Dollmaster's Key, by Cienpher.

The World - A disconnected world of scattered cities and strange little towns.

Cienpher holds sovereignty over The World, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

441 readers have been here.

Setting

This world is different from most, with its scattered cities and strange little towns. There is nothing that binds the inhabitants of this world save for the land and the language that they speak. There is no far-reaching ruler. There are no wars to be fought. There are no kingdoms, countries, or states at all, unless each town could count as its own. What sort of world is this? It is one far different and diverse from those familiar to most, a world united through disparity… It has neither true name nor form. Rarely have people ventured beyond the natural borders of their land, and so no one knows the true shape of the world. It may very well be flat... but such things do not matter.

About this world, there is only one thing you need to know:

This settlements of this world have two kinds of inhabitants: those who die and those who do not...
Perhaps another way to put it is this: there are those who live, and those who do not.

Or putting aside all airs of mystery, this world is inhabited by humans, familiar to most... and the it is also inhabited by dolls. Yes, we mean those shells that took to human form that people once thought of as mere playthings. We mean those of flawless features and beautiful clothes that collectors coveted and children loved... and at the same time, we don't.

Those dolls of old still exist, are still loved by the people.

The dolls of which we speak are not always so fortunate.

In this society, there are dolls that are said to 'live'. As large as ordinary humans, they move and speak to their individual wills. Once their wooden textures and jointed limbs gave away their true nature, but now it is near impossible to tell a human from a doll. For this reason, there are wide opinions on their existence. Some humans accept them for what they are, and the dolls of these societies are integral to daily life. They call each other friends, family, and the odd few settlements have legalized marriage between a doll and a human. However, other communities shun them, despise them, call them demons or monsters. Unnatural. The dolls of these societies are often even killed. Shattered. Burned. The dolls are forced to hide, unable to leave for fear of persecution. Other societies use them as machines in favor of profit, leaving the dolls to suffer such abuse.

This tale focuses on a small portion of this world, with blue expanses to the north and west and mountainous terrain to the east. As stated before, there are no kingdoms or nations, for every city is their own. Each city with its own laws and beliefs, its own unique culture, these settlements are scattered throughout the world. Yet still, they are connected through the delicate means of the people - trade, information, entertainment... they unite this world in all its diversity.
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The World

The World - A disconnected world of scattered cities and strange little towns.

Minimap

The World is a part of The Dollmaster's Key.

4 Places in The World:

4 Characters Here

Raine Alba [6] "The Jointless are mere reflections of what beauty a true Jointed doll is able to possess."
Jaina Cassandra [3] ...I will be perfect, just for him
Jack Tinkertoy [0] Tick tock goes the clock... Ding Dong ends your song.
The Dollmaster [0] [GM operated] Do not use this as a foundation for your own character. Profiles as bad and empty as this one will not be accepted.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raine Alba Character Portrait: Dove Oneira
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Raine Alba


Commuting was such a tedious process. There was nothing to do, nothing to see. Raine, a ball-jointed doll, rested her crafted head against the frosted glass that made up the window, without sparing a glance for the untamed wilderness outside. One of her small hands rested demurely in her lap, while the other tapped on the soft seat impatiently. Every so often, the carriage would lurch up into the air when hitting a stray stone, and Raine’s face became more thunderous with each jolt. The soft clipping sounds of the horses’ hooves made a dreadful monotony, and Raine watched through unblinking eyes the process of moving her body from one place to the next.

Her destination was like always, Terota, for her semiannual winding. While some dolls arrived in discrete manners, usually by foot unless possessing some particular economic benefits, this was a ceremony to Raine’s doll-like characteristics. What other human could even hope to possess that smooth skin, that shining hair, and more importantly, the thought of being blessed with it for an eternity and beyond? While infrequent, she was always certain to travel with the most comfort and pomp that she could afford at the time. Her destination was a charming, quaint village, at least it would be without the dratted people that populated it. Those humans and their mindless shadows of dolls. But even then, it was nothing compared to the beautiful port city of Sagen. Her city. That city she presided over as one of the oldest and most beautiful dolls. Raine, personally, missed the comfort of civilization…

A glance out of the window later, the slightly morphed buildings seen out of the window seemed familiar. The carriage jostled up and down on the cobblestones. All this made Raine come to the conclusion that they were almost there. Turning her eerie golden glass eyes of hers towards the external sights, she jerkily moved one hand towards the overly ornate handle to the door. Raine could not, personally, believe that the keykeeper would have decided to reside in such a little area… but he was human, so his ignorant behavior was just to be expected. Without notice, her hand tightened on the latch, and without notice, pushed.

The door swung open gracefully, with the carriage still rolling forward. With almost careless balance, Raine kept one hand on the open door, and used it as leverage to stretch herself up to her full height, showing off her appearance and clothing. She coughed, not to clear her throat, but to persuade her servant to pay more attention to her mistress. As a result of that, the carriage slowed and stopped, gliding to a stop in the middle of the street.

Raine allowed one of her clean and impeccable white slippers to touch the far more grimy surface of the street, before with her head held high like an aristocrat, and her movements almost curiously doll-like compared to the plethora of newer Jointless dolls. Walking down the street, she kept her golden eyes forward - the common masses were not worthy of her attention. But even then, her eyes were caught on those dolls that disturbed her. Those vain mockeries of humans, throwing away their own delightful characteristics - those dolls with skin. Raine would like to think that she drew the jealous glances of those others, but refrained from searching their more expression faces for such evidence.

There was one doll that made her skin crawl, that is, if she had any. A face that was rugged and covered with scars, Raine mentally shuddered with disgust and wounded pride. Her ‘father’ would not have created him in such a way, which meant that it was a new ‘addition.’ Being a doll was the gift of everlasting youth, and to imagine such a present from their ‘father’ taken away for the sole sake of appearing like a human. It was those dolls that she hated the most. Those dolls that flaunted their human characteristics; it almost made her think as though they were embarrassed of being a doll.

The dollkeeper’s place was abnormal today, but Raine paid it no mind before throwing open the door and striding inside. There was another doll - jointed, young. She didn’t pay the other any attention, before her eyes were drawn towards the shattered glass and splintered wood that covered the floor. She paused in the doorway, unwilling to scratch her possessions on such a mess. Turning her attention towards the only ‘living’ being, whom she assumed was a worker, started to speak - speech slow and halting, like that of a child. Her matter-of-fact tone made it clear that she was not expecting to be argued with. “Where is he?” Raine asked brusquely. “I need to get wound up. And mind you, this mess is unpleasant. I would highly suggest you do something about that.” Her black hair tumbled down her back, seemingly neat despite her long journey. Both arms hung down her sides stiffly, not in use. She paused, before continuing again. “The keykeeper will be back, rig-.”

....

She had just then caught the sight of the mindless destruction that pervaded the entire shop. The top drawer, on the right, where her key used to be. Looking with almost unbelieving eyes, Raine saw the gaping hole and without care for her shoes, stepped across the room towards the cabinets. Her key was gone - that beautiful object that the dollmaster had made for her. She turned with appalled anger towards the doll. “Is this your doing?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raine Alba Character Portrait: Dove Oneira
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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Viyo Marie
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Viyo was walking the streets where the children laughed and the elders bickered. It was truly a wonderful day. The beautiful jointless doll smiled and dipped her head gracefully, respectfully to those who greeted her. The humans were so kind and the doll ached for the bonds that they shared with one another. If only she could be like them... Viyo shook the thoughts away, gently scolding herself. Viyo, you are a doll. They are humans. You're even going to get winded!

Still, she couldn't help but be wistful and tucked a strand of pure white hair behind her ear. She had felt the lovely bond once. That was before she knew better. They had died. Something that she was incapable of... unless she did not go to her winding. However, Viyo was sensible and knew that suicide would be cowardly. This was the way she was and there was no use pretending otherwise. She smoothed down her ice blue dress with pale dainty hands. It was slightly frilly at the bottom and ended right above her knees. It made her look like some kind of angel and the citizens appeared ot agree as well, complimenting her appearance. Viyo just took them graciously, knowing she should be thankful to the maker who had created her in such a way. She had no control over what she looked like and Viyo knew it was nothing to be proud about.

A dog seemed to get loose from its owner and darted around her. Reacting quickly, Viyo gently grabbed the mutt's collar and held it as the young owner rushed up. The little boy apologized and the doll smiled, feeling the animal's soft, silky fur. It was nothing. Any decent person would have done it also.

"Have a nice day," Viyo waved cheerfully at the boy who bowed, flustered and happy, at her with one hand holding the dog's collar tightly. She started walking again. Oh, she was in such a good mood. Interacting with others always helped cheer her up. She just liked being around others... maybe even too much.

Well, now she had to go to her winding and Viyo walked with a slight spring in her step. After her winding, she would go to the library. They had sent a notice that a few books she had reserved were now in.

Then Viyo spotted the shop and hurried over to it. Through the tinted windows, her ice blue eyes could vaguely make out a few forms. Were some other dolls there as well? She grasped the handle and stepped inside. as soon as she did, Viyo gasped, her eyes widening. What had happened? The last time she was here, it was so neat and orderly...

She almost asked the other dolls what had happened. However, common sense told her that they did not know either.

"Hello, I'm guessing that something's happened to the doll maker..." Viyo paused, hesitating. "Have you found anything that may lead us to the information on what happened here?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raine Alba Character Portrait: Viyo Marie Character Portrait: Dove Oneira
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Raine Alba


After her wrath had been completely expelled on the sorry excuses for dolls, Raine found that she had a smile resting on her porcelain face. Ah, it always was a slight hobby of hers to put people where they should belong - especially if they were so forward with their faults that she really couldn’t help but seeing it. Hearing a clacking sound, she turned towards the child, who - to her greatest delight, was much shorter than she was, and less perfect as well.

In her hand, she held a red, dripping rag of paper, and Raine nearly turned away with a haughty sniff. There was no way that such a piece of trash would be useful in finding the keykeeper. He had just gotten scared of his heavy responsibility and ran. Well, it was just up to her to fetch him back again, giving him a short lesson while she was at it. “Look here, sweetling - ah, do not touch it, for your dress and skin are so fine-” The doll with the luxuriously brushed black tresses looked more closely at the piece of what she just realized was paper, as her glass eyes caught many of the details that had been inscribed.

The child amused her greatly, and there was a inkling of like for the language used. As the… Raine just noticed that despite all that she knew about the doll - she really couldn’t tell what gender the doll was… Maybe her overly sweet honorifics grated on her ears slightly, as it made her feel younger, when she was obviously younger, but she was much better than the rest of the companions she had been saddled with. “...Don’t you think, perhaps, Sagen may be of some interest?

Without looking at the faded texts, she could have told the doll that much already. Sagen was her home, and therefore, it was obvious that it would become important. But as Raine really found within her a kernel of burning dislike for the cowardly keykeeper, she forced herself to focus more intently on it. Yes, there was the ‘Sage’ and scanning it quickly, she noticed something alarming. Despite the fact that the system of straight lines appeared to be a map, Sagen was not organized in such a manner. Instead of a grid-like system, it was arranged in a wheel - so there must be something wrong with it. Neither did she recognize the plaza in the center.

She was just about to speak when yet another doll arrived. This one was jointless, yes, but pale like a blank canvas. Without a startling use of color, the newcomer was nothing more than a doll who was waiting to be finished. Raine blinked her golden eyes in sheer arrogance - waiting for the doll to draw her attention to her exquisitely-formed appearance. The doll herself wasn’t that badly made, but once again, she could only say that she was far more brilliant than she was. The glistening form of snow in no way could attempt to touch the light produced by the sun. “Hello, I’m guessing that something’s happened to the doll maker… Have you found anything that may lead us to the information on what happened here?

Raine was planning on ignoring her, but she couldn’t help but reach out with a statement, delivered with spite. “Well, I would tell you, but you’re jointless. I have found that throughout my entire existence, none of your generation are worth my time. If you would remain in the corner there, I would be very much obliged. I, personally, do not need anyone to get in my way. If you can prove that you have been gifted with a mind, be my guest.”

Then, turning back towards the child, she spoke in a slightly softer tone, although the volume of it was still loud enough to be heard… “So he has decided to run to Sagen in fear, is it? How impolite of him. I had spent so much time and effort commuting here for him, and now he decides to make my previous efforts useless.” The porcelain fingertips on her hands clacked together as she pressed them together in thought. “We’ll have to find him quickly - so there is no time to be wasting here.” Then, with a turn towards the doorway, she called back over her shoulder at the younger doll. “If you’d bring that and any other points of interests, we might as well make our way to the beautiful port city of Sagen.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaina Cassandra Character Portrait: Raine Alba Character Portrait: Orchid Ross Character Portrait: Viyo Marie Character Portrait: Dove Oneira
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#, as written by xKyrie
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Throughout their whole exchange, Cassandra had opted to listen closely at the conversation, all the while looking around the destroyed shop. Not that they were actually saying something important or worth taking note off, but for the amethyst-haired jointless doll it would be a great advantage to study the personalities of these beings.

It was because of these studies that she had learned to triumph any situation/problem she encountered.

Secretly scoffing at the obvious insults thrown towards the others and also advertently to her, Cassandra just let the “older” girl take control of the situation and dish out statements word after word.

‘This one is such a cranky old doll’, she can’t help thinking as she noticed her getting irritated even of the littlest things. The golden-eyed doll spoke as if she was someone of higher status—like what is normal for the jointed dolls, even if she had in many words plainly declared to all of them that she had no clue on what has happened in here. ‘And she dared to call us clueless and useless?’ She briefly made a face at the back of the speaker before arranging her expression into an innocent one- well, as innocent and weak she can be-.

Her head lowered as if in shame, and her hand clutched the parasol to her chest. Looking every inch helpless and inferior, she tried hard not to catch the black-haired doll’s eyes; bowing down and staring at the dirty ground.

‘If weak and inferior she think of us, then that is what she will get’, were Cassandra’s thoughts as she played the character to the fullest of her ability. Settling on this new approach (personality change), she waited expectantly to what the other dolls reaction will be.

It was natural for beings like them to be arrogant and proud. No doubt they had every reason to be. Not only were they beautiful and striking in appearance, the limitless time- their immortality, the grander skills and talents of dolls and sometimes the envy and bitterness of human themselves proved as a confirmation for the superiority of dolls overall the living creatures. It would assuredly be a surprise for them to see such a spineless doll.
In all truth though, getting back at the one-sided dialogue in front of her, she had been most tempted to leave as soon as the black-haired golden-eyed girl had stated about finishing the search for anything that could give clue to the key keeper’s whereabouts. If it was up to her she would not endure any longer the company of these unbearable presences. However once she had underwent an undeniably heavy weighing down of the positives and negatives and after regarding the other girls, she decided to stick around a little longer.

Though she was probably as vain and haughty as they are, Jaina Cassandra was more inclined with pursuing every means about a particular goal rather than getting sensitive and offended with the several insults directed at her. For the brown-eyed girl, though they were unknowing this moment, surely later on these jointed ones might find some clue about the location of the key-keeper.

From what she had gathered, it is duly confirmed that the-key keeper wasn’t here, though he was supposed to be. Not that the broken things hadn’t helped to serve as enough clue to what has happened, it still didn’t hurt her to be more certain. After all, it had been years, a time far too long since she last visited. Who knew what had changed since then?

Biting her tongue to control herself from retorting and speaking out loud in their presence, she waited until the first doll- the superior acting one, addressed them and uttered the possibility of travelling towards another place.

Ah, Sagen! One place she can deem to call a town of sin and pleasure . She had been to the place once, and that was a few years back. Her master had longed to see the port during that time. Finally after a lot of planning and effort, few weeks later they were given the permission to go and visit it.

Without a doubt, she could definitely say that she have enjoyed the trip. The most memorable vacation she ever had!

It wasn’t because of the location though- more so because of her companion. She could still clearly remember the moment that both of them were gazing at the sea, standing at the edge of the harbor. It had been such a warming and pleasant experience.

Comfortable silence had permeated over them, as they contented their selves with listening to the sounds of the waves crashing and the birds flapping their wings. No words were needed and even if they had only stayed there for such a short time, to her, it was one of the most treasured minutes she had experienced ‘til forever.

Too bad she couldn’t do that same thing now.

Instead, it seemed to her that she will be accompanied with uptight and stuck-up dolls on her second visit. ‘Jolly!’ She can’t help but do an inner monologue, hiding the scowl that was sure to grace her beautiful features.

With the right amount of shyness and awkwardness injected in her voice, she then questioned--stuttering while doing so, “I’m sorry if I might sound foolish… but, h-how do you plan on traveling to Sagen? I have never been to that... place and I heard that it’s a town that also serves as a port. What if there were pirates? Or drunkards?”

She then looked around, gripping tightly the parasol in her hands. She had performed her best, looking authentically weak and pathetic to everyone who’ll see her.

This acting was a game she had perfectly mastered. Especially when the duchess had ordered her to be imprisoned in a room away from the young heir-- this activity had grown to be a past time. There were only few who have seen through her act, and even then, she made it certain to not intentionally reveal her bluff until the very end… or if not, until she gets bored.

((I'm willing to edit anything you guys might find wrong in this post. :> Sorry for the grammar inconsistencies. []__[]

Edit: I forgot to change the place!! >.< Sorry! ))

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaina Cassandra Character Portrait: Raine Alba
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#, as written by xKyrie
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“The more … unsavory members you have mentioned stick to their own districts - there is nothing to fear. If you’re going to come as well, you may as well walk there; it’ll take you perhaps two days if you have the willpower to continue. That is, unless you have something to offer me? ...Can you carry heavy loads? Wash clothing? Do you have a way to pay for your passage? I don’t usually take on extra weight, but I’ll make you an exception - coin will do if you can’t do anything else.”


Her face soured the moment that she heard the older doll's haughty and patronizing tone. It was a good thing she had opted to lower her head else she might unintentionally show them her true feelings. They had really taken her for a spineless and lowly jointless. After all the superior acting doll, while it was degrading even, had actually considered bringing her along the trip. If she was another doll in this scenario with the way the golden-eyed one insulted them, she might have flipped and took great offense.

The black-haired and golden eyed doll was very arrogant in all ways possible. More arrogant than Cassandra herself, she could definitely say. From the moment that they had entered this dilapidated ruin and discovered the owner of the shop gone, she had mouthed nothing contemptuousness and disdain: for all of them. Not used with such treatment, Cassandra was more than tempted to deck her or push her into the nearby fireplace, laughing as she watched her archaic body being eaten by the flames. 'It would be a delight to witness that!' She sneered in the back of her mind, duly checking if she still looked powerless in her stance with the way her thoughts about this situation runs.

Thinking deeply about this, the amethyst-haired girl felt relieved that they hadn't suspected anything (which meant that her acting was once again as flawless as it could ever be). Mentally shaking her head in amusement, it was understandably natural for the dolls to be one-sided, and for that she felt victorious with their current treatment of her. It would be easier for her to play this game after all.

Eyeing the black-haired doll for a moment as she slightly raised her head, she then weakly uttered. "Coins...?" She tilted her head to the sides as if desperately searching for something, and looked at her superior once again. "I do not know any form of labor...", she spoke in a wistful and disappointed tone. As if she was truly sorry that she couldn't do any of the tasks the older doll had suggested. She took a coin bag out of her purse and meekly lifted it for others to see. "T-this is all that I have. Will this be enough?"

She fully raised her head and stared at the other doll inquisitively, "I don't know if this is going to be enough but I truly hoped it would. I need to find the key-keeper and I will be honored if you'd let me come." She let out a forced small smile before continuing as she tightly gripped the bag in one hand, "I-I won't get in your way! You won't even feel I'm there... and this might sound that I'm begging so much but if going into Sagen will stand a better chance to meet the key-keeper then I'll do all I can to get there."

Cringing as she totally gave out her best with the acting (-how else can she explain being able to stomach delivering that disgusting speech?!), she inwardly contradicted every word that she uttered in front of them. She certainly sounded pathetic and she knew if this wouldn't work, nothing else with regards to appearing spineless and shy would. Not that she was downplaying her skills, but honestly, that was the worst acting experience she had to endure. And she had to do it to the ones she had always thought of the lowest, the jointed dolls--next to other humans that is.

Who knew that acting inferior in front of these old and cranky dolls would be this exasperating? ‘This better be worth it!’ She thought brattily, sneaking a calculating glance towards them. She wasn't used to being totally dependent to the other’s mercy. While her drama might have been perfect, there is still though very much miniscule, a chance that someone will notice her façade.

"I am fervently wishing that you'd allow me." She turned to give the brown bag filled with a generous amount of coins to her with the same small hopeful smile playing in her lips and waited until the older doll reached for it. If she'd take it, Cassandra would take it as a sign of her affirmation. The bag didn’t have just a handful of money after all. It was pretty plentiful and she knew it would be approximately suitable enough for a six-person’s trip to Sagen or more. She didn't know if the doll would fall into her bluff, but she most confidently dare to assume that the jointed doll would.

'Move faster you slowpoke', she longed to say while observing the slower reflexes the black-haired doll had, obviously aware that their precious time is ticking faster than she would have liked. Being stuck in a place such as this with no human to turn her key, would certainly be disastrous especially at the nearing hours for her winding. They had already wasted minutes -or was it an hour?- than needed and it is apparently time for them to move on.

“Oh! You can address me as Cassandra by the way. I’ve just noticed how impolite I was, talking to you without even introducing myself. Please forgive me for my insolence.” She curtsied towards them, bowing low as she held her short dress up with her free hand.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jaina Cassandra Character Portrait: Raine Alba
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Raine Alba

Expecting for the other doll to immediately drop down on her knees begging for forgiveness, Raine was momentarily shocked by the reply. “Those coins had come from a friend. Madame Lilian Gaborne of Hastings in case you wanted to know.” Sticking to her story until the very end… the older doll felt a sticky disgust deep inside her heart. This madame, whoever she was, was no doubt either an illusion created by this liar in order to give her story credence.”I would have appreciated it greatly if you asked me about it before you had so much cold-heartedly dropped my well-earned possessions without second thoughts.

‘[i]I thought that this doll did not have any helpful skills,[i]’ she thought dismissively. There would be no way that she - whatever her name was - would have been able to earn any sum of money, even in the disgusting ways that were likely, given her clothing.

I can assure you that…” blah blah blah. Whatever nonsense she was going to spew out, Raine had lost all interest in continuing with their conversation. She was not going to soil her beauty by consorting with such types. Raine turned away from the still-talking jointless before a single phrase caught her attention. “You, Madam, are the worst kind of jointed doll that I have ever had the displeasure of knowing.

So not only was she going to be disgraceful to the name of dolls throughout the area, the rude, unsavory individual was going to insult the best that the world had to offer. Without question, Raine was furious. Her hands balled up into fists, and her breathing came louder and faster than usual. She tossed her head and her black straight hair fluttered gently, before falling back into place, although slightly disheveled.

She ignored the doll for the rest of the time, even though she was aware of the mindless words that still spilt out of her ungrateful lips. Reminding herself that such a human display of emotion was beneath her, Raine merely froze in place as her face composed itself, always a slow, agonizing process. Watching the other prance off into Terota, Raine waited a few minutes before stepping daintily through the rubble.

Her carriage was just around the corner, and she waved her hand imperiously in its direction. The driver snapped the reins to the horses, and it rumbled slowly in her direction. Maybe it was the recent encounter that had left her more upset than usual, but she hardly spared him a glance before entering her means of conveyance.

“Sagen,” she ordered loudly, before settling her porcelain body down on one of the soft cushioned seats. “And make it snappy. I’ve already spent more time in this hovel than I had ever wanted. I must get back my belongings, and for the Dollmaster’s sake, I dreadfully hope that I don’t meet up with that disgusting cretin from the countryside again.”