Zamorra blew out a long lungful of air, forcing herself to breathe slowly, even as her heart beat faster. A curl escaped her hairband and she brushed it away from her eyes in nervous excitement. She finally held the the last clue to the location of the treasure of Ahsakard.
The hand-drawn, coffee ring-stained map depicted a box canyon several miles away. A team of art thieves had made the canyon into their home. They had a painting that didn’t belong to them, and Xavier’s crew had ridden all the way to Drehana to relieve them of it.
That had been Xavier’s dream. And then the dream had become reality. And then life had happened. A hundred things beyond Xavier’s control had come and punched hole after hole in his dream. And Xavier’s idyllic vision of being lord of an estate began to crumble, as slowly but surely as the deteriorating mortar between the stones of the castle walls.