Cover art by Claire Beard, copyright 2011 Cal Primer
Cover font is Calluna regular, copyright Jos Buivenga at exljbris foundry
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The worm wind was the night wind. Cool and moist and bearing strange scents, it flowed from the east, out of the dark lands, all the way to the steep flanks of Sunbreaker and her children. There it condensed into fog, a heavy, clinging fog that filled the throat and smothered all sound except for the plink of water dripping off eaves.
Alice Standish climbed the mossy steps of Pickaxe Street, not bothering to wipe her face clear of the occasional cold droplet. She was too close to her house and her trusty little stove to bother. Besides, she was used to Finlochen and its fogs, even enjoying the muffled silence they brought.
A doorway flanked with pots of bellflowers took shape in the mist, then faded back into the whiteness as she kept climbing. Her neighbor's house, which meant one more flight of steps to hers. She breathed a sigh of relief.