i) The lighthouse is shrouded

The lighthouse is shrouded with thick, dark storm clouds. The gentle light within its top is obscured — or, Shyan fears, no longer burning at all. All the same, she swallows her concern.

The broken iron gates swing open at the gang’s approach. The groaning man-creatures precede the wagon, loping onto the lighthouse grounds.

“Is the witch home?” Fassn asks.

“She must be,” Shyan says. “We have a very special guest.”

“Indeed,” says Cang. “And if I’m attended to, I can become rather irritable.”

“Obviously,” Shyan mutters under her breath.

“Careful girl,” Cang says. “Mine ears are sharp.” He smiles, showing off his teeth — even sharper than his ears.

The door to the lighthouse creaks and opens.

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