The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

pull the door open wide, the two barely managed to slip in before the pressing weight of the mindless crowd slammed it shut again. Part of Royce’s cloak was caught, and he freed himself by ripping it in half.

The two looked back at the pair of bronze doors, backing slowly away, listening to the muffled cries of the terrified crowd that grew louder as the seconds passed. The interior of the gallery was tomb-quiet and dark, but Royce knew the building and remembered the room. He’d been there only the night before. This was the rotunda with the murals and paintings, odd artifacts on pedestals, and that big chariot with the stuffed horses yoked to it. The strange beast he’d seen from above he now saw from level ground. This was the proper viewing position for everything, and from there the dragon hoisted overhead was suitably terrifying.

“What is that thing outside?” Royce asked.

“A golem.” Mercator’s eyes remained fixed on the

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