The carriage made its way down the Great Stony Way. Rhea glanced out the window nervously. "Do not worry, milady," said Porone Belltower pleasantly. "We should reach the safehouse shortly. It's quite secure. And my staff assures me the rooms have been cleaned since the Lady Ashurana's... spoiling of several of them."
The young Erl nodded sadly. "Well, that's..." She sighed. "I'm sorry. I just can't help worrying about mother."
The chubby merchant smiled at that. "Oh, I wouldn't worry. The Madame Armida is a woman of great resources, and skill." He patted Rhea's hand pleasantly. "She will be fine."
Rhea shut her eyes. "I hope so, but... Well, this is risky. She says it isn't, but it is. I mean... Lady Ashurana is..."
"Mad?" finished up Porone. "Certainly. But also clever. And again, your mother has not done what she has by following mad leads."
"If you say so," muttered Rhea with a sigh. Her eyes opened, and she looked out the window again. "It's... very grey out, isn't it?"
"It usually is in autumn," answered Porone.
"Not in the Folly," said Rhea, a smile coming to her lips. "There's always color and life there, even in winter."
Porone smiled at her. "There are many fine places in the world, my dear. And many fine cities."
Rhea leaned back in her seat. "I suppose. But only one place is home."
"To you," said Porone. "I think you will find most places are home to someone." He blinked. "Except for the Weeping Waste of course. Not even beasts can survive there." He shuddered. "A terrible place. Truly terrible."