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For the second time in what was becoming a very long night, Donnen Brennokovic and his partner, Jevlan, found themselves knocking on a nobleman's door. It was still hours before dawn, the sky turning grey around the edges. The steel of Donnen's gauntlets clanged against the door. Once. Twice. No answer. He sighed looking up at the dark windows of the mansion. He was getting too old for this shit.
"Maybe he's out," Jevlan offered. The recruit was nervous. In the guard a week and barely able to walk through Hightown, too green for a murder case.
"He's hiding. Look up." Donnen pointed. "He's shuttered all the windows. There hasn't been a storm in months." He pounded on the door again, louder.
"We should get the captain." Jevlan shifted and squirmed under his heavy shoulder plates. Donnen had forgotten how badly new guard armor fit. He started to tell the kid where to get it adjusted, and the door swung open.
"Come inside, quickly!"
A man rushed them inside and through the house. Every room was dark. No moonlight made it through the shuttered windows. No candles flickered. Their way was lit only by a hooded lantern in the hands of their host. He stopped once they had reached a windowless inside room, where he closed and bolted the door behind him.
"Comte de Favre?" Donnen guessed.
The man nodded. In the dim lantern light, Donnen could see that he was dressed in a gaudy brocade doublet, but had thrown a chain mail shirt over it. He wore the helmet from an obviously ceremonial armor set, slightly askew on his head.
"I know why you're here," the comte whispered. "Dunwald."
Donnen's voice was flat. "Did you kill him, your lordship?"
"This is bigger than a murder," the comte hissed, eyes flicking to the door. "Dunwald drew the attention of great powers. When dragons do battle, guardsman, mortal men can only take cover. Drop the case. Don't draw their gaze ."