Just as the sun was growing strong on the walls of Danda-lay's palace, an astonished doorshelt admitted a bloody, bedraggled wood faun, dripping with sweat and mist water. He was still wearing his hat with a green plume.
“Syrill? What happened to—? Wait! You can't—! At least let me announce you—!” By the time Syrill arrived at the dining hall, he was trailing half a dozen palace shelts, all politely dissenting. Pleasant voices, laughter, and the clink of utensils died as the dignitaries caught sight of Laven-lay's general. He walked to his king and spoke into the stunned silence. “Meuril, Lexis has taken Capricia.”