the smuggler’s bible

Byrhtnoth

The men spend three nights in the ruined hall, sharpening weapons and scouring the rust from their mail with sand. Byrhtnoth takes Toki and Leofwine to the hill overlooking the seventh gate. Below, there are old, bleached pennants still hanging on poles and the overgrown remnants of the army’s earthworks. The grass sways in the wind coming off the ridge.

“The way everyone tells it, they never got through,” Toki says.

Leofwine makes a sign to ward against curses. “So if that’s true, why is the gate open?”

“Either somebody told it wrong,” Byrhtnoth says, “or we’re being invited in.”