Pricilla woke in the heart of Winter’s night, as she so often did. The room was quiet, the curtains over the open window still. Slipping from the bed, she stood on frost covered tiles, her breath hanging in the air. A smile touched her lips and she murmured an incantation which brought her cloak from the wardrobe to rest across her shoulders. Reaching up, she drew the hood over her head and locked the catch at her throat. Turning she looked at her reflection in the mirror which stood in the corner. The cloak was ermine and trimmed with arctic fox, the hood large enough to easily cover her features, the clasp a celtic knot picked out in silver.
A laugh escaped her lips, it wasn’t the outside which mattered. After all, she was unaffected by the cold and she couldn’t have cared less who might see her without all the trappings she wore at court… including those ridiculous gowns. No, it was the inside. Embroidered with silver thread onto which a dozen spells had been cast during their making. Forgetfulness, confusion, misdirection, and various protections from spell and blade. Wearing this she could wonder the halls to her content and none would be the wiser. Well, except for a very elite few and she had placed her life into their hands long ago.
She slipped from her chambers, being sure to reset the wards and walked past her guards without a hint of notice. Her smile returned, word of her wanderings would have passed through the ranks the instant she opened the door.
She slipped noiselessly through chamber and hall, moving ever downward with a determined pace which faltered only once she neared her destination.
If not for the magic which infused the very stones of the palace, she would have found herself standing in a hall black as the blackest night. Even being attuned with the mountain of granite around her, this place still seemed draped in shadow and mystery. Stepping forward a pace, a door bound in dead iron silently closed behind her. Twenty paces ahead the hall ended in a second door. This seeming fashioned from a single piece of flawless onyx, its surface carved with undulating figures and symbols. She didn’t focus on them, to do so would have brought madness, even to one such as her.
Instead she drew herself up to her full height, shoulders back, spine ramrod straight. She drew a steadying breath and called one word into the fore of her thoughts.
It seemed to slither from her lips, a mist as cold as the grave its self, moving through the air of its own accord, a sensual writhing which moved forward until it touched the door, slowly spreading across the surface in keeping with its insane movements until it covered the whole, becoming one with it.
There was no warning, no sound. One moment the door was closed, the next open.