Dahlia orders her to take the flag hanging in the rotunda of the constabulary and bring it back to her.
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Tourmaline provides a distraction, claiming she was robbed, though Cuppins doesn't seem to care. Vignette makes her way through the constabulary as they shoot at her. Philo calls out to her as she makes her getaway. When he grabs the flag, she threatens to reveal his secret. He releases it in fear that she'll follow through. Vignette takes the flag and flies out the window. Seven years ago.
Tirnanese Highlands - Kingdom of Anoun. After getting settled in, Philo tresspapsses into the kingdom's library. Vignette attacks him almost immediately after he enters. So, she reluctantly lets him go. Upon discovery that the telegraph line that connects them to High Bresail is down, Philo wants to put together a repair detachment. However, the ravine was too wide. Vignette flies the line across the ravine from Darius to Philo. After successfully relaying the line, Vignette decides to stay to watch them finish the job. Vignette mocks the book for its insane premise, though Philo would beg to differ and insists that she take the book to read for herself.
They get undressed and inject themselves with some kind of catalyst to induce the change into wolf-like beasts known as Marroks. An echoing howl alerts Philo and his men of their presence. He warns Vignette to stay put as he heads over to the other side. By the time he reaches the other end, several of his men are dead. A Marrock charges at Philo. He kills one before being attacked by another.
Fortunately, Vignette comes to his rescue and kills the beast. They are joined by Darius soon thereafter. He ran the last remaining Marrock down and killed it. Vignette joins Philo as he sits on a cliff. She finished the book he gave her. It was extraordinary. By the end, she was sobbing. Philo tells her to keep it. In exchange for his kindness, she offers to show him around the library. There are possibly thousands of books within it, though no one has ever counted. Holy texts, maps, scientific research. Histories going all the way back to the Queen of the Crows.
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She shows him one book in particular. A year-old manuscript. It tells the tale of the first human in Tirnanoc. He stayed as a guest of her court for quite a while, and they fell desperately in love. Sadly Isen yearned for home.
So, he built a ship and left. No one knows if he returned, but he did leave something of himself behind. They had a child. A half-blood son.
La Bloga: FROM SHORT STORIES/VIGNETTES TO PICTURE BOOKS
He spent his life searching for his father. Philo remarks how it sounds rather like his book that he gave Vignette. She agrees, and speculates that maybe Isen did find his way home and brought the story with him. Philo thinks that maybe the writer of his book heard the tale as a child from his faerish nanny. Vignette hides in a cave as the rain comes pouring down. He is joined by Philo not long after. They come upon one another and proceed to have sex. Quite a bit of time has passed, and Vignette and Philo remain together.
She explains to him the meaning behind each braid in her hair. One represents her surname, Stonemoss. Another for the year she was born. And another is the one in which a woman gives away when she gives her heart. Vignette notices the scars Philo's back. However, he was too young to remember how. All he knows is that the headmaster said it was how he turned up at the Foundling Home.
A group of fae refugees arrive at the kingdom. Tourmaline is among them. She explains they were attacked. Kish has fallen. When they tried to get away, the Pact started picking them right out of the air. The Pact are awful, but Tourmaline thinks no better of the Burguish. Tourmaline regrets how things ended between them. But for Vignette, it never ended. Only changed. Tourmaline is still her closest friend.
Tourmaline asks who it is. She was surprised to learn it was a Burguish soldier. Vignette insists that Tourmaline is wrong. What Tourmaline said has resonated with Vignette, so she asks Philo what will happen to them once the war is over. Philo lost a part of himself a long time ago. He tried to forget and ignore it, but it was always there. Philo never knew his parents, so he always wondered what their story was. Philo does however at least understand their reason for shearing him. Life in the Burgue is hard enough for fae. The headmaster knew what he was.
He told him to hide it and stay clear of doctors to prevent them from discovering he has fae blood. Tourmaline and the other refugees plan to leave the kingdom. She invites Vignette to come along, but she declines, though not without giving Tourmaline one last hug. The Pact have taken the capital. The whole front had collapsed, forcing them to evacuate.
As they evacuate, Mima Roosan instructs Vignette to seal the library.
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Philo follows Vignette and tell her to leave with the others.
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