Evening's scarlet mistress spread across the sky like crimson blood. The scent of spices laced the breeze from the south, but a frost blew in from the north, from across the Narrrow Sea.

Soon the long summer would over.

Waves pummeled the salty lagoon shores of Braavos. Canal and street markets carried rarities, trinkets, and wines from all across the continents of Essos and Westeros. Merchants shouted their prices, buyers struggled through the crowded marketplace.

Far above the sinking buildings of Braavos the Titan curled towards the sky. His rock and bronze physique cast a shadow across the vast lagoon and city. Fire burned in the Titan's eyes, a light that had been ignited for the coming darkness.

A pair of deep blue eyes gazed up for a heartbeat. They were an unfathomable and radiant sapphire of blue, flecked with warm gold, like a desert oasis under the dark storm clouds just before night, the last whispers of sunlight gilded on the rippling surface. Dark lashes fringed the deep blue.

When she finally dropped her eyes, her fingers wrapped a scarf around her head, covering half her face loosely, and tucking it away. Though she was a young woman she wore the pants of a man. A small knife rested at her belt, another hidden in her boot. There was a way to her movements, a cat-like way.

Everyone rushed through the marketplace.

Soon she was rushing as well, but her eyes didn't wonder, they observed.

In the distance the Moonsinger's songs crooned.

While half her face was disguised under the torn cotton of a scarf, her fair cheekbones still stood out.

"Fresh bread, here! Fresh Bread!"

"Perfumes from Pentos!"

She navigated through the market, each time she past a merchant her gaze lingered for a calculated second, her eyes took in the details of them.

"Dragonglass from Dragonstone! A pretty price to any who—"

The obsidian merchant yelped at she ran into him. It seemed an accident but nothing she did was an accident.

"Watch where you're going!"

A moment of amusement danced in her eyes.

"My apologies," she whispered.

Her hands were so fast that the thick merchant didn't even realize she had swiped his satchel of gold coins and dagger until it was too late. She was a few paces back into the crowd when she heard him shout.

"Hey! My dagger! My gold!"

From beneath the scarf her lips parted.

"Guards! That girl stole my gold!"

She had barely peered over her shoulder when she saw the chubby man pointing her way, city guards narrowed their eyes. Several citizens scattered in fear. A strange reaction, the young woman thought, city guards have no weight in Braavos, not unless they are under the command of the reigning Sea Lords.

"There! You girl! Stop!"

She slipped the satchel of gold into the pockets of her trousers and hid the dagger behind her back. She moved so quickly the guards barely notice her flinch. Slowly she raised her hands into the air.

Each footstep they took she counted.

Her eyes sparkled.

"Show us your face!"

Silently she wiggled her fingers in the air. They were only a few paces away. Her hand moved to the scarf, but just before she unveiled herself a cacophony of noises erupted. Ceramic pots fell from a cart, shattering onto the mossy cobblestone.

She smiled at the shadow that ran away from the cart, she knew who it belonged to. The guards were looking towards the pots.

Without wasting any time she broke into a run.


She felt the blood coursing through her veins as she wove through the crowd.

The guards hastily followed her, but they weren't as fast as her, nor where they as nimble. She heard her own breaths as she slid through a group of priests and leapt into an alleyway.

Her lips pursed. She could hear the guards clamoring down the way. Now there were more.

No matter, she thought, where I'm going they won't follow.

Children scrambled to the walls of buildings as she reached the mouth of the alley. She could feel the incline in her knees as she started running once more. The sun was setting faster. Darkness would swallow Braavos in no time.

She smiled at the thought.

She was stealthy during the daylight, but at night she was like a shadow.

Bellows sounded, horns blared, but she didn't stop.

Only a few more blocks and she would be near the edge of fallen buildings, where the ocean overtook most of the domes and towers of Braavos, where crime and tomfoolery was so rampant not even the city guards ventured into this watery guild of thieves and crooks.

She heard the water splash against her boots before she untied the rope and jumped into the boat.

In the sky the moon was rising.

Silver light would soon replace the warm glow of sunset.

Already the temperature was dropping.

Snow started to fall just as she pushed the oars against the still and black water. The flakes kissed her fair skin and dark lashes. Wisps of brown hair escaped the scarf as she pulled it away from her mouth and disappeared into the night.

She didn't stop moving until she was under the eaves of a mossy and abandoned wharf. Fires burned along the water, their flames reflected in the waves. When she licked her lips she could taste the sea's salt on her skin.

"That was a show you put on," the voice was tiny and sweet.

She wiggled the scarf off her head and dropped her eyes. A small girl with golden skin, no older than 9 years old, stared back at her with large dark eyes.

"You're late."

"I took the long way around, I didn't want to risk running into city guards."

"That was a nice trick you played with the pots, little one."

The young girl's smirk widened as she revealed half a loaf of bread, "Look what I got."

"Good job, maybe next time you can get a full loaf. Follow me…"

Her deep blue eyes twitched around before she past through the doorway and crept up the steps. Though the wharf had been abandoned a long time ago the smell of fisherman and grease was still heavy in the air.

They relaxed into the shadows, letting moonlight illuminate the space in between them.

"So that's why they call you Norin 'Silverfeet'…" the little girl finally whispered.

Norin ripped off a piece of bread and threw the satchel of gold onto the ground.

"I only go by one name. The other is just a nickname, not of my own choosing."


She swallowed the bread and peered at the little girl, "Eat, Kiana. You look hungry."

"This gold could buy us more than enough food. Maybe one day we can stop stealing."

"A thief's work is never done. And what have I told you? It's not stealing, these merchants aren't good people. There's a reason why the Iron Bank is so busy with debts from outsiders."

Norin was still a young woman, but she found herself teaching Kiana any time she could. Several moons had come and gone since she had first met the gangly little girl. Ever since Norin had taken Kiana under her wing she moved slower, had to linger closer to the city guards because the little girl couldn't wander too far out, but she put up with it. After all some company was better than none. Even though she didn't want to admit to her own sentimentalities, the little girl had grown on her sooner than she had expected, in a way she felt protective of little Kiana.

"You mean because of the people across the Narrow Sea?"

"Yes, I do."

"I'd like to see what Westeros looks like, wouldn't you? I've heard stories about what it's like over there."

Innocence and naivety lingered in the little girl's words making Norin grimace.

"I never wish to see anything apart from Braavos or Essos. May the greed and slavery of Westeros remain there forever."

She wiggled the stolen gold dagger out and threw her other knife to the floor before settling against the wall.

"When will you teach me how to water dance, Norin?"

Her blue eyes froze, "When you learn to pick-pocket someone properly."

"Who taught you?"

"A man with one eye, a murderer and a rogue. I was rooting through the slums, barely a child when he found me."

"Where is he now?"

Norin kept her eyes on the open window.

"He wandered too far past the marshlands and never returned. Slave traders got him. If he isn't dead yet he's probably serving some high lord in a castle…" she laughed darkly, "…a terrible punishment for a skilled thief, to be stuck in a life of servitude and forced loyalty."

The little girl named Kiana sighed before a shiver trembled her body. The cold had more of a bite to it that night.

"Doesn't sound so bad."

Norin's hand rested on the hilt of her dagger, she slowly spun it on the ground, observing the way the silver blade glimmered in the dim light.

"Believe me, little one, many people across the Narrow Sea don't know what freedom is."

"Do we?"

"We do, as long as we don't take from one of the Sea Lords."

"And if we do?"

Norin's face quickly soured, "We don't, Kiana…because if we do that then we owe someone, and to owe a Sea Lord is a terrible misfortune."