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Gruntham

Emilia’s familiar is a happily twitching thing of spring steel and tin, bounding ahead of them on its three legs and bending to clank inquisitively against a storm drain. It makes her sigh.

“Hey, cheer up!” says Gruntham. “I don’t know anyone else who’s managed to bind a clockwork.”

“You mean you don’t know anyone else who’s tried,” Emilia mutters. “For reasons that are becoming obvious.”

“You should be proud.”

“When are you going to summon your familiar, anyway?”

Gruntham, smiling, doesn’t answer, letting the city speak to him in scent and rumble: vast and old, innocent, soon to be his.

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