Isobel

Isobel had hoped that they wouldn't run into to many guards - but once they had slipped through the passage and into the dungeons, she realized they had the opposite problem. She didn't see a soul. Not a guard in sight. And no prisoners.

"This isn't good," Isobel whispered. "Either she moved them, or..."

Or Blanche had already executed all of her captives. Isobel didn't finish the thought, not wanting to upset Mariel, but she didn't have to. Mariel clearly understood.

"We have to keep looking," Isobel said encouragingly. "We haven't searched everywhere yet."

But once they had searched everywhere, they were no closer to finding Dinah. The dungeon was completed deserted.

"Close your eyes for a minute, Mariel," Isobel said, gingerly pushing open a door to a small stone ledge. In Isobel's time as queen, it had held several large planters of flowers, but Blanche used it to display the remains of petty criminals who didn't merit heads on pikes in more prominent locations.

"Oh no..." Isobel whispered. She was so distraught by what she saw that she didn't realize Mariel hadn't closed her eyes until the girl started to cry.

Dinah was on the ledge, impaled all the way through her body on a thick stake. She was so still and so bloody hanging there that Isobel assumed she was dead, but then she opened her eyes and saw Isobel staring at her.

"Your majesty...?" Dinah murmured through cracked lips, sounding dazed and barely conscious.

"We're here, Dinah," Isobel said. "We came to help you. It's going to be alright."