When a pillar of smoke rose on the horizon, everyone feared its portent. The name of the dark wizard Tower was on every tongue, but only Umber volunteered to go and see what had happened. The blacksmith gave her the finest sword from the forge, and the farrier reshoed her horse for the ride. Umber rode directly for the smoke, and when she neared she saw it was a village. Every building but the church was smoldering charcoal. The church stood untouched, a black horse clad in red livery stood tied to a post outside. Drawing her sword, Umber entered with light feet.
The woman sat in the next-to-front pew, dusty boots up on the pew in front. Umber crept into the pew behind and put her sword to the woman's throat.
"Before you cut," the woman said, "know that I gave the folk of this town warning before I put their homes to the flame. All lived."
"So you're working against Tower, then."
"I've worked my way into her trust. The things I've done..." she sighed. "It was worth it. Listen, her plan is—"
Umber cut the woman's throat ear to ear. "It's okay," she said. "I already know."