Mystery Deepens 20 Miles Outside Alzôna

As the novel begins, we are introduced to Irene Clyde's fictional world of Armeria, which contains many gender non-conforming people. The narrator, Mary Hatherley, is a transgender woman who is exploring Armeria with her slave, Nîa. On their journey, they encounter another slave, Zôcris, and mysteriously discover a cloak that belongs to Zôcris' mistress, Cydonia. The narrator decides to pursue Zôcris to investigate the situation, but is unsuccessful in catching up to her.

The following day, the narrator sets out again and soon comes across a soldier who is wearing Cydonia's cloak. The soldier tells the narrator that she found the cloak on the road and is taking it to Alzôna to find the owner. The narrator offers to deliver the cloak to Cydonia, but the soldier refuses, saying that she will deliver it herself. This interaction deepens the mystery around Zôcris, Cydonia, and the cloak.

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