The Fair was in full swing. Tents had been erected around the single building in the area, a rustic hotel maintained specifically for the events. My friend and I had managed to get a room in the hotel, which was a nice break from the usual dust and heat of the tents outside.

My backpack landed on the floor with a thud and a rattle. After stretching the kinks from my shoulders and back, I took the time to get unpacked. My roommate did the same on the other side of the room. Glancing over, I chuckled as I realized we’d both had the same ideas. These rooms would be more like our tents than originally intended.

Both of us unrolled the blankets that we’d normally use in our tents. Mine was a luxuriously soft and fuzzy blanket adorned with a fierce tiger and dragon. Placing that on the bed, I covered it with another warm, fuzzy blanket, this time in unyielding black. Kicking off my boots, I hopped onto the bed and just savored the comfort.

An insistent knocking at the door dragged me from my comfort. With a groan of annoyance, I hauled myself from the bed and made my way to the door. A couple of friends from the Fair beckoned me from my room. There was an emergency down the hall.

Rushing down the hallway with my friends, I turned the corner just in time to see a few people disappear in a pillar of smoke. When the smoke cleared, there was one person standing amidst a circle of what appeared to be silk dolls. The person was dressed in long, flowing robes in an eye searing purple and yellow combination that seemed to swirl and move on its own.

Several other people stood a good distance away from the incident, trying to watch and yet not get close enough to get caught in whatever was going on. A few feet away there appeared to be more silk dolls, evidence of the earlier aforementioned emergency. I tried talking to the person, only to be ignored. Instead, they started ranting about how it was their time to rule and that all would bow down.

Transfiguration on that scale, especially simultaneous transfigurations were normally a high level skill and took immense concentration. To be able to do so on a whim against that many targets bespoke of significant skill. That didn’t excuse the behavior though. Forced transformations was against the law.

Suddenly, my daughter darted down the hallway from the side. I wasn’t aware the rest of the family had arrived. Before I could stop her, she came crashing into the person. She went down with a tumble and I jumped to try and grab her. Smoke enveloped her before I could reach her, my fingers slipping through and catching hold of the silk doll.

Cradling my doll daughter to my chest, I turned my gaze back towards the mage, who returned my look with a sneer. I felt a flash of power try to envelop me. Rage suffused my body as I resisted the transformation. Daggers flashed into one hand as I stood, the other hand held protectively over my daughter. Where once a criminal had stood, I saw instead an Unforgivable.

My dagger only managed to catch cloth as the Unforgivable dashed away, knocking over the gawking bystanders and rushing down the hall. I followed, taking a brief moment to reach my room. My daughter was set upon the bed and a warning given to my roommate. The ring of steel on steel echoed through the room as I drew my sword.

It was time to hunt.

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