|Author||E. M. Kinsey|
|Pages|| 12 |
|Antagonist|| Kudisan (anti-villain)|
Okuthe (written version only)
|Other Characters|| Oduor|
Neo (written version only)
|Concurrent||Living History (Fanus arc)|
|Preceded by||Living History (Selwe arc)|
|Followed by||Vicious Circle|
Escape is a side-comic and a prequel of sorts to The Forges of Dawn. It centers around Kamaria, and details her escape from The Pale One's clutches. There is also a written version, which goes in depth somewhat about Kamaria's mother, Sarda.
A young adult Kamaria and her cub half-sister Kudisan spy on the going-ons of the judges inside the Black Mountains. They begin to squabble, alerting their father High Judge Oduor. He commands Kudisan to get inside, her judgement is needed, and ruefully tells Kamaria that his secret is no longer: the Pale Ones know she is his child. However, he has arranged a marriage between her and an old friend of his called Milandu. It is a sham of a marriage, for his friend is old and has plenty of lyonesses to his name already. He will not touch her, will not be long for the world, and when he dies, Kamaria will be able to choose who she wishes to wed freely, with her sister hopefully being occupied by other things.
However, things do not go smoothly and Okuthe worms his way into Kudisan's mind, suggesting that Oduor is a traitor and prefers Kamaria over her. Kudisan, not wanting to believe or hear this, decides to wed her half-sister to Husuda instead, Okuthe's uncle, a lyon infamous for murdering his wives. She doesn't truly intend to give her sister -- whom she both hates and considers her only friend -- to such a lyon, but the desired results are produced for Okuthe: Oduor gives his daughter his mask, his ring, and then tells her to run from the lands.
She does so and Oduor is brought before his daughter the next morning, who immediately notices his mask and ring are missing. She produces the beat up lyon Spaki, who pleads for his life but also on Kudisan's behalf. Oduor remains calm and cool, but Kudisans temper is short and the High Judge doesn't bother to fight against her accusations. Oduor tells her she isn't worth his loyalty, prompting Kudisan to tearfully reveal Okuthe put her up to this and she was absolutely right. Oduor tries to withdraw his words, but Kudisan has heard enough and turns him into a Hound. He is sent to bring Kamaria back, Okuthe smugly slithering up beside her to remind her of their deal: if he's right, she must marry him. She agrees, but she turns her rage on him, raking her claws down his leg and telling him she doesn't want to see him until then.
Kudisan then resolves to listen more closely to her grandfather, Keita, mean as he is. She promises to make herself cold and unfeeling, so she'll never have to deal with such heartache again.