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Briar Moss knew he was only dreaming, but he didn’t care. He sat in a giant oak tree, the heart of a great forest. A leather bag filled with emeralds was in his lap, and the oak whispered the secrets of trees into his ears. He was running the gems through his fingers, admiring their color and size, when they evaporated. The tree vanished. Now two large, unkind-looking men in black leather hustled him down a wet, dark corridor. They shoved him into an open cell, and slammed the thick door behind him. It boomed so loudly that it set up a train of echoes, each as loud as the first.

He opened his eyes. He was in the back of a wagon, tucked among an assortment of parcels and covered against the day’s cold drizzle by an oiled canvas sheet. Something boomed repeatedly in his ear, like the cell door in his dream

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