...By the time they saw the walls of Constantinople in the distance, it was dawn.
The walled city must have fallen during the night because the walls were crumbling in places and the city appeared filled with the Ottoman army claiming spoils of war, plundering and looting as they went. Dead bodies were strewn here and there outside the city's walls as the black carriage drew closer to Constantinople's walled empire.
Levi stopped the horses near a forested glen along the Golden Horn just north of Constantinople's northernmost gate, the Gate of Blachernae. He led the horses to drink at the river while Zoe, Hazel, Ruby and the urn-carrying passenger disembarked wearily from the carriage. Zoe and Hazel found some shade under the trees and waited for Levi and Ruby to join them for a meal. The urn-carrying passenger wandered off in the direction of the city, but took only a few steps before he collapsed of apparent exhaustion. Zoe ran over and felt his wrist for a pulse. The silver urn lay tipped over on its side next to the stranger. Hazel ran over and picked up the urn, examining it carefully before wrapping it in a cloth and stowing it away in her Travel Pack. Explanations would have to wait.
After a light meal, the small group decided to make their way to the walled city of Constantinople. They left the carriage and some food in the care of the urn-carrying passenger and headed off in the direction of Constantinople's northernmost gate, the Gate of Blachernae. Levi had a map of the city and they planned to follow the sea wall south to try and gain entry in order to find Finn. Zoe grabbed Ruby's hand and followed in Levi's footsteps towards the Gate of Blachernae. Hazel tied her cloak under her chin and hurried after Zoe. They saw big plumes of smoke rising in the distance and Ottoman cannon's were still lined up along the outer gate.