Campaign of the Month: February 2009

Silent Winter

Session 5: Into the Mist

In Which Our Heroes Visit a Secret Realm and Retrieve their Missing. The Group Seems About to Fracture Before the Searchers Arrive.

GM’d and posted by Jennifer

After making their horses as comfortable as possible inside one of the larger tents, they gathered around the ruined tower. Naessa huffed nervously. “Let’s get this insane plan started, shall we?” she said.

“It’s possible that it will be warmer on the other side, anyway,” Casidhe joked, trying to lighten the mood.

“I would hope not,” Simon grunted. “That would mean we have two problems.”

“How sure are you that this will open a portal rather than waking up the god?” Naessa demanded of the senior mage. Simon shrugged.

“If it could manifest itself, would it have to open a portal so we could go meet it?” he asked. “Then again, meeting it doesn’t sound fun, either.”

“Do it, Naessa,” Casidhe encouraged. “We’ve got your back.”

“This is such a horrible way to do anything,” Naessa complained, “with no idea what will happen next.”

“That’s life,” Casidhe said.

“Uthelisse!” Naessa announced loudly, making everyone jump. The wind gusted, hurling bits of twigs and leaves around them, then a wide disc of pale blue light formed in the air. Lothaire gripped his axe tightly.

”Come to me . . .” the insidious voice whispered. Casidhe stared at the glowing lens, then shrugged and stepped into it. A moment of distortion followed, and he vanished.

“Dreams and nightmares,” Naessa said, and followed him. Lothaire and Simon entered with only a little hesitation, then Aidan and Gheris. A long time seemed to pass, full of vague images and sounds, then everyone was ejected onto a stony platform. Naessa landed heavily on her rump. The snow was thin, but heaps of dead leaves covered much of the stone, providing a softer landing. Dark, dead-looking trees lined the platform on three sides. On the fourth, massive stone stairs led into a tunnel beneath the entwined branches.

Casidhe waited to be sure breakfast wasn’t about to make a reappearance, then helped Naessa to her feet. Simon was already scrutinizing the surroundings without bothering to get up.

“Up the stairs?” Naessa asked.

“It would seem so,” Lothaire announced.

“All is not as it appears,” Simon cautioned, rising to his feet. “Be careful.”

Naessa reached out, trying to call for an animal guide, but her magic touched nothing. There were no animals in this place, only dark and forbidding trees. Lothaire began climbing the stairs. The stone path meandered through the dark wood. After a while, a mist rose, lending an eerie feel to the surroundings. They came to a deep depression where the path forked, the left way descending even further, the right turning to climb what might be the side of a mountain. Casidhe began examining the stones, looking for traces of recent passage.

“If you were Ferron, which way would you go?” he asked Naessa.

“I don’t know,” Naessa said. “It would depend on whether he was following someone or not.”

“Whatever brought us here, it is likely on the right,” Simon said grimly. “I can feel its power from here. If Gervais is alive and sane, he probably went left.”

“How would he know which path to take?” Lothaire asked.

“Hm.” Simon mused. “Good point. He was likely led straight to it. Still, that doesn’t mean we should follow.”

Casidhe moved around, scanning the leaves and stones, his hands idly touching the ground here and there. “A fair-sized group of people passed this way recently and took that path,” he said, pointing down the right fork. “You can see one of them came running back, and fast.”

“So one of them ran away, hopefully the others are dead,” Lothaire said.

“Hopefully not all of them, if Ferron and Geoffrey were following,” Naessa corrected quickly.

“These tracks are different from the others,” Casidhe said. “Either very small feet or wearing soft shoes, not the boots the others had. They don’t belong to our missing scouts, either.”

“True, but those would make them consistent with the woman who was traveling with Gervais,” Simon said. “I think we follow those, then. Lead on.”

Casidhe led them back the way they had come for a fair distance, then the small footprints intersected with some larger booted prints. There were traces of a struggle, then all three of them left through the forest. “These are our scouts,” Casidhe said. “They’re soft boots, not nailed, and they were hiding over here in the trees.”

“You can tell? Really?” Naessa asked, grinning in relief.

“Sure,” Casidhe said, following the tracks into the wood. It was difficult to force their way past the first row of trees, but then the trunks thinned and there was a steep descent through deep leaves. Naessa slid her way to the bottom, where the tracks turned to follow a ravine, which ended abruptly less than a mile away in a clutter of gray granite boulders. Below the boulders was only a cloud of featureless mist. “Damn,” Casidhe announced.

“FERRON!!!” Naessa shouted. Her voice echoed, reverberating off distant stone walls. She winced as the mist began to boil up, as though something large moved beneath it. “I think it heard me.”

“I think they heard you back at the Banncreag,” Casidhe remarked.

“What is it?” Lothaire asked, looking down into the mist. Gheris looked over at Aidan.

“We could always throw him down to test it,” she remarked.

“It’s not really here,” Naessa said. “Then again, most of this place is only half here, so that doesn’t really help much. I could try draining the magic from it to see if that helps,” she offered, glancing at Simon. Faint tendrils of fog began to rise toward her feet, clinging to the edges of her cloak.

“I don’t like the looks of this,” Aidan said.

“What now?” Lothaire demanded of the two mages. Casidhe and Naessa edged nervously back from the boulders.

“Stop it,” Simon instructed. “This place is half-illusion. Don’t make it worse in your minds.”

“Right,” Naessa said. “It reacts to emotion and state of mind.” She stopped moving and closed her eyes, concentrating.

“If it’s half-illusion, what’s the other half?” Aidan asked. Simon conjured flame. It burned with a greenish tinge, but the mist began slowly to retreat, revealing a black stream running through a steep declivity about thirty feet below. “Good thing you didn’t throw me,” Aidan remarked.

“I don’t know,” Gheris said, peering over the edge. “Maybe your stupid naïveté would have made the water clearer.”

“Maker’s breath,” Casidhe said.

“So how do we get down?” Naessa asked. “Anyone good at rock climbing?”

Lothaire grunted and pulled a rope out of his pack. Working quickly, he made it fast around a tree and dropped it over the edge, then began climbing down. Casidhe followed him, then Simon, cursing a bit under his breath at the indignity of it.

“How do we get Kent down?” Aidan asked.

“He’s your mutt, you carry him,” Gheris said, beginning a swift, nimble descent.

“We could make him a harness,” Naessa offered. The mabari seemed cheerful enough at the idea of being trussed up. His stump of a tail wagged furiously and he barked at the ground until his feet touched. Then he wiggled around and scratched until he had the harness off over his head. Naessa and Aidan followed quickly. Casidhe was already searching for tracks on the banks of the stream, which wasn’t a stream, exactly. It was a hard, glossy substance that almost appeared to have run and then congealed. Casidhe waved when he found the trail again, and they all walked. Hours passed, although it was difficult to tell the time—there was no sun in the sky and the light never varied.

“I wonder if Geoffrey’s even still alive,” Gheris said. “Ferron must be good to keep going like this.”

“Oh, he is. Always has been,” Naessa explained. “It was sometimes really annoying, but usually it was wonderfully helpful.”

“Not like Geoff,” Gheris said. “Most of the time, I need to tell him what to do, then show him how to do it.”

The stream became gradually less and less solid as they followed it, flowing sluggishly among the rocks. Steam rose from the glistening black surface. The declivity ended in a small bowl-shaped valley filled with more dark trees, but these were covered in tiny round leaves, leaves that seemed to be made of some bright metal that shimmered in dizzying patterns in the faint stirrings of the air. The wind gusted, rattling the branches, and the leaves struck together, making a loud musical note.


“What are those?” Gheris demanded, unnerved. A faint bluish glow emanated from the center of the trees.

“Best not to dwell too much on it,” Lothaire advised. “We should focus on following the trail.”

“Unless there’s a trap or danger,” Gheris said.

Aidan peered through the trees. “We may as well go see,” he said.

Naessa reached out to touch the leaves curiously as they ducked into the trees. They seemed like thin flakes of pure silver, bending easily in her fingers but firmly attached.

“They look magical,” Gheris said. Lothaire passed her and stumbled, nearly stepping on someone sitting hunched on the ground.

“Over here!” he called, ducking down to see who it was. It was Geoffrey. Gheris almost bowled the warrior over as she threw herself on her brother, shaking him. He gasped, as though he’d been holding his breath, then blinked at Gheris.

“Is he all right?” Casidhe asked.

“Oh . . . hey,” Geoffrey said weakly.

“Well, are you all right?” Gheris demanded. “What happened?” He didn’t appear injured, but his skin was icy cold. Gheris threw her cloak over his shoulders as he began to shiver.

“I don’t know,” he said, “I just got so tired . . . wait, what happened to Ferron? Where’s Oriane?”

“Where was Ferron last you saw him?” Naessa asked.

“What did you say?” Lothaire demanded simultaneously.

“He was right there, leading the way,” Geoffrey said, pointing into the trees. He blinked at Lothaire, not tracking the multiple questions easily.

“The way to what?” Gheris asked.

“That way?” Naessa asked, pointing at the blue glow.

“Slow down,” Aidan said.

“Yeah, that’s where we were going. Ferron thought it might be another portal,” Geoffrey explained.

“Did you say . . . Oriane?” Lothaire repeated.

“You know Oriane?”

Lothaire’s expression was pained. “Full name?”

“Umm . . . something de Rocfort,” Geoffrey said. Lothaire paled and looked in the direction of the blue glow. The tracks led straight to it.

Gheris gripped Geoffery’s hand tightly. “She must be all right,” she called after Lothaire. “Ferron is with her!”

“Well, he was with her last I saw,” Geoffrey corrected.

“Geoff, don’t disappear like that again,” Gheris said severely. “What we’re doing is important, but in the end, our lives are more important.”

Lothaire, Casidhe, and Aidan walked toward the glow, breaking out of the trees at the edge of a fountain of black corruption that welled from the rocks. Large blue gemstones lined the rivulets of steaming tarry liquid—immense diamonds the size of a man’s fist.

“Unbelievable,” Casidhe whispered. Oriane and Ferron were sitting by the side of the fountain, both very pale and stiff. Casidhe turned and shouted over his shoulder, “They’re here!” Naessa came running.

“Ferron!” she cried, throwing herself on the dark-haired elf. “He’s not breathing!”

Gheris moved up and peered into the fountain. “Did they drink the stuff? Touch it? Best not to touch the liquid or diamonds!”

Lothaire approached Oriane, then suddenly dropped to his knees in a daze. Simon sighed. “Well, that explains it,” the mage said, ducking down to peer at his companion. The trees shook.


“We should get out of here immediately,” Casidhe said.

“Ferron!” Naessa said. “Can you hear me?”

Simon frowned, then clapped his hands over Lothaire’s eyes. The chevalier instantly began moving again, looking around in amazement. “Don’t look at the fountain,” Simon said.

Naessa watched, then tried to pull Ferron away. “A little help, Cas?” Naessa asked. Casidhe bent down, interrupting Oriane’s stare, and she blinked, then recoiled and screamed. Aidan jumped and yelled, and Kentrell growled.

“It’s all right!” Casidhe told her quickly. “We’re here with your husband!”

Oriane looked around wildly, then spotted Lothaire. Her face lit up, then her expression stiffened and she began to shake. Lothaire dropped down beside his wife and they embraced. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” Oriane whispered into his shaggy graying hair. She blinked. “What’s happened to you?”

Lothaire flushed a bit, embarrassed. “I’ve been drinking a bit more than I ought to,” he said. “Simon told me to stop, but, well . . .” he sighed. “I’m sorry.” Gheris watched them, fascinated.

Oriane shook her head. “It doesn’t matter, Lothaire. Gervais is here. He’s turned into some sort of monster.” CHING! the leaves rang.

Lothaire grimaced. “I’ll kill him myself this time, as I should have long ago.”

“You came through?” Ferron asked Naessa. “Are we trapped here, then?”

“You know some Spirit magic, Naessa?” Simon asked.

“A little,” Naessa said. “Do you have an idea?”

“Dispelling magic may eject us from this half-realm.” The trees chimed again, the note more ominous this time.

“That noise is getting old,” Aidan announced.

“It is very annoying,” Gheris said.

“Hey, we agree!” Aidan enthused. Gheris rolled her eyes at him.

“Everyone gather around,” Naessa said, and began her spell. The magical forest faded, leaving them standing not fifty feet from the ruined tower. Ferron threw his arms around Naessa and crowed.

“You did it!” Lothaire touched the elf mage’s arm lightly. “Thank you,” he said.

“I fear this will not be enough to escape Gervais, though,” Oriane said sadly.

“You said he’d become a monster,” Simon said. “Did he make any sort of pact, possibly involving blood?”

Oriane nodded. “He was going to sacrifice me on the altar, but I ran and he killed Yvon instead.”

“Oh dear,” Simon remarked, sitting down on a block of stone. He winced as the chill penetrated his robes.

“I’m voting for camp, and hot tea,” Naessa said. They hurried away from the tower, reclaiming their horses. Ferron had a fire burning in moments and was soon steeping a strong brew.

“Gervais may have become a serious threat to every man, woman, and child he meets,” Simon said finally, sipping the tea. “He has likely become a Reaver.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Lothaire gritted. “I will kill him.”

“That may be tricky,” Naessa informed him. “But we’ll be happy to help you.”

“What’s a Reaver?” Aidan asked.

“They feed souls to the Old God in exchange for their power,” Naessa explained. “If they stop feeding, the God consumes them, so they tend to be motivated to kill and keep killing.”

Aidan winced. “What do they look like?” he asked, his voice cracking. “Is he still human?”

“They make magical use of fear and their weapons can inflict grievous wounds, laying strong men low with a single strike,” Simon said. “He will still appear human, but he will murder at an ever-accelerating rate. If the fool wants to keep his soul, that is.”

“Gervais was always a sloppy fencer,” Lothaire snorted. “I don’t expect any of that will help him much.

“He doesn’t have to be good to paralyze you with fear and get one good swing in,” Naessa said with her own snort.

“Besides,” Simon said, “If it doesn’t help him against you, what about any defenseless travelers he may find? We’ve informed the authorities, and it now falls to us to end Gervais’ life.”

“Could this have anything to do with the supernatural weather?” Casidhe asked.

“The weather started before Gervais did this sacrifice,” Naessa said, “but the Old God could have other servants with more magic than a Reaver.”

“All right, I’ve had enough,” Gheris said, rising to her feet. “I don’t know about the rest of you, but Geoff and I have business elsewhere. Gods and Reavers and portals and crazy weather? My uncle was . . . sickly, anyway.”

“Gheris!” Geoff gasped. “We can’t just abandon him!”

“You’d leave your own family, your clan?!” Naessa demanded. “We are strong together! Didn’t your Keeper teach you that? Do you even know the Vir Tanadahl?”

“Hey, now,” Geoffrey protested weakly. “That’s my sister.”

“He is our family!” Gheris shouted. “But think! We, the future of the clan, have walked into dangerous, even deadly situations more than once because of this! Uncle was old and sickly and likely to die soon. I would rather live and carry on the family than risk my life again for someone already on his way out. We came here with a purpose, and the clan will need me back soon!”

Lothaire snarled. “So you’re just giving up, girl?”

“You know nothing!” Gheris spat at him.

“Then explain it!” Naessa yelled. “You travel with a human, when I’ve never known one to be considered Dalish before, you’d abandon your entire family, you think you’re more important to your clan than an elder’s wisdom, and you’re too scared to face a threat that could easily be more danger to all the clans than anything we’ve seen in years!”

“Yes,” Lothaire said contemptuously. “Very noble, for a coward.”

“Tell me, how did you end up leaving your wife?!” Gheris snapped. “Don’t you lecture me on nobility and cowardice!”

“Wait, Geoffrey’s human?” Aidan asked, leaning over to peer at the young man’s ears. Geoffrey instantly went red. Everyone else stared at Aidan, blinking in surprise.

“Even I noticed that,” Naessa said, glaring at Aidan. “Are you blind?”

“Yeah,” Aidan said, feeling foolish. “Sorry. Um . . . this might not be the best time, but, how did that happen?”

“Um,” Geoffery said, and winced as Gheris’ glare silenced him.

“You!” Naessa said, rounding on Geoffrey. “An honored human, accepted into a Dalish clan, and you won’t even stand up to your sister when she’s breaking all bonds of honor?! Or did you not learn the Way, either?!”

“Lay off my brother, it’s not his f—“

Geoffrey went pale, then red as he slowly rose to his feet. “ALL OF YOU SHUT UP!!” he shouted, producing an instant silence. He clenched and unclenched his fists furiously, then turned to look at Aidan. “To answer your question, my father is a human named Segonal, and we’re looking for him.” He then looked at Gheris. “And to answer the question you didn’t even bother to ask, I’m not going anywhere. This is important.” He then sat again and picked up his mug of tea.

“Segonal?” Casidhe asked in the ensuing pause. “You looked for him in Denerim? Was he a purveyor of imported goods? Silks and the like?”

“Th-that’s not . . . this was decided, I was supposed to bring you to him,” Gheris sputtered. “You can’t just . . .” she stared at her brother, then nodded listlessly at Casidhe. Geoffrey leaned over and patted her shoulder tentatively, but she shook him off.

“The resemblance is striking,” Casidhe mused. “I knew Segonal. Tall, a little blocky? Gray eyes and blond hair? Blond beard, and the hint of an Anderfel accent?”

“That’s what we heard,” Geoffrey confirmed. “Do you know where he is?”

Casidhe shook his head. “I’m sorry, I do not. I haven’t seen him since I was ten years old. My father used to work for him as a bodyguard, a professional duelist.”

“Did you see an elven woman with him, ever?” Gheris asked.

“I did, yes. Segonal asked Father to sneak her out of the city one night. When Father came back, he quit Segonal’s service. I never knew exactly what happened, only that the Templars came to our house that night.”

“Was . . . was she beautiful?” Gheris asked quietly.

“Very. I thought for a while that she might be my mother,” Casidhe said. “Alas, she was not. Was she yours?”

Gheris nodded.

“The weather is about to change,” Simon said suddenly. At the very heels of his words, there was a flash of green lightning and rain began to pour from the sky. It struck the ground, the trees, even their clothing, and instantly froze, forming a layer of ice in seconds.

“Do you feel the Veil moving around?” Naessa asked. “It’s not a pleasant sensation, but I’m not sure if there’s anything we can do about it.”

“Our return pierced the Veil,” Simon said. “We should move, both away from the tower and for fear of an avalanche in this weather. Now.” He immediately began to saddle up Vizir as Ferron put out the fire. “I suspect this Veil activity may be causing the storms, as it corrects itself. Which means Gervais should be the only one still causing them to erupt.”

“All the more reason to kill him quickly,” Lothaire grumbled. He helped Oriane into the saddle of his warhorse and led the way towards the Banncreag. It was getting dark by the time they arrived at the elven outskirts. They settled their horses in Alveyin’s stables, then piled into the common room, which was empty except for Inbolc and two elves in mage robes, a male and a female. The male elf leapt to his feet when he saw them.

“GHERIS! Thank the gods!”

Gheris blinked, startled. “What? Who are you?”

The female elf grabbed her companion’s arm, forestalling another shout. “I am Juillah, and this is Hesthe. Grandmother sent us to find you. We must make haste.”

“Make haste?” Gheris asked. “Where? Is Grandmother all right?”

“She is well,” Juillah said, “but she desires you return to the clan at once.”

Gheris shot a smug look at Geoffrey. “What about my brother?”

Hesthe waved a hand dismissively. “Grandmother hoped you’d find the whelp’s sire by now, but he is of no concern to us. Leave him here with his own kind.”

“If that is Grandmother’s wish,” Gheris said, shrugging.

“Wait,” Naessa said. “You’re IAR?! I can’t believe you’d accept someone into your clan, then abandon him!”

“You know nothing of my clan! Do not judge what you do not know!” Gheris said loudly.

“I don’t know what you think a clan is, but I was taught not to dump inconvenient members just because I wanted to do something else!” Naessa retorted.

Hesthe scowled. “And who are you, then? We are not Iar, anyway. We are Valwe.”

“I am former First Naessa under Keeper Darana, traveling to assist Keeper Zholon! I was waylaid by the weather!”

Juillah gasped. “YOU are sent to be Zholon’s replacement?!”

“This changes things,” Hesthe said. “We should escort you to the Valwe immediately, First Naessa.”

“Even Grandmother would acknowledge that this takes precedence,” Juillah affirmed. “A clan without a Keeper is in serious danger now.”

“We have a bit of a situation here,” Naessa said. “And last I heard, Zholon was stable. What’s more important than an Old God and a Reaver set against us?”

“What?” Hesthe demanded. “Are you raving?”

“No, she’s serious,” Casidhe said.

“That cursed old witch!” Hesthe swore.

“Hesthe!” Juillah gasped.

“Keeper Zholon is dying,” Hesthe said quickly. He pointed at Gheris. “Her Grandmother spouts vague warnings of some terrible catastrophe, but refuses to explain!”

“It could be our catastrophe,” Casidhe said.

“Naessa takes precedence, then,” Gheris said. “I can take myself back to Grandmother. You should see Naessa arrives safely.” She turned to face her brother and spoke hesitantly. “Take care of yourself. And try to find your father, he deserves to know that he has a son he’s never met.”

“You can’t just leave like this!” Geoffrey protested. “What am I going to do?”

“I don’t know,” Gheris said, “but if that’s what Grandmother has decided, then that’s what I’m going to do.” She glanced at Naessa.

“You could stay with us, at least for a while,” Aidan offered.

“Come with Ferron and me to our new clan,” Naessa said. “You appear to understand Dalish values better than some with stronger blood claims.

“Naessa, keep your magical paws to yourself,” Gheris snapped. “He should find his OWN family.”

“Well, if you’re going to abandon him, he deserves to know that not all of us will do the same.”

“Er, if it’s all the same, I’d rather stay with Aidan,” Geoffrey said shyly. “And maybe Cas can help find my father.”

“I’d be honored,” Casidhe said formally. “Seems the least I can do for your family, after my father failed you . . .”

Juillah tugged at Gheris’ arm firmly, leading her away from the crowd. “Grandmother was concerned lest the Templars learn of these disturbances. We cannot let these humans wander along to communicate with whoever they like.”

Gheris shook her head. “You’re too late. The mage there, Simon, he has already sent letters off to the Circle Tower and the Chantry. He left out a few details, but they know, or will soon enough.”

Juillah grimaced. “As you think best, then. I still think Grandmother should speak to them. She can be . . . convincing.”

“That’s true, but it’s impossible to know what she really wants. You’ve seen her last. If you think she wants us to bring them, so be it.”

“And, perhaps, with the humans there, she will be forced to explain what she knows,” Juillah added.

“She does have a habit of telling strange things to strangers,” Gheris said. “So it’s settled?”


Simon, meanwhile, had edged his way around the cluster of elves and nodded for Inbolc to join him in the corner, where they spoke in low voices. “We’ve dispatched the mage who was responsible for the wolf attacks,” he explained. “He was also causing the ill weather. However, we have discovered another who was working with him. This man, an Orlesian, will soon begin attacking anyone he can find. It is imperative he be stopped; once he’s dead, the weather will hopefully subside.”

Inbolc nodded. “I will warn the jarls to gather the people. He will not come upon us unawares. I am most grateful for your assistance. If there is anything you require, name it.”

Simon glanced at Lothaire. “Do you know a good swordsmith? My companion is too proud to take a weapon from loot, but I think he may need it if we are to slay this new foe.”

“That, I can do,” Inbolc said. “I can provide him with a better horse, as well. One that will not fear magic or demons.”

Simon nodded. “He may not say so, but I think he’ll be grateful.”

“In the morn, I will summon the hag.”

“What hag?”

“The spirit-speaker of our nation.”

Simon nodded again. “What do you know of these elves?”

“I know little, they arrived only this morning.”

“I think we could all benefit from your spirit-speaker. This problem seems to have its own history.”

“She is mad, but sometimes she speaks prophecy,” Inbolc said. “I will ask her.”

Simon sighed. “I hate to wait for the enemy to come to us, but I am unsure where the murderer will first strike. The weather will likely follow him. He hates my companion with a passion. We should leave here and attempt to starve him of victims while he hunts us.” He bowed to Inbolc and turned to rejoin the main conversation.

“Is this Grandmother of yours far from any cities?” Lothaire was asking Hesthe. The elven mage shrugged.

“The Iar dwell in the Brecillian Forest. It is deep wilderness, very few people,” he said.

“Gervais is after me, above all else,” Lothaire said. “The further I am from other people, the better.”

“We’ll be going to visit Grandmother,” Gheris said. “All of us.”

Lothaire’s eyes grew sad and he glanced at Oriane. “I am sorry,” he said. “I must go.”

She smiled slightly. “I’ve been doing enough traveling of late,” she told him. “A little more won’t hurt.”

“What?! You cannot be serious!”

“I am not letting you out of my sight again!” she announced fiercely. Lothaire stared at her, dumbfounded. Simon glanced at the elves, then blinked.

“Aha,” the Enchanter said quietly. Hesthe glanced his way, then jumped.

“Hey, Ser Mage, haven’t we met?”

“I believe we have. You are two of Zholon’s former apprentices, yes, now Circle mages?”

Juillah curtseyed. “I am so sorry, Enchanter Damont, I was distracted.” Hesthe bowed.

“Circle Mages?!” Naessa erupted. “Grandmother called in Circle Mages when she wouldn’t even answer Keeper Darana’s questions at the Gather?!”

Juillah winced. “Er, I’m afraid so. The thin places, they keep getting worse.”

“Enough,” Hesthe said. “Let us retire and make arrangements for travel in the morning.”

Casidhe nodded. “Let’s all get a drink,” he said. Aidan and Geoff joined him at a table. “Lothaire?” Casidhe invited, but the chevalier shook his head, taking his wife’s hand.

“We need to talk,” he said.

<< Session 4: Vox Deii Session 6: Hag and Gryphon >>



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