Chapter Fifty Two
A Journey Into The Snow

 

Missive to Greyslan Amberglass from Council

Storm Season Fourth Quarter Third Wheel Day

We appreciate the men of The Buerland Marches are willing to offer themselves for your care on your journey back to council. And we are willing to balance the cost of their guardianship against the cost of a more expedient return to our care. Should, however, you need greater protection; we shall assuredly take responsibility of your journey at whatever point is prudent.

Understand, however, your actions have caused us to wonder at allowing you any further missions beyond council. This, you understand is not a question of your willingness to help where you can, but your unwillingness to ultimately meet your obligations to the council, the obligations and edicts you yourself helped write. Do not see this as any form of punishment for your lack of communications. We seek to ensure our venerable members are cared for and not unduly risked

 

Within a few cycles the snows begin to fall on the forests, farms and King’s roads we road upon. By this time the company of men who had been charged with my escort started the long journey north from their marches towards our first destination, the coast of the Silverborne sea, to follow the route I had negotiated with them. It wouldn’t be a swift journey, allowing for the Margraves’ merchant trade in ironwool, ale and the other odd riches of their lands to be plied. We returned through the path I had taken on my journey east, visiting several of the of the wizards whom I had retrieved yearly chronicles from.

Each of those fellow collegiates I had some small reason to suspect may have been involved in the theft of the Bardelaisch stones. However, one by one, each were proven not to be in possession of even a sliver of even one the three stones.

I was becoming more convinced Gwynhafer was involved in some way of the theft. Or, if she did not bear responsibility, she had intimate knowledge of the act. It made perfect sense, given the grudge she continued to hold against Arcory and Council, and the extent of her own power. Yes, I considered as we road in our caravan under the white floating down upon us all, she would have known having them stolen would draw me out. But she wasn’t finished, of that I was sure. I began to believe she desired for me to find them. Her endgame had not yet played out, and I wondered if I was still perceptive enough to see it coming. Recent experience suggested I was not.

And so, I needed to be thorough. This meant a Cold Season journey to the Isles of Albanic, an even more treacherous sail than my last. Brother and sister both, however, were proven to be free of any trace of the sympathetic anti-magic the stones we carried with us would have uncovered. I was pleased they were not involved. However, the further we moved along the more suspicious my soldierly companions became in my own motives. It did not do my reputation any good to be proven repeatedly wrong.

“Are we to travel all the way to Council?,” Reidsweither’s eldest grandson, a young and slim sparsely bearded soldier with an increasingly sour disposition, wondered. It had become apparent soon after our leaving he had not in any way volunteered to escort me in his grandfather’s stead. “This is a fool’s journey.”

I think he also did not enjoy the bracing cold and salty winds which blew over the now ice covered Silverborne. He also stubbornly resisted adding an extra layer to the padding beneath his ringmail as his fellows had. It disturbed me to see the boy shiver and sniffle so. I had begun to surreptitiously cast warming spells on him, even though that would certainly keep him from wearing more suitable clothing as we tramped through thicker and thicker drifts of white.

“None of this is been a fool’s journey.” I told him and. “At the very least we have confirmed none of those with even an ounce of station has been beyond is been behind the theft, that their honor is intact.”

“If I never have to travel through these cold northern wastes again,” he complained through coughs and the occasional sneeze which rattled his dark red mail, “I will be ever grateful. I care little for northern wizard’s honor.”

Go To Chapter 51

Go To Chapter 53

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