Chapter Sixty-Four
Facing The Courtiere

 

Missive to Council From Greyslan Amberglass

Season of the Cold Sun Third Quarter First Day of Charm

I have met with the Arbiter of Stormguard and explained all has happened, and given her the Arcory Stones to be returned to their rightful place in the Bardelaisch Marches. I await for a retinue to be gathered to assist me in returning to council purview.

I understand it comes with great disappointment such an influential and powerful supporter of our tenets had chosen such a path of corruption. For now, Stormguard will need a replacement wizard at Blackrock tower and I need to return to council, and offer my explanations. Above all, I apologize for not explaining to council the nature of my actions. Although, given all weights, I still believe my decision was the proper one. And it has been proven out.

 

After my words with the Keith, I turned away from my thoughts of what Omar had been attempting to glean from Arcory’s legacy, to the future of his march, to more pressing matters.

“Go, call your men, and the others the other men and let us find where Omar was working on the stones,” I told him. “And tell them to be very careful. This is a wizard’s tower. Do not move anything from its place. Anything! Once the stones are gone from here, are dispersed, they all the magic in this place will return, I cannot guarantee anything taken will not be unspeakably harmful. Once we do that, woundcasting will again become possible for who need it.”

The remaining men of the south searched the tower with me, finally uncovering the stolen stones. Whether or not they also found for themselves their own treasures and took them, I do not know. One can give orders to men. It is ultimately up to them to follow their wisdom or not.

Along with the stones, I was also brought what I had not expected.

“We found her in the servant’s quarters, with the other servants of the black wizard.” One of the Keith’s soldiers dragged the tearful and struggling courtiere to me. Her face bore a dark bruises. She had fought hard. I decided those tears were not those of fear and anguish. She was clearly much stronger than that.

I warmed my cold hands with a breath.

“That was to be expected,” I told the man. “She was one of Omar’s most devoted servants.”

“She was attempting to rally the servants to attack us,” the soldier said. “I lost three of my comrades this day. She is not a mere servant. She is our enemy.”

I looked over her, thought about the man’s angry insistence. It was misplaced, but valid.

“Let her go,” I told him.

Caithness pulled her arm out of his grasp, stood to face me, defiant, and shivering in the freshly falling snow. She was not wearing the fur cloak I had seen her wearing earlier.

“There is no further need for you to fight,” I told her. “You have no one to fight for anymore. You are free.”

“What have you done?” she demanded to know, all propriety abandoned. “What have you done to Master Omar?”

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