- Following the death of Tolirus and the loss of the Abyssal Helm Warder shard, the First has, through challenge, reacquired the mount Caritas and the Glaive Vanguard shard.
- The Second, in turn, has acquired the mount Megaera and the Ravencloak Walker shard from the Third.
- Only four mounts are left of the Sixth, that number having been decimated by Chaos attackers described as “powerful beings and a creature of air and void”.
- The Eighth was attacked by a pair of Chaos beings, resulting in the death of the mount Jezela.
- A ‘grand call’ of all numbers has been declared for the following morning, at seven o’clock.
Accordingly, following dinner (and far too much drinking, in the course of which MANTIUS is intrigued to learn from STEPHANUS that Ossis Potior once went by a different name, the Bone ___), the group returns with some drunken difficulty to their quarters, nevertheless rising early the next day to visit the First at the cerement for Tolirus. Their last minute (through VARIAN’S pouch) gift of a flower wreath is well received, and they make the reacquaintance of the much happier CARITAS.
|An advanced version of the Silk Agent|
shard -- the Essential Silk Emissary.
After a brief encounter in which the distraught Thessaly attempts, with her new warders’ blessings, to speak to her former teammates only to be gently but firmly rebuffed, the group returns to quarters, where Mantius reassures Dumas that he will arrange for a meeting with Alina as promised by the Diamond Blood Cloak Warder Nicomedes. The party has just contacted the Eighth Number and arranged to meet for dinner in order to discuss matters when they are surprised by a visit from the Auditor. Happily, CATALINA, as lead warder, comports herself ably and not only are they not penalized, but somewhat commended.
At dinner later, the Ninth and the Eighth (minus Bartolomus and Ursula, to Thessaly’s dismay) are joined by the Fourth, and much hilarity ensues, along with certain revelations (that the Sixth’s Lucia is a poisoner and Ricius a molester, and that the Auditor has previously confiscated ten and sixteen shards from the Fourth and Eighth respectively, among others). The foundations of friendship are laid down, DANIELUS flirts with a discomfited ALECTO, and all proceeds well and amiably, even when the stunningly expensive bill for VEDA’S extravagant ordering is presented.
As the appalled mounts prepare to divide the expense, they are informed that the matter has been taken care of by NICOMEDES, whom they realize has been dining quietly at a nearby table. The warders naturally go to express their thanks, and DBC expresses his approval of socializing among numbers, though not without a caution as to certain persons’ speaking their opinions too loudly in public. Mantius lingers a bit as the other warders return to their numbers, and Dumas’s meeting with Alina is arranged.
Soon after the party retires once more to quarters, Dumas goes off to see his ward; and before long Mantius is summoned to speak with DBC, who says that he is sorry and hands over Dumas’s shard, the Cerulean Mediator.