|It was either this pic, or the D&D Basic Wizard's Eye. I really|
wonder how the eyes of the Watchful Warder
eyes are supposed to look like -- I preferred the stylized
look of Agamotto myself.
KHIMERE confesses to CATALINA that, in an effort to protect her First Woman, she has been blocking TERENTIUS’S mental and physical attempts to contact Cat, including a letter in which Terry explained the healing eye which he put on her. Having assured Kim that she bears her no ill will, Cat hurries to the hospice, where she learns from Terry’s brother CARDIUS (who claims to have been removed from Diamond after an “altercation” with Auden) that the Watchful Warder shard shattered and became embedded in Terry’s body, leaving the latter in grievous condition, which the healers are at a loss to remedy.
Cat calls for Aly, who calls for MANTIUS, who determines that Terry will die in a matter of seven hours. Aly uses scholarly ability to reveal that they need a harrower in order to even have a chance at reintegrating the shard (25% of which is missing) while sustaining the mount, upon which the entire number is then gathered to scramble for a solution. After finding the Feylight Harrower CRISPIANUS and then losing him to LORD INQUISITIVE’S testing, the assembled team consists of the First, Lady ADRIA as Paladin of Last Chances, and Cardius, who sacrifices an eye in order to don the harrower Cyclopean Nuncio.
With only slightly better than a five percent chance of success, they nevertheless make the attempt, which results in a tremendous backlash that slams Cardius across the room and shatters the Cyclopean Nuncio. Terry dies; Mantius is struggling with the choice of restraining or releasing his spirit when the former Daughter of Passion shard reveals itself to now be accessible to Cat as the Essential Lady of Passion, since she has met the prerequisite by having her heart broken. Cat dons the shard and—through its abilities and the assistance of the shard Fellmind and its confused new mount—is able to revive Terry.
Mantius collects the remains of the shattered Watchful Warder shard while Aly, through the Saint of Consonance, restores the Cyclopean Nuncio. They are then summoned by ISAACUS, along with the rest of the Veiled Cardinals, who are instructed to follow Adria’s direction over the next few days to ensure that no untoward information escapes Peerdin through civilians or the lower numbers, since the dome will soon be coming down. Once Mantius and Aly are returned whence they came, she quickly goes to VARIAN, to guilt him about not telling Auden that Ana is alive, and to remind him that HADRIAN is somewhere around. Ian manages to lure Hadrian to him by playing one of the songs of their childhood, in the process striking a deal with the large blue-infested cat stalking the Undercity. Hadrian appears not to remember Ian, but it is a cordial meeting nevertheless.
Over the next few days, Arc asks LUCIA to officially be his lady and tells Ser ORLANDO of her acceptance, while the now-supernally healthy Terry has really, really lots of sex with Cat, in between which she tells him that he’s been removed as a ruling warder—to his jubilation—and he plots to be reassigned to the Third. Terry and the First are soon summoned to a meeting with the First Tier, in which Terry successfully advances his agenda, and the group discusses options in light of Amber’s fall, such as:
- Support Copper by replacing Amber as a frontline legion, facing both Amber’s opposing court and the Blight Speakers;
- Assist Emerald in forming a sub-legion to accomplish same, providing Kenjiro as leader and a huge number of shards;
- Leave matters as they stand.
Meanwhile, LEONTES the Younger alerts Ian to the presence of strangers outside Peerdin. Ian, Arc, Kim, and Mantius investigate, whereupon they meet the expressed legendary shard ALCHESIS, his eight-year-old ‘mount’ MAYA, and their friend, the expressed legendary shard TALIESIN. Before long, Taliesin compels the legendary MIRAJIN to apologize to Kim; Auden realizes that Taliesin is the Renegade Lyric; and all three legendaries agree to pledge fealty to the legion (after Taliesin’s embarrassment at discovering that the Bejeweled Warder is “THAT Bejeweled”, given the tension between him and Canar). Little Maya (who recognizes and is recognized by Arc as Elect) is housed with Cat’s mother, and Kim introduces her to ALIA.
As ordered by Isaac, Cat attends the First Tier meeting the next morning to report the scholarly findings: that acquiring a new writ has a 30% chance of success, will be very perilous, and will take one number at least three months to accomplish. Isaac recommends that the First be assigned to undertake this endeavor, and the motion is carried over Orlando’s and Kenjiro’s objections, with Cat avoiding a tie by persuading Master Auden to change his initial opinion.
With two days before their departure, among other things: BREGAN is recruited to round the First out to a total of seven; all of the First are signed on as warders; Arc says goodbye to and receives a token from Lucia; Aly gets a tattoo, introduces Kenjiro to her parents, and spends most of the duration “working for the finance office”; Cat introduces Terry to LEPIDA and Alia; Ian tells Auden that he knows about their past; Mantius gives ROGELIO some salient advice; and everyone bids goodbye to Toby.
1. The Phantom Aviator is expressed as a female named LARIAN.
2. The Lady of Passion is named JELIN.