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A restful night in Oresta's parents' home isn't so restful...

"You ever have a fight, and you know you've got to apologize?"

Gale Whispered, Pyres, Sientelle, and Fleuvienne all arrive at Oresta's parents' home and are guided inside by her family's oldest servant, Veej. He is almost tripping over himself in his desire to make life as comfortable as possible for so many noble Princes of the Earth. He shows them up to the office where Oresta is resting and sets about preparing their quarters.

The Hearth has an awkward moment between them: how will they move past the events of today? And what is their next move? They retire to their beds, hoping sleep will bring them answers.

Pyres takes a moment to create a small shrine to Hesiesh and wishes Lee-Ann's spirit a swift and easy trip on... wherever her spirit is now. But later that night he is awoken by a presence on his bed and a golden circle staring down at him. Juwinn is quiet, threatening, and asks him to explain his actions: why did he execute Lee-Ann? Pyres chooses his words carefully, explaining that he had to, so as to not undo all of their work against Vieren up to this point.

Juwinn stalks off to confirm his story with the other members of the Hearth. Then, she gathers them all together in Oresta's room. She explains that she knew about Lee-Ann, but since her goal is to protect all of the students of the House of Bells, interfering on her behalf could have been the end of her. She has decided to trust the Hearth of the One True Bell, and offers any and all help that she can provide. The Hearth is a bit uneasy at the alliance, but Oresta tells them that if she's aiming to protect them, at least she won't attack them. And that will have to do for now.

The five settle in to sleep in the bed together, and are summoned to breakfast the next morning by Veej. There, Oresta's father, Cathak Ren, is marveling over a mysterious gift that arrived the night before: a complete set of the Realm Encyclopedia. Oresta notices a small golden ring inscribed on one of the books and again wonders about Juwinn's motives. The Hearth sit down to Veej's special breakfast of "pan cakes" when they are interrupted by a guest: Seven-Fingers has just arrived over land and has dropped in to see his old friend Ren!

Oresta sends Veej away while Seven-Fingers does the same to Ren. Alone, he reveals to them that Sientelle's summons for House Iselsi is what brought him here... but he's planning on defecting. The Hearth questions him about his ties to Iselsi: what was his mission? Oresta, in particular, is furious: he must have been the force that brought Iselsi's attack on the House of Bells in the first place! But Seven-Fingers tries to put them at ease, telling them his mission was only to probe the defenses of the House. Well, that and his previous mission of successfully smuggling Juwinn into the House of Bells in the first place....

Student Comments

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