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Further investigations are made at The House of Bells, and the hearth decides which leads to follow.

"It's sometimes hard to stand up."

Gale leaps into action immediately: Iselsi agents must have been alerted to their presence, and they need to be ready when they arrive. The Hearth assumes that any Iselsi who arrive will want to secure, or even use, the communication tables; since they are now in possession of one, they can listen in.

As they prepare, Oresta uncovers the weapon found on The Heightened Sense : it's a warhammer made of a very unusual magical metal. Gale's instincts for artifacts reveal that the weapon, "God's Dice", inflicts bad luck on its victims... but why is it made of starmetal? Oresta is suspicious of the hammer and puts it away. Pyres approaches Oresta, who tells him she thinks she may be in love with him; Pyres tells her honestly that he isn't sure what love really is, but he wants to find out, and the two of them explore each other in the barracks.

When they return, Pyres spends a moment with Maral, asking her about her grimscythe, Whisperscream. He learns that her weapon traps the final thoughts of those it kills, and that Maral uses it to gain insight. Pyres and Maral set off to scout the grounds and position themselves to ambush anyone leaving the Infirmary.

Two men arrive, seeking out the table: Bodun and Ga of House Iselsi activate it with the codephrase "Causeway", allowing Gale to listen in on their conversation. Despite taking care to disguise its surroundings, the two men are immediately suspicious of the table recovered from the Heightened Sense: "There used to be water, and tentacles!" But their suspicions are paused when a mysterious man with close-cropped blue hair appears on the other end. A representative of Zindel, he hears the report of the other two before ordering them to search for whoever was at the House of Bells... they must recover the elixir.

Bodun and Ga begin to search the campus, and Pyres tricks them into believing he is a lost looter whose partner stole the elixir. Fully distracted, the two men are easily overpowered and imprisoned by the rest of the Hearth. Ga is unmovable, but Bodun is quite easy to threaten and cajole, and tells them all he knows. The elixir, he tells them, was indeed developed by Iselsi sorcerers, and its effects are indeed the "unmasking" of Anathema, with more fatal results for Princes of the Earth. However, the elixir can only be made at Calibration, and is only "good" for one year... so there can't be a stockpile of it, at least. Bodun tells them they were tracking Seven-Fingers, knowing that he had been tracking another Iselsi agent. And while he's never met Zindel or her lackey, he knows they're located in the Imperial City, giving the Hearth their next destination.

Opting to leave the two alive but unable to escape for a couple of days, they decide to head north, to the Imperial City. Before they go, they destroy Garavel's table, and use the one recovered from the Heightened Sense to send a message. Sientelle makes contact with the mysterious man again, and reports in: she's gotten close to the Hearth, and can bring Pyres and Oresta to Zindel. "Make sure they don't resist," he instructs her.

And as the Hearth set off, this is the last time they'll ever see their namesake Bell....

Student Comments

The following are reactions from viewer's non-canon students.