Castellan looked at the sheaf of parchment spread across the table. The Master of Challenges was pacing noticeably across the great hall. She turned and nodded to Emblem who started to pick up the sheets and place them in a large wooden chest. She walked over to her Lord and put her hand on his shoulder.

"It was a simple dinner party, things should not have gone that badly."

"It is Eleonaris, her temper often flares. Jaheris does little to help. But it will calm down, it always does"

Barien turned and snapped at her "But it hasn't - has it?"

Castellan took a step back and a deep breath. She had never seen the Host of Hosts lose his temper. Such displays of anger were something she expected from the lesser lords of the realm. Something was wrong.

"I shall leave you to your pacing, let me take care of the challenges you have set our friends. It is at least one thing I can do for you."

He turned and smiled at her, thankful for the support. With a simple hand wave the matter was settled, it was something that he could stop worrying about for a while.

She returned to the table where Emblem had arranged the notes that Barien's heralds had prepared. Most had now been returned to the box, just three remained apart, ready for her. She picked up the first one, Hubert Gremani, a playwright and a wit from the Iron Lands. She called the Reeve's scribe over and had him transcribe the words of her challenge.

After the scribe was finished, he dried the ink with sharp sand and then passed it to Castellan for approval. She read it, marked it with an emblazoned symbol of an owl before placing it in the leather satchel. The Varushkan playwright done, she turned her attention to the other two challenges, Vivienne de Carsenere and Lady Ygraine Novarion together, Liissá of Sigehold Hall alone.

She turned and frowned at Emblem. Too many challenges to deal with quickly... The Lord of the Crossroads was right, something was different in the Summer Realm, something dangerous... She needed to resolve this matters fast so that she could return to her lord's side.

"Contact our friends at the Forge of the First Throne, let them know we will travel to Anvil so that everyone with a challenge can come speak to me there. We will catch more fish with a net than a line."


Castellan is the primary agent of the eternal Barien. She seems to come and go reasonably freely between the Summer realm and the mortal world, often in response to a summons issued with the powerful Challenge the Iron Duke ritual. She is often dispatched to deliver challenges or to reward those who have impressed the Lord of the Crossroads. At such times she is very much the emissary of the Reeve of the Summer Lands.


On this occasion, however, her presence seems to be slightly more informal than usual. She has let it be known that she intends to visit the Forge in the heart of Anvil at or around nine o'clock on Friday evening. Her intention is to speak with every citizen of the Empire who is awaiting a challenge from Barien. She has mentioned several names - all assumed to be people who have been the subject of the Summer ritual. She holds scrolls detailing the challenges to be delivered to Hubert Gremani; to Vivienne de Carsenere and Lady Ygraine Novarion, and to Liissá of Sigehold Hall.

She is also eager to talk to anyone who is undertaking a challenge or who has completed one but not yet received a reward from the Seneschal of the Road. She has mentioned Guildenstern of the Marches, Drogon Morosini of the Crimson Reaper Cartel, Achilles of Urizen, and the nobles of House Aurelius. If they will come and let her know how their challenges are progressing, then she may be able to offer advice and help. If someone is awaiting a reward from Barien she will procure it for them.

It seems that the popularity of the ritual in recent times has made it harder for Castellan to find those who she is seeking. So rather than looking for them, she has taken the practical step of letting them know where she will be and encouraging them to come to her.

Magicians who are knowledgeable in Summer lore advise that Castellan must technically be a herald - but prefers to be addressed as an eternal. As an individual, she is often interested in challenges of the heart, especially Dawnish Tests of Mettle and Ardour, and clever citizens may be able to gain her aid with a good story. However, she is a stickler for formalities - anyone attempt to convince her to give them a Challenge without first performing the ritual will receive a curt response.