Revision as of 21:26, 18 April 2023 by Novemberalice (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
"Now you know me" said the gold-skinned herald, "and I'm absolutely the last person to be telling tales, but the rumour is that the Jotun turned the Gryphon-King down... Well not entirely, but they haven't exactly taken him to their bosom. Apparently the offer looked too good to be true - their Jarls said they couldn't meet the price!"

Tregea threw his drinking companion an obvious look of disbelief. ""Why on earth would they do that? I thought you said that the Brother of Lions wasn't asking for anything?"

"He wasn't! That's what's so droll", the herald looked around conspiratorially as if someone might be listening in, which was ridiculous given they were in Tregea's private rooms. "He was full of rage and fury when their völva met the Queen of the Gradungr. Promising to unleash his gryphon-knights against the Empire, like he did at Jaelwif's Mound."

The enchanter reached over over to fill the herald's glass with her own hand. The herald took a mouthful of the fine wine, savouring the exquisite flavour, before continuing

"Anyway, they came back a full moon later and told the Queen of Glory, that the Queen of the North was flattered by the Gryphon King's offer, but that regretfully they must decline. When she asked them why, they said that the jarls would say only that "free is the greatest cost of all". Seems they thought it was some sort of trap..."

"Interesting..." said Tregea, in a way that indicated his guest should carry on talking.

"Well the Golden-Haired One didn't like that one little bit. The Gryphon-King is her... guest? prisoner? ally? Who knows! But clearly she didn't think much of the idea that her the Jotun might reject one she had brought to treat with them. So they ended up agreeing to allow a handful of his heralds to take the field with their kirkja - but it was clear they weren't keen."

Tregea's eye narrowed, this sounded useful at last. Nimue had asked him to pump Meraud's door mender for information and he'd be happy enough to do it. But he'd been listening all night to talk of the Sorceress of the Silver Pines and her five scullery boys and frankly he didn't know how much more prattle he could take. Or his wine cellars for that matter. But if he could just keep the fool talking about the Gryphon-King... they might finally find something useful.
Summer in Winter.png
Two realms and their eternals. One group powerful and hot-headed. One group powerful and cold-hearted.
Click for audio version


At the Autumn Equinox, Lady Nimue de Moraine proposed that the enchantresses of Dawn find five eternals of the Summer realm to patronise the Eastern Sky, granting the army their favour and allowing its general to call on their aid. The enchantresses have until the coming Summer Solstice to decide which regents of the Summer realm they choose and to see if they can agree terms with them. If the scheme comes to fruition, Lady Nimue intends to travel to Anvil for the Summer Solstice, to join her fellow Dawnish magicians in the hour of triumph.

However the outcome is not guaranteed. The eternals are the Summer Realm are fickle beings, many of them are prone to tempestuous outbursts. Fortunately one at least, Eleonaris, is well pleased with the Empire at present, and has already indicated that she stands ready to offer her favour to the Eastern Sky. She is said to be delighted with the prospect of her Lion Banner flying alongside those of Dawn, indeed Lady Nimue cautions that if the enchanters of Dawn don't choose Eleonaris then they had better find a way to handle that very diplomatically indeed...

At the other end of the scale Hayaak has pointedly refused to even entertain Lady Nimue's request. He is seething with anger, and demands the freshly removed head of Ser Edric du Gauvain - a tricky feat given the knight passed away three years ago. Presumably his anger might be mollified in some other way, but that looks very difficult at the moment.

The other eternals have all indicated that they would be prepared to extend their favour to the army if they have a giant statue made of them (although Meraud wants assurances that the statue will catch his good side). However a herald of Adamant cheerfully lets slip that the Hordulant One has provided his mortal servant, the Master of the Koboldi with details of an alternative offer...

A Change of Appearance

  • A way to win Jaheris' support for the Eastern Sky has been proposed that uses a small amount of mana instead of a large amount of white granite

The Unicorn Prince has indicated that he would be happy to offer his patronage for the Eastern Sky, but not if the army also enjoys the support of Eleonaris. There is an enduring rivalry between the two eternals, which goes back as far as stories themselves, so this is no real surprise. However it does create a clear difficulty - the Empire has built a statue to celebrate The Lion of Summer and in so doing won her affections. While the Moonsilver Prince has indicated that he would be happy to accept a statue of similar proportions providing it was a little taller, that would require a great deal of white granite.

What if, someone suggests, the Empire simply changed Eleonaris' statue to show Jaheris rather than Eleonaris? It is the sort of thing Night magic achieve relatively easily - it has been done before at least twice in Sarvos apparently. The enchantment - or curse - wouldn't last forever, but it would last a year. Rather than needing a Senate commission and a huge quantity of white granite, it would just need an enterprising Night coven and a relatively small amount of mana.

It might not be the best plan to attempt to trick Jaheris, otherwise he might become angry when the enchantment ends. But the Lord of the Forest of Arden hates the Lion of Summer - and this would be the perfect way for him to get one over her. An enterprising witch takes it upon themselves to query the matter with one of the Unicorn Prince's heralds and he is happy to confirm that he would accept being given dominion over Eleonaris' statue in this way. He's not unduly concerned with the enchantment ending, although the longer it stays in place, the happier he will be. But certainly he would eagerly embrace such an offer.

Of course it will anger Eleonaris, but that needn't be disastrous. Most of her anger could be directed at Jaheris, the Empire could even suggest that it was some trickery by the Prince himself, or else they could throw whichever ritualists performed the magic to the wolves and blame them for the act. Eleonaris would be furious with them... but there are strict limits to her powers, she couldn't take vengeance on them... directly. It might not be the safest thing for them, but if having an eternal as your nemesis is glorious what could be more glorious than the Lion of Summer herself?

Lady Nimue is certain that the eternal won't refuse to allow the Empire to cast Knights of Glory. She's only just returned the ritual to the Empire, she won't want to admit she's been outwitted by the Moonsilver Prince, she won't want to lose face by admitting she's been beaten. That doesn't mean she will be sanguine about it mind - someone is going to feel her wrath - but it needn't be the whole of Dawn or the Empire.

Winter EternalConcerns
AgramantHunger, cannibalism, cruelty
KaelaEntropy, despair, endings
SorinPrivation, strength from weakness, oaths
The Thrice-cursed CourtCurses, power at a price, spite
Wise RangaraWisdom, tradition, children

A Change of Season

  • The enchanters and enchantresses of Dawn could choose to favour the Winter eternals over the Summer eternals
  • The egregores have suggested a meeting of enchanters and enchantresses to discuss the matter at 2pm on Saturday

While Lady Nimue and the civil service have put considerable effort into compiling a list of benefits that might arise from winning the favour of the lords and ladies of the Summer Realm, they are not the only allies that Dawn might call upon. The Winter Realm is every bit as powerful and terrifying as the Summer Realm, but its eternals are far less fickle and tempestuous. Would they make better, more reliable allies? They have certainly helped Dawn before - in the Barrens most recently and there is at least one prominent Dawnish house widely believed to be on very favourable terms with Sorin and some members of the The Thrice Cursed Court.

It would require an amount of work - at least it would if Dawn were going to negotiate with all the Winter eternals. That in itself would be difficult, one of them Skathe, is currently under enmity and might need considerable effort to get that changed. The other of course, is Agramant - the Ravenous One is always willing to make a deal, but it seems impossible to imagine anyone in the Conclave would permit that, even if it were a good idea. But eternals like Sorin have shown some favour to the Empire before, as have beings like Surut, Tharim, and Wise Rangara. Dawn could approach one or more of them to see if they would consider extending their favour to the Eastern Sky.

What categorically won't work is a Winter eternal favouring the Eastern Sky alongside the lords and ladies of the Summer realm. That would be a disaster, assuming it were even possible. The lords of summer might feud with each other, but they don't object to each other's methods. Eleonaris considers Cathan Canae to be a rival, but she respects the Mistress of Blizzards, she won't be angry at the general of the Eastern Sky for calling on that eternals favour. The same cannot be said for a being like Sorin or Kaela, or indeed any of the Winter eternals. If Dawn wishes to embrace the realm of Winter, it must do so entirely, it cannot pick and choose.

While this option would mean beginning new negotiations with the eternals of the Winter realm, it might have at least one positive benefit. Currently the Lion of Summer is likely to be angered if Dawn don't chose her as a patron for the Eastern Sky. She is bound to become jealous if the nation choose her rivals over her. But she won't care at all, if Dawn turn to the Winter realm, since she doesn't appear to consider those beings as worthy of her attention. It would be a cost-free way for Dawn to extricate themselves from that tricky situation.

If the enchantresses and enchanters of Dawn do want to switch their support to the Winter realm, they will need to make a concerted choice to do that. When one door opens... another must close. They would have to give Lady Nimue notice that they intend to approach the eternals of the Winter realm, so that Nimue can use her considerable diplomatic skills to smooth things over with Eleonaris and her peers. It would not do well to be approaching Sorin, or any other Winter eternal whilst also negotiating in good faith with the Summer realm. The only safe way to proceed is to make a decision and chose one path or the other.

The egregores of Dawn have suggested that the enchanters and enchantresses of Dawn meet with them at 2pm on Saturday of the summit to discuss the proposal. If those present chose to favour Winter over Summer, then the egregores will let Lady Nimue know and she can take steps accordingly. Even if the Dawnish enchanters and enchantresses choose not to switch their focus to the Winter realm, this meaning can certainly be used to discuss strategies for attracting the attention of the Summer eternals and negotiating with them in time for the Summer Solstice meeting.

Further Reading