Chains of Silver and Blood

Episode 27

Letters and Promises

Night has spread its dark cloak over the city hours ago, but still Pragatima tosses and turns in her bed, unable to find sleep. Suddenly, she rises, and goes directly to Rohim’s room, taking care not to disturb the others. Waking the physician, she confides in him, revealing her doubts and asking him to explain why the rest of the circle feels so circumspect about her judgment, even as she does her best to protect and help them. As flattered as he is surprised, Rohim quickly steps up, exploring possible avenues to settle the rising mistrust in the midst of the circle. After a few hours quietly talking to each other, they go back to sleep, planning to breach the subject in the morning. Neither of them notice that Harik’s room is empty, his bed still made despite the time.

For Pragatima was not the only one unable to sleep, and the sorcerer elected to spend the night wandering in the streets of the colorful but silent city. His steps lead him, slowly but inexorably, to the docks, and he ends up watching the sun rising over the dark waters of the Dreaming Sea, as fishermen and dock workers start their day without a second thought for the still figure in the midst, contemplating distant shores, long-lost or never-seen.

He is interrupted from his reverie by a young errand boy, who recognizes him on his way to the Temeraire, and hands him a sealed parchment for Rohim. As he pockets it, he notices Shab boarding a boat preparing to leave towards Ansibah, and frowns at the sight, wondering at what this could imply.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the circle is having breakfast, Rohim and Pragatima bring up their discussion to Beyaloa and Rain Pearl. While the latter is overjoyed at the idea of reducing the nascent tensions, Beyaloa is a bit less happy to tackle the subject, being too worried about the council she is attending this morning to officialise their deal with the Bey. Her offhand dismissal of the Dawn’s concerns almost leads to another argument, but she leaves too quickly for the situation to turn sour.

The council itself is a formal but largely already consummated affair: most of the usually fiercely independent families associated with the Path of Inspiration have changed their positions overnight, and now support sending the fleet. The main part of the discussion is spent discussing the cap on taxes and the number of ships to send, and Beyaloa leaves the negotiations table both relieved and with a new-found respect for her old foe’s influence.

Harik comes back a bit before noon, just in time to welcome back Teferi. As he group briefs him on the events of the past couple of days, Rohim opens his letter, his eyes growing wide as he recognizes the precise script of Asteria, and wider still when he sees the precise locutions used by Star-Prince Zapir when he was a thrall of He Who Burns. Behind the sweet message wishing her former betrothed a nice life, there is a hidden cry for help… or worse, a confession. A single sentence pierces the lips of the peaceful physician, the one so used to arguing against conflict.

“We have to kill He Who Burns.”

The whole circle is arguing under the silent gaze of their host’s ancestors, the stone and bronze funerary masks somberly judging their discussion. Rohim tells them that Asteria is affected in the same way the Star-Prince was, and wants to go back home to spread the Path of Inspiration. He believes that if the fae noble is able to reach out to too many places, he might end up becoming too powerful to ever be stopped. Disturbed by the image, the rest of the circle still hesitate to upset the fragile balance they managed to put in place, especially after Beyaloa has seen the influence their adversary has over local politics. They end up discussing the responsibilities over the region, and how to best protect innocent people that might fall prey to He Who Burns or the chaos of a civil war.

In the end, Beyaloa ends up swallowing her hate, and they agree that the Unificator is a more pressing threat. They will deal with the fae noble later. In the meantime, Rohim will reach out to Asteria and offer her protection in the Fiery Isles until she is out of trouble.

At the end of the discussion, Pragatima goes to Harik, asking the sorcerer for a favor: Enandi is willing to give her what she needs to free Obin from her current master, but only against the services of a sorcerer. While Harik doesn’t like the idea of trusting a Dragon-Blooded so close to the Path of Inspiration (let alone one who tried to mount a Wyld Hunt against them!), he agrees to hear her out, and they both head towards her manse.

Talking in the middle of Enandi Iobana’s garden, she confesses that she has been trying to pass on the blood of the Dragons to her children, without success, and that she is starting to look towards more esoteric methods. She has heard that some demons can conceive children to the specifications of their parents, and is willing to try. Despite knowing that this plan is unlikely to succeed, Harik agrees to summon a Neomah for the matriarch before they go back towards the capital.



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