The winter solstice had arrived and the party were Back in town. Most of them woke before dawn and readied themselves to visit Zorias for now Zanthon and Griffolk were left behind but Mark was able to rejoin the group having been able to reactivate the item he had received to cure his blindness (albeit temporarily) . Gathering outside his door as the sun rose Moosa dismissed the elvish guards and the party knocked, it took a few minute of knocking and shouting before a newly awoken mage emerged and invited them in.
“Standing for something: a wizard/merchant’s tale”
by Zoriastad Samara al-Naslai Kertiriox
…The first solstice i spent in Kervallion I invited that same party to join me in the ritual of corse at that time I never bothered to explain any of it to them not fully anyway, I told myself that I thought everyone knew but I did know enough to protect them somewhat so perhaps thats just an excuse. I suppose then I deserved to be awoken that day by knocking and shouting at my door, so arrived Im sure the strangest group invited to Saenoier Sira’ttirnaea’t La’rlnaeri, an Estarian, elves, Mark (who at least at the time seemed normal enough), and Mara, Mara I didn’t know, someone they had met after leaving the city but I thought “well if they trust her it must be fine” besides she actually seemed relatively normal how much trouble could she cause…
In any case I brought them in, made some vedlyr and tried to ready myself. I brought out the nomdr and they donned them while I finished the ledyos velvsi, I had them remove their magical accoutrements (most of it mine), Thia had a ring that would not be removed and seemed magical and like a fool I simply nullified it same as i had Thia and hoped that would be enough, still I disenchanted the nomdr and brought them in to begin, The velvsi was mostly set up to focus on my position my thinking being that Rolan and Thia would likely wish to retain their magic and that as they where more or less home as far as I knew how much could they need it anyway (this of corse discounted Moosa’s needs).
It was good to see Corinthia a strange reminder of what I had left behind it was less welcome (albeit necessary) to see my parents as a reminder of why I left, and then there was Hera…
…I don’t know what the rest saw exactly although I have a few good guesses. After it was done I was told what the Kervallion tradition was and Thia attempted to give me a gift pulling out the fucking “Staff of staves”, I had no idea what it was at the time but that thing…
With that completed Rolan Nailò made his first visit to the “Deep woods” of the day and Mark went to Ennith bringing with him a invitation to the Vontaren winter ball (something he had received from Elend Vontaren). While he did that Thia took Mara and Zanthon to the grand academy where they met Margret Vint and the creature from the hidden vault See’Krett. After some introductions (that were about as smooth as introductions with Margret and See’krett ever are) it was time for Margret to try the much talked about spell she had been working on, casting from a adjacent room Margret magically appeared back amongst the group completely naked, a condition she seemed unaware of until it was commented upon (leading to her rushing out of the room to regain her clothes), this aside Thia seemed impressed with what was more or less a new spell and could apparently “think of some uses for it” Thia received a wrapped gift from Margret and left.
Moosa who had been infiltrating Vontaren supplies and applying additional ingredients, finished and helped mark rent a carriage to take Ennith to the Vontaren ball. Mark and Ennith had a more or less pleasant evening despite one or two other guests overindulging and becoming ill, that is until the amount of sick guests became fairly suspicious Mark went to question Elend about the situation and it was while he did that that the swarm of rats arrived. It was as Mark was standing at the top of a set of stairs using his sword to try and keep the rats at bay that Rolan unexpectedly arrived following a message from Moosa (more or less), he came with enough antidote for Mark and Ennith (a shame for poor Elend) and with that the Vontaren ball was over.
If one wanted further entertainment that winters day there remained the Zahn ball, the Hastings ball and the royal gathering. Moosa attended to the Zahn gathering, Zanthon was given a meeting with Joanna Zahn and Rolan took Howling Under The Two Moons to enjoy all the sights of the Zahn estate courtyard. Mark meanwhile was bringing Ennith along to the palace having been invited by Gaius and Thia came along having been given an impromptu invitation by Vigo. Thia immediately made a strong impression by drawing much attention to her elvish nature this allowed Mark and Ennith to fade into the background more than they might have, Thia was even introduced to Varlan by Mara (who was also there apparently…?) the conversation was somewhat unpleasant but was possible only a cover for something to be put in Varlan’s drink.
Towards the end of the night all but Moosa gathered in the deep woods Zanthon, Margret and Zorias included. Among the food and drink available was tea brewed by Rolan and much fine wine that had somehow made its way out of the palace. Ennith was pulled aside by Mark for he had commissioned an item from Zorias constructed with part of the communication stone Ennith had given mark, now Mark gave Ennith a ring and a proposal to which the answer was… yes.
Mark announced that he would leave the group for now to refocus his efforts on Ennith (and The Ordo Noctum). Rolan asked for his sword and with some hesitation Mark gave it over.
The First solstice the party spent together in Avissium they ate and drank, they spent time with the rich and powerful, they earned money and they were surrounded by allies, many had met Zanthon that day but none of them knew exactly who he was (yet). Mark had moved on (for now) but Mara had proved useful ally (for now). With Zanthon in the city it was however only a matter of time before things became more complicated…