|While out on a nightly patrol, Ariadne discovers a frightened young man hiding in some bushes.
He says that his name is Wesley and that he is carrying a message from Queen Senara Lennox of Calatia for Adriana. When
he discovers Ariadne is a Phoenix Fighter, he asks her to accompany him to the house. She agrees, although she gives
him an order not to look directly at her, as she is in her demon form. Wesley agrees, although once they enter the House,
he sees her and panics. A group of Phoenix Fighters gathered in the lobby rise to Ariadne’s defense. Adriana
exits the office to see what the commotion is. She ushers a nervous Wesley into her office as a sullen Ariadne retreats
back up to her room. |
A few minutes later, Adriana comes back out to the lobby and calls a meeting. Before she
says anything, a mournful Tranns informs the house that Aden has taken a turn for the worst and is not expected to live very
much longer. Without pausing for time to mourn, Ana tells the House that she has been communicating with Queen Senara
for a few months in an attempt for Calatian troops to provide additional aid near the southern border of Shaldani. After
much deliberation, Senara has agreed to help on the condition that Adriana, or another official of the House, travels to Calatia
to personally negotiate. Adriana says she cannot attend, and asks for a volunteer to go in her stead. After some
hesitation, Amorette agrees to go. That night, Adriana and Amorette cram over proper court behavior, dress, and general
The next morning Amorette leaves. She arrives in Calatia in time for the evening court, where she
introduces herself to Queen Senara, the crown prince Castor, and Castor’s fiancÚ Kestrel. Not long afterwards,
the court mage Willa comes stumbling in. After arrangements for Amorette’s room are made, Senara retreats for
the evening. Amorette then witnesses an exchange of harsh words between Castor and Kestrel, and learns that the two
are entering an arranged marriage, much to their chagrin. She is informed by Willa that there is additional spite
between them, due to Kestrel’s anger at court murmurings of an affair between Castor and a lady of the court, Cambria.
The next day, Amorette attends a tea function after an invitation from Kestrel. Kestrel is initially pleasant,
but becomes upset when Cambria fails to attend. Later that evening, a small dance is held in honor of Amorette.
There is a shouting match between Kestrel and Castor that the entire court overhears. Their primary source of angst
is, once again, Cambria. However, Castor also accuses Kestrel of having her own affair with the captain of the guard,
The next morning, Senara and Amorette meet, and negotiate over plans to send Calatian troops into Shaldani.
Just as Amorette is planning to leave, Cambria bursts into the courtroom, brandishing a bloody sword. She announces
that Castor is dead and the sword was found in his room. Upon further inspection, the sword is discovered to be Amorette’s.
Amorette is immediately taken down to the dungeons. However, the court mage, Willa, does not believe that Amorette is
guilty and frees her from the dungeon. The two break into Castor’s room and look in his daily planner. They
discover that he had planned to meet with Kestrel and Cambria within one hour of each other. Remembering the shouting
match between Kestrel and Castor the night before, Willa tells Amorette to shadow Kestrel.
Amorette follows Kestrel
to Cambria’s room. Kestrel heatedly accuses Cambria of murdering Castor. Cambria calmly replies that she
did not and suggests Kestrel should go cool down. Kestrel announces her plans to have Willa to look at the sword and
determine with magic who Castor’s killer was. After Kestrel leaves, Cambria runs to the throne room, where Senara
still sits with the sword. Cambria attempts to steal the sword, but as various people fill the throne room, she
realizes she has created a bit of a scene and therefore has been discovered. She gleefully confesses to everyone in
the room that not only did she kill Castor, but she is a spy from the Ebene, who are planning on making Calatia their next
target. As Amorette attempts to kill her, Willa turns Cambria into a bug and she is subsequently squished.
grief-stricken Senara thanks Amorette for helping them discover the truth about Cambria. After some coaxing from Willa,
Senara informs a delighted Kestrel that she will be wed to Kelarn. Senara then asks Amorette what they can do to repay
her. Amorette remembers a dying Aden and asks for him to be healed. Willa consents, and also gives Amorette a
special, glowing orb to carry for her wedding. Senara adds that the troops will be sent to Shaldani, and also gives
Amorette various gifts to take home with her. Meanwhile, back on the first floor of the Phoenix House, Aden awakes from